Duchman 2012 Vermentino

One of my favorite Texas wines that you will find frequently in my fridge is the Duchman Family Winery Vermentino. Lots of citrus, underripe white peach, and mineral notes. Nice acidity makes this such a refreshing wine. Whole Foods Market for about $17.

I have heard that winemaker Dave Reilly thinks this is their best Vermentino ever. We can also thank the Bingham Family for providing these terrific grapes from their High Plains vineyard.


Salt Lick Cellars BBQ White

With the ice and snow storm on its way yesterday, I made a pot of chicken tortilla soup with green chiles, and decided to pair it with this Salt LIck Cellars BBQ White.

Made by Duchman Family Winery, this easy drinking white has hints of green apple and grapefruit, along with pretty floral and peachy notes, which complements the spicy soup.  I love the dry, crisp finish on this white.


Duchman Vermentino

Vermentino is always a white wine that I look for on restaurant menus — something different from Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Grigio. Lucky for me, Duchman Family Winery in Driftwood makes a beautiful Vermentino, which is often on tap at Whole Foods Market wine bars and my go-to pairing with sushi.

The 2011 Vermentino has white peach and flowers on the nose, with grapefruit and lime on the palate.  Love the acid on this wine, too!

Available at Whole Foods Market for under $20 (and a bargain by the glass!!)



Whole Foods Market Wine Geek

Yes, I am going to be one of Whole Foods Market’s wine geeks, providing my two cents on some of my favorite wines you can find at their stores.  Look for my Texas Wine Gal shelf talker soon!

Here are three wines that I buy regularly during summer:

Duchman Family Winery Vermentino 2010 ($14.99) - a great alternative to Sauvignon Blanc, this wine is crisp and refreshing with citrus notes.  One of my favorite Texas wines, it pairs well with seafood, oysters and salad.

Bieler Pere et Fils Rose 2012 ($12.99) — I can’t get enough of this summer sipper. This deeply colored, dry rose from Provence has lots of red fruit flavor with a lingering finish. Enjoy poolside or with salads and grilled chicken or shrimp.

Drouhin Vaudon Chablis 2010 ($32.99) — my “splurge” wine is from the northernmost region of Burgundy, France, where its chalky, limestone soil provides great minerality in this chardonnay. With pear and citrus flavors, enjoy this refreshing white with crisp acidity by itself or pair with salads, chicken or fish.


Texas Wines at TEXSOM

The Taste Texas Wines Hospitality Suite, sponsored by Texas Monthly, was rocking at TEXSOM!  Guests enjoyed wines from some of the state’s most prestigious wineries including Brennan Vineyards, Duchman Family Winery, McPherson Cellars and Pedernales Cellars.

Jeff Ogle of Duchman Family Winery, Pat Brennan of Brennan Vineyards, Kim McPherson of McPherson Cellars and Fredrik Osterberg of Pedernales.

Texas wine folks with MS Devon Broglie and MS Craig Collins

Todd Webster and Pat Brennan of Brennan Vineyards

TEXSOM founders and MS James Tidwell and MS Drew Hendricks

SOMM film star and MS Fred Dame with Fredrik Osterberg of Pedernales

Texas Monthly’s Jessica Dupuy (left) and Pat Sharpe with Four Seasons Austin Beverage Director and Advanced Sommelier Mark Sayre

Fred Dame and Kim McPherson share a glass of Texas wine

Jessica and yours truly with MS Fred Dame

Mark Sayre and Fred Dame

A Texas wine event is not complete with Texas grape grower and MS Guy Stout

MS Guy Stout who tested me for my Certified exam

Fredrik Osterberg and MS Jay James of Chappellet

Jessica, Jenny and I at the Texas Monthly table at the Grand Tasting

Kim and Kassie McPherson

Besides enjoying great Texas wine, we also celebrated Jenny achieving Level 1 Certification!

Jenny with one of her Intro instructors, MS Jay James

A Negroni after the Grand Tasting with pal and Certified Somm Matt McGinnis

Chillin’ with Cowboys and Gauchos

The Wine and Food Foundation of Texas has some killer events, and today’s Cowboys and Gauchos was one of them — super fun and laid back, with great wines and amazing BBQ meats prepared by local chefs.

The wines were primarily from Texas and Uruguay, both countries sharing similar climates.  More and more Texas wineries are making wines from Uruguay’s Tannat grape — including Bending Branch and Alamosa Wine Cellars, which includes Tannat in its Texacaia red blend. Alamosa’s Jim and Karen Johnson have also been pleased with their Graciano, the first of this Spanish varietal to be produced in Texas.  Super nice wine with chocolate-cherry flavor.

My wine favorites included some new Texas wines I have not tasted before:  Becker Vineyards Provencal Rose, the first Provencal made by their new winemaker John Leahy, and Flat Creek Estate’s Cuvee Blanc and Tempranillo.  I also enjoyed old favorites including the McPherson Cellars Albarino,  Duchman Family Winery Vermentino and the Pederales Cellars GSM.

Hye Meadows Winery is set to open in several months and will offer wines from Washington state, including a lovely Edelzwicker, Chardonnay and Sangiovese. Today, they shared a tank sample of their first Texas Tempranillo.

My food favorites: Jack Allen’s cabrito tacos and Cafe Josie glazed pork with a sweet sauce and served with the most amazing, super crisp sweet but peppery cookie. 


Salt Lick Pavilion meat pit


Jim and Karen Johnson with Alamosa Graciano


Alyssa @Sahmmelier and Matt @whatareyoudrinking


Hye Meadow Winery owners Mike and Denise Batek with Matt McGinnis


Hye Meadow Winery wines


David Mayfield, king of Tannat and importer of Uruguay wines


John Bratcher and Kassie McPherson, McPherson Cellars


My little sweet one

Yes, that’s what Dolcetto means in Italian and let me tell you, I love this red wine. Lots of black cherry, red plum and hint of pepper on the finish, with soft tannins make this a red wine to pair with pasta or meat.  Me, I like it as a red sipper.

Duchman Family Winery makes Dolcetto in Texas and it’s one of my favorite Texas reds.


Texas Monthly Top 20 Wine Picks for 2012

My friend Jessica Dupuy with Texas Monthly has shared her Top 20 favorite Texas wines — and lucky for me, I have tasted most of these.  I must admit the Brennan Vineyards Lily, the Duchman Winery Vermentino and Trebbiano and Perissos Roussanne are among my favorite white white wines.

For the reds, I am intrigued that two of the Top Reds are Nero D’Avola.  I have not tried either of these wines but will pick them up soon! I love the McPherson Sangiovese and William Chris Hunter for lighter style reds, and the Pedernales Tempranillo Reserve and the Pontotoc Vineyard San Fernando Academy when I’m hankering for something with some weight.

While I was getting over bronchitis last week, I sipped on the Hilmy Cellars Muscat Canelli and it was like enjoying a Clementine. It has nice acid to balance out its slight sweetness.  The Messina Hof Moscato is also a nice dessert wine that is not too sweet.

Go try some of these wines and let me know how you liked them!


With Texas Wine Month right around the corner, why don’t you pick up a Texas wine and give it a try?  I LOVE all the wines on this Dallas Morning News list.  The Duchman Vermentino (on tap at my local Whole Foods Market bar) is my go-to wine with sushi.


Dang — Love this wine!

I nearly finished this bottle of Duchman Family Winery Trebbiano before I remembered to snap a photo and write a short note about it.  It’s so refreshing — with a hint of banana (in a good, tropical way) and citrus.  Love the crisp, dry finish.  An easy-drinking, refreshing summer wine.

Cheers! (And yes, the grapes are from the Bingham Family Vineyards!  One of Texas’ best grape-growing families.)