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My Favorite...Catie


Texans Cheerleader Catie has her priorities straight when it comes to life off the field. She relishes relaxing with her family and enjoying a great meal paired with the perfect wine.

Lucky for all of those close to Catie, she not only knows her way around a wine list, she knows how to pick the perfect bottle to complement any dish.

"Wine is truly an art form," Catie said. "It is rich in history and each bottle is like a work of art in itself. Every step of the wine making process affects the flavor of the win. And wine can bring out the flavors in food and vice versa. When paired right, wine really enhances a meal."

Catie took an interest in wine and wine making several years ago. She has taken classes on the subject and often reads about vineyards or good vintages.

"One of the neatest things I learned about the aging process goes back to a little wives tale," she said. "All of the barrels are sealed and stowed full. When they're opened, about 15 percent has evaporated due to climate change and moisture. They call that part, the 'angel's share.'"

Catie wanted to share her knowledge and passion for wine and food pairing, so she sat down at the restaurant Cru in The Woodlands and selected three incredible wines to go with three tasty dishes.

"Cru has an incredible wine selection from all over the world," Catie said. "And the food here is amazing, so you really get to pair great wines with great food."

As an appetizer, Catie selected sesame crusted ahi tuna, which she paired with a Bordeaux blend Chateau Goudichaud.

"I chose to pair the Chateau Goudichaud with the tuna because the sweetness of the soy and the acidity of the Bordeaux really complement one another," she said. "And the green apple full body of this wine makes the finish light and clean."

Catie's entrée was a superb New Zealand rack of lamb finished with fresh pesto. She paired the dish with a Black Bart Syrah from Napa Valley.

"This wine smells like plums and berries and it's a little bit peppery," Catie said. "It complements the gaminess of the lamb."

For dessert, Catie indulged in chocolate fondue, which was accompanied with apples, pears, bananas, strawberries and angel food cake for dipping. She selected a Riesling, Angle Ice, to finish the meal.

"Riesling's are sweet wines, and they make these wines by leaving the grapes on the vines longer because that gives the grape more sugar," Catie said. "This is sweet, but it's not too sweet for the dish."

While each wine Catie chose was unique in taste and body, she took the same approach in tasting them: see, swirl, smell, sip and savor.

"These are my five S's," Catie said. "It is important to look at the wine, especially look at the wine legs as they run down the glass. That shows you how much sweetness is in the wine. You also want to smell the wine and take in the aroma. And, of course, you want to take a small sip and savor it. The savoring is very important!"

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