December 24, 2021

Texas Sparklers are in Vogue

Texas is establishing a name for itself with a growing abundance of Texas Sparkling wines. Celebrate your Christmas or ring in the New Year with one or several out of a herd of 61 Texas Sparkling Wines. Sparkling wines are made all over the world, with the Champagne region of France having the largest concentration of wineries making Champagne Sparkling Wines. That’s probably because that is where it originated. A French Benedictine monk by the name of Dom Perignon established the labor-intensive process in the late 1600’s. Champagne is the only area where their sparkling wines can be legally called “CHAMPAGNE.” Trade laws now prohibit calling sparkling wines made in Texas “Champagne.” The Benedictine Monks have various monasteries so this “Method Champenoise” created by Dom Perignon was passed from Monastery to Monastery. This method of making sparkling wine requires a secondary fermentation that is trapped in the wine bottle to create the bubbles of CO2 gas. As a result, these sparkling wines are under pressure from the bubbly gases in the wine which necessitates a thicker bottle wall to withstand the high pressures. Be very careful when uncapping these sparkling wines. The pressure can blow the cork out of the bottle which is why the corks are held firmly to the bottle with a wire cage enclosure. Flying corks from these sparkling wine bottles have been clocked by radar popping out of the bottle at over 55 MPH! We call these bubbly wines in Texas, California, and Australia “sparkling wines.” Sparkling wines in Spain are called Cava while Italy labels their sparkling wines as either Prosecco or Asti Spumante. Only the French wine region of Champagne northeast of Paris is allowed to legally call their sparkling wines Champagne!
“Sparkling wines come in both white and rosé styles with a wide array of flavors and aromas depending on the grapes used and winemaking practices employed,” said Michael Cook, AgriLife Extension viticulturist, Denton. “Grapes commonly being used to produce sparkling wines in Texas include Roussanne, Marsanne, Chenin Blanc, Viognier, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Trebbiano Tuscano, Blanc du Bbois and other locally grown varieties.”
Several wineries in the greater Houston area make sparkling wines which are available for purchase at the winery. Whistling Duck Winery near Weimar produces a sparkling wine with the simple name of Texas Sparkler and is similar to a Prosecco sparkling wine from Italy, but it uses Blanc du Bois grapes. This light bubbly will run you $25.00 per bottle at the winery.
Messina Hof Winery in Bryan has released five Texas Sparklers. Their sparkling wines include Brut, Sparkling Rose’, Sparkling Almond, Sparkling Brut, and Sparkling Moscato which are available at Messina Hof Winery in Bryan for $25 or less a bottle. The Sparkling Almond Wine is a demi-sec sparkling wine (33-50 grams of sugar per liter of wine) with a delicate almond flavor layered over impressions of green apple and toasted vanilla. This Sparkling Almond Wine earned a Double Gold Medal several years ago in the Houston Rodeo Uncorked International Wine Competition. The Rose Sparkling is a crisp refreshing sparkling wine with strawberry, pomegranate, and cranberry. Their Sparkling Moscato is a delightfully sweet white sparkler with flavors of nectarine and orange peel that are lively and a refreshing change from the traditional Brut. Second generation Paul Bonarrigo would also be happy to autograph your bottles of wine.
McPherson Cellars Sparkling Wine consists of 100% Texas grown Chenin Blanc which give this Sparkling wine a bright acidity and a delicate sweetness. The winery and vineyards are located on the Texas High Plains. This wine retails for around $28 a bottle at a few HEB Grocery Stores.
William Chris winery in Hye in the Texas Hill Country has a unique rose’ sparkler called Petillanti Natural Rose and retails at the winery for around $25.00 per bottle. This wine has a crimped metal cap closure and retails only at the winery near Fredericksburg. This product is in limited supply.
Heath Sparkling Wines associated with Grape Creek vineyards near Fredericksburg has eight sparkling wines retailing around $46 per bottle. These wines are available at the winery or can be shipped to your home in Texas.
Whatever your pleasure of beverage for Christmas or New Year’s Eve, please drink responsibly or have a designated driver. May you have a Blessed New Year filled with friends, love, joy, peace, health, and wealth.
Next week we will look into predictions for the Texas Winer Industry in 2022.

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