Friday, July 4, 2014

Tour de France: France Saves the U.S.A.!!!

Not all lessons in wine come in a bottle...  Featuring the wines from France during the the Tour de France seems reasonable and even natural, some might even say obvious.  But, featuring French wines on July 4th!?!  Well that seems almost un-American!  Or, at least that is what I thought.  Looking a little further into it I learned that there would be NO Independence Day if it was not for FRANCE...

French involvement proved decisive, with a French naval victory in the Chesapeake leading to the surrender of a British army at Yorktown in 1781. The Treaty of Paris in 1783 ended the war and recognized the sovereignty of the United States over the territory bounded by what is now Canada to the north, Florida to the south, and the Mississippi River to the west.
The war of American independence could be summed up as a civil war fought on foreign soil, as opposing forces comprised both nations' residents. That said, it is a war that America could not have survived without French assistance. 

Like so many things in our world and in history; there is more to the story than what we might commonly know.  The French and American relationship goes much deeper than french fries and fresh bread.  There is a complexity and dynamic here that can be felt and tasted in a glass of wine; a glass of French wine.  Cheers!
Come see me for some excellent selections today.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Sangiovese, Duchman Family Winery, Texas

The legendary red grape used to make Chianti; Sangiovese, grows well in Texas!  I pour and pair this wine like a Pinot Noir from other parts of the world.  It is very easy to drink, it can be enjoyed by itself at cocktail hour and it pairs beautifully with a wide range of cuisine.  What I really love about this wine and Texas Sangiovese in general is that it does not have as high an acidity level as it's Italian counterparts and the grape vine is genius at taking the minrality from limestone and wrapping the fruit flavors into a cohesive delicious wine.  (Not every vine can do this.  I am not going to name names like Cab-er-nay ;-)

  • Sweet Cherry 
  • Tart Cherry
  • Cranberry
  • Red Apple
  • Spice
  • Minrality
Founded in 2004 by Drs. Lisa and Stan Duchman, pronounced “Dukeman.” Their love of the unique Italian grape varieties inspired them to work with viticultural consultant Bobby Cox and growers in the Texas High Planes AVA to use 100% Texas grapes that will allow winemaker Dave Reilly to make the best possible wines!!!

“If that were all cultivated, Texas could produce more wine than all of California.” - BOBBY COX, Texas High Plains Grape Grower

Dream big, Bobby!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Texas WineMonth- Austin Quote

“Nature seemed to have intended Texas for a vineyard to supply America with vines.” Stephen F. Austin. I love this quote. The exact wording and context the Founding Father of Texas said it in is not as important to me as the mindset and experience these words reveal. Mr. Austin and his contemporaries won Texas' independence and were "hacking their living out of the wilderness with their own two hands, burying their children along the way!" (to quote Hawkeye in The Last of the Mohicans. (Great movie!)) Many of them were new immigrants from the Old World; Germany, France, Spain, Italy and other homelands. Some were from places just as hot and dry as Texas, and they had grown vines and made wine in the Old World! They looked around the Texas landscape and could easily imagine vast vineyards here too. Prior to Prohibition, Texas had almost fifty commercial wineries! This was the beginning of what would have been a great industry for our state. Prohibition closed all but one winery; Val Verde in Del Rio.

In the years immediately after Prohibition the California wine industry grew exponentially. They have done a incredible job; growing grapes, vinifying wine and marketing their wine and state. Today they make ninety percent of the wine in the U.S.A. Most wine drinkers in North America who think about wine are really thinking about California wine. Because of this many think that wine country has to be as cool and as wet like California. This is NOT TRUE, there are other regions in the world hot and dry like Texas and they make world class wines. I encourage you to look for Texas wines that are taking their inspiration from these other regions. You might have to go outside your comfort zone and drink a wine other than Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet or Merlot. But, you will be okay and you might even find a Viognier, Roussanne, Blanc du Bois, Trebbianno, Picpoul Blanc, Syrah, Tempranillo, Malbec, Sangiovese, Lenoir (a.k.a. Black Spanish) or Aglianico grown in Texas that you love even more than those California wines! And, who knows, maybe someday Texas wineries will make enough wine to begin shipping them to the other states in our union and other countries! Achieving that elusive dream that started back when Texas was a brand new state (country.)

Please follow my blog; I will have more to share with you about Texas, wine and the lessons we learn along the way.