The State of Zin: America’s Wine

7pm   Monday December 5th at
The Wine School at l’Alliance Française

ridgelyttonPlease join Spec’s fine wine buyer Bear Dalton for The State of Zin. We’ll dig into Zinfandel and look at 14 Zin-based wines, mostly from Sonoma County – the spiritual home of Zinfandel – that represent the best of what is in the market (2013s and 2014s). We’ll talk about Zin and blends, the terroirs and techniques used to make it, and the food we eat with it. The class will include bread and a selection of fine cheeses to accompany the tasting.

The List:
Seghesio Zinfandel Sonoma 2014
Dry Creek Old Vines Zinfandel 2014
Hartford Zinfandel Russian River 2012
Ravenswood Teldeschi Zinfandel 2013
Ravenswood Belloni Zinfandel 2013
Ravenswood Big River Zinfandel 2013
Ravenswood Dickerson Zinfandel 2013
Rock Wall Reserve Zinfandel Monte Rosso 2013
Ridge Vineyards pagani Zinfandel 2014
Ridge Vineyards Geyserville Zinfandel 2014
Ridge Vineyards Lytton Springs Zinfandel 2014
Turley Zinfandel Fredericks Vineyard 2014
Seghesio Home Ranch 2013
Martinelli Guiseppe & Luisa Zinfandel 2013

The State of Zin will cost $70.00 per person cash ($73.68 regular). The class will meet at 7pm on Monday, December 5th 2016 at l’Alliance Française. To reserve your spot, please contact Susan at 713-854-7855 or coburnsusan2@gmail.com.

L’Alliance Française is French Cultural Center in Houston. Located at 427 Lovett Blvd., it is on the Southeast corner of Lovett and Whitney (one block south of Westheimer and two blocks east of Montrose).

If you buy a ticket and will not be able to attend, please cancel at least 24 hours before the class or you may be charged. Later cancellations will not be charged if we can fill the seat. This is often case as we regularly have waiting lists for these classes.

With over 35 years in the wine business and 30 plus years experience teaching about wine, Spec’s fine wine buyer Bear Dalton is one of Texas’ top wine authorities as well as the state’s most experienced wine educator.

More Classes Coming Soon:
12/12/16 Port
01/09/17 Pulling the Cork: What you need to know to more fully enjoy wine.
01/18/17 2014 Bordeaux at the Crystal Ballroom at the Rice (Houston)
01/19/17 2014 Bordeaux at the Trinity Groves (Dallas)

VALUE BORDEAUX SEMINARS benefitting the Houston Area Women’s Center

bearonwinelogo7pm on Monday, October 10, 2016
– or –
7pm on Tuesday, October 25, 2016
at The Wine School at l’Alliance Française

The same class is being offered on two different dates. You may sign up for one or the other but not both.

Spec’s, the Conseil Interprofessionnel du Vin de Bordeaux, and the European Union invite you to join Spec’s fine wine buyer Bear Dalton for Bordeaux Values at the Wine School at l’Alliance Française. These are the wines I consistently go-to for my personal drinking at home or with friends. In this seminar tasting, we’ll look at wines from around Bordeaux that offer quality and value. Topics of discussion will include vintages, the appellations of Bordeaux (including what makes an appellation), styles of Bordeaux, and the grape varieties and techniques used to make the wines. This is a good general introduction to Bordeaux. Bread and cheese will be served.

The following ten Bordeaux wines will be served:
Ch Martinon Entre Deux Mers 2014
Ch d’Archambeau Graves Blanc 2014
l’Esprit de Chevalier Blanc Pessac Leognan 2012
Ch Ampelia Castillon 2012
Ch Laplagnotte Bellvue St Emilion 2013
Gravette de Certan Pomerol 2013
Ch Carbonnieux Rouge Pessac Leognan 2012
Ch Senejac Haut Medoc 2012
Ch Cantenac Brown Margaux 2012
Ch Batailley Pauillac 2012

To buy your ticket, please contact Susan at 713-854-7855 or coburnsusan2@gmail.com. When you call or email, please specify which session you wish to attend. The cost of this class is a $20 donation (cash or check only please) to the Houston Area Women’s Center. L’Alliance Française is French Cultural Center in Houston. Located at 427 Lovett Blvd., l’Alliance Française is on the south-east corner of Lovett and Whitney (one block south of Westheimer and two blocks east of Montrose).

About The Houston Area Women’s Center:
For over 35 years, the Houston Area Women’s Center has worked relentlessly to help survivors affected by domestic and sexual violence build lives free from the effects of violence. Given our humble beginnings – we started with nine active volunteers answering donated phones – we are proud at how we have grown. Today, we have 115 paid staff, a counseling and administrative building, a residential shelter for 120 women and children, a state-of-the-art hotline call center and over 1,000 active volunteers.

L’Alliance Française is the French cultural center in Houston. Located at 427 Lovett Blvd., l’Alliance is on the southeast corner of Lovett and Whitney (one block south of Westheimer and two blocks east of Montrose).

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2011 Bordeaux and Champagne Tasting at the Crystal Ballroom at the Rice

2011bordstripOn Tuesday, October 18, 2016, Spec’s will host a number of chateau owners, directors, and winemakers presenting 30 mostly Cru Classé and second label Bordeaux wines all from the 2011 vintage. We will also have representatives of  six Champagne houses pouring 20 of their Champagnes, all in a standup- and-walk-around tasting format. This is similar to our wildly popular January Bordeaux event but with a mostly different lineup of wines – and, of course, with Champagne. We’ll be serving . . .

BORDEAUX
Dry White: Clos de Lune Blanche (Bordeaux Blanc), Domaine de Chevalier and Esprit de Chevalier (both Pessac Leognan Blanc)
St. Emilion: Ch. Figeac and Petite Figeac, Ch. Larcis Ducasse and Murmure de Larcis, and Ch. Pavie Macquin and Chenes de Macquin
Pomerol: Vieux Ch. Certan and Gravette de Certan
Francs: Ch. Puygueraud
St. Estephe: Ch. Calon Segur and Marquis de Calon, Ch. Montrose and La Dame de Montrose
Pauillac: Ch. Pichon Lalande and Reserve de la Comtesee, Ch. Pontet Canet and Haut de Pontet Canet
St. Julien: Ch. Ducru Beaucaillou and La Croix de Beaucaillou
Margaux: Ch. Giscours and Sirene de Giscours
Pessac Leognan Ch. Haut Bailly and La Parde de Haut Bailly, Domaine de Chevalier and Espirit de Chevalier
Sauternes: Ch. Guiraud and La Petit Guiraud

CHAMPAGNE
Barons de Rothschild Brut NV, Blanc de Blancs NV and Rosé NV
Castelnau Brut Reserve NV, Rosé NV, and Vintage 1998
Bonnaire Brut Tradition NV, Blanc De Blanc NV, Brut Variance NV and Rosé NV
Andre Clouet Brut Grand Reserve NV, Rosé NV, and Brut Millesime
Ch. de Bligny Brut NV, Rosé NV, Blanc de Blancs NV, and Clos de Bligny
Michel Mailliard Cuvee Gregory Brut NV and Cuvee Alexia Rosé, NV
Waris Hubert Blanc de Blancs Brut Grand Cru NV

The tasting will open at 4:30pm and run until 8:30pm, giving tasters ample time to taste the wines and visit with our guests from Bordeaux and Champagne. The tasting will include a spread of artisanal cheeses and breads chosen to help absorb the wines and refresh the palate. We will taste from Riedel Degustazione (tasting) glasses. This 2011 Bordeaux and Champagne Tasting will cost $80.00 total per person cash ($84.21 regular)To purchase your ticket for this unique Bordeaux and Champagne Event, please contact Susan at 713-854-7855 or coburnsusan2@gmail.com.

The Crystal Ballroom is located in downtown Houston at 909 Texas Avenue between Travis and Main. Valet Parking will be available.

champagnestrip

 

Red Wines of the Cote de Beaune

7pm  Monday  September 12, 2016 at The Wine School at l’Alliance Française

Please join Spec’s fine wine buyer Bear Dalton for this in-depth look at the red wines of BURGUNDY’s Cote de Beaune (plus one Cote Chalonnaise). We will examine the intricacies and differences to be found in Pinot Noir based reds in a region with hundreds of legally delimited vineyards split into tiny plots farmed by myriad producers large and small.   We will discuss appellation, heirarchy, terroir, tradition, style, technique, and personality. The wines tasted will be served in Riedel Degustazione stemware. A selection of cheeses and bread will be offered during each class.

We will taste:
Champy Bourgogne Rouge 2014
Thenard Givry Les Bois Chevaux Rouge 1er cru 2010
Champy Savigny Les Beaune 2014
Champy Volnay 2011
Domaine Thenard Pernand Vergelesses Ile des Vergelessess 1er cru 2011
Jessiaume Auxey Duresses Les Ecusseaux 1er cru 2013
Jessiaume Santenay Clos de Clos Genet  2013
Chateau de Santenay Santenay Gravieres 1er cru 2013
Bernard Moreau Chassagne Montrachet Rouge Vieilles Vignes 2014
Albert Bichot Pommard Clos les Ursulines 2013
Bouchard Beaune Greves Vigne l’Enfant Jesus 1er cru 2011
Roblet Monnot Volnay St Jean 1er Cru 2013
Albert Bichot Aloxe Corton Clos Des Marechaudes 1er cru 2013
Domaine Thenard Corton Clos Du Roi Grand Cru 2011
Albert Bichot Corton Clos Des Marechaudes Grand Cru  2013

This Red Burgundy Class will cost $100 total per person cash ($105.26 regular). The class will meet at 7pm on Monday, September 12 at l’Alliance Française. To purchase your ticket, please contact Susan at 713-854-7855 or coburnsusan2@gmail.com.

L’Alliance Française is the French cultural center in Houston. Located at 427 Lovett Blvd., l’Alliance is on the southeast corner of Lovett and Whitney (one block south of Westheimer and two blocks east of Montrose).

If you buy a ticket and will not be able to attend, please cancel at least 24 hours before the class or you may be charged. Later cancellations will not be charged if we can fill the seat. This is often case as we regularly have waiting lists for these classes.

New Wine Class: Considering California Chardonnay

patz-hall-2013-chardonnay-hyde-vineyard-carneros-napa-valley-2On Monday, August 22nd at 7pm, please join Spec’s fine wine buyer Bear Dalton at the Wine School at l’Alliance Française for Considering California Chardonnay. We will discuss some history of Chardonnay in California, America’s on-again-off-again-on-again love affair with Chardonnay, how Chardonnay is made, where it is best grown in California, and pairing Chardonnay with food. Fourteen top quality Chardonnay wines will be tasted. Bread and a selection of fine cheeses will be served.

The line up:
Banshee Chardonnay Sonoma Coast, 2014
Expression 38 Chardonnay Russian Camp Russian River Valley, 2015
Hanzell Chardonnay Sebella Sonoma Valley, 2014
Chalk Hill Chardonnay, Chalk Hill, 2013
Patz & Hall Chardonnay, Sonoma Coast, 2014
Lynmar Chardonnay, Russian River Valley, 2012
Cakebread Chardonnay, Napa Valley, 2014
Ridge Vineyards Chardonnay, Santa Cruz Mountains, 2013
Flowers Chardonnay, Sonoma Coast, 2014
Rochioli Chardonnay, Sonoma Coast, 2014
Patz & Hall Chardonnay Hyde Vineyard, Carneros, 2013
Dumol Chardonnay, Russian River Valley, 2013
Lynmar Quail Hill Chardonnay, Russian River Valley, 2012
Mount Eden Chardonnay Estate, Santa Cruz Mountains, 2012
Hanzell Chardonnay, Sonoma Valley, 2013

Considering California Chardonnay will cost $80.00 per person (Cash or Check) or $84.21 regular. The class will meet at 7pm on Monday, August 22nd at l’Alliance Française. To purchase your ticket, please contact Susan at 713-854-7855 or coburnsusan2@gmail.com.

L’Alliance Française is the French cultural center in Houston. Located at 427 Lovett Blvd., l’Alliance is on the southeast corner of Lovett and Whitney (one block south of Westheimer and two blocks east of Montrose).

Cancellation Policy: If you buy a ticket and will not be able to attend, please cancel at least 24 hours before the class or you may be charged. Later cancellations will not be charged if we can fill the seat. This is often case as we regularly have waiting lists for these classes.

Pulling The Cork . . . and other things you need to know about wine


On Monday, August 8th, please join Spec’s fine wine buyer Bear Dalton at the Wine School at l’Alliance Française for Pulling The Cork . . .  and other things you need to know about wine – a one-night, next-step into tasting, drinking, and enjoying wine. Tasting because that’s how you figure out what you like. Drinking because drinking good wine is the object of all that tasting (however much fun all that tasting may be). And Enjoying because there are things you can do to enjoy wine more without spending more money on wine. And you can’t taste, drink, or enjoy without Pulling the Cork!

This two-hour class will lead you through a tasting of 12 wines including red, white, sparkling and dessert wines. Discussion will include what to look for when tasting, wine and food pairing, wine serving and storage temperatures (and why they matter), proper wine glasses (why they are important and when they are not), pulling the cork (there is both more and less to it than you might think), and more.

Pulling the Cork . . . will cost $50 per person (Cash or Check) or $52.63 regular. The class will meet at 7pm on Monday, August 8, 2016 at l’Alliance Française. To purchase your ticket, please contact Susan at 713-854-7855 or coburnsusan2@gmail.com.

L’Alliance Française is the French cultural center in Houston. Located at 427 Lovett Blvd., l’Alliance is on the southeast corner of Lovett and Whitney (one block south of Westheimer and two blocks east of Montrose).

As The Wine School at l’Alliance Française, Bear Dalton has been teaching Texans about wine since 1998. He has over 35 years of experience tasting (currently over 9,000 wines a year), drinking and enjoying, and working professionally with wine – including over 30 years experience teaching and writing about wine.

NOTE:
A lot of folks on my email list have been asking for a what-you-need-to-know-about-wine class for friends who are getting into wine. This is that class. Please forward this along to whomever you think may be interested. – Bear

REVEALING ROSÉ: A Seminar and Tasting from the Wine School at l’Alliance Française

7pm on Monday, June 27th, $40 Cash

We’re Back!

Whispering Angel
Please join me, Spec’s fine wine buyer Bear Dalton, at the Wine School at l’Alliance Française for Revealing Rosé at 7pm on Monday, June 27th at l’Alliance Française. Why Rosé? And why now? Because there is no better and more refreshing wine to drink this time of year. And our Texas Rosé drinking season is up and running. Topics of discussion will include vintages, types of Rosé, Rosé and food, and the grape varieties and techniques used to make the wines. Sixteen pink wines (all French) will be tasted and bread and a selection of fine cheeses will be served. 

The following Rosé wines will be served:
Villa des Anges Old Vine Rosé 2015
Ch du Donjon Minervois Rosé 2015
Pigment Rosé Malbec 2015
Pins des Dunes Rosé Bordeaux 2015
Sacha Lichine Rosé Single Blend 2015
Balandran Rosé 2015
Comanderie Bargemone Rosé de Provence  2015
Domaine de Cabasse le Rosé de Marie 2015
Ch de Lancyre Rosé Pic Saint Loup 2015
Domaine de Triennes Provence Rosé  2015
Rosé De Chevalier  Bordeaux 2015
Hecht & Bannier Rosé Cotes de Provence 2015
Pegau Pink Rosé 2015
Domaine de Mourchon Cotes du Rhone Loubie Rosé 2015
Ch d’Esclans Whispering Angel Provence Rosé 2015
Ch d’Esclans Rock Angel Rosé 2015

Dress cool and join us for delicious and refreshing Rosé. Revealing Rosé will cost $40.00 per person cash ($42.11 regular). To reserve your spot, please contact Susan at 713-854-7855 or coburnsusan2@gmail.com.

L’Alliance Française is French Cultural Center in Houston. Located at 427 Lovett Blvd., it is on the Southeast corner of Lovett and Whitney (one block south of Westheimer and two blocks east of Montrose).

DRINK PINK!