With the holiday season upon us, it is a great time to start looking for some Texas wines to pair with all of the wonderful food we will be enjoying over the next few months. Wedding Oak Winery recently hosted a Thanksgiving Wine Pairings Virtual Media Event where Matt McGinnis of Big Thirst Marketing and Wedding Oak Winery winemaker Seth Urbanek led a group through a virtual tasting of three of Wedding Oak’s current offerings.
Wedding Oak Winery was founded in San Saba, TX in 2011. Seth began his career in the wine industry about 10 years ago in the Finger Lakes region of New York and has been the winemaker at Wedding Oak for four years now. Our group was in for a treat with tastings of Wedding Oak’s 2020 Roussanne, 2020 Castanet rosé, and 2020 Tioja. Along with the tastings, Seth and Matt shared some thoughtful Thanksgiving dish pairing ideas for the wines and the attendees also shared our own pairing ideas along the way.
We started our tasting with the 2020 Roussanne. This 100% Roussanne is sourced from the Phillips Vineyard in the Texas High Plains. During the winemaking process, the wine was kept on the lees for six weeks with weekly bâtonnage, a process of stirring the settled lees back into the wine to enhance aromas, flavors, and texture. The wine was barrel-aged in 10% new French oak for nine months. While reading a recent issue of Texas Monthly, I noticed that the 2019 vintage won a “The Best in Texas” recognition as part of the Texas Vintners Cup. Only 12 Texas wines were awarded this designation, so this was quite an impressive achievement. The wine offers aromas of caramelized banana and honeysuckle with green apple joining on the palate. It exhibits that wonderful texture that is found in well-made Roussanne wines. This wine will pair well with roasted turkey, stuffing, and mashed potatoes. Wedding Oak only made 100 cases of this wine, so get it while you can.
Next, we moved on to the 2020 Castanet rosé. Castanet is a Spanish-style rosé made with Grenache and Tempranillo sourced from the Texas Hill Country. It was made using the direct press method and fermented in stainless steel to maintain its bright fruit flavors. The wine has aromas of wild strawberry, cherry, and grapefruit. Flavors of strawberry, white peach, and orange on the palate are supported by bright acidity and notable minerality. Dry rosé wines are typically friendly with a wide variety of foods and Castanet is no exception. We would pair with baked ham, sweet potatoes, green beans, and cranberry sauce. It is light enough to go hand-in-hand with lighter dishes and the bright acidity makes it a good match to balance heavier dishes.
Our last wine was the 2019 Tioja, a Spanish Rioja-style blend sourced from Texas Hill Country grapes. The wine is made up of 81% Tempranillo, 7% Carignan, 7% Grenache, 3% Graciano, and 2% Mourvèdre. Seth shared that he co-fermented the Carignan and Mourvèdre for this wine. The wine was aged for 18 months in 10% new American oak and 90% neutral oak. Tioja is Wedding Oak’s top-selling wine, and honestly, I’ve been a fan of this wine for years. I picked up a bottle during my last visit to their Fredericksburg tasting room as well as on several trips before that. Tioja is a medium body wine with plenty of dark cherry, fresh plum, and spice on the nose that carry through the palate. There’s a nice balance of tannin and acidity that make it a great match for some of those heavier Thanksgiving dishes. Roasted dark meat turkey and being in Texas, some barbecue would pair wonderfully with this wine.
It was great to hear first-hand from Seth, learn about his winemaking philosophy, his story, and more about Wedding Oak Winery while enjoying some of their excellent wines. These wines are all available at Wedding Oak’s tasting rooms in San Saba, Fredericksburg, and Burnet. They can also be shipped to your door through their website.