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Links to previous event announcements:

  Yes, it's been awhile since you've heard from me...  Life has been good, and I've been enjoying a variety of great wine experiences, from trips to wine country to an array of tastings and food / wine gatherings.  But what you really want to know is why I haven't contacted you until now.  LADV has been built on constructing events that are educational, special, fun, with great wine, and always good values.  And, when I polled everyone last year, the vast majority indicated that their preference was fewer events, but gatherings that kept al of those ingredients.  The simple fact is that I have not been able to find circumstances prior to this where all of those aspects converged into an interesting event.  Part of that has come from economic conditions and part from the 'hunker down' thinking those conditions have brought.  With all these conditions telling me that it is not worthwhile to put together events just to fill the calendar, I've just held off.  

But, while I have been a 'failure', others with different goals and criteria have constructed some very interesting events.  While they are not "LADV exclusive" events (whatever that means, we always make everyone welcome anyway), they do meet the rigorous LADV criteria, and yes, that does mean more that just that wine is being served.  Two of these events are sponsored by our friends with whom we've shared great experiences before, and who actually asked me to reach out to you; the third is from a new friend.  As these events are not "sponsored" by LADV, don't contact me to make reservations; follow the instructions provided for each:


03/30/10 | A Special Homecoming Siduri / Novy Dinner 
Tue | at   Fonda San Miguel         2230 West North Loop          459-4121             
6:30PM | $85        (plus tax and gratuity

Adam and Dianna are coming back in town, to spend some time with his mom and take care of things around the house where he grew up.  He decided to have a winemaker dinner there in his old 'hood.  They will be showing several of their current release wines, but also showing off some surprises to make the evening especially fun.  And you can expect the usual good times and amusing (often off-color) anecdotes, and both Dianna and Adam will be at the dinner, a rarity these days, made possible because his mom will be watching the kids. 

 The food sounds incredible, no doubt perfect with Pinot Noir and with Syrah.  Two of the highlights are:

      - Quail, stuffed with nuts and dried fruit, with a pumpkin mole  

      - Braised Beef Short Ribs, with Chimichurri, and Heirloom Charro Beans, Grilled Avocado    

Contact Fonda San Miguel for reservations; seating is quite limited.


04/17/10 | Becker and Fess Parker Vintners' Luncheon 
Thur | at  Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar          320 East 2nd Street        457-1500 
11:30AM | $59       (all inclusive)

Our good friend, Russell Smith, winemaker at Becker Vineyards, has invited us to join him, along with Bunny and Richard Becker, and members of Fess Parker's family for a Vintners Luncheon.  This is the only luncheon currently scheduled for Saturday during the Hill Country Food and Wine Festival and only forty seats will be available, so expect it to fill rapidly.  The event is expected to run until almost 1:30PM.  Chef Erick Nixon will prepare a memorable meal to highlight an array of  the best wines from both producers.   

Hors d'Oeuvres

Crispy Lump Crab Cakes

Becker Viognier 2009
Fess Parker Viognier 2008

1st  Course

Wild Arugula, crumbled goat cheese and candied
pecans with roasted pear and honey-lime vinaigrette

Becker Roussanne 2009
Fess Parker Ashley's Chardonnay 2007

2nd Course

Pan-roasted pork tenderloin stuffed
with sundried fruit chutney with rosemary jus

Becker Prairie Rotie 2008
Fess Parker Ashley's Pinot Noir 2007

3rd Course

Seared filet mignon
with porcini spaetzle and syrah reduction

Becker Reserve Malbec 2007
Fess Parker Big Easy Syrah 2006


Fleming's chocolate truffles

 Reservations and prepayment are required.  Contact Fleming's directly to make all arrangements.


05/07/10 | The Wilds of the Santa Lucia Highlands
Fri | at  Siena Ristorante Toscana          6203 Capitol of Texas Highway        349-7667 
7:00PM | $130       (all inclusive)

If you somehow are not aware, the Santa Lucia Highlands viticultural area of northern California produces wines that are the darlings of all the major wine reviewers.  It's amazing to me that SLH grapes, primarily Pinot Noir and Syrah, are consistently the source for most of the top-rated wines in their category.  Key to their popularity is the rare combination of boldness and complexity with balance.  Not everyone considers these "big" wines to be their favorite, but most everyone can appreciate them.  The growers there often contribute the wines' power to the thicker skins they develop under the strong winds that push through the valley and along the surrounding vine-covered slopes.  Said to be the only true major east-west valley open to the Pacific, the winds are not only strong, but also cool.  A somewhat wild environment for grapes, it producers a hardy character in both the wine and the people, 

No grower characterizes this better, or is more iconic, than Gary Pisoni.  Most consider him a wild man, but like the wines of the region, he's also intelligent and caring, in addition to being somewhat larger-than-life.  In a somewhat rare occurrence, Gary and his wife Margarette are venturing out; this will be their first trip to Austin.  Gary wants to share his knowledge and love for the area, which has long been his family's home (his father and he also grow vegetables in the valley below the vines, as did his grandfather, as now do his sons).  Gary will also be sharing the wines that he and his grower-winemaker partners produce.  The line-up is both stellar and rare, including both gems from the SLH and other places (just because they're also stellar), and is also pretty overwhelming:

On Arrival

Heidsieck Monopole, Champagne, Rose Top, NV


Novy,  Chardonnay,  Rosella’s Vineyard, SLH,  2004
Novy,  Chardonnay,  Rosella’s Vineyard, SLH,  2005 
Novy,  Chardonnay,  Rosella’s Vineyard, SLH,  2006


Williams-Selyem, Pinot Noir, RRV,  1994
Williams-Selyem, Pinot Noir, RRV,  1995

Primo - Pasta

Siduri, Pinot Noir, Pisoni Vineyard, SLH,  1999
Pisoni, Pinot Noir, Pisoni Vineyard, SLH,  2000 
Siduri, Pinot Noir, Pisoni Vineyard, SLH,  2001


Council, Pinot Noir, SLH,  2007 
Lucia, Pinot Noir, Garys’ Vineyard, SLH,  2008 
Roar, Pinot Noir, Garys’ Vineyard, SLH,  2008


Novy, Syrah,  Garys’ Vineyard, SLH,  2000
Novy, Syrah,  Garys’ Vineyard, SLH,  2001
Novy, Syrah,  Garys’ Vineyard, SLH,  2002


Lucia, Syrah, Susan’s Vineyard, SLH,  2005
Rozes,  20 Year Old Tawny, Oporto, NV
Rozes,  Vintage, Oporto,  1991

Of course, you know the food pairings will also be stellar.  This event will be limited to those lucky few who get in touch with me early as seating will be intimate at one table.  Reservations and prepayment are required.



I will be attending both events.  I hope that I get to see you there.  And, if you stumble across something that you think would be a good component for a future LADV event (such as a visiting winemaker, a restaurant that would make us a 'deal' to host us, etc.), be sure to pass that along to me.