I just can’t get enough

And I’m not talking about the Black Eyed Peas song, which is playing through my head now. 

I can’t get enough of rose or “pink” wines — and I’m talking the super dry (not sweet!) pink wines that are super refreshing and that just dance in your mouth.

Tonight it’s the Starmont Rose 2013 from Merryvale Vineyards in Napa Valley.  Salmon color, watermelon and citrus on the nose, and gorgeous peach on the finish. 

Lettie Teague of the WSJ just did a story on summer rose wines — of course, when in doubt, go with a rose wine from Provence (Bandol) or Travel. Check out some pink wines from the USA too… I recently enjoyed some terrific Rose of Pinot Noir from Oregon….and this delicious number from Texas’ own Pedernales Cellars.

Below are some other terrific roses to check out.


A Texas Fine Wine — Pedernales Cellars Dry Rose

If you’re looking for a terrific Texas dry rose wine, you won’t be disappointed with the Pedernales Cellars Dry Rose.  With hints of strawberry and raspberry on the nose, along with some rose flower notes, this dry rose screams tart cherry on the palate.

To no surprise given it’s made from Sangiovese and Tempranillo grapes. I even get a hint of earth on this bone dry rose, which I suspect is from the terroir (i.e., red dirt) of the Texas High Plains.


Pedernales Cellars is one of four wineries that make up Texas Fine Wine, a distinctive group of highly respected wineries recognized for making high quality Texas appellation wines. The other wineries include Bending Branch Winery, Brennan Vineyards, and Duchman Family Winery.

You can’t go wrong selecting a wine from any of these four wineries.


(*Full disclosure: Texas Fine Wine is one of my favorite clients.)

One of Texas’ Up and Coming Winemakers

Doug Lewis of Lewis Wines in Hye — keep an eye on this guy. 


Learning the ropes at Pedernales Cellars and with help from good friends at William Chris and Calais Winery, Doug Lewis is a young winemaker who is already making quality wines, and I can tell you that you can expect even more based on some recent barrel tastings.

Sadly, we did not meet Duncan McNabb — co-winemaker and co-owner of Lewis Wines who also got his start at Pedernales. He and Lewis are Texas winemakers to watch, for sure.

Currently available at Lewis Wines are his Texas White Viognier-Chenin blend, a refreshing floral, citrus, creamy white.  His 100 percent Viognier (unoaked) is equally delicious and fresh. 

The Texas Red blend of Tempranillo, Mourvedre, Syrah and Grenache has terrific aromas of strawberry, raspberry, red flowers and cinnamon.


Coming soon….a Blanc du Bois made in Vinho Verde style (with just a touch of effervescence), a 100 percent Mourvedre rose (tasted like a rose from Provence!), and several vineyard-designated Tempranillos.  Also in barrel is a 100 percent Touriga and a 100 percent Cabernet Sauvignon (of course, made from Newsom Vineyards grapes).


When we visited, Doug was hosting Benjamin Calais, who was in Hye breaking ground on his new Texas Hill Country tasting room.  Benjamin is another young Texas winemaker to watch.


Benjamin Calais

I can’t think of a better way to spend a Saturday or Sunday than to head to Hye and visit Lewis Wines, William Chris, Hye Meadows and Garrison Brothers Distillery,  


Lewis Wines view


Photos at Lewis Wines by Chas Erickson

It’s time to visit the Texas Hill Country!

Wine Enthusiast just named the Texas Hill Country as one of its Top 10 Wine Destinations for 2014.  For my out-of-town friends, check out this trip giveaway from Wine Enthusiast and Texas Tourism.

What are you waiting for?! Enter to win a trip for two that includes airfare and transportation, your accommodations, visits to 12 wineries, and multi-course wine and food dinners.

Go here for details.  And if you win, let me know and I’ll share a glass of Texas wine with you as we enjoy the beautiful Hill Country!



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

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!

Memorial Day Weekend

What a great weekend!  Lots of biking, running and wine-ing.  Enjoyed some Pedernales Rose, William Chris Mouvedre Rose, Hugl Gruner Veltiner and topping weekend off with this amazing Bernard Baudry Chinon 2009 Les Granges.

Sweet tart cherry, plum, violet….and let me tell you, this wine has tons of chalk/rocks!  Love me some minerality!



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.


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.