Some Texas Wine Gal favorites

White and rose wines make me smile, but sometimes a girl needs some red wines to balance things out.

Here are some beauties I have recently tasted:

2012 Duchman Dolcetto — This is a Texas winner! Lush black plum with a hint of raspberry and cocoa.  A smooth, medium-bodied dry red to enjoy just slightly chilled. (A Texas Fine Wine made from grapes from the Bingham Family Vineyards)

2010 McPherson Cellars Sangiovese

Made from some of the oldest vines in Texas, this light-bodied red has terrific cherry and cola notes with a hint of violet flower.

2010 Primus from Veramonte

This Carménère (member of the Cabernet family) does not disappoint! Dark cherry, plum, cocoa and black pepper notes.  Lush and full-bodied.



A Montepulciano from Texas - a Texas Fine Wine

After riding 65 miles in the rolling (and windy) Texas Hill Country today, I decided to open a Texas wine to celebrate. And yes, there is a Montepulciano in Texas —from Duchman Family Winery.


Boy does it deliver — great plum, blackberry and black cherry notes that are balanced with hints of leather and tobacco. A great wine to pair with food or to sip by itself (slightly chilled).

I just heard that Newsom Vineyards planted some Brunello today in the High Plains (I think for Lewis Wines) — can’t wait to try that wine in three or so years.


Real Ale Ride 2014


Duchman Family Winery is part of Texas Fine Wine, representing four of Texas’ most distinguished wineries that produce quality wines sourced from Texas appellation vineyards.  I am proud to represent Texas Fine Wine.

A Texas Fine Wine — Duchman Vermentino

This is one of my go-to white wines because it’s so crazy refreshing.  The Duchman Family Winery Vermentino has lemon and lime flavors, some white floral notes, and crazy acidity on the finish.  So crisp and clean, it’s no wonder it’s a great summer time white.

It’s easily found at Whole Foods Market, Spec’s and other retailers, and I’m always really happy when it’s on tap at Whole Foods Market’s bars because it’s the perfect pairing with sushi.

Duchman Family Winery is part of Texas Fine Wine, a distinctive group of highly respected wineries recognized for making quality Texas appellation wines.


*Disclosure: Texas Fine Wine is one of my favorite clients.

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.)

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