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Showing posts from July, 2017

A Balkan-inspired Wine Dinner at Lucille's

I went to Lucille's  last week for a wine dinner which featured Austrian and Balkan wines. Executive Chef, Chris Williams, was the U.S. Culinary Cultural Ambassador during a 25 day tour of the Balkans in 2015 and he has wanted to showcase what he learned during his travels ever since. Finding available Balkan wines in our market proved to be somewhat difficult which caused the year long delay on this dinner. Certified Sommelier, Rodney Willis, was on hand to introduce each wine to the full house and to provide diners with the opportunity to purchase their favorites that evening. The Menu: Guests were welcomed with a glass of Austrian Loimer "Lois" Gruner Veltliner and 3 Day Feta with pumpkin oil and fresh bread. 1st Course - Scallop crudo with citrus oil, dried petals and sumac paired with Szigeti Sparkling Brut Gruner Veltliner also from Austria. 2nd Course - Braised pork belly with arugula, compressed melon and smoked paprika vinaigrette served with Loim

Sunday Brunch at State of Grace - Houston

I've eaten at State of Grace  in Houston for dinner and Happy Hour numerous times, I was surprised when I realized that I had not written about them before today. My husband and I went to their Sunday Brunch for the first time two weeks ago and then we went back again the following Sunday because we had enjoyed it that much. I'm including my video of those two brunch visits here, you can check out the pictures of everything we ate without having to click through! The Berlucchi Franciacorta is our usual sparkling wine choice when we come here for Happy Hour, which is the best or most affordable time to get the raw oysters. We splurged on oysters from Prince Edward Island that are not part of the Happy Hour deal on this morning so sparkling wine seemed a good way to go. The Soter Rosé was our choice at an afternoon brunch, it is not as pricy as the Franciacorta but equally delicious with the menu. Other recommended brunch items seen in the video include: Chilled swe

Paso Robles Wineries to Visit Now

I have written about each Paso Robles winery stop that I made in May on Wine-Thoughts. I am including that link here . Each one has something unique to offer from zip-lining to concerts to wine and food pairings and each is worth checking out if you plan on visiting the area. Read more on my Paso Robles visits at

A Tasting at Pasolivo Olive Oil Ranch

During my visit to Paso Robles, I didn't just taste wine, I also went for a tour and tasting at Pasolivo   Olive Oil Ranch . Located in the heart of Paso Robles' western hills, the scenic 45 acre ranch has 6,000 trees planted, mostly Tuscan varieties. I was interested to learn more about olive oil production. I've read numerous articles in recent years about mislabeled and counterfeit oils that are imported and sold in America. I had not realized that neither the FDA nor the USDA enforces labeling rules for extra virgin olive oil. Since learning this, I have been purchasing California olive oil that has the California Olive Oil Council or COOC seal on it. Pasolivo Olive Oil Ranch carries that seal and is in the process of becoming certified organic. After the tour of the orchards, the mill and the production line, I went into the shop for a full tasting of their oils, vinegars and seasoning. The olive oils were all big and bold, some were more peppery, some fruitier an

Thomas Hill Organics in Paso Robles

I recently had the opportunity to dine at Thomas Hill Organics Bistro and Wine Lounge in Paso Robles, a farm-to-table restaurant dedicated to showcasing the bounty of California's Central Coast. Thomas Hill Organics opened in 2009 and quickly became the must-do restaurant when visiting in the region. Eight years later, they are still at the top of the hip dining scene that they helped to create in the small friendly town. I highly recommend that you add it to your itinerary if you are traveling to Paso Robles or San Luis Obispo. The menu changes regularly as new ingredients come in and go out of season, you can check out the current menus on-line to have an idea of what to expect. I was there for a four course dinner that was paired with local wines, here are some highlights from that meal. The Rosé de Pomar 2016 from Pomar Junction Vineyards made from 100% Syrah provided a refreshing start and was a perfect complement to the strawberry gazpacho. The Niner Marsanne

Discover the Wines of Paso Robles

As originally seen in the July issue of Galveston Monthly magazine