Drinking American with my Rockport crispy softshell crab in Houston

We drank two American wines between the four of us last night, when cousins Marty and Joanne, family friend Taylor and I shared a truly superb seafood dinner last night at one of Houston’s more glamorous dining destinations Mark’s (pricey, I gotta say, but worth every penny… thanks again, ya’ll for a great dinner, btw!).

The pièce de résistance was the crispy softshell crabs from Rockport, Texas (above), which wine director Saree Mulhern deftly and keenly paired with a wine I’d never tasted before, 2007 Retour Pinot Noir. I told Saree that I was hoping for a lighter-bodied Pinot Noir, not old world per se, but with good acidity and balanced use of wood. She delivered a beauty of a wine, I must say. The pairing with the fresh-tasting softshell, gently battered and fried (a Houstonian delicacy), was brilliant.

It doesn’t matter if you’re black or white: the 2008 Pinot Blanc by Robert Foley — “no barrel, no malo” as his site reports — was fresh and bright and wonderful with my “trio” of seafood appetizers (actually a tetralogy). I was blown away by the Louisiana crawfish tails, which the chef seemed to have treated as he would steamed langoustines — an aristocratic demise for these “mudbugs,” as they are called around these parts. Man, if I came across a live crawfish as big as that, I’d probably run for the hills!

You see? I’m trying to break my old habits and drink domestically… I can’t think of a better place than Saree’s list to do it.

In other news…

This is how I feel right now:

When I was younger, so much younger than today,
I never needed anybody’s help in any way.
But now these days are gone, I’m not so self assured,
Now I find I’ve changed my mind and opened up the doors.

Help me if you can, I’m feeling down
And I do appreciate you being round.
Help me, get my feet back on the ground,
Won’t you please, please help me?

And now my life has changed in oh so many ways,
My independence seems to vanish in the haze.
But every now and then I feel so insecure,
I know that I just need you like I’ve never done before.

Man, I’m looking forward to some downtime with that super fine lady of mine this weekend! I miss her so much after a week too hectic with work and other mishegas… On Monday, I might just ask her to call my job and tell my boss I won’t be in, to borrow one of Guy Stout’s favorite lyrics…