Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Ripasso or Ripassa ?

I always love a very good Amarone. The word Ripasso designates both the winemaking technique and the wine, and is usually found on the wine label. Amarone, is a typically rich Italian dry red wine; made from partially dried grapes. Grapes are harvested ripe in the first two weeks of October, by carefully choosing bunches having fruits not too close to each other, to let the air flow. Grapes are allowed to dry, traditionally on straw or bamboo mats. This process gives intense flavor to the wine that could remind you of dark chocolate with a balsamic reduction. These types of wines can be pretty expensive and not the everyday kind of wine that you keep at the house.

This type of winemaking can be pretty expensive and produces not the everyday kind of wine that you would keep at the house. That’s why I love the Ripasso (translates as “re-pass,” it is a second fermentation of vapolicella of the leftover skins of the Amarone). I like to call it a fresh baby Amarone,

Zenato Ripassa 2008 Veneto
This Zenato Ripassa/Ripasso offers rich, elegant aromas of dried fruit such as raisins, prunes, cherries and dark berries ending with a touch of sweet vanilla. This wine is not on the list yet. So do not hesitate to ask one of our servers. They know about it and it is becoming one of their favorites.

Glass $20 ~ Bottle $60 ~ Retail $ 33

Vincent Havard
Operating Partner

Monday, August 22, 2011

A rare treat is in store for you !

I’d like to take a diversion in this week’s blog from the business side and talk a bit about music!! As most of you that know me are aware; music is one of my passions in life. From a garage band in the late 60’s, to recording in Nashville, music has been a constant in my life. It was one of my missions, 10 years ago to create a venue for live music, not simply a bar that hosted bands. I wanted to recreate a nightclub atmosphere where you could go and sit and listen to great music,a place where the music was the center of the evening and people would want to come and listen. I am very pleased to say that Mercy now hosts live music every Thursday, Saturday and Sunday evenings. Sunday evening is a bit more mellow and laid back but a great time to end your week with a glass of wine, great music and hopefully the company of someone special.

This Thursday we have a rare treat to have secured a Nashville recording artist, singer songwriter, Karen Waldrup. Karen has been named one of the top 25 songwriters in Nashville and her second CD “With Love, Karen” has brought her into prominence in the Music City. She has shared the stage with Hank Williams, Jr., Carrie Underwood and Jake Owen. Most recently, she is one of 12 artists selected to be on Bravo’s new “Platinum Hits” show. Her latest single and video “Bayou Baby” is doing well on the charts.

Karen’s style is blend of blues and soft country. She is in Dallas for a charity event on the weekend and we were very fortunate to snag her for Thursday night at Mercy. This is the second Nashville dignitary we have had play at Mercy. Many of you will remember my good friend Bucky Barrett who has played at Mercy on a couple of different occasions when he was in town visiting me. Bucky played lead guitar for Roy Orbison. One of the times he visited he brought with him legendary guitar player, Scotty Moore. Scotty played for Elvis at the very beginning of it all. Imagine in one room in Mercy having guitar players for both Elvis and Roy Orbison. Karen joins a distinguished Nashville team to have played Mercy.

We are really excited about her being with us and hope you all can come out and see this great new singer/songwriter. Karen goes on at 8 pm this Thursday. You might want to get there early as we are booking up fast !

Glen Agritelley

Monday, August 15, 2011

What exactly is a Sommelier?

A Sommelier is more than just a wine taster but the wine steward and overseer of the wine program of a restaurant or retailer. These wine professionals are in charge of procurement, proper cellaring, wine stock rotation, and wine service. They run the wine show at a restaurant. A Sommelier's primary duty is developing the restaurant's wine list, often working in conjunction with the chef to strategically pair appropriate wines complementary to the menu. The word Sommelier is of French origin, and traditionally these wine stewards or butlers provided service to families of royalty. We here at Mercy Wine Bar pride ourselves with treating our guest like royalty and offering the best knowledge of wine and food!

Becoming a Sommelier is a long road of tasting and studying the world of wine. Although there are several programs offered worldwide to help you achieve this acclaimed status; there are two very prestigious institutes best known for educating the best of the best. They are The Institute of Masters of Wine and The Court of Master Sommeliers. Both institutes hold educational seminars and examinations locally in worldwide locations. Both also require that students have a background in the wine industry. The CMS requires that the student must pass a level one test before you can take the certified Sommelier exam. The level one student must attend a two day conference learning the all the major wine growing regions of the world, as well as spirits, sake and food and wine pairing. Not to mention taste 50 plus wines from around the world. After becoming a certified Sommelier there is advanced and masters program. Similar is the IMS program which is based more on theory and takes a minimum of 3 years to complete based on the progress of the student.

If these programs are not for you, there are Sommelier programs offered at major universities to community colleges and culinary schools. Believe or not for the super dedicated, there are actual universities dedicated to just wine and viniculture.

Mercy is proud to announce that two of our staff members Samuel Rickords and Craig Brazeal have passed the level one Sommelier exam….. and we could not be more proud of them.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

A bit of magic from Southern Rhone

Finally, Mercy is proud to announce that we have secure a bit of magic right out of Southern Rhone.

Four months ago, my two friends (owners of Domaine Le Colombier and St Francois Xavier wineries) came to visit me and wanted to know if there was opportunity to bring their wine to Texas. I tasted their wines, when I visited France earlier this year, and knew then that I definitely wanted it at Mercy.

I interceded and presented their wine to 5 different distributors in one day, starting at 9 am and finishing at 11 pm. It was a really long day but well worth the effort. As the day wore on, by showing the wines to different wine distributors, I could tell that there was a buzz created amongst them. It took 2 weeks to find out which of those distributors would be able to move forward and stock it for distribution. After that first step, it took an additional 3 months to get label approval and other legislative paperwork. Suffice it to say, if you are a big fan of Southern Rhone wines; you have got to experience them.

The three wines currently available are :

Domaine Colombier Cote du Ventoux 2009

A subtle scent of licorice, leather and violets meet the nose in a quite pleasant presentation. The mix of 50% Grenache 50% Syrah blend tilts towards the Grenache (I doubt it’s actually 50/50.) Nice bargain for the price at $10 glass ~ $30 bottle

Domaine Colombier Vacqueras Vielles Vigne 2009

The 2009 Vacqueyras Vieilles Vignes (80% Grenache and 20% Mourvedre aged in cement) exhibits copious aromas of roasted herbs de Provence, meat juices, mushrooms, blueberries, blackberries. Priced at only $45 a bottle.

Domaine St Francois Xavier Cuvee Fruite Gigondas 2009

Let's put it this way ... it is the favorite wine of the president of L’Oreal ! It is a little Chateauneuf Du Papes. Bottle priced at $75.

Vincent Havard
Operating Partner

Monday, August 1, 2011

We have been very fortunate and we thank you

We have been very fortunate to have won several awards over the past several years and most recently through participation in the Readers Choice Awards with the North Dallas Corridor Magazine. After a nomination process and lengthy voting period by those readers, Mercy was selected by the magazine readers as The Best Place to Sip Wine and The Best Place for a First Date.

This has been an incredible year for us winning several national awards and while we are certainly proud of the industry recognizing what we do, the most pride comes from the Readers Choice Awards. The Readers Choice Awards are voted on by our customers and it shows they like what we are doing and that we have become one of their favorite places to frequent when they go out.

While Vincent and his team do an outstanding job at selecting incredible wine at a great value; Mercy is really about the “whole experience”. It starts when you walk in the door and receive a greeting by our hostess until the time you leave and she says, “thank you and come and see us again”. Your server is a tour guide through our wine list and the varied flavor profiles of the wines. These two awards are a direct reflection of your feedback on that “Total Wine Experience”.

Thank you for your continue support of Mercy Wine Bar and we look forward to seeing you soon. By the way, don't forget, Mercy has live music every Thursday, Saturday and Sunday!!! (YES, Sunday night!!!)

Glen Agritelley