<p><b>The Wine</b>:<br /> <a href="http://duchmanwinery.com">Duchman Family Winery</a>, Sangiovese, 2012</p> <p><b>Who Likes It:</b> <a href="http://www.rosewoodhotels.com/en/mansion-on-turtle-creek-dallas">Jennifer Eby, Rosewood Mansion at Turtle Creek, Dallas</a><br /> A recent addition to Dallas by way of Botero restaurant at the Wynn Hotel in Las Vegas, Eby has been pleasantly surprised to explore the Dallas wine community as well as the wines of Texas. Having worked with a predominantly Italian wine list when she was living in Las Vegas, Eby was particularly happy to discover the wines from Duchman Family Winery, which produces a wide number of Italian varietal wines. </p> <p>"I have a special love for Italian wines and I was so delighted to learn that Italian varietals are doing so well in Texas," says Eby. "I was thrilled to add the Duchman Sangiovese to our list at the hotel." </p> <p><strong>The Grape: </strong><br /> Sangiovese is a common grape variety throughout Italy. (It's the most planted red grape across the country.) But it has won particular favor in the Tuscan region where iconic appellations such as Brunello di Montalcino, Chianti and Chianti Classico produce some of the world's most prized Sangiovese wines. </p> <p><strong>Why She Likes It: </strong><br /> "Showcasing a distinctive ‘sense of place’ is a tradition at all of the Rosewood properties, and this wine has wonderful terroir, which is the perfect wine descriptor for ‘sense of place,'" says Eby. "I really enjoy living in a state that is passionate about all things Texas, including its wines! Duchman makes a terrific Aglianico as well, which is a grape grown in Campania and Basilicata in Southern Italy. This is a winery that is on the right track with the Italian varietals and I would love to see them experiment with some Sicilian varietals in the future."</p> <p><b>Suggested Pairings: </b><br /> "The Duchman Sangiovese is very Tuscan in style, with bright red fruits, aromas of smoke, earth, and herbs,” says Eby. "It will pair nicely with grilled and roasted meat, a nice juicy burger, charcuterie, tomato-based pasta dishes, cheeses, and of course, pizza!" </p> <p><b>Note from the Winemaker: </b>Dave Reilly, Duchman Family Winery<br /> "The grapes for the 2012 Duchman Sangiovese all come from the Reddy Vineyards, located in Brownfield (southwest of Lubbock)," says Reilly. "The vines were planted in 2006, and are still young, but only yield better and better fruit as the roots dig deeper into the dry Texas soil to look for water. Sangiovese is ideally suited to the hot, dry soil here, and this wine is proof of that."   </p>

We all have those little things that get to us. Nails on a chalkboard, a dentist’s drill—you know the sound that makes it feel as if someone is forcing, oh, somewhere along the lines of 241 small daggers into your temples and twisting them to and fro, just for fun. And I’m willing to bet that you probably know your significant other’s/best friend’s/roommate’s pet peeve too. Sometimes, maybe you even press that button, you know, just for fun. My other half is a willing participant in many a culinary experiment. He is patient and straightforward, two traits that I can appreciate as I cook my way through Mark Bittman’s book (I’m meddling in my own literary venture now, the working title somewhere along the lines of “Mark and Amber.” Not the same ring as “Julie and Julia,” but we’ll see. I already know who’s gonna play me in the movie. Anyway. I digress.) But there’s one thing that my patient fiance won’t put up with: squeaky vegetables. You know the ones. Those of us culinarily inclined will be apt to call them al dente, and I do tend to like my green beans ever so slightly undercooked. If I present squeaky vegetables at the dinner table, they’ll be eaten without complaint by both parties—but not without commentary. Something along the lines of, “Man, I just didn’t know that squash was supposed to sound like this when you bit into it. The way it rubs against the enamel on my teeth like nails on a chalkboard, mmm. This is tasty.” So here’s where I divulge my gastronomic weakness. I love cheese, in almost any capacity, but fresh mozzarella has always been a little tough for me. It’s squeaky cheese. And while my fiance has no problem with it, well, it sets every nerve of mine on edge when I take a bite. The flavor, especially when it’s fresh and locally made, is out of this world though, and if you don’t mind the squeak factor (any of you who migrated here from the states where they sell cheese curds are great candidates) it’s the perfect addition to a late-summer lunch. Here’s a recipe with flavors I adore, but a texture, well, I could do without. Decide for yourself. And if you suffer the same aversion, let me know so that we can share the pain. Caprese Salad *This is a classic Italian/Mediterranean dish, and while it can be made with easy-to-find grocery items, it’s best made with the freshest ingredients you can get your paws on. This time of year, that means late-summer tomatoes (even cherry tomatoes will work), basil from the backyard, and some fresh mozzarella from your closest Texas dairy. 3 medium heirloom tomatoes, like Brandywine 6 ounces fresh mozzarella 1/2 to 1 cup fresh basil leaves olive oil, salt, and pepper to taste Slice the tomatoes and mozzarella into quarter-inch-thick rounds. Layer tomatoes, cheese, and basil alternately on a plate, and sprinkle with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Serve with a few slices of baguette for a light lunch, or couple with a perfectly cooked, grass-fed steak and a glass of wine for a full dinner.