Sunday Comics: Texas Heat Wave

too. hot. to. type.

Actually we were given a brief heat wave reprieve today in NYC–but Sundays are great for being lazy.

Meanwhile, back home:

hobbits

Stay cool & hydrated–and watch out for rings of power!

Try The Wine…Again.

This month’s wine writing challenge is Second Chances.  It was selected by last month’s MWWC winner, Jill from L’occasion.  And I must confess that it was a bit hard to focus on second chances when all I can think of when I see second is:

breakfast

But then I remind myself that the best breakfasts always include some sort of festive libation, which loops me back around to wine…and second chances.  And when I think about wine and second chances, three things come to mind.

wine stain

The first thing I think of in regards to second chances with wine is a reminder I like to impart to new wine drinkers: keep drinking and trying wine outside of one’s preferred palate and don’t forget to revisit these wines from time to time to see if and how one’s palate has changed…a second chance, if you will. ūüėČ  As their palate evolves, so too evolves their choices in wine.  Many will find that initially hated wines end up being a house staple.  Over the years working at the wine shop, I saw a lot of this with my regular customers who initially came in with the silly notion that “I don’t like [insert wine here]” and within a few visits, were drinking aforementioned wine–or at the very least, something similar.

wine success

But I think it’s a valuable tip to seasoned wine drinkers as well.  Isn’t that why we purchase extra bottles?  To lay them down for months or years and try them again? At least in theory? At my house, rather than saving them, it usually ends up being “oh what the hell, let’s jussss open another riiiiiight now!”  And one turns into two, which turns into we’ll just get more at the wine shop later…stop judging me, it’s been a long week!

Anyway, I do a lot better hoarding my TEXAS! wine because you can’t purchase it here in New York City (or State for that matter), so I’m actually still sitting on a few bottles that I brought up with me 8 years ago (Becker, Grape Creek, Sister Creek, McPherson, Chisholm Trail, Messina Hof, and Flat Creek…alright, more than a few).  It is usually even more delicious the second time around (or third or fourth…depending on the number of bottles and your willpower!).  Although it doesn’t always go to plan and I’ve had to tragically dump a bottle or two.  However, that doesn’t mean that I go and dump them all–that would be a travesty indeed! For more tales about that, go here: Success.

Finally, don’t forget that the same can also be said of vintages!  So many things can have an effect on how a particular wine tastes from year to year.  Some years it is minute nuances, and some years it varies between “OMFG! This is the best they’ve ever made!” and “What the hell were they thinking?”

Take for example, Grape Creek‘s Cabernet Trois. Grape Creek has been making their Cabernet Trois for a looooong time now.  It is a blend of the three Cabernet grapes: Sauvignon, Ruby, and (my favorite) Franc.  It was THE first Texas wine I fell in love with.  It was deep and flavorful with just the right amounts of fruitiness balanced with spice.  At the time (mid-90s) it very much stood out from a lot of Texas reds, which tended to either be very sweet and heavy or thin and so dry the BFF likened it to leaving your mouth feeling like you’ve eaten sandpaper.  But not the Trois.  It was dry, yes, but with a lot of mouthfeel and delicate flavors.  It was delicious, won a lot of awards, and was my go-to Texas red wine for years.  But then slowly the taste of it changed.  I’m not sure if it was due to the grapes or the wine maker or the need to shake things up a bit.  Maybe all three!  People still loved it, it still won awards, but I was no longer a huge fan, preferring other varietals in Grape Creek’s line-up, like their merlot (shocking, but true, in fact, I still have a bottle of the merlot hanging out in the wine rack downstairs!).

cab trois

NOT my hand, btw, but you gotta love the internet where you can find pictures of anything, like a Texas wine from 20 years ago!  Click on pic to got to Vivino, where I found the pic.

Fast forward to a recent trip home where I was in my old wine shop tasting wines from all the new Texas wineries that have popped up in the last several years when my old favorite caught my eye.  Should I?  Should I not?  How could I not?  So I thought, “what the hell?!?” and gave it another chance.  And guess what?  It was back to having all those little nuances that I originally loved about the Cabernet Trois 20 years ago: the fruit, the spice, the mouthfeel.  It was like welcoming an old friend home.

Most importantly, it was a vivid reminder that in a day and age where it is always full steam ahead and looking for the next great thing, sometimes it pays to take a step back and revisit some old friends.  Thanks for the delicious reminder Grape Creek!

Cheers!

Chinese Non-Delivery

Remember in my earlier posts about it being the start of low season and everything closing up early?  Turns out, that affected the food industry as well.  Since our deck had not one, but two grills, we decided it might be fun to grill something for dinner.  We found a grocery store, strolled around for awhile, but nothing struck our fancy.  So we decided Chinese delivery sounded great, bought some candy and left.

Get back to B&B, find the menu, and notice that they don’t offer delivery service between October and April. ¬†Great! Fantastic! ¬†We peruse through the rest of the menus that would deliver–at least in October–but nothing sounded as good, so we opted to go back into town to pick up dinner. ¬†Besides, I needed coffee supplies anyway–because thankfully while April was reading the menu, I was exploring kitchen supplies and noticed the only coffee on hand was decaf. ¬†DECAF! ¬†DEEEEEECAAAAAAFFFFFFFF. ¬†Who does that?!?!? Plus it also allowed us to pick up blizzards at Dairy Queen–so in the end, it was quite a successful jaunt into town.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. ¬†Chinese delivery take-out: ¬†it’s 7:40pm when we call. ¬†It’ll take about 30 minutes, can we¬†be there by 8pm? ¬†Uh,¬†what? ¬†Okay [definitely not arguing with getting our food faster]. ¬†She gives me the price and the address and just happens to mention not to be late because they close at 8pm. ¬†Okay. ¬†BY 8PM [she just keeps repeating this]. ¬†Message received loud and clear. ¬†We arrive at 7:53pm because, well, we definitely wanted our food–not just because we were hungry–rather we weren’t sure if any other food options would still be open other than the 24-hour gas mart. ¬†At this point we were even panicking that DQ might be closed.

Fortunately it was still open.

With food, blizzards, and coffee supplies in our hot little hands, we returned back to the B&B for a quiet night in, playing Lord of the Rings Trivial Pursuit. ¬†And for those of you in my life who think I’m a LotR’s fanatic, I just want you to know that April kicked my ass!

Birthday Trip #1

Destination: FLORIDA.

mae-west

I’m not quite sure why everyone is afraid of getting older. ¬†It definitely beats the alternative. ¬†Despite how you feel about birthdays, they¬†are definitely a time to reminisce and reflect about your life. ¬†Notice I didn’t mention mope, regret, lament, or anything else negative? ¬†What’s the point? ¬†Sure you can beat yourself up and wallow in regret and self-pity until they swallow you whole. ¬†But life, in my humble opinion, is about living. ¬†It’s about doing. ¬†It’s about dreaming. ¬†It’s about learning to forgive yourself and move towards happiness. ¬†Don’t get me wrong, I’m the first to admit that I’ve wallowed in self-pity while sitting in bed eating ice cream and watching Lord of The Rings so many times that my discs are now starting to skip. ¬†But birthdays are not a time for¬†moping!

Although admittedly, I was looking at a BIG birthday and I’m not going to lie:¬†the thought of wallowing sounded nice and comfortable. ¬†Who doesn’t like jammies and Netflix and ice cream? ¬†But I realized I can do jammies, Netflix, and ice cream anytime.¬† What I haven’t done in over 3 years was TRAVEL somewhere new and I thought it was about damn time! Since it was for a BIG birthday–which, btw, I lovingly renamed Not Forty, But Fabulous¬†(and I encourage everyone to join in!)–I decided to do it BIG! ¬†Nope, I’m not talking about a big oversees trip (although, that would have been amazing as well), I decided to see more of this country.

The first birthday trip was to: Florida! ¬†Of course this is not a big surprise, if you actually read the line above the great advice offered by the fabulous¬†Mae West, follow me on Twitter (@epicurioustexan), Instagram (@epicurioustexan), or Facebook Epicurious Texan (shameless plug and hopefully you noticed a trend–I’m pretty easy to find)!

Ahem. ¬†Where was I? ¬†Oh yeah, Florida! ¬†I arrived late Wednesday night¬†and had a very¬†relaxing Thursday morning hanging out with the pupcicle nieces while BFF and BFFH worked until about noon. ¬†The condition for me coming south on this little sojourn was to go somewhere new–so when BFF & BFFH got off of work, we loaded up the car, left the pupcicles in good hands, and took off on a road trip¬†south–to KEY WEST!

Did I mention that Florida is really FLAT??

Did I mention that Florida is really FLAT??

As I mentioned yesterday, our first stop (after checking into the B&B) was at Fat Tuesday for the Official First Drink! ¬†Everything after that was a bit of a blur. ¬†KIDDING! ¬†just kidding…kinda…

It was a great weekend, filled with lots of laughter, lots of fun, and of course, lots of beer…and booze…oh, and food and maybe some more beer. ¬† So grab a margarita (or two) and stop in later to read¬†more about it.

Here’s a preview: chickens.

IMG_1577

yeah, yeah…I know it’s a rooster.