Sandra Crittenden (Wine Thoughts) shares her notes from the recent Abruzzo consortium tasting

Click here for Houston-based wine writer and blogger Sandra Crittenden’s post “Celebrating 50 Years with Vini d’Abruzzo.”

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Congratulations, Steven McDonald, Houston’s newest Master Sommelier!

Check out this profile of Steven for the Houston Chronicle by Dale Robertson:

The Houston “chapter” of Master Sommeliers, whose members are part of the most prestigious club in the world for those who sell and serve wine professionally, grew to five Wednesday [September 5] when Pappas Bros. Steakhouse wine director Steven McDonald was among 24 aspirants from around the country to pass their final exams at the Four Seasons Resort in St. Louis.

McDonald joins his Houston Pappas Bros.’ colleague Jack Mason, David Keck of Goodnight Hospitality, Guy Stout of the Southern Glazer’s distributing company and Keith Goldston, who moved to Houston about a year ago to open Mastro’s Steakhouse. Stout, who achieved MS status in 2005, is considered the godfather of the local group and has been one of McDonald’s mentors through years of grueling study and several near-misses. Not for nothing is it called the “world’s toughest test” for oenophiles.

Click here to continue reading.

Texas Wine & Art Festival, October 6-7

Have a wine event you’d like to submit? Please use the event submission link here.

Event Name: Texas Wine & Art Festival

Event Link: http://www.txwineandart.com

Date: October 6-7, 2018

Time: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Location/Venue: Entrance to Old Town Spring
435 Spring Cypress
Spring, Texas 77373

Cost: $25 Early Bird Online wine tasting tickets includes one wine tasting admission wristband, one commemorative wine glass and 15 one-half oz. tastings; additional tastings available for $1 each; additional fees apply, limited time offer.

Event Description: The Texas Wine & Art Festival (www.txwineandart.com) presented by Main Street Festivals returns to Historic Old Town Spring this October just in time for Texas Wine Month! The bi-annual, two-day wine and art festival returns this year following a hiatus in 2017 due to damages to the area caused by Hurricane Harvey.

This year’s event focuses on the heart and soul of the area’s regional and local businesses, many of whom have made their living with storefronts and weekend stands in Old Town Spring and surrounding rural towns. The festival will highlight 15 Texas-based wineries featuring award-winning local white, red & sweet wines and southern-style blends as well as the Go Texan artisan booths offering hand-crafted artworks, photography, crafts, handmade fashion and more on October 6 & 7, 2018.

Texas is home to some of the top wineries in the country, each with their own distinctive personality and style of wine-making offering wine enthusiasts the chance to savor the many flavors from across the Great State of Texas! Raise a glass and sample libations from 15 local & regional wineries showcasing award-winning Texas wines, along with a festive selection of craft beers from some of Houston’s finest micro-breweries as part of the weekend’s events.

Participating vineyards include Haak Vineyards & Winery, Pleasant Hill Winery, Los Pinos Ranch Vineyards, Perrine Winery, Red Road Vineyard, Maydelle Country Wines, Texas South Wind Vineyard & Winery, Bernhardt Winery, Dionisio Winery, Houston Winery, Frascone Winery, Naca Valley Vineyards, Lost Draw Cellars, Landon Winery and Kissing Tree Vineyards.

In addition to the wine and craft beer samplings, guests can support local businesses by shopping at the Go Texan vendor village featuring original art works, unique crafts and handmade pieces from local artists, as well as sample locally-sourced food, unique culinary products and more. Live music will take place on the Harvest Stage throughout the weekend with music from local bands and performers. The event is open to all ages and is a family-friendly event; Rain or Shine.

General admission to the festival is FREE on Saturday and Sunday and provides access to shopping with Go Texan vendor booths. Wine tasting packages are available for purchase for a limited time offer of $25 Early Bird online special which includes one wine tasting admission wristband, one commemorative wine glass and 15 one-half oz. tastings; additional wine tasting tickets are available for $1 each. Additional fees apply. Prices increase to $35 for wine tasting packages at the gate.

Tickets are available online at www.txwineandart.com. The Texas Wine & Festival is presented by Main Street Festivals.

Registration Telephone: (832) 368-6233

Registration Email: gina@ginarotolo.com

Camerata/Cuchara Wine Dinner: Champagne & Chiles en Nogada, September 1

Have a wine event you’d like to submit? Please use the event submission link here.

Event Name: Cuchara Wine Dinner: Champagne & Chiles en Nogada

Event Link: http://www.cuchararestaurant.com/

Date: September 1, 2018

Time: 7 PM

Location/Venue: Cuchara Restaurant
214 Fairview Street
Houston, TX 77006

Cost: $75 per person plus tax and gratuity

Event Description: This Labor Day weekend, Cuchara Restaurant and Camerata are collaborating for a Champagne & Chiles wine dinner featuring the Mexican classic Chiles en Nogada. For the unfamiliar, these poblano chiles are stuffed with pork and fruit and topped with a luxurious walnut cream sauce. One of the signature dishes of central Mexico, Chiles en Nogada are served during the month of September to celebrate Mexican Independence.

To enhance this regional delicacy, Camerata Wine Director and General Manager, Chris Poldoian, will be pairing the chiles with a flight of grower champagne.

Registration Telephone: (713) 942-0000

Registration Email: info@cuchararestaurant.com

Welcome James Havens and The Heights Grocer to HWA!

The Houston Wine Almanac is constantly expanding its list of fine wine purveyors.

Today we welcome James Havens and his wonderful shop The Heights Grocer on North Main at 14th St.

If you are a wine shop owner or wine director and we haven’t included you yet in our listings, please let our blogmaster know via email.

Welcome, James! What a great shop!