Creative Juices Wine Blog

DIVINO Wine Bar

Posted in Announcements, Restaurant reviews by CreativeJuicesWine on January 13, 2010

We recently had the pleasure of checking out El Paso’s newest addition, DIVINO Wine Bar. Very aptly named in two languages, DIVINO is located at  3233 N Mesa St. They offer a solid selection of wines by the glass and by the bottle at very good prices, with a heavy influence from Italian wines.

We went for lunch, and shared a bottle of Sokol Blosser Evolution from Oregon, priced at $33. This is a deliciously complex wine that is made from 9 different grapes! (Muller-Thurgau, Riesling, Semillon, Pinot Gris, Gewurztraminer, Muscat Canelli, Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc, and Sylvaner). It was aged in 100% Stainless Steel tanks, and weighs in at a very comfortable, and palatable 12% alcohol. Evolution carries a crisp acidity, and a wide variety of tropical fruit flavors that linger quite welcomely. We paired it with their bruschetta, and both were delightful. For more information on this wine:(www.evolutionwine.com).

Shortly after our arrival, we were joined by Pepe Delgado, and Cesar Diaz, the owners of DIVINO. Both are very knowledgeable and passionate about wine, as well as their project. Through our opportunity to talk to these gentlemen, it was obvious that they both have a great deal of love for wine. However, it was evident from the moment we walked in the door and saw all of the personal touches that echo throughout this bright and warm space. For a wine lover, this is home.

We enjoyed meeting Pepe and Cesar immensely, and will definitely be frequenting DIVINO. A wine bar like this is exactly what we’ve been waiting for in El Paso. Check them out at http://www.winedinedivino.com for more information including hours, and menus. If you haven’t been yet, please go. You will definitely enjoy yourself. Cheers!

Advertisements

Casual Dining: El Paso

Posted in Restaurant reviews by CreativeJuicesWine on November 22, 2009

At our last Wine 101 class, we gave away a bottle of La Posta Malbec from the Mendoza region of Argentina. We decided that we should taste the bottle ourselves in order to compare notes with Aaron, the recipient, so we went out and bought one of our own.

Last night, we were in the mood for a light dinner, and more specifically, something casual. We found ourselves craving a pizza, and somewhere new. As we mentioned before, there was a bottle of wine to be consumed as well.

Wine drinking comes with the stigma of being pretentious, or “fancy.” Those of you who know us well, know that we don’t buy into that line of thinking or living. We do however enjoy great wine, great food, and great people.

With our bottle of La Posta in tow, we ventured out to one of the few bring your own bottle establishments in El Paso, Café Italia. The cozy restaurant has few frills (to be exact, zero). What it does have however, is a terrific owner/chef (Daniel Rangel), mind blowing food, and a rustic charm that makes one feel right at home.

The Marguerita Pizza that we shared incorporates homegrown tomatoes and basil as well as fresh mozzarella (which is made every day). The dough is made from scratch daily, and the pizza is prepared in a brick fire oven.

The Malbec provided a decent pairing partner, however, wasn’t perfect. It complimented the pizza, but didn’t improve it in any way (not to say that the pizza needed improvement, it didn’t).

We saved room for dessert, and sampled three desserts from the menu; Crème Brulée, Pumpkin Mousse, and a Cheese Cake topped with a red wine berry sauce. All three were outstanding.

We had the pleasure of being joined by the owner and chef, Daniel Rangel. We shared a wonderful conversation, during which Daniel shared his passion for El Paso, and it’s cuisine. He went on to express how important fresh ingredients are to his vision. Coming from New York, where this practice is more commonly used, we recognized and appreciate these accomplishments.

As we have found with a few Restauranteurs around town, Daniel puts in an effort that shouldn’t go unnoticed. He is doing something different, and we believe that there is a lot to be learned from getting back to fundamentals, and keeping it simple. Then again, quality ingredients, and a passion for producing mouth-watering cuisine doesn’t hurt either. Daniel has definitely made two new friends in us, and we hope to see everyone there.

We rate the La Posta Malbec 89 points, and our experience at Café Italia 5 stars (we don’t really have a restaurant rating system, however we liked it a lot).

For more information about Café Italia, call 915.832.0587 or visit http://www.elpasocafeitalia.com. Cheers!