A spur of the moment getaway to San Antonio to explore the Riverwalk. We didn’t know it was Fiesta this weekend, so the streets were crawling with festival patrons. The Riverwalk itself wasn’t terribly busy, and I managed to stay out of the water. Apparently the open container laws are different than Austin, as everyone seems to be holding a cold beer can or a margarita.
I was looking for something different. No chain restaurants, somewhere we would have a view and a glass of wine (or two). Keep walking until you find the gem, The Fig Tree, the quaint little restaurant in La Villita owned by the Phelps family.
We shared a bottle of the Heinz Eifel Riesling (2013), ordered the duck and prime rib, dark chocolate fondant for dessert.
They have a wide selection of wine, sorted by region. Or ask for a cocktail or beer, the waitstaff are very friendly and can help you decide.
We stayed at the Omni, La Mansion Del Rio, a boutique hotel with direct access to the Riverwalk.
After walking all around the river it was nice to relax! I noticed the A/C was quiet, a very nice amenity to have when you want to get a solid night of sleep. There was a small pool but I didn’t pack my swimsuit.
Across the river from the hotel was our lunch spot, Rita’s. There are probably more Tex-Mex restaurants along the Riverwalk than anything else. I tried the fish tacos, which ended up super greasy and it was Tilapia (not a fan), not the best lunch for $18.
Mad Dogs British Pub is on the list for next time we visit the Riverwalk. It was a little busy when we walked by looking for dinner.
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Tried some wine, the Moscato was quite sweet and peachy (as expected), the Unoaked chardonnay was crisp and not too dry, and the red was shy on tannin (which I like actually). Who doesn’t love a rooster on your bottle of wine, ha! I bought all of these at Sprouts on sale.
Each paired nicely with dishes I prepared. The Chardonnay with the herb roasted turkey breast. The red with the spiral honey ham. The Moscato with the apple cinnamon crisp (a la mode ).
My friends were welcome to bring something as a side, they brought mac’n’cheese (David’s recipe, which rocks because he puts Cheezits on top… I still have to try to replicate it!), green bean casserole, and apple pie tarts. We could have fed an army!
It’s not the same as my family gatherings back home in Alberta, with a dish of every sort and cousins to match. But Mom was here at least and my best friends, Stephanie and David, were enough to have a great time. I love sharing my kitchen.
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Uncorked is a cozy converted house on the east side of downtown Austin hosting a globetrotters’ gauntlet of wines. Choose your glass by country or use the icons on the wine menu to find a pallet pleasing wine. I’m not a wine savvy person but I know I prefer sweet, fruity flavors if I’m enjoying a glass in good company. The staff are more than helpful and friendly, just ask if you don’t know what to try!
My first choice was right up my alley.
A sweet moscato with peachy floral notes. This went down very easily. The second glass was a rose and a little dry. From what I do understand about wine, start light and work to darker older vintages. Thanks to Jordan Winery for the class at Antonelli’s Cheese Shop!
If you are looking for a special night with your sweetheart, Uncorked should be on your list. Not just for Valentine’s Day (which is this FRIDAY), but any time you need to spend some time to converse over wine and nibbles. The view of the high rises of downtown Austin is a splendid backdrop for your evening.
Uncorked is located at 900 E 7th St, Austin, TX 78702
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Posted in Nites Out, tagged 2013, AFBA, cheese, wine on March 13, 2013|
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Arriving early yesterday to help pour wine gave me a chance to snap a couple of pictures before all of the guests arrived at Antonelli’s Cheese Shop. The event space across the street is a remodeled turn of the century home, an intimate gathering for cheese and accoutrements.
A selection of four wines were presented: (left to right) 2010 Chardonnay, 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon, 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon and 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon.
My favorite wine to drink on its own was the 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon, it was so mellow and fruity. The best pairing was the 2010 Chardonnay with Pure Luck’s goat cheese and a lime marmalade. Most of the food bloggers in attendance enjoyed the Red Hawk cheese with the youngest Cabernet Sauvignon.
Lisa Mattson (pictured left) walked us through each wine and described the area north of Healdsburg, CA where the winery is located. Kendall Antonelli (pictured far right) guided us through the cheeses, her passion for artisanal fromage bubbled.
I have to check out the shop next time there is a need for cheese (which is pretty often in my house!). Pictured above (clockwise) Pure Luck goat cheese, Cowgirl Creamery Red Hawk, Ossau-Iraty, and Cabot Clothbound Cheddar. The Red Hawk had a beautiful cream line under the rind, I could eat my weight of that cheese!
Two of my fellow AFBA members, Elizabeth of Local Savour and Stephanie of Steph Cooks, who hung out after the tasting. Elizabeth, Brittanie (Three Diets One Dinner), and I enjoyed the rest of the evening at Dolce Vita as I needed some coffee after all that wine.
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There seem to be several schools of thought when it comes to what you should be pouring into those wine glasses.
Between what I’ve been reading/watching all over the internet, and asking the vendors for suggestions in the store (when desperately trying to figure out what wine should be used in and with a cassoulet), there is a list that I’m trying to memorize.
- Ham -> prosecco (light, slightly sweet and fizzy – also cheaper than champagne)
- Turkey -> chardonnay (crisp and light)
- Pork (loin or chop) -> riesling (dry)
- Lamb -> syrah ( or a red wine with peppery notes)
- Beef -> cabernet
This list is literally a sticky-note tucked away in my wallet, so that I appear to know what I’m looking for when shopping for wine. It’s hard to tell what makes a good wine worth buying, I’m not an avid drinker by any means, and actually only indulge around the holidays. (I didn’t even go out for a margarita on my 30th B-Day) Maybe because the holidays call for finer foods, thus a finer drink. A beautifully crafted tenderloin deserves something more than punch or iced tea.
What will you be serving for gathered guests this holiday season?
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