I like to think of myself as being pretty adventuresome when it comes to wine. I have my favorites that I always fall back on, but no one can ever accuse me of not being up for tasting something new and completely out of my comfort zone. We took a real vacation last week, something we hadn’t done in a few years. Something was always getting in the way, the never ending home remodel, three surgeries and a small inconvenience called money. We decided that if we didn’t get away for some quality time in a different area code, one or both of us could go postal. The dream vacation was to drive to Washington State and tour their wine country, but as luck would have it, three costly inconveniences forced us to stay a little closer to home. (I think I am cursed.)
Option two was a trip to Texas, drive down to the Riverwalk in San Antonio, then head up to Fredericksburg in the hill country and taste some of their wines. We found out that Texas is fifth in wine production for the United States behind California, New York, Oregon and Washington. Plus because of the size of Texas there are quite a few microclimates and soil conditions, meaning that the same grape planted in the hill country will not produce the same wine that is planted in the northern part of the state or someplace else in the state. I was like a kid in a candy store when we got to Fredericksburg and wanted to stop at every winery we passed. It was a good thing the Mitch was the adult and designated driver and knew when to say when. But we did hit a few of the wineries tasted many wines and brought a few bottles home.
The first bottle I opened when we got home was a Becker Vineyards Riesling 2012. The wine was soft and fruity tasting like pears and peaches, but was not sweet like some of the German Rieslings I tasted. It had a beautiful golden color like straw in the glass. It was soft and smooth and slipped down my throat so easily for a really nice finish. This is a great wine chilled served on the porch, sipped while watching the world go by.
The second bottle was a red blend from Woodrose Winery called Summer Breeze vintage 2010. When we tasted it at the Winery we were surprised at the smell and taste. This was a wine that we couldn’t wait to try out on our friends. It is a blend of Ruby Cabernet and Muscat. Interesting, yes? It was a light red color, not a rosé, but not as dark as some red wines. The first thing I smelled was a citrusy aroma and the first taste was grapefruit, tart and crisp. It had a cherry finish. I paired it with salsa and chips and something we discovered at a restaurant in Texas, jalapeño peppers soaked in honey on top of cream cheese. Very yummy.
The third bottle was a Tempranillo from Pedernales Cellars, vintage 2012. This I paired with Margarita Chicken and it complemented the spicy chicken very nicely. The wine was very smooth and soft with dark fruit flavors. It had a nice long full finish. The wine was a dark red color in the glass with a slight smoky nose, but not off putting at all.
That leaves seven bottles left to open and share. Tasting in the winery is nice and helpful in trying wines you might not normally get to taste, but tasting at home is much more relaxed and the wine is savored more. It’s not the slurp, chew and spit then move on to the next glass in a tasting. At home with friends and family there’s discovery and surprise of something new and shared that makes wine so much fun. I am definitely a wine geek.