Monday, September 27, 2010

Wine and Football

I always look forward to the start of a new professional football season. The last few years, myself and a group of current and former employees formed our own fantasy football league. Since many of us also work on Sunday, we are able to root for our favorite teams and players on the featured televised broadcast games.

Football was clearly on my mind as I prepared to write the blog entry for this week and a bit of research turned out some interesting information about coaches, former football players and wines.

Morten Andersen, veteran NFL kicker was (unofficially) rewarded by his Kansas City Chiefs coach Dick Vermeil with a prized bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon for making a field goal in a crucial game. Speaking of retired coach, Dick Vermeil, he has been making his own wine for years, and has his own tasting room in Napa Valley in which he has filled with sports memorabilia, photos from his NFL career and documentation of the history of winemaking in his family over the past century.

One of the most serious winery owners among NFL alumni is former Dallas Cowboy quarterback Drew Bledsoe. Bledsoe teamed up with Leonetti Cellars’ Chris Figgins to make Doubleback Cabernet in Washington’s Walla Walla Valley, where Bledsoe grew up. Former San Francisco 49ers Super Bowl champ and Hall of Famer Joe Montana created Montagia with Beringer Cabernet guru Ed Sbragia. Another former quarterback, Dan Marino of the Miami Dolphins is behind Marino Estates in California.

Hall of Fame former player and coach, Mike Ditka has partnered with Mendocino Wine Company to create his own lineup of wines in Northern California. Charles Woodson, cornerback of the Green Bay Packers, upon retirement from professional football will have his own "signature" on a Cabernet from Napa Valley's Stags Leap District.

Our Red Room is the perfect venue for watching your favorite broadcast sporting event. A great place to enjoy a smoke-free environment with your friends and root for your favorite teams as you share the Mercy food and wine experience. Be sure to call ahead to make a reservation for this prized venue as it is often sought for highly anticipated events.

Go Cowboys !

Mike Castagne
Operations Manager

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Bringing it home

I just returned home to Dallas from a 3 week vacation in the south of France visiting my family. It was great to visit my family and to enjoy my mom’s fine home cooking and the good wines that accompanied our lunches and dinners. I definitely can not replicate my mom’s cooking but I did find a wine that reminds me of back home :

2007 Cotes du Rhone-Villages Cairanne Pierres Blanches

It has a bright red hue, expressive nose of very ripe fruit. On the palate, it is rich and full-bodied with silky tannins and good length and balance. It is still dark and tight, but with a great core of racy fig, graphite and blackberry jam notes pushed by a long, mineral- and charcoal-tinged finish.

Ripe raspberry, black cherry, dusty, loamy soil, pine forest needle, and seaweed wrapper characteristics are found in this dense, medium to full-bodied effort. Good acidity, ripe tannin, and a long finish.

Visit Mercy, taste this wine by glass for $15 or the bottle $45 and I will tell you more about my vacation in France.

Vincent Havard
General Manager and Operating Partner

Monday, September 13, 2010

Something to Consider

I have now spent more than half of my life as a Texas resident and I have resisted all personal temptations to point out how residents in other areas of the country would do things. It is part of a personal affirmation that you make when you want to truly be a part of the local community. While I might not speak out about certain issues; there is an item currently before the voters in Dallas and Addison that is worthy of mention.

Two weeks ago, Glen Agritelley wrote in this blog about the wine and beer zoning law change that will be on the November ballot. The current statue only permits wine and beer retail sales in the Town of Addison in the small corridor on Inwood Rd up to Belt Line. The proposed change will allow wine and beer purchases at grocery and convenience stores (and Mercy as well).

Currently, Mercy is only permitted to sell wine and beer for on-premise consumption. The proposed change will allow us to also sell wine and beer "to-go". Mercy has been very fortunate to have secured some wine selections which are not available at other local establishments. The proposed change will allow us to sell wine to a new market of customers.

I grew up in an area of the country where it was common place for your local grocery, drug, or convenience store to have a selection of wines and beers for sale. You did not have to drive 30-45 minutes across town to enter a "wet area" to purchase your adult beverage. You were permitted to buy your steak and potatoes right along with the wine; a great convenience.

Some establishments would have you believe that expanding the number of outlets for beer and wine sales would lead to some level of moral decay. I currently live in Richardson. Richardson enacted the beer and wine law change some two years ago as did its adjacent neighbor, the City of Garland. The moral fiber of these communities has not diminished in the past two years. What has changed ? A visit to the store to get a six pack and a bag of chips is now a quick trip that can be done during the half time while watching football on Sunday.

Something to consider in November.

Mike Castagne
Operations Manager

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Thank you Mercy

It is a time for change. I will be moving to a different city to pursue my dreams in the service industry. It’s because of working for one of the top bars in the country that I was able to be discovered.

Being employed at Mercy has been without a doubt the best working experience I have ever been a part of. I have learned more in two years at Mercy than I have the previous 15 years in this business. I owe most of what I have learned to our General Manager Vincent Havard. Not is Vincent my mentor but a great friend as well.Thank you Vincent for everything you have done for me in helping me become successful.

I also owe a great deal to our management team Glen and Mike. These men have educated me in business and taught me that it is important to take risk in this business in order to become successful. Glen once told me “If you have tried many things that have worked then you have not taken enough risk”. Trial and error is the best learning tool.Glen, Vincent and Mike are the best people I have ever worked for.Thank you for trusting me and believing in me. I wish you the best of luck in the continued success of Mercy.

I would like to thank the all the servers, bus boys, bar backs and kitchen staff past and present. It has been on honor and a pleasure working with you. We have had good times and not so good times, we have worked hard together and we have played hard together. Thank you all for making my experience a pleasant one.

Last but not least I would like to thank every guest that I have served. From all my regulars to the people who had not so good things to say about me. It is my relationship with you that has helped me become successful. My love for Mercy will always exist. I thank you all for being a part of my life, my all your dreams come true.

Best Wishes
Craig Brazeal