Archive for September, 2014

Fall-Friendly Whites to Sip & Savor


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Summer vacation time may be over, but the opportunity to travel the world and sample unique wines is a year-round luxury at Phoenicia! Before Phoodies naturally turn to drink more reds in the late fall and winter weather, we decided to highlight a few unique whites to pair with fall soups, salads and snacks made with fresh seasonal ingredients we all love.

The Wolftrap White – South Africa
Plum, apple and fresh green almond flavor come out clearly in this beautiful blend of grapes commonly used by South African vintners (Viognier/Chenin Blanc/Grenache Blanc Blend). Screams “pair me” with a seasonal salad topped with toasted pumpkin seeds or delicious Italian-style fried zucchini slices.

Becker Family Pinot Blanc – Germany
Crisp, clean and refreshing with melon and stone fruit taste, finished nicely with marvelous minerals. Arugula, pomegranate and fresh goat cheese salad sounds like a nice partner for this gem.

Aegerter Chardonnay – France
Rich wine with pear notes rounded out with white peach. Classic-styled white Burgundy that is a joy to drink year round. Try a comforting bowl of butternut squash soup with this French trademark.

Meet Michael Bateman


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A native Houstonian, Michael Bateman traveled the world only to return to his favorite spot: Phoenicia! He’s lived in many different places, and as the son of a military family, Michael became immersed in distinctive cultures and customs early in life. His great appreciation for diversity and unique background make him an important part of the Phoenicia management team.

Graduating from high school at the tender age of 16, Michael attended the University of Mississippi and the University of Houston, where he studied history. With deep roots in the military, he felt a calling to serve his country and joined the Air Force. Michael was stationed in South Korea, the Philippines, Europe and several locations in the U.S.

After completing his duty with the Air Force, he returned to Houston and promptly joined the Army. In both military branches, Michael served in the military police, where his aim and purpose was to protect and serve. The Army sent him back to Europe, then returned him stateside where he married his long-time love and began his family. Michael beams with pride as he talks about his children, who are currently carrying on the family’s military tradition. His son, Robert, currently serves in the Coast Guard in Virginia Beach and his daughter, Christine, is at the Air Force Academy in Officer Candidate School.

When his wife enlisted in the military, Michael supported her and moved to Wiesbaden, Germany, a favorite spot because he loves bratwurst and brötchen! Michael eventually came back to the States and worked for the school district at Fort Riley as a computer proctor. A return to Houston soon followed where Michael worked as a sales manager for a tool company. Houston was experiencing an economic downturn and the tool company was facing impending layoffs. Anxious for a fresh start, Michael took the advice of a coworker who suggested he contact a long-time friend who was a manager at Phoenicia. The simple referral led to his perfect job and Michael has now been with Phoenicia for five years.

Michael becomes very thoughtful when he talks about his love for his job. The employees, office team and Tcholakian family mean a lot to him. He is especially appreciative of the family and their generosity, their loyalty to employees, and the caring environment they provide for their employees. His passion for Phoenicia is evident when he talks about his job. “When I go home, I feel good about the job I do. All of it!”

When asked to reveal his favorite food at Phoenicia, he laughs and says, “Everything!” He’s established himself as a bona fide taster, earning the nickname “Honey Badger” because he will eat anything. Lucky for Michael everything at Phoenicia is YUMMY!