April 21, 2023


Celebrate Texas Independence with Texas Wines
One of my favorite wine posters is from Llano Estacado Winery on the Texas High Plains which states “Brave Texans did not die at the Alamo so you can sip on California wine.” Today, Friday April 21st, marks the 187th Anniversary on when approximately 830 brave Texans beat the Dictator Santa Anna’s Army of around 3,500 in a mere 18 minutes. For the record, Texas was the seventh Revolt against that Dictator with Texas succeeding in their fight for Independence. Let’s fast forward to today which is 47 years from the date when Texas got its first since the end of Prohibition. In that 47 years, Texans learned literally from scratch how to grow grapes and make wines. I must admit at the start, Texas wines were not that great. However, a lot has happened in 47 years. Texas Tech and Texas A and M along with Grayson Community College are teaching new generations of grape growers and wine makers. Families like Bonariggo, Newsom, Reddy, Becker, and Bingham (to name a few) have evolved into second and third generations of grape growers and winemakers. Innovative winemakers like John Rivenbaugh have brought the latest winemaking technology into Texas like flash détente’ to further upgrade winemaking in Texas. The result is what I call the Judgment of San Francisco when Texas wines entered the annual San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition against some of the BEST California wines. Wine judging was mostly done by California judges. The result is a loud statement on the quality of Texas wines, The California wines judges awarded Texas wines TWELVE BEST wine varietal, twenty-two DOUBLE GOLD Medals and a slew of GOLD Medals. This recognition in San Francisco, California area under California Judges proves that Texas makes some pretty good wines. Those TWELVE included:
• Becker Vineyards 2019 Malbec with grapes from Tallent Vineyards
• Becker Vineyard 2018 Primavera (red grape blend)
• Cedar Hollow Winery and Vineyard Amarone
• Driftwood Estate Winery 2022 Dry Rose (blend)
• Driftwood Estate Winery 2019 Syrah
• Driftwood Estate Winery 2019 Alamo Red (red blend)
• English Newsom 2021 Viognier
• Messina Hof Winery 2018 Sagrantino Paulo
• Perissos Vineyards and Winery 2021 Picpoul Blanc
• Portree Cellars 2021 Fiano
• Reddy Vineyards 2020 Tempranillo
• Starla Wines NV Sparkling Rose
With almost a thousand licensed wineries in Texas, I am sure that you can find some great Texas wines in your local wine shop or grocery store to toast Texas Independence in 1836. I suggest trying wines from Llano Estacado, Bending Branch, Messina Hof, Fall Creek, William Chris, Texas South Wind (sweet wines), McPherson, Lost Draw, Kiepersol, Pedernales, Duchman, Sister Creek, Locations TX, Wimberley Valley (sweet wines), and Fiesta to name a few at your local grocery store. Raise a glass of Texas wines to honor those brave Texans who made it possible that you can now enjoy some great Texas wines!
Texas Restaurants Serving Texas Wines
The Taste of Texas serving prime steaks and other Texas favorites proudly has on their menu three Texas wines. Becker Vineyards has their Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve (2019) and Merlot Reserve (2019) This Merlot has a structure that any Napa Cab would be proud to have. The Llano Estacado “1836” is a blend of 50-50 Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. These three wines are made from Texas grapes grown on the Texas High Plains. Raise a great glass of any of these THREE to celebrate our Texas Independence. These three pair exceptionally well with the Texas meats at Taste of Texas on the west side of Houston.

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