December 16, 2022


Last Minute Shopping for your Wine Lover
It’s about a week before Christmas and still scouring your mind for gift ideas for your wine lover. A good bottle of Texas wine is an easy answer when shopping at your local HEB Grocery Store, Kroger’s, or SPEC’S. I recommend Becker Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon-Syrah blend, Messina Hof Gewürztraminer (slightly sweet and very sassy), Llano Estacado Reserve Merlot, McPherson Texas High Plains Red, or Bending Branch Red for starters. Most stores will carry over a hundred different Texas wines for your wine lover. Check with the store’s wine steward for the best match. If you are looking for the best quality wines (Texas or otherwise), I recommend visiting the winery to get their best wines since these small boutique batches of wines never make it to your local retail store. When you have hundreds of retail stores (HEB has over 800 in Texas), it is impractical for those stores to stock the BEST wines since most boutique wines come in lots of several hundred cases. Your BEST BET is to visit the wineries for these BEST wines. BTW, most wineries will be closed during Christmas-New Year’s week. Perhaps booking a winery trip as a gift is another option for y our wine lover. The Texas Hill Country is your best option for such a trip with Fredericksburg and Kerrville being my top two choices. I enjoy the low-key atmosphere in Kerrville where you will encounter Newsom Vineyards Tasting Room and Kerrville Hills Winery. Both are exceptional with award-winning wines. Other options in this artsy mecca include Bending Branch, Singing Waters (Love their tree house on the banks of a creek) and Augusta Vin. If you love touristy, trek over to Fredericksburg and visit William-Chris (rated as one of the best wine-tasting experiences in the USA), along with Grape Creek Winery, and Becker Vineyards. It is BEST to plan your Christmas Gift and limit winery visits to three or possibly four per day. Relax and enjoy the wines, the fellowship, and the ambiance. Most of these wineries will welcome your leashed dog(s). Several local hotels also welcome your pets. Other last minute shopping tips for your wine lover include:
• Subscription to Wine Spectator
• WINE Books ordered online from WINE FOLLY or from your local bookstore
• Crystal Decanter or Riedel Wine Glass from Sur La Table or SPEC’S or Total Wine
• Wood-handled corkscrews, ice sleeves for chilled wines, and special stoppers (including sparkling wines) ordered online or from a local wine retail store
• Tickets for various wine dinners and wine tastings as offered online in your local area via
We hurry before Christmas to get that perfect gift, but WINE is the perfect gift for the entire year regardless of the occasion.
Texas Restaurants serving Texas Wines
Brennan’s Restaurant provides their New Orleans’ style of food paired with a Texas red blend from Southhold Winery called Foregone Conclusion. In addition Nice Winery on the west side of Houston operated by wine sommeliers has two of their “Nice” wines on Brennan’s wine list. Lastly, Llano Estacado Winery’s “1836 Red Blend” is also available. Local wines always go better with local foods!

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