If you’ve been to Perissos Vineyard and Winery, then you know it’s a great place to visit and enjoy their wines. Now there’s another reason to visit, the “Farm to Glass Sensory Experience.” Since joining the staff at Perissos, Sommelier Jeremy Wilson wanted to provide an elevated experience for visitors to the tasting room, something above and beyond the regular tasting experience (not that that’s a bad thing for sure!). This is an activity that you’ll see regularly in Napa Valley and is just starting to happen in Texas wineries.
The Farm to Glass Sensory Experience starts with a tour in the vineyard where Jeremy explains the “Farming first” philosophy of Perissos owner and winemaker Seth Martin. The idea is that great wine begins in the “farm” or vineyard. An impromptu visit with Jeremy or Seth will almost always end up in the vineyard and is a testimony to that idea. This part of the visit starts off your education of the wine’s beginning in the farm.
After the vineyard tour, you will be taken to a special room set apart for the experience. There you will be greeted with glasses ready for wine and food parings specially created for your education. The wines served in this portion will often be special library wines, wines not generally available, and wines that are wine club member exclusives. You are offered the opportunity to purchase these limited availability wines as part of the experience. The tasting menu will change seasonally, likely four times a year.
The food parings are five bites to go with five wines. They are not necessarily “perfect” parings. For example, “this goes great with this wine,” but parings to educate you to how the wine tastes before the bite and how the bite changes the character of the wine. The bites are usually made up of two to three ingredients consisting of a protein and cheese. They are purposely designed so that you could reproduce at home as opposed to chef prepared items that would be hard to make yourself. If you have any food restrictions such as gluten free or dairy free, be sure to state that when making your reservation.
Jeremy will guide you through each wine and food paring with as much discussion as you desire so be sure to share your opinions of the parings and ask questions. For our experience we were served the following:
- 2017 Reserve Roussanne (Texas High Plains) with a pairing of Italian Parmesan cheese on a rice cracker topped with a sesame stick
- 2017 Italian Stallion Rosé (Texas High Plains) with a pairing of Feta cheese crumbles on a Triscuit cracker, topped with a dusting of Cheetos. Yes, Cheetos!
- 2015 Tamara (100% Tempranillo, Texas Hill Country) with a pairing of Italian cheese infused with Merlot
- 2015 Petite Sirah (Estate Grown) with a pairing of Wisconsin white cheddar and uncured Soppressata
- 2015 Italian Stallion (Texas High Plains) with summer sausage and a dollop of French Brie
We finished off with an espresso of washed Ethiopian coffee roasted in Dripping Springs, TX. A nice palate cleanse after the run of wine and pairings.
For my wife and me, this was a great “elevated” experience at a winery that we visit often. If you want a change of pace, it’s a good one to check out. The experience is currently available on Saturdays and Sundays at 12 p.m. and 3 p.m. and requires advanced reservations. For reservations contact: [email protected]