Woo-Hoo It’s Almost Wine Week

To start with we have over 20 winemakers from around the world stopping by for in department tastings, meet the wine maker events, and wine dinners sure to please any palate. You will want to check your store's event calendars for all the individual events happening at your store every day.

The Cooking School has an amazing set of wine dinners planned including:

Siduri Family Vineyards: Focus on Pinot Noirs with Adam Lee, Winemaker, Siduri & Novy Family Wines
    Austin North Lamar, Wednesday, July 9    Register >
    Plano, Friday, July 11    Register >
 
Big, Fun, and Exceptional: Pahlmeyer Wine Dinner with Kale Anderson, Director of Wine Making
    Dallas Lovers, Wednesday, July 9    Register >
    Austin North Lamar, Thursday, July 10    Register >
    Houston, Friday, July 11    Register >
 
An Evening with Dave Phinney of Orin Swift Cellars    
    Dallas Lovers, Thursday, July 10    Register >
    Fort Worth, Friday, July 11    Register >
 
Trefethen Family Vineyards Wine Dinner with Zeke Neeley, Winemaker    
    San Antonio, Thursday, July 10    Register >
    Dallas Lovers, Friday, July 11    Register >
    Fort Worth, Saturday, July 12    Register >
 
Lamadrid Winery: Food & Wine from Argentina with Héctor Durigutti, Winemaker & Co-Owner
    Southlake, Saturday, July 12    Register >

If you want an evening that is full of wine tasting and a bit more casual, make sure to register for the Wine Week Sip & Stroll happening on Thursday, July 10th from 5-8pm.  Stroll through the store to discover new ways to enjoy your favorite wines, sample foods that pair beautifully with the selections, and chat with our experts. Do Mimosas made with our freshly squeezed juices entice you? How about Marcona Almonds with Chardonnay? Or Der Scharfe Maxx Cheese with Santa Barbara Pinot Noir? We can promise you a surprise around every corner (and we have a lot of corners).

 
Event registration is $10 per person and includes a commemorative etched glass for you to take home.

Up Your Grilling Game

Here are five creative recipes to try on your grill this summer:

Guacamole – Guacamole purest might think you are a bit crazy when you toss all the necessary ingredients on the grill (including the limes), but trust us, this one is a winner, and one everyone will be asking for again. 
Grilled Guacamole courtesy of Macheesmo

Ceasar Salad – I love the simplicity of a Caesar Salad, and adding the element of a grill gives this classic a hint of smokiness that contrast with the light crunch of the Romaine. Great on it's own or as a base to add grilled chicken or shrimp.
Simple Grilled Caesar Salad courtesy of Martha Stewart

Pizza -Grilled pizza is all the rage these days and is much easier than you might think. Chop up some toppings, mix up some dough, and have no fear when you toss the dough on the grates.
Grilled Pizza Tutorial courtesy of TheKitchn

Lamb Chops – Summer lamb is something I wait for every year, because our purveyor Lava Lake Lamb produces what might be the best lamb I have ever eaten. The 100% grass-fed lamb from Idaho has a distinctively mild flavor, that is also very rich in omega-3 fatty acids, Vitamin E and beta-carotene. 
Grilled Lamb Chops with Minted Fruit Salsa

Peaches – Keeping the whole meal outside is easy when you think about grilled peaches for dessert. Highlight the peach's peak of season sweetness, with nothing more than a sprinkle of sugar. Of course you can always top them with a spoonful of sweetened whip cream or vanilla ice cream.
Grilled Peaches with Whipped Cream courtesy of Bon Appetit

Up Your Grilling Game

Here are five creative recipes to try on your grill this summer:

Guacamole – Guacamole purest might think you are a bit crazy when you toss all the necessary ingredients on the grill (including the limes), but trust us, this one is a winner, and one everyone will be asking for again. 
Grilled Guacamole courtesy of Macheesmo

Ceasar Salad – I love the simplicity of a Caesar Salad, and adding the element of a grill gives this classic a hint of smokiness that contrast with the light crunch of the Romaine. Great on it's own or as a base to add grilled chicken or shrimp.
Simple Grilled Caesar Salad courtesy of Martha Stewart

Pizza -Grilled pizza is all the rage these days and is much easier than you might think. Chop up some toppings, mix up some dough, and have no fear when you toss the dough on the grates.
Grilled Pizza Tutorial courtesy of TheKitchn

Lamb Chops – Summer lamb is something I wait for every year, because our purveyor Lava Lake Lamb produces what might be the best lamb I have ever eaten. The 100% grass-fed lamb from Idaho has a distinctively mild flavor, that is also very rich in omega-3 fatty acids, Vitamin E and beta-carotene. 
Grilled Lamb Chops with Minted Fruit Salsa

Peaches – Keeping the whole meal outside is easy when you think about grilled peaches for dessert. Highlight the peach's peak of season sweetness, with nothing more than a sprinkle of sugar. Of course you can always top them with a spoonful of sweetened whip cream or vanilla ice cream.
Grilled Peaches with Whipped Cream courtesy of Bon Appetit

Farm to Market

Johnson's Backyard Garden got its start in a small urban backyard. In 2004, the Johnson’s completely transformed their backyard in East Austin into a working garden and started selling our produce at the Austin Farmers Market. Now with more than 50 more acres farm land they are producing high-quality organic produce for their CSA members and for us.

Here is the list of what to keep your eyes out for when you are in the store this week:

  • Yellow tomatoes
  • Curley parsley
  • Red plum tomatoes
  • Jalapeño peppers
  • Mixed squash
  • Heirloom tomatoes
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Banana peppers
  • Purple bell peppers
  • Bulk beets
  • Carmen pepper
  • Diakon
  • Serrano peppers
  • Mint
  • Graffiti eggplant
  • Purple eggplant

Sour Power from Saint Arnold

Somewhat new to the market, Houston based Saint Arnold, has one of my favorite sours right now called Boiler Room. Boiler Room might have started life as a mistake, but this happy accident is here to stay. Added to the permanent Saint Arnold line up in March.

 
A misstep while adding grain for a batch of Fancy Lawnmower left Saint Arnold with 136 barrels of the pre-fermentation wort that was only half as strong as it was supposed to be. Before dumping the batch, brewer Stephen Rawlings set aside 10 gallons, mixed it with a Belgian beer known to have active Lactobacillus in it and left it in the boiler room to sour for a couple of days, with Rawlings checking the acidity level and then boiling it when it got to where he wanted it.
 
“This is the most complicated beer we have ever made, yet it is very light and delicate,” said Saint Arnold founder Brock Wagner in a Houston Culture Map article. “The result is an incredibly refreshing beer with the light sweetness of the malt balanced with the tartness from the sour wort. While intended to be enjoyed as is, I can also imagine it mixed with syrups or in a beer cocktail.”

Boiler Room Berliner Weisse is available in 22-ounce bottles.

Sour Power from Saint Arnold

Somewhat new to the market, Houston based Saint Arnold, has one of my favorite sours right now called Boiler Room. Boiler Room might have started life as a mistake, but this happy accident is here to stay. Added to the permanent Saint Arnold line up in March.

 
A misstep while adding grain for a batch of Fancy Lawnmower left Saint Arnold with 136 barrels of the pre-fermentation wort that was only half as strong as it was supposed to be. Before dumping the batch, brewer Stephen Rawlings set aside 10 gallons, mixed it with a Belgian beer known to have active Lactobacillus in it and left it in the boiler room to sour for a couple of days, with Rawlings checking the acidity level and then boiling it when it got to where he wanted it.
 
“This is the most complicated beer we have ever made, yet it is very light and delicate,” said Saint Arnold founder Brock Wagner in a Houston Culture Map article. “The result is an incredibly refreshing beer with the light sweetness of the malt balanced with the tartness from the sour wort. While intended to be enjoyed as is, I can also imagine it mixed with syrups or in a beer cocktail.”

Boiler Room Berliner Weisse is available in 22-ounce bottles.

Local Brews from Local Dudes

We are so excited to welcome George Esquivel back to our store on Wednesday, June 18th from 4-7pm. George is one of the founders of the local Dallas brewery called Four Corners. Four Corners specializes in refreshing and easy-drinking brews instead of intense, high-alcohol beers. Even their “Block Buster” Porter retains a refreshing balance. George refers to this concept as “all day ales” and developed this idea due to the intense Texas summer heat. Four Corner’s most popular beer is the “Local Buzz.” “Local Buzz” is a Honey-Rye Golden Ale brewed with locally sourced honey and sells like hot-cakes at our store.

Then, on Saturday, June 21st from 4-7pm we will be hosting a tasting event with the owner of Lakewood Brewing Company, Wim Bens. Lakewood has become so popular recently that you can’t have a beer conversation without one of their beers as part of the discussion. According to Wim, “We're proud to be part of a great list of Texas craft beer breweries. We strive to create the highest quality, internationally inspired, local craft beers that are full of flavor and combine the best of classic craft brewing techniques with unique, new ideas. Perfect for whichever neighborhood you call home.” Lakewood’s most popular beer is the “Temptress” Imperial Milk Stout. This one sells so quickly here, they should have called it “Going, Going, Gone!”

Local Brews from Local Dudes

We are so excited to welcome George Esquivel back to our store on Wednesday, June 18th from 4-7pm. George is one of the founders of the local Dallas brewery called Four Corners. Four Corners specializes in refreshing and easy-drinking brews instead of intense, high-alcohol beers. Even their “Block Buster” Porter retains a refreshing balance. George refers to this concept as “all day ales” and developed this idea due to the intense Texas summer heat. Four Corner’s most popular beer is the “Local Buzz.” “Local Buzz” is a Honey-Rye Golden Ale brewed with locally sourced honey and sells like hot-cakes at our store.

Then, on Saturday, June 21st from 4-7pm we will be hosting a tasting event with the owner of Lakewood Brewing Company, Wim Bens. Lakewood has become so popular recently that you can’t have a beer conversation without one of their beers as part of the discussion. According to Wim, “We're proud to be part of a great list of Texas craft beer breweries. We strive to create the highest quality, internationally inspired, local craft beers that are full of flavor and combine the best of classic craft brewing techniques with unique, new ideas. Perfect for whichever neighborhood you call home.” Lakewood’s most popular beer is the “Temptress” Imperial Milk Stout. This one sells so quickly here, they should have called it “Going, Going, Gone!”

Buffalo Bayou Brewing – New Twist on an Old Craft

Now, fast forward to late 2011, and the fifth Houston area brewery is on the precipice of opening. Rassul leases a 7800 sq foot building just off I-10 in the heart of Houston. Along with 50 co-founders they plunged face first into the market with their flagship copper ale “1836” after the year the city of Houston was founded on the banks of the Buffalo Bayou. 
 
Buffalo Bayou Brewing's Heritage Series of beers combines classical brewing techniques and rich Houston flavors to orient drinkers toward different points in the history of the city. Hence their Secessionist Series of beers are in defiance of those archaic brewing guidelines, their beers are cathedrals to unlikely elements. Ambitious and boundary-pushing, ingredients stem from the kind of inspiration that strikes when soul-soaking humidity, 100 degree temperatures and instruments fit for a science lab come together. My personal favorites are their double IPA “More Cowbell,” their “Gingerbread Stout,” and a Russian Imperial Stout “Lenin’s Revenge.”

Rassul will be bringing his adventurous beers, and a chef to the Houston Central Market for a can’t miss Buffalo Bayou Beer Dinner in our cooking school on Saturday June 21st from 6:30-9 pm and will also be in the Beer department on Sunday June 22nd to “wax poetic” and pour his amazing beers!
 
Sign up for the Beer Dinner on the Houston Cooking School Page.

Buffalo Bayou Brewing – New Twist on an Old Craft

Now, fast forward to late 2011, and the fifth Houston area brewery is on the precipice of opening. Rassul leases a 7800 sq foot building just off I-10 in the heart of Houston. Along with 50 co-founders they plunged face first into the market with their flagship copper ale “1836” after the year the city of Houston was founded on the banks of the Buffalo Bayou. 
 
Buffalo Bayou Brewing's Heritage Series of beers combines classical brewing techniques and rich Houston flavors to orient drinkers toward different points in the history of the city. Hence their Secessionist Series of beers are in defiance of those archaic brewing guidelines, their beers are cathedrals to unlikely elements. Ambitious and boundary-pushing, ingredients stem from the kind of inspiration that strikes when soul-soaking humidity, 100 degree temperatures and instruments fit for a science lab come together. My personal favorites are their double IPA “More Cowbell,” their “Gingerbread Stout,” and a Russian Imperial Stout “Lenin’s Revenge.”

Rassul will be bringing his adventurous beers, and a chef to the Houston Central Market for a can’t miss Buffalo Bayou Beer Dinner in our cooking school on Saturday June 21st from 6:30-9 pm and will also be in the Beer department on Sunday June 22nd to “wax poetic” and pour his amazing beers!
 
Sign up for the Beer Dinner on the Houston Cooking School Page.