Creative Juices Wine Blog

Some tasty wine

Posted in Cabernet Sauvignon, Horse Heaven Hills, Washington, wine by CreativeJuicesWine on March 24, 2010

I won’t be making this a long, unnecessarily complicated post about all sorts of details about a wine you guys may have never had and won’t care to read a long description about. I just want to say that H3, a Columbia Crest Cab from Horse Heaven Hills, 2007 is a absolute steal at $13 and paired beautifully with a 4 pound steak Zak cooked up tonight (that might be a bit of an exaggeration, but just barely so). It also paired great with pajamas, a couch and some Castle on Hulu.

Cheers,

the Kilsons

Wine Bar Consultation

Posted in Announcements, Classes, Texas, wine by CreativeJuicesWine on March 24, 2010

Good morning. Last night was a pleasant reminder of why we got into this business in the first place–To share our passion. Creative Juices services have been enlisted by a group of gentlemen that are planning to open a Wine Bar here in El Paso. This has become a trend here lately, as two have already opened their doors in the last three months. The guys we’re working with are excited to learn more about wine, and as a result, ask a lot of questions. This makes our job much easier. One thing that we really appreciate is that they aren’t afraid to admit their lack of knowledge of wine. We’re not dealing with all-knowing wine snobs, that think that everything you need to know can be found in the ‘legs’. This is a good situation.

We sat down last night for a little less than three hours and did what we love. We talked about wine. Over the next couple of months, we will be sitting down and teaching them as much as we can to ensure the success of their Wine Bar. I feel like last night was a good start, and they really seem to be learning. We’ll keep you updated on their progress, and as they get closer to their opening date (which should be sometime in June) we’ll release all of the information about their place.

El Paso may end up being a Wine drinking town after all. Keep your fingers crossed for us.

Cheers!

Zak

Beer From 6 Continents (Sorry Antarctica) Beer Social @ Rulis’

Posted in Announcements, Beer by CreativeJuicesWine on March 23, 2010

Good morning everyone! Happy Tuesday!

This Saturday marks the kick off of the Lady Bowlers Tournament here in El Paso, and in honor of their arrival (and the fact that it will be Saturday) we’re hosting Beer Night at Rulis’. This time around, we will be tasting beer from six Continents, and tasting delicious treats prepared by Mista International himself, Chef Rulis.

If you have never been to one of these events, what have you been doing with your Saturdays? They are a ton of fun!

–Alex P. we missed you at the Latin American Beer Night. I’m calling you out. You and the family have to be at this one!

Cheers!!! We’ll see you Saturday at 7pm.

Zak

How Racial Discrimination Changed This Wine Blog…

Posted in Texas, wine, wine shop, Wine Tasting by CreativeJuicesWine on March 22, 2010

Let me begin by saying sorry for the dramatic title, but as you read this blog post, hopefully you will understand.

Those of you who follow our blog know us to be a couple of wine loving individuals that are generally upbeat, and always passionate about sharing our love of the grape with others. Despite being trained wine professionals with accreditation from two well-respected wine institutions, we have a very laid-back approach to wine. Wine shouldn’t be intimidating to anyone, yet for many reasons, it is. A lot of what I have noticed through reading several wine blogs (including ours) is that the content is pretty bland. In many cases, I have found that wine blogs are misleading, and create an undesirable image of the Wine World.

Recently, Olena and I have been discussing how to improve the content of our blog to better serve you. Rather than do the same thing that many wine bloggers are already doing, we want the content we write and put on video to be entertaining, and informational. This is not to say that all wine bloggers are doing it wrong, it is just that we have a unique situation being a married couple who happen to be Sommeliers. Why not showcase it?

After several conversations about this topic, we have decided to be honest with ourselves. What’s the point of leaving out details? We want you to understand who we are, and what we are all about. We want to share with you our everyday trials and tribulations that come with making a wine business bloom in a market that is barely budding in terms of wine consumption. We want our blog to become a behind the scenes look into what our end of the Wine Biz is all about. Being the only two Certified Sommeliers in El Paso (a city of more than 600,000 people) sounds, and looks great on paper, but it comes with a daunting uphill climb that serves as a reminder that we have to work harder. We are trying to educate the #1 Bud Light drinking city in the Country about wine. Needless to say, we’ve had easier times.

To catch any newcomers up to speed, we recently took over the wine program in a friend’s restaurant in downtown El Paso, TX. We are currently carrying about 70 labels, and plan to grow our selection to over 100 by mid-summer. Rather than our customers paying astronomical restaurant wine prices, we offer retail pricing with the option to consume on or off premise. This is an innovative way to generate a larger interest in wine, without intimidating prices (which are often ridiculously excessive). In addition, we host Wine Socials every other Saturday at the restaurant where we informally educate people on wine regions, varietals, etc. under the helpful guidelines of a tasting. The response for this has been phenomenal, and we have been rather pleased with the turnouts. That brings us to why I titled this blog post what I did…

This past Saturday was our “How do you pronounce that?” Wine Social. We were tasting a collection of exciting varietals from all over the globe that people seem to have trouble pronouncing. Going into the evening, we were excited simply because the varietals we planned to taste, also happen to be delicious.

For me, everything changed when a party of three showed up an hour late to the tasting (which is no big deal) and sat down in the bar area where we were hosting the event. From the moment the group walked in, they had an air about them that put me off. Being in the service industry, this is not an uncommon occurrence. They appeared to be well-dressed, well-groomed, and that was all I knew of them.

As I welcomed them to the event, the lone female member of the group stared at me with a furled brow, and impatiently waited for me to stop talking. The man to her left blankly glared up at me with a disappointed, bored, annoyed gaze. The other man in the group just stared at the table, and didn’t acknowledge me in the least. I thanked them for coming out to the event, and asked if they had any questions. They all just sort of shrugged, and chuckled to themselves. I didn’t pay much attention to it (there was a fairly evident language barrier) smiled, and excused myself.  As I walked away, I began to feel as though it may be of little use to prepare their glassware for the tasting. I knew they weren’t going to go through with it. I did it anyway, and while I was fetching their glasses, a fourth person joined the group. As soon as she sat down, a conversation between her and the first woman began. I know when someone is talking about me, and in this case, there was no attempt to hide that the topic of conversation was me. Because the continued glares, and disapproving looks continued to come my way, I casually paid attention to what was being said. The words that came out of woman #1’s mouth disappointed, and cut through me, leaving me with a bitter taste in my mouth. While looking at the man to her left, she said, “I don’t want to do this. They’re White.”

Moments later, Olena told me as she was returning the glassware to the bar, “they have decided not to take part in the tasting.” She went on to tell me that the man (who was staring at the table earlier) informed her, “We don’t want to do this. I already know a lot about wine. I know what I like. I like Cabernet.” Number one, we weren’t tasting a Cabernet that night, and number two, it turns out that the “How do you pronounce that? Wine Social would have benefited him after all. Cabernet is not pronounced, “Cahb-air-NET”.  As Olena finished relaying that information, all I could say was, “I know.”

I generally don’t take too many things seriously, and I feel as though I’m pretty hard to offend. However, the events of Saturday night have really stuck with me these past couple of days. I have been kind of down on myself, and El Paso in general to be perfectly honest. I’ve been trying to break out of this funk, and it has proven to be a little bit more difficult than expected. We’re often the only ‘white people’ in the room, but until now, I haven’t thought about it.

To the people who I feel are ruining the beauty of what wine should be about by painting a picture of elitism, I leave you with a quote:

“In Europe we thought of wine as something as healthy and normal as food and also a great giver of happiness and well-being and delight. Drinking wine was not a snobbism nor a sign of sophistication nor a cult; it was as natural as eating and to me as necessary.” – Ernest Hemingway

Please share any similar stories you may have. Thank you for reading.

Cheers!

Zak

How do you pronounce that?… Wine 101 Social

Posted in wine, wine shop, Wine Tasting by CreativeJuicesWine on March 19, 2010

We will be tasting a Grüner Veltliner,  Vinho Verde, Gewurztraminer, Crémant de Loire, a Texan Carignan Mourvédre Blend as well as a Tokaji. We will be talking about the grapes, the land and the tastes of all the wines, as well as providing you with Tapas pairing options. The event costs $25 and all bottles are available at retail. We will discount all case orders. See you there!

Cheers!

Creative Juices Wine Show Episode 12: Jean Bousquet Malbec

Posted in Argentina, Malbec, Mendoza, Video, wine by CreativeJuicesWine on March 18, 2010

Creative Juices got up early this morning and whilst still asleep, tasted some wine. That’s what we do! 🙂

,

Creative Juices Wine Show Episode 11: Primaterra Winery

Posted in Italy, Pinot Grigio, rulis international kitchen, Sangiovese, Texas, Veneto, wine, Wine Reviews, wine shop, Wine Tasting by CreativeJuicesWine on March 17, 2010

On Episode 11 of the Creative Juices Wine Show, we taste two wines from the Primaterra Winery in Italy, and receive a phone call from the Mexican Consulate…Enjoy the show! Cheers!!!

Zak & Olena

Creative Juices Wine Show Episode 10: Wine Serving 101

Posted in Cabernet Sauvignon, California, rulis international kitchen, Texas, wine, Wine Reviews, wine shop, Wine Tasting by CreativeJuicesWine on March 16, 2010

This is the best way to order a bottle of wine in a restaurant whilst wearing a ‘Members Only’ jacket. During Episode 10 we show how to properly serve a bottle of wine, but have a bit of fun with it. Enjoy the show! Cheers!!!

Zak & Olena

Creative Juices Wine Show Episode 9: How to drink wine like a pro

Posted in Argentina, Malbec, Mendoza, Texas, wine, wine shop, Wine Tasting by CreativeJuicesWine on March 16, 2010

Hello friends. During Episode 9, we teach their guest, Josue, how to taste wine like a pro. Enjoy the show! Cheers!!!

Zak & Olena

Creative Juices Wine Show: Episode 8

Posted in California, Napa Valley, Pinot Noir, rulis international kitchen, wine, Wine Reviews, wine shop, Wine Tasting by CreativeJuicesWine on March 13, 2010

After a short hiatus from the Creative Juices Wine Show, we have returned in a new location, with a much more appealing ‘set’.  In Episode 8, we taste a 2008 Thomas Henry Pinot Noir with special guest Chef Rulis. Cheers!!!

Zak & Olena