Texas Wine Twitter Tuesday in July

Tomorrow is the third in a series of Texas wine Twitter Tastings of some of the gold medal winners from the Dallas Morning News-TEXSOM competition.  Taste and tweet tomorrow from 7-8 p.m. CT!

I have a dinner tomorrow night so decided to taste the three featured wines tonight. WOW is all I have to say. 


This is my first Eden Hill wine to taste and this light, dry white with a touch of effervescence does not disappoint.  The nose screams peaches and pineapple (Viognier) but the palate picks up the citrus and salt notes of Albarino.  (Yes, I love salt notes in wine)  This is a great summer sipper!


Next up the Messina Hof Father and Son Cuvee Riesling.  Call me crazy but I get anise/licorice on the nose (love!) along with honey and creamy vanilla on the palate.  This off-dry (slightly sweet) Riesling with nice acidity and balance should be served super cold — it will delight many of my friends!


And last, but certainly not least, is the Pedernales Cellars High Plains Tempranillo. Many of you know that I am not a Tempranillo fan (which is sacrilegious among Texas wine drinkers!), but this wine is converting me.  Can you say chocolate covered cherries??  And red dirt??  It’s a silky, easy to drink red with lots of cherry fruit, tobacco and earth characteristics. 


Cheers ya’ll!

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!


Messina Hof Hill Country Manor Haus

What a delight!  Visit Texas Hill Country wineries all day without driving back home to Austin. 

The new Messina Hof Hill Country offers not only a terrific tasting room, but also five cottages called Manor Haus where you can spend the night.  We stayed in the Paris Haus that was comfortably luxurious, with a private living area with big screen TV, wet bar with a microwave and refrigerator (which included a lovely bottle of sparkling from Messina Hof!) and a secluded bedroom with a patio overlooking the woods.

Highly recommend for your next Texas wine country visit!

Tags: Messina Hof

The New Kid on the Block

Hilmy Cellars is one of the new kids on the Stonewall stretch of wineries on Highway 290 between Johnson City and Fredericksburg.  With 4.0 Cellars and Messina Hof as its neighbors, and combined with some of the area’s favorites like Pedernales Cellars, Torre di Pietra, Becker Vineyards and Grape Creek Vineyards, tasting Texas wines has never been easier.

Hilmy Cellars is owned by Erik and Neldie Hilmy, who were busy planting Tannat and Petit Verdot to accompany the four-year old Sangiovese in their vineyard when I visited recently.

After opening their huge handmade swinging wooden door (I want one!), I knew this was going to be a special winery.  With my friend Jessica Dupuy who writes about Texas wine for Texas Monthly, we tasted several Hilmy wines paired with simple foods like fruit, nuts, jalapeno goat cheese, truffle popcorn and chocolates.

My favorite wines were the Persephone, a blend of Semillion and Chenin and the Muscat Canelli that was the perfect balance of tropical fruits and perfume with nice acid and hints of grapefruit pith.

Besides the impressive wine, another highlight of my visit was finding this piece of wine art! Hilmy Cellars features various mixed media pieces by Ruby Powell and I loved this one.


If I’m going to drink red wine, this is the one for me…a Texas Zinfandel! This Messina Hof Barrel Reserve Tex-Zin has lots of fruit and a spicy finish, the right pairing for BBQ or Tex-Mex. 

GO TEXAN or Go Thirsty!

The Texas Department of Agriculture today is announcing GO TEXAN or Go Thirsty, a program to recognize and promote restaurants that serve Texas wines and gives consumers a card they can leave behind to ask restaurants to offer Texas wines.

To kick it off, TDA and Jack Allen’s Kitchen hosted a Tweet-up last night during the monthly GO TEXAN Twitter Tuesday and served up three wonderful courses served with Texas wines.

Next time you’re eating out at a Texas restaurant, try a Texas wine!