Our very own Sean spent the summer traversing the vineyards and cellars of Austria and has returned to share his discoveries from one of Europe’s most innovative and under-appreciated wine regions. Reflecting a vinous tradition that extends far beyond the ubiquitous Grüner Veltliner and world-renowned Riesling, Sean will take us on a tour from the ancient stone terraces rising above the banks of the Danube to the rolling, verdant hills of Styria in the south, with pit stops in the emergent red wine regions of Burgenland along the way. With a dizzying array of wines made from scary sounding indigenous varieties like Blaufränkisch and Zweigelt, Austrian wine can sometimes seem like a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma. Our resident expert will pull back the curtains on one of the best kept secrets in the world of wine and prove that you should never let an umlaut get in the way of a good glass of wine.
Seats are limited, so buy your ticket(s) now to learn what many of the world’s most respected wine professionals have been saying for years–Austrian wine is indisputably world class and has never been better than it is today!
Let us help you cross some presents off your Christmas shopping list. Apologies for the rude awakening but it is time to start thinking about the season of gift giving!
Camerata will be holding our annual retail sale for you to taste, shop, and then take home and wrap. In case you didn’t attend last year, our annual retail sale is a chance to offer badass, Camerata-worthy wine at minimal markup. Best of all, you can sample the wines before you buy them!
Buy one bottle, two bottles, or let us help you put together a mixed case. Just don’t pop them all before NYE!
Camerata will be open on Christmas Eve for an evening full of wine-soaked merriment! The bar will operate with standard hours and will serve:
- Mulled Wine: Heartily spiced wine, served hot in the traditional European style!
- Paulie’s Cookies with Wine Pairings: We’ll have a full menu of Paulie’s Cookies and have the perfect wine pairing to accompany each different style!
We look forward to seeing you on the 24th!
It’s been a rough year, full of fires, floods, earthquakes, and tweets. Join us as we bid 2017 sayonara and look forward to 2018. For New Year’s Eve, Camerata will celebrate with the following activities:
- A world-tour of Sparkling Wine, with stops in France, Spain, the United States, South America, and more! From grower Champagne to Pet-Nat, we’ll have plenty of bubbles!
- $2 Boilermakers (Underberg and Miller High Life… the Champagne of Beers!)
- In Spanish tradition, as we approach the countdown, each attendee will be offered twelve grapes to symbolize the subsequent twelve months. Eat them as the clock strikes midnight to ensure an entire year of good luck!
A curatorial collaboration between Camerata & Nameless Sound, this fundraising event will consist of
- 6 musicians
- 6 wines
- 6 short improvisations
Each musician will perform for the tasting of a specially paired wine, in what will surely be a unique experience for the ear, nose and palate!
Curated by our very own Chris Poldoian as well as David Dove, the Founding Director of Nameless Sound.
There will be a welcome reception at 3:30pm; the performance and tasting will begin promptly at 4:00.
Tickets are $125, and all proceeds benefit Nameless Sound’s work with young people in Houston homeless shelters, refugee communities, public schools and community centers. Use the link provided to purchase your spot today!
Txotx 2018 will begin with a seminar dedicated to the ciders produced by the Vermont-based, Basque-inspired Shacksbury. As we taste through their range of ciders, we will learn about the differences imparted by unique apple varieties. Because recognizing the differences between a Dabinett and Kingston Black should be no less important to cider-production than contrasting grape varieties are to wine-making!
The number of apple cultivars is in the thousands. But despite this diversity, there are only a handful of different apples grown at length. Hundreds, if not thousands, of different varieties are getting lost in this homogenizing industrialization. Shacksbury has spent the past several years crafting ciders and championing these lost apple varieties. Furthermore, they have teamed up with Basque apple growers and Sagardotegias (cider-houses) to create their very own Basque-style cider!
On Saturday at 1pm, Camerata will host Alex Consalvo of Shacksbury for a brief primer on the past, present, and future of cider apple cultivation! Along the way, we’ll learn how this Vermont-based upstart found inspiration in the Basque Country. Tickets are limited, so follow the link to purchase yours today!
On Sunday, January 21st, Camerata will team up with nationally renowned BBQ duo Erin Smith & Patrick Feges of Feges BBQ for a pork & cider-filled extravaganza!
In honor of 2018 Txotx, we have worked with iconic Iberian importer De Maison Selections to bring the family behind legendary cider producer Isastegi to the United States. The Mari family has spent generation after generation cultivating their land in the undulating hills of Tolosa, Spain: predominately for cattle farming and later exclusively for cider production. Isastegi is the benchmark Basque Cider that we have been proud to carry at the wine bar for years. Chances are that if you’ve had Basque Cider before, it was probably this one.
This is the Mari family’s first time to the United States, and we’re ready to give them a big Texas welcome! Pitmasters Patrick & Erin will smoke up a whole hog and give us a preview of their upcoming Feges BBQ, scheduled to open in Greenway Plaza in March 2018! Barbecue plates will be available for purchase outside Camerata for $20 until we sell out! Last time we hosted Erin & Patrick, we sold out within two hours, so come early and hungry!
To cap things off, we will host the second annual Porrón-pouring competition during this cookout. Contestants will be judged based on the creativity and execution of their pours by three celebrity judges!
We’ll start slinging cider and BBQ at 4pm, and the porrón pouring competition will begin at 6:00. To register for the competition, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
This coming Wednesday, we will be hosting Master Sommelier Candidate Liz Dowty of European Cellars for a Happy Hour dedicated to the biodynamic wines of Olivier Rivière, Spain’s up-and-coming winemaker!
Originally from France, Olivier Rivière left his Burgundian winemaking career to collaborate with Rioja legend Telmo Rodriguez and fell in love with Spain. Unlike many of the over-oaked reds from Rioja, Rivière’s wines are made with a terroir-driven, Burgundian approach.
With whole cluster fermentations and minimal sulphur, Rivière is redefining Rioja. Liz Dowty will be hanging out with us at the bar from 5-7pm to answer any questions you have about the differences between the three sub-regions of Rioja, especially questions about the Basque Alavesa region! The wines will be available not only by the glass but also for discounted retail purchase. We look forward to seeing you this Wednesday!
For Txotx 2018, we have brought back the second iteration of the Porrón Pouring Competition, but this time, we’ve upped the ante with whole-hog barbecue, courtesy of Feges BBQ, and the legendary family behind Isastegi Basque Cider!
WHERE & WHEN: The competition begins at 6PM on Sunday, January 21st at Camerata. Starting at 4PM, Erin & Patrick Feges will be serving their signature Whole-Hog BBQ and the Mari family of Isastegi Sagardotegia will be pouring their signature Basque cider.
SIGNING UP: The sign-up fee is $10 per team. Contestants can sign up here at Camerata during normal service hours and are entitled to a 50% discount on Isastegi for practice purposes.
GUIDELINES: Contestants can apply as one or two person teams and can either pour into a glass or a mouth (his/her own mouth or the mouth of his/her teammate’s). A contestant’s pour/routine should last no longer than one minute. Contestants can request a specific song be played during their pour. Before beginning the pour, the contestant is expected to give a short description of how and why they plan to utilize the porrón.
SCORING METHOD: Contestants will be judged based on a scoring system that takes into account the following categories:
- Fundamental Understanding of Basque Cultural Traditions
- The Creativity of the Pour
- The Challenge of the Pour
- The Execution/Accuracy of the Pour
- 1st Place: $150 Gift Card to Camerata and one of our limited edition Txotx t-shirts
- 2nd Place: $75 Gift Card and one of our limited edition Txotx t-shirts
- 3rd Place: $50 Gift Card and a bottle of Isastegi Cider!
On Tuesday, January 30th, Camerata will host Álvaro de la Viña for an in-depth look at the wine coming out of the Basque Country. Much of our focus throughout Txotx will be on cider; however, the briny white wine known as txakoli and the Basque region of Rioja (known as Rioja Alavesa) are equally special and deserving of our attention. Álvaro created one of our country’s best Iberian import companies and has made it is mission to support small, family-operated Spanish bodegas. Whether avant-garde or ultra-traditional, these producers make wine that Álvaro calls #VinosVivos: wines that are intact and alive!
From 5-7pm, Álvaro will be at the wine bar chatting with guests about the unique qualities of the more inland Txakoli DO of Bizkaya. The difference between Bizkaiko Txakolina and Getariako Txakolina is as distinct as Chenin Blancs from Savennières are to those of Vouvray. De La Viña Selections imports Ulibarri’s Artzai, a barrel-fermented and bottled aged Hondarribi Beltza that tastes unlike any other Txakoli we’ve tried.
He’ll also be on hand to walk us through the Rioja Alavesa, the northernmost part of Rioja’s varied region. The Alavesa is home to the poorest soils, so the vineyards here tend to be the lowest-yielding. The most terroir oriented winemakers often make their mark here. Alvaro works with smaller Rioja producers who eschew the corporate oak-everything-to-shit mentality and instead focus on the grapes and the land.
We’re stoked to host Álvaro later this month: it’s the perfect way to send off Txotx 2018. Look forward to seeing you there!