Texas Wine Lover was invited for this coverage. All opinions, experiences, and photographs are entirely our own.
We had the opportunity to attend the 2018 Texas Fine Wine Dinner (Tapas and Texas Wine) this past Friday which was generously hosted by Duchman Family Winery. It was a five course dinner served in Tapas form, which was both unique and diverse. Admittedly, I do not eat seafood, so having options is always a good thing for me. According to my wife, not only were the seafood pairings very well done, but she learned she DOES like raw oysters, at least the way they were served at the dinner. That was a game changer for her.
We arrived just before 7 p.m., so we had a little time to mingle with industry friends and Texas wine consumers alike. We sipped on 2016 Duchman Vermentino while chatting with wine loving, like-minded people. Once seated, we began to move through the menu. One by one, each wine was paired with a selection of food that came out and was served at each table family style. This allowed everyone to grab bites from each plate and pass it around to their table mates. A representative from each winery stood up to address the dinner guests before each course to discuss not only the wine, but their thoughts on the Texas wine industry, and what grapes we are really banking on to do well here in the Lone Star State. Without a doubt, as if I had any, the wines chosen to represent the Texas Fine Wine Dinner were no slouches. Five grapes that just rock the Texas wine market showed themselves well throughout the dinner.
The evening’s first course was Duchman’s 2016 Vermentino. It was served alongside fresh oysters, Trebbiano Mignionette Fritto Misto di Mare, Serrano ham, pear, Manchego gulf shrimp, garlic, and lemon.
Second course was Brennan Vineyards’ 2015 Roussanne. It was paired with chicken liver mousse, Lavash tart, mushroom, Chèvre Spanish tortilla, and Romesco “Paella” Croquettes.
Our third course was Spicewood Vineyards’ 2014 Estate Tempranillo. Its mate was Serrano ham, Iberico Chorizo, a selection of Spanish cheeses, Pan con Tomate, field greens, and Iberico pork ribs.
The fourth course of the evening was Pedernales Cellars’ 2015 Texas Tempranillo Reserve. It was complimented by grilled octopus, olive Tapenade, potato crisp, slow roasted duck, and Crepe Patata Bravas.
We finished the evening with Bending Branch Winery’s 2014 Tannat. It was served with braised lamb, Parmesan Boquerones Aioli flatbread, Cabrales, fig, caramelized onion, Arugula grilled short rib, scallion, and Salsa Verde.
When it was all said and done, everyone I talked to agreed the wine and food pairings were just marvelous! Everyone seemed very content with the evening’s delicacies, and more than one person commented on how stuffed they were. They were not stingy with the food or wine, and none of us went home hungry. The overall value for the ticket cost was well worth it, so if anyone reading this is planning on attending the next Texas Fine Wine Dinner, don’t hesitate.
Robin and I left and went home stuffed with brilliant food and wine, and we are very happy we were invited to this event. I cannot say enough good things about the presentation. The wine and food pairings were totally on point, and the food highlight of the evening for me were the Patata Bravas served with the Pedernales Tempranillo. O.M.G! These spicy little things were stunning with the low tannin Spanish-style wine. With the tannic Tannat, this dish would have been a disaster, but served with the selected wine, wow! The wine that personally showed best for me was Ron Yates’ Spicewood Estate Tempranillo. I remember this wine being super tight upon release, but it is showing so well now, and it is drinking absolutely stunningly.
Merci beaucoup to the Texas Fine Wine group for organizing the event, and a huge shout out to Chef Joseph Bannister and the hospitality staff for their execution of such a spectacular dinner.