Wine Wednesday Challenge: Chateau Ste. Michelle vs. Kendall-Jackson

Kendall-Jackson and Chateau Ste. Michelle

In honor of Wine Wednesday, I decided to try my very FIRST wine video. I have never been particularly comfortable with seeing myself on screen so the video is pretty rough, but cheers to trying something new! I know it is World Malbec Day, but I didn’t have any at the house. SO. Today’s Wine Wednesday challenge was between Chateau Ste. Michelle and Kendall-Jackson Chardonnays.

Lessons Learned:

1. RELAX…Easier said than done. I’ll have to turn the screen off next time so I can’t see myself stumble!

2. Invest in a video camera. It was difficult to show the wine because I was recording from my laptop. Videos at home would be easier with a dedicated space with decent lighting. I’ll see what I can do.

3. Recording after work with hair in a bun and glasses may not be the best “look”. At least it was the real me 🙂

4. Have a rough script. Apparently, I like the words  “very”, “really”, “ummm”, “a lot”, and “apricot”. I even meant to say pineapple for Kendall Jackson and I still said apricot. Ummmmm….

5. Let viewers know the price. I drink wines from all price points so that would have been helpful (Btw, Chateau Ste. Michelle is roughly $10 and Kendall-Jackson $12 retail).

6. Interject a personal story or a picture in the video. I think it would be more interesting.

7. Try again next week!

Birthday Fun!

Some people despise birthdays. But I love them and birthdays should remind one to appreciate time, success, failure, and basically, just being alive. Moving, breathing, tasting, and experiencing. Birthdays are for living.Olive and June

I always try to take a few days and do things for me. It allows me to think about all the reasons that I love to be here, right now, working towards a life that will make me happy and proud. Turning 35 was a privilege!

I started my weekend on Thursday night at the 2013 Austin Tastemaker Awards. Local restaurants, chefs, pastry chefs, sommeliers, bartenders, and craft brewers are nominated to be the Austin Tastemaker of the year. The 2013 nominees and winners can be found here. One of my favorite restaurants, Congress Austin, was nominated so I was very excited about trying their signature dish for the event. In fact, I was probably knocking people over trying to get to the booth.

Congress served a slow poached egg with sausage and herbs. It was UH-mazing! My second favorite dish of the night was Lenoir’s curried goat, and incidentally, Lenoir won the contest. Overall, it was a great event and I am always happy to support the local food community!

Austin Tastemaker Awards

Friday was for relaxing, exercising, and happy houring. I TGIF’d Mexican martini style. Chuy’s Mexican martinis are a birthday tradition in these parts.

Saturday, my husband took me to Olive and June. Olive and June serves Tuscan, farmhouse inspired cuisine using locally sourced ingredients. We ordered the spring vegetable risotto, rigatoni, and gemelli for dinner with the citrus torta for dessert.

It was, as always, fantastic. Italy is one of my favorite destinations so any place that serves Tuscan inspired food will always have me as a customer! Watch out-carb overload!Olive and June Austin

Sunday, my actual birthday, was spent relaxing with friends. The weather was divine so I had to spend some time outside porchin’. If you have been reading my blog, you know porchin’ is serious business at my house. La Crema was today’s porchin’ wine accompanied by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Can’t go wrong with Chardonnay and The Great Gatsby. I am firm believer that drinking wine while reading the classics will make the experience greater.La Crema Wine

I have to say it was an amazing birthday spent celebrating, appreciating, and soaking up fun with people that I love. And that’s all I really wanted or needed.

Domaine du Closel Les Caillardieres

 

Chateau des Vaults

Porching in Texas, especially Austin, is practically a way of life. I live on my patio in the spring/summer time and love to enjoy a refreshing glass of wine after work. Today, I opened a bottle of wine I picked up in France: Les Caillardieres by Domaine du Closel-Chateau des Vaults. I was introduced to Les Caillardieres while visiting and working with Chateau des Vaults during my MBA program last summer. This is my last bottle of Chateau des Vaults wine so I guess I will have to go back for a visit soon!

Domaine du Closel is a family run business in Savennieres, France. Savennieres is located in the western part of France in the Anjou-Saumur region of the Loire Valley. The history of Domaine du Closel and wine production date back to 1495! Its mission is to provide high quality, rare, organic wine and provide a cultural experience for wine drinkers.

Les Caillardieres is produced in a sandy vineyard on top of the hill of the estate. Les Caillardieres is produced with Chenin Blanc grapes and the estate has unique geological influences (slate, volcanic stone, minerals) that give the wine a distinct flavor.  The flavor profile is very intense with lots of floral notes and dried fruit. The wine has a long finish and holds up well against food. I paired it with a crab, avocado, and tomato salad and the lime juice I used in the salad really brought out the citrus tones. It reminds me of warm weather and picnics on the porch! I just love it.

Les Caillardieres and crab avocado salad

I have not found Chateau des Vaults wines anywhere in Austin except at Vino, Vino for a very brief time. I hope more wine bars will do their homework and discover less known wines. The small, family run businesses often do not have the budget to promote or hire a professional in order to capture a larger market. They rely on agent promotion and word of mouth.

And so, here is my plug for Domaine du Closel wines. If you have the ability to order from Louis Dressner or your importer-do it! The wines are interesting, refreshing, satisfying, and pair well with salads, seafood, hard cheeses, and chocolate!

Pour yourself a glass, sit on the porch, and Winedown!