Sunday, June 27, 2010

Relax and Enjoy !

Restaurant and bar employees spend a fair amount of time at their jobs during the evening hours. Inviting friends and family to our homes for dinner (at least for me) is a rare occurrence since those typical dinner hours, I am at work.

Whenever Mercy is host to a Wine Dinner, it is very much like inviting our family and friends to dinner. Our extended family for this dinner include Mitch Bakich and Mark Donati of the Donati Family Vineyard.

Some of the anxieties when you set out to entertain guests in your home are the meal planning, shopping, cooking, serving and then wine selections to be served with dinner. Then you have to worry about how to keep the conversation lively while you are navigating from one guest to the next as you serve your wine selections.

Relax ! Let us take the worry out of your event planning and enjoy what we have to offer for the Donati Family Wine Dinner: a Four Course meal with wine pairing, priced at $65 per person, plus tax and gratuity. Seating at our table is limited and reservations are requested. Our guests of honor are Mitch Bakich and Mark Donati.

Mike Castagne
Operations Manager

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Water to Wine

Growing up as a kid, I often noticed that my grandmother would add water to her glass of red wine before drinking it. She came from the south of France in the Rhone region where I grew up. My stepfather would offer my grandmother some vacqueyras or gigondas and he would get irritated with her as he observed her adding water to those fine wines. Times change and while I do not mimic what grandmother did, I can understand her reasoning.

There is an evolution in red wine; Marzemo vine that produces Marsecco. Asia is where the Marzemo vine first grew and its route to Trentino is lost in the passage of time. But by the 16th century, connoisseurs in Venetia and Lombardy were already enjoying its luscious yield. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart even paid tribute to this fabled wine, referring to the ‘Exellente Marzemino’ in his opera ‘Don Giovanni’.

Marsecco is “Reminiscent of cherries and even Black Forest gateau on the nose. It gives dense dark berry fruits on the palate and is full-bodied and well-balanced. This sparkling red wine when poured over ice and served in a tumbler is quite refreshing.

This is another experience we would love to share with you. Chris Brown and Randall Recknagel introduced us to this delicious, ruby red elixir and we would love to introduce you to it as well.

Vincent Havard
General Manager and Operating Partner

Monday, June 14, 2010

She’s Got a Ticket to Wine!!!!!

We have had a great turn out and response to our Thursday night entertainment from the music to the magician. We originally were going to have entertainment on a couple of Thursdays a month throughout the summer but since it’s been so successful; we are going to have some sort of entertainment ever Thursday now!

This week we have something very special in store for our guests. We were given a great opportunity through one of our servers to develop a relationship with the very popular Dallas based Beatles cover band A Hard Nights Day! A Hard Nights Day has been spreading the gospel of John, Paul, George and Ringo around the world for 15 years. Drawing from a catalogue of over 200 classics, you will never see the same show twice! The band has been personally endorsed by The Beatles first manager Alan Williams. We are very proud to announce that we will have two of the members of A Hard Nights Day performing a special acoustic set of Beatles songs this Thursday from 8pm – 11pm. We encourage all of our guests to come in, kick back, grab a bottle of wine and take a trip down memory lane! Come in early to grab a seat as we are expecting a large turn out for this special event.

We are so excited about this opportunity that we will have this acoustic duo once a month for as long as we can book them. Please check our website at for details regarding our Thursday night entertainment! See you at Mercy!

Craig Brazeal
Bar Manager

Monday, June 7, 2010

“what is your favorite wine?”

I am asked all of the time, “what is your favorite wine?” And I quip, “The one I am drinking right now”! I really do enjoy the experience of trying different wines from around the world. I really believe that tasting wine is a skill, and like most skills it must be practiced in order to make the skill better. To fine tune your palate it is important to try wines from around the world as well as different vintages of your “favorites”. Over the years I have found myself gravitating back to the Italians. Can you blame me? I have grown to really love the Malbecs of Argentina as well as the Tempranillos of Spain. Certainly there is great variety in each of these categories and over time I have gained a respect for the variety in each. The Tempranillos of Rioja tend to be a bit more fruit forward while the same grape from the Del Duero region of Spain reflects more of an earthy, older world character. I recognize these are broader generalities but for someone wanting to learn about wines from the world it serves as a good guideline. The same certainly holds true for wines from any given region. Another layer of complexity is the variability from one year to the next. What may have been an outstanding wine from the Mendoza region of Argentina last year may not turn out as great as this year. The message here is to keep your mind and palate open. Just when you think you have found your “most favorite” wine, it may not be next year. Keep tasting and trying and remember that “your favorite wine” needs to be relative.

I also find myself being very seasonal about my “favorite wines”. There is no question that summer is here. We officially broke 100 this past weekend and during these early dog days of summer I find it less enjoyable to be drinking a big cab or a super Tuscan. Eating a bit lighter really dictates a wine a bit on the lighter side. You certainly wouldn’t want a big, juicy red with a light salad when it is 100 outside. My personal tastes move more toward a Pinot Noir and yes there I have some areas that I am quite fond of. In the US, the Willamette Valley Pinots are outstanding. The latitude of the valley is nearly identical to that of Burgundy which means similar climates. Many of these Oregon wines drink very much like some of the great Burgundys of France at a fraction of the cost. I am very partial to these and they are great wines for this climate! They pair so nicely with a simple cheese plate or simply sitting by the pool or on your patio enjoying the early evening with a glass. I also have a special place in my heart for the Pinots of Chile. Chile’s wine industry has been hit extremely hard with the recent hurricane that devastated that country. So much great wine was lost there and Chile has a very strong track record of producing some really great Pinots that hold up to any from around the world. There are some great values for these wines from Chile and Willamette. Many of these drink like much more expensive wines. I would highly encourage you to come in and try some of these and experiment on your own. If you find yourself continuing to go back to the same wine time and time again, and believe me I still do, ask one of our servers, Craig or Vincent to recommend something you haven’t had before. You don’t have venture very far from your flavor profile to find some great new experiences in wine! Keep an open mind and palate!