I had grand plans for this amazing and representative guide on one of my favorite things, wine. Not just any wine but Texas wine! I went to Spec’s and picked out a couple of supplements to our pretty vast collection as well as planning a few trips to local wineries. Well, as many of you know the past few weeks have been just crazy with personal commitments, blog stuff, the flu, work events and entering my first tasting competition.
Well this week was no exception as we tore out and started rebuilding the pantry, the Google + AFBA learning session, a trip to college station for a work etiquette dinner, oh and on date night Thursday I found out that family was going to come stay. The house was a wreck from the bike ride and cake show the weekend before on top of being gone all week, well let’s just say I didn’t even want the dog walker seeing it. So my afternoon off turned into picking up the house and my Saturday was spent watching an amazing road racer ride (averages 30 mph!) After the wedding in Austin we headed to Houston to get ready for the half marathon the next morning.
Sitting in the hotel room I look for all my pages and wouldn’t you know the folder with some of the tasting notes is not in my bag…SERIOUSLY?!? Fortunately, some of the notes made it into a spreadsheet. So I present part 1 of Texas Wines.
The Texas wine industry has really boomed in the last few years. Texas currently has 8 appellations of which the Texas Hill Country is biggest and 3rd largest in the US. In order for a wine to be labeled with the appellation name, 75% of the grapes must be from that area. Wines labeled “For Sale in Texas Only” means that less than 75% of the grapes are from Texas. Not that’s there’s anything wrong with these wines (Texas can’t grow all varietals) but if you want true “Texas” wines, pick one with one of the 8 appellations listed or says Texas on the front and does not have “For Sale in Texas Only” on the back!
Now on with the wines…these are my opinions only and may contain some that are “For Sale in Texas Only” though I try to buy true Texas wines as much as possible.
Pedernales Cellars Texas Voignier 2011 – $16 – Award winning wine that is dry with strong flavors of apple and grapefruit, a stainless steel nose, and just the right amount of acidity. This wine is best after being out of the fridge for 10 minutes and is perfect for a picnic or Symphony in the Park.
Dancing Bee Wildflower Mead – $15 – Ok so this isn’t technically a wine, it’s made from honey but this beauty is sweet and citrusy and perfect for a hot summer day. The winery is located on the front of the Walker honey farm and offers lots of honey and goodies not to mention a view of one of the hives.
TCV Heart of Texas Cherry – $18 – Sweet, cherry, yum! This dessert wine is nice but not too sweet and the cherry is very prominent. Used this in some chocolate covered cherries and it was fab. The winery is located just outside of Waco and the wine maker is interested in chatting about wine and his heritage.
Driftwood Longhorn Red 2010 – $25 – A big blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah, this big oaky wine is perfect for some Texas barbeque. At times even the smell of mesquite comes through. This wine is pretty young but has some great potential.
Texas Hills Cabernet Franc 2009 – $25 – Cabernet Franc is a varietal I love! One of the parents of Cabernet Sauvignon, this grape is smaller and has a lighter, more complex flavor. This one doesn’t disappoint and is very true to the varietal without losing its Texas identity. The tasting room is quaint with the daily offerings written on a chalkboard.
Flat Creek Estate Super Texan 2010 – $20 – A Texas version of a Super Tuscan featuring Sangiovese – a great grape for Texas. The wine is big, bold and oaky with great fruit on the front and just enough tannins on the back. This is perfect for Italian dishes or a good steak. The winery is located on a beautiful property, has a bistro (great wood fired pizza) and hosts lots of fun events.
Part 2…coming soon!