Many thousands of wine lovers make distant trips to the Texas Hill Country and other sites throughout Texas annually to taste Texas wines. But three events that I was able to participate in brought Texas wines much closer to me.
The first of those events was the 15th Annual Wine & Food Week held June 3-8 in The Woodlands, a 45-minute drive from my home base in the Atascocita portion of Humble. With food and wine activities spread over a week, I and thousands of other visitors had a chance to taste wines from nine Texas wineries and compare them with wines from throughout the United States and foreign countries.
Representing Texas well were the wines from Becker Vineyards, Bernhardt Winery, and Llano Estacado Winery, and the Texas Fine Wine group – Bending Branch Winery, Brennan Vineyards, Duchman Family Winery, Pedernales Cellars, and Spicewood Vineyards.
The second event was the “Hensell Rose Roadshow” by Kuhlman Cellars that stopped at Plonk! In Houston on June 27. Again, a less than 45-minute drive allowed my wife Phyllis and me to taste the newest release from Kuhlman – the 2018 Hensell Rosé. I found the winery’s latest Rosé to have more body than previous vintages as the result of the blend of 50% Grenache, 40% Cinsault, and 10% Estate Carignan.
The “roadshow” concept arose from the 2018 Hensell being ready for release at a time that no wine club pick-up events were scheduled, according to owner Chris Cobb. In addition to providing wine club members an opportunity to pick up a 3-, 6-, or 12-bottle allocation of the 2018 Hensell Rosé “locally,” the “roadshow” provided members and guests opportunities to taste the winery’s Calcaria white wine and Alluve red wine.
Wine Club Manager Lauren McLaughlin said the Stonewall-based Kuhlman Cellars began its “Hensell Rose Roadshow” at The Club at Baron’s Creekside in Fredericksburg, before going further afield to Wimberley, Fort Worth, Houston, and Austin. The hosting restaurant in each city provided a special menu of appetizers and entrees paired with glasses or bottles of the three wines poured by the Kuhlman staff.
The final event was a June 29 “Texas Wine Tasting” at the Kingwood location of Twin Liquors, less than a 15-minute drive from our home. That event was part of a company-wide promotion in which all 85 Twin Liquors stores in Texas conducted a special “20% off for two Texas wines” sale in addition to the tasting.
Texas wines being tasted at the Kingwood location included four wines from Mesa Vineyards other labels, EV Vineyards and Palo Duro Canyon. These were the three wines from the EV Vineyards:
- Tanglewood Moscato, a semi-dry wine ideal for patio sipping;
- Tanglewood Chardonnay, a very lightly oaked wine with a smooth mouth feel; and
- Tanglewood Red Blend, a wine that started sweet but broadened its taste profile after aeration.
Also being a tasted was a 2017 Viognier by Palo Duro Canyon. The pear and apricot notes and dryness of that Viognier led me to purchase a bottle. Also coming home with me due to Twin Liquors’ special sale on Texas wines were a 2017 Duchman Family Winery Vermentino, and a 2016 Les Copains Classique and 2016 Tre Colore from McPherson Cellars.
So, the next time that you want to try Texas wines, but don’t want the expense of a long drive and an overnight-stay, check out the websites of the wineries you belong to or plan to visit to see if they might be having an event closer to you.
You should also check this website which periodically provides a listing of festivals and market days featuring Texas wines. Or visit a local liquor or grocery store to see if Texas wines are being tasted.
Like the old adage that Muhammad went to the mountains when the mountains would not come to him, Texas wineries are making an effort to reach out to their customers, and not depend on their customers to come to them.