Pairing Wines with Thanksgiving
November 19, 2021

Grateful for Wine During the Pandemic

The patience of many people during our pandemic has worn thin. Our daily routines have changed significantly, including our socialization with others. I am grateful for the opportunity to share wine with my best friend of 49 years. I met Marty when she was a freshman in college. She liked my “bootleg” wine I made in my dorm closet. Our mornings start out with coffee together, but our days always end by sharing good wines together. Sometimes, we have our widowed neighbor over for wine, but properly socially distanced on the back veranda. This shared time sipping on wines, especially Texas wines helps to bring the day to a positive close. I am especially grateful for the local availability of great Texas wines at HEB, Kroger’s and SPEC’S. Outstanding wines from Becker, Messina Hof, Llano Estacado, Fall Creek, Haak, and other fine Texas wineries are found on the nearby grocery stores and liquor/wine shops in our community. When I started writing about Texas wines over 16 years ago, we had 50 wineries in Texas. Today, Texas has almost 700 wineries and growing, but not nearly as fast as pre-pandemic. We now have a much larger selection and less costly wines than we had in 2005. I am grateful for that. Since the weather is cooler, we have now flocked to the red wines. Our new go-to favorite is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah produced by Becker Vineyards. Several wineries are now going to this unusual blend, but the smoothness of fruit with a structure is welcomed during this cooler portion of the pandemic.
Texas wineries are grateful for each of you, especially with the controlled opening of wineries in Texas over the last year. Let’s hope that a spike of pandemic cases will not happen to shut things down again. Texas wineries are hosting live concerts outside and enforcing social distancing. Please consider this to be a luxury in today’s pandemic time During the Spanish Flu Pandemic, over 50 million people died. Not nearly so many have passed in today’s pandemic even though the world’s population is several times larger. Business hours for many Texas wineries are reduced to the weekends and possibly the last two or three days of the work week. Please check ahead and make a reservation when visiting wineries to ensure you can access the winery. All wineries were restricted as to attendance. This has been altered, but it is always good to have reservations to ensure a good winery visit. It pays to plan ahead. I suggest winery tastings served seated at a table instead of the winery tasting bar. However, we do have the ability for wine tasting and purchasing wines by the bottle or case.
This Christmas, downtown Conroe, Texas will enjoy the Blue Epiphany Winery tasting room at the southeast corner of North Main and West Davis Streets and The Ferm Meadery on the 200 block of Simonton Street.. Likewise, Ft. Bend County will also experience Messina Hof Winery’s tasting room which opened in mid-December last year. Provisions are being made for a Sip and Stroll on a monthly basis in historic downtown Conroe with several well-known establishments like Red Brick Tavern, Pacific Yard House, 202 Main, and the newly opened 202 Main Courtyard. It looks like we have a lot to be grateful for this yea if we just look to the right places, like the Texas Wine section in your local grocery store or wine shop!

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