My Table

A Book Review: “The Wineslinger Chronicles”

The Wineslinger Chronicles: Texas on the Vine Since 1998 no one has more willingly or enthusiastically worn the mantle of Texas’ own wine writer than Russell Kane. He has covered Texas wine and cuisine in many articles in several publications, as well as on his blog, VintageTexas.com. His travels, experiences and the insights he has garnered from the long list of friends and acquaintances he enjoys in the Texas wine industry have all come to fruit in his recently released book The Wineslinger Chronicles: Texas on the Vine.

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Cupid’s Cocktail

A Survey of Chocolate Liqueurs There are times when one feels it’s more appropriate to be ridiculous than sublime. Or maybe, just times when we realize that we have a better chance of pulling ridiculous off, and simply want to stack the deck in favor of achieving even a minor success. For times such as those, My Table would like to help by reporting on a recent tasting of a number of chocolate liqueurs and wines, to help you navigate through some of the choices you’ll find when shopping for these products.

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Bubbling Over

In my experience, few things are as clear a signal that life is about to change for the better than when the next thing on my agenda is to take a sip from a glass of Champagne. Whether I need to be distracted from difficulties, celebrate success or just enjoy what is one of the most consistently pleasant wines in the world, Champagne is just the ticket.

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The State of Texas Wines: An Update

Texans, by and large, are a group universally known for having a certain pride and swagger in regards to everything about their great state. Far be it for me to nitpick their self-satisfaction; generally, they have a point. But a lot of this innate pride seems to dissipate when the subject of Texas wines comes up. Maybe it’s because they’ve just not branched out enough to try them, preferring to stick with their favorite California or French wine. Perhaps they tried one, years ago, and found it lacking. Maybe it’s just an example of self-defeating snobbery, with thoughts like, “I think I can do better than that” clouding their perception. Well, I’m here to say that many of these people are missing an opportunity to enjoy and support a great, though nascent, local industry. Getting in on the ground floor of an opportunity was never a negative in the past, and it shouldn’t be one with wine, now.

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10 Wines to Order More Often

We all get into ruts when it comes to ordering wine in a restaurant. Whether it’s because we already know what we like, what we can pronounce, or what we can afford, coupled with the fact that we hate to make a mistake - especially in front of our guests - a lot of us just order the same sort of wine no matter what. There’s nothing wrong with having an old standby or two to always fall back on; after all, crisp Pinot Grigios, big, buttery Chardonnays and even bigger Cabernets got popular for a reason. But the world is full of fantastic wines that are not only delicious in their own right, but have been bringing out the best in certain foods for (in some cases) hundreds of years. Why close the door on that party?

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From Barrel to Box

No one enjoys a nice glass of wine more than I do, and I don’t think I’m considered a “wine snob” by anyone with whom I’ve ever had the pleasure of sharing a bottle or two. I appreciate a fantastic, old Bordeaux at its peak as the treat that it is, but I am just as content sipping a little Chianti with a pepperoni pizza. Although some wines can certainly be considered works of art, albeit very tasty ones, most others play the important role of simply being a great beverage to have with whatever you happen to be eating.

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My Ten Favorite Italian Cookbooks

When you consider that there is no country in the world with a cuisine superior to Italy’s, and couple it with the fact that Italians tend to be a little on the chatty side, it’s no wonder that there are so many excellent books on the subject. These are a few of my favorites, but by no means the only ones I enjoy referring to on a regular basis. Some are great for their witty commentary, others for authentic recipes and some for their beautiful photographs.

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Licorice: Wine’s Best Friend?

For years I’ve included various, subtle licorice-flavored ingredients in my cooking, with the thought that, somehow, they brought out the best in whatever wines were being served with my food. So when Teresa called to ask if I’d help her put together a wine tasting that would pair various wines with her favorite licorice candy, I suggested we broaden the scope to include the whole family of licorice-flavored foods. She said, “sure” and a very interesting and fun tasting was the result.

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