TN - Houston Offline - Underbelly

It was great to be drinking great wines with good people. My first time meeting steve8, hopefully on his next visit we won’t be next to a table of screaming young ladies so we can chat some more. The food was really good, with the highlight for me being the Korean Goat with Dumplings. Great flavors in that dish. The Green Tomato Crumble for dessert was amazing with great tart flavors.

  • 2005 Domaine de Chevalier Blanc - France, Bordeaux, Graves, Pessac-Leognan
    Painfully young on the nose but exudes class. Great spicy floral nose with lemongrass, citrus, hay, lanolin, flint. On the palate quite oily with flavors of lemon oil, chives, apricot, hints of lychee. Finishes with razor acidity and great length. Hold them if you have them. (94 pts.)
  • 2004 Damien Laureau Savennieres Le Bel Ouvrage - France, Loire Valley, Anjou-Saumur, Savennieres
    Lost in the shuffle of the other great wines. Golden color. Nose of quince, ground cherry, pear, lemon oil, beeswax. On the palate, citrus oil, apple, pear, hints of toffee, mineral. Nice balanced finish. Drink these over the near term. (90 pts.)
  • 2005 Windy Oaks Estate Pinot Noir Estate Cuvee Schultze Family Vineyard - USA, California, San Francisco Bay, Santa Cruz Mountains
    Popped and poured. Nose of bing cherry, red raspberry, rhubarb, cranberry, mushroom, black tea, asian spice. Palate of black cherry, pie cherry, black tea, spice. Smooth sappy transition to a racy finish. Very good showing for this wine in the company of some great Italians. (93 pts.)
  • 1994 Canalicchio di Sopra Brunello di Montalcino - Italy, Tuscany, Montalcino, Brunello di Montalcino
    Great showing for this wine. Opened and followed over two hours. Great nose of sour cherry, tobacco, leather, earth, rose petals, tar. On the palate, red fruits, leather, tobacco, hints of mint, earth. Finishes with great tannic grip and balance. WOTN by a whisker over the Chevalier. (94 pts.)
  • 2001 Casanova di Neri Brunello di Montalcino Tenuta Nuova - Italy, Tuscany, Montalcino, Brunello di Montalcino
    First, this is a great wine but…is it 100% Sangiovese? Popped and poured. Nose of rose petals, sour cherry, tar, hints of licorice, and…mocha. On the palate, sour cherry, black cherry, spice, mocha, vanilla. Finishes with drying tannins and very apparent oak. I would bet money that there is merlot in this. Nevertheless, it is an enjoyable bottle. I think I would be drinking these, my bet is that it dries out from oak before it fully integrates. (91 pts.)
  • 2006 Casanova di Neri Brunello di Montalcino Tenuta Nuova - Italy, Tuscany, Montalcino, Brunello di Montalcino
    Not scored but this has some impressive bones. Great nose of sour cherry, anise, obvious oak, and rose petals. On the palate, great red fruit flavors, anise, leather, espresso. Tannic finish walls everything off. Still too young to really evaluate but has the right stuff. No doubt that this 100% Sangio.
  • 2003 Chateau Guiraud - France, Bordeaux, Sauternais, Sauternes
    Nose of orange peel, apricot, spice, pineapple, honey. On the palate thick, yet very light, with apricot, peach, pineapple, honey, orange marmalade, spice. Well balanced for an 03 with nice acidity. Drink or hold. (92 pts.)

Already looking forward to the next. Thanks everyone for the great time.
Posted from CellarTracker

Sounds like a good time, David! How did they handle the wine service? Did they pull it off? Service in general was a big issue for me the one time that we’ve been there.

We brought our own and just asked them to provide stems and a couple of ice buckets. I thought that the pacing of the food was off, our main course arrived ahead of some of the appeitzers. But, we were having a good time with the wines and the food was defintely in second place on that night.

This is what I get for being off the board for a while. Miss a great Houston event like this!

Let me know the next time you do an off-line. My wife and I would love the excuse to drive in from Tomball.


hey guys i am going to be in town M-Thur and sometimes F through July. Let me know if you get together. Mine will have to be a local specs purchase, but i can surely find a decent baby to kill

Yeah I’d love to join one of these too. Just went to Underbelly for the first time the other night and found it one of the best meals I’ve had in Houston

Let’s figure something out. My schedule is dicey for a while, but I definitely would be up for get together very soon.

Andrea and I are definitely down, too.

Next time you do an off-line. My wife and I would be in. On a side note has any one eaten at Culinary Institute LeNotre? Next Saturday they are having a benefit that Wendy and I are thinking of going to, It seems like fun event and at $30. Anyone else interested in a decadent lunch?
Event to benefit scholarship fund

In celebration of French Cultures Month, we invite you to a food and wine pairing 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Saturday March 31 at Kris Bistro & Wine Lounge, the gourmet restaurant of Culinary Institute LeNôtre, located on the North Campus at 7070 Allensby.

By joining us, you’ll not only learn more about the nuances of pairing food and wine, you’ll also be supporting a scholarship fund for students who wish to study abroad in France.

Tickets are $30 before March 27or $35 at the door. To reserve your spot in advance, click here.

The wines have been hand-selected by my wife and I; the menu chosen by Chef Kris Jakob.

Moet Imperial Reserve Cuvèe with Foie Gras Torchon, Cognac cherries and micro greens
2009 Domaine Chandon Pinot Meunier with Akashi Beef Tartare, mixed house-made condiments and French-dressed Kale
2009 Georges DuBoeuf Pinot Noir with Escargot Beignets, garlic Aioli and seasonal grapes
2009 E. Guigal Viognier with Glazed Salmon, celery-root and green pea puree, and sauce Rouille
2008 Domaine Faiveley Pinot Noir with Chuck Tender braised in Ayinger double-bock, pan-fried Spaetzel, and pickled red onion and cilantro
2009 Michel Picard Chenin Blanc with Chocolate Noisette; layers of chocolate ganache and mousse mixed with hazelnut, topped with raspberry coulis
There will be live music by Kirby-sur-Seine, a duo featuring guitarists/singers Frédéric Houville & Arnaud Chevallier, and you could win an original painting by French Madagascan artist Voahangy, whose paintings are currently on display in the Culinary Institute LeNôtre foyer. Raffle tickets for “Paris Mimi” are $10 each and all proceeds will be donated to our scholarship fund. Voahangy will draw the winning ticket at 12:45 p.m.

The scholarship provides a financial boost for qualified students to live and work in France, where upscale dining is par for the course and the LeNôtre name first became famous, for three to six months. It’s an experience that Culinary Institute LeNôtre Graduate Matt Shaw described as priceless. Click here to read Matt’s story.

I am pretty sure I could round up 2-3 more of the usual suspects. Seems to me that Lucio’s is probably the most service-friendly BYOB for a larger group. If we make reservations far enough ahead we can get some things that are not on the menu (like the obligatory rack of lamb).

Count me in too.

Where the hell have you been Tom?

Although I wouldn’t be able to do next Saturday (We are hosting for our bi-monthly dinner club that night), it would be great to meet some fellow Berserkers for an offline.

Another place that is BYOB friendly is DiVino on Alabama. They hosted an offline when Ryan Zepaltas was in town last year.


What about April 13 or 14?

All work and no play makes Tom a dull boy. It’s been hard enough even keeping up doing TNs on CT! But trying to get back around here!

I had never heard of Zepaltas until an offline with a friend. Their Sauv Blanc is an amazing value.

Don’t let me hold you up but I would have to do M-thur for April.


I knew nothing of Ryan other than he was the assistant winemaker at Siduri/Novy with Adam and Dianna Lee. In 2010, we were planning to do our usual tasting at Siduri and wanted to try his wines so I set up a tasting since he does his at the Siduri facility. It worked out that fellow Berserker Mike Mikowicz (from NYC) was going to be there at the same time so we did both tastings together.

I was kind of expecting a Siduri part 2 but Ryan’s style is his own. Two wines blew us away - his 2009 Hanzell Chardonnay and the 2009 Suacci Pinot Noir. If we can hook up at an offline, it would be a good reason to pop one of them open.


Im always down for an offline- assuming my travel schedule allows it!

I’ll start a separate thread in the Offlines forum. Let’s shoot for April 14.