Monday, May 31, 2010

To Preserve and Protect

Maj. Gen. John A. Logan declared that Decoration Day should be observed on May 30th of each year. The first large observance of Declaration (Memorial) Day was held after the Civil War ended on May 5, 1868 at Arlington National Cemetery, across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C. The ceremony included numerous speeches with children from the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Orphan Home making their way through the cemetery, strewing flowers on both Union and Confederate graves, reciting prayers and singing hymns. It was not until after World War I, however, that the day was expanded to honor those who had died in all American wars.

My father served with the U.S. Army in World War II and while he did not speak much about it; he did mention, while we were watching a war movie on television, that he did serve under General Omar Bradley. Many years later, I held a vintage bottle of wine that was bottled in France in 1942. Stamped on its label was a Nazi swastika as it was produced during the German occupation of France that occurred between May 1940 and December 1944.

Mercy will be closed today in celebration of Memorial Day. Take time to personally thank a veteran today. They have given a part of themselves to preserve and protect all that we hold dear. Their sacrifices have shaped the world, removed tyranny and allowed us the freedoms that we enjoy on Memorial Day and every day.

Mike Castagne
Operations Manager

Monday, May 24, 2010

The French Kiss

Mercy Wine Bar has been open for over 7 years now. When we first opened, the concept of a "bar" only serving wine and beer, was a new one. Still, seven years later, we still have the occasional guest coming to the bar to order a "Jack and Coke" or other type of cocktail. OOPS !

Our selections of wine ,beer, champagne has a fourth option, Vermouth. Vermouth is a fortified wine, and according to at least one source, it is about as far from regular wine as you can get while still calling it wine.

Vermouth generally starts out as a low-alcohol white wine, which is fortified with the addition of a distilled spirit, coming either from grapes or a vegetable, such as sugar beets. The next step is what separates it from traditional wine and other fortified wines – a variety of flavorings are added, which may include quinine, coriander seeds, cloves, juniper berries, ginger, dried orange and/or lemon peel, chamomile, raspberries, rose petals, or cinnamon.

Summer is going to be hot, and what could be better or more refreshing than a cocktail made out of dry vermouth, known as French Vermouth or sweet known as Italian Vermouth. Your selection poured over ice, into a long tumbler and garnished with a fresh slice of sweet orange that brings flavors of cola, cloves ,cinnamon and the finish of root beer.

You can enjoy V.Y.A. Vermouth at Mercy for $8 a glass. Come and try it. It is worth the experience !

Vincent Havard
General Manager and Operating Partner

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


The spring and summer time are upon us. I can tell by all the festivals that are going on all around us. There are many wonderful events that incorporate music, arts and crafts, carnivals and food and beverage. The Wildflower Festival, Scarborough Fair and the upcoming Taste of Addison just to name a few. All provide a wonderful experience with great food and spirits. Attend one of these many events and train your palate to experience some of the different but excellent food that these vendors have to offer.

The Taste of Addison is this weekend, although Mercy is not participating in this event, I would like encourage you to attend. There will be food from many of Addison’s great restaurants, try them all. There is an especially neat showcase event I would like our wine o’s to attend. For the fourth year in a row, the Robert Mondavi Discover Wine tour will be bringing the Napa Valley wine country experience to Taste of Addison. The nationwide tour honors Mr. Mondavi's interest in wine education and in integrating wine, food and the arts as a part of gracious living. Visitors will learn about cooking and wine through a highly interactive approach including food demonstrations, wine seminars and tastings. Guests of the Robert Mondavi Discover Wine tour will enjoy a sensory and educational experience that will enhance an appreciation of wine. Robert Mondavi’s wine education staff will engage patrons with live cooking demonstrations and wine seminars to help visitors sharpen their wine knowledge and entertaining skills.

TV’s Ted Allen will be hosting a seminar on food and wine pairing. We had Mr. Allen at Mercy last year and he did an exceptional job of giving guests basic and easy knowledge on how to pair wine with food. I challenge you to come by Mercy when you are done and try out what you have learned.

Let me remind everyone that if you are unable to make this event, that Mercy offers wine classes every other Tuesday from seven o’clock to nine o’clock which feature a four course, small portions, meal and wine with every course. The classes are only $45.00 a person and you will get a great education from our wine guy Vincent!

See you at Mercy!

Craig Brazeal
Bar Manager

Sunday, May 9, 2010

By popular demand

Beginning this month, Mercy will be introducing live entertainment on a couple of Thursday nights a month. We have received a great amount of feedback from our customers to do more live entertainment and Thursday evenings is the perfect night.

We will begin on May 13 with Jared Brandon. Jared is an amazing illusionist and sleight of hand expert. Jared performed at Mercy one other time and was a huge success. He will do at least 3 shows beginning at 8 pm. I have had the privilege of seeing Jared perform on several occasions and he is amazing. He is as good as any of the illusionists in Las Vegas, and I have seen them all! Jared will begin with 1 Thursday a month to start with.

Beginning in June we will be bringing in live music on another Thursday evening. More acoustic and lighter entertainment and we have a few great surprises we are working on right now that I think will be a huge hit and you won’t want to miss.

Check out calendar on to stay up to date on the entertainment at Mercy.

I’d also like to thank everyone that took the time to vote for Mercy Wine Bar in the poll that was running. This is a website set up by AOL for luxury services and items and they named Mercy one of the top 5 wine bars in the US. Voting ended on April 30 and we anxiously await the results this week. Simply being mentioned with restaurants and bars from New York City, San Francisco, Las Vegas and LA is a huge honor. We were the only establishment from Texas that made the top 5.

We continue to be honored by the national recognition Mercy is getting and thank you, our guests, for your support and vote of confidence in us to deliver a great wine experience!!

Glen Agritelley

Monday, May 3, 2010

Cherish your mother

It has been 20 years now since my mother passed away after a long battle with cancer. Every year as Mother's day approaches, it still pains me as I wish I could have had more time with her. I am very thankful that I arrived in time to speak with her in the hospital, moments before she passed away.

For those of you that still have your mother with you, don't hold back ! Tell her thank you for all the times that she comforted you, for all the times that she supported you. Remember all of the things that she has done and all the times she has unselfishly put you first ahead of her feelings, wants and needs.

Remember all the times she stayed up with you when you awoke from a bad dream or if you were running a fever and how cool the wash cloth felt when she placed it across your forehead.

A guest came in to Mercy today to purchase a Gift Certificate for our Food and Wine Education class. He plans to present it to his mother and attend it with her, a unique and memorable experience that both can share.

Other memories still come flooding back to me. The tears in her eyes when I moved out of the family home, and more tears as I moved thousands of miles away.

Life is very fragile so cherish your mother while you can. Mercy will be open for business this Mother's Day and we would love to help you create more special memories for both of you.

Mike Castagne
Operations Manager