Weekend Wine: Countdown to the Holidays

We're full of pride for these Texas wines

With our infinite pride in our Texas heritage, we can be forgiven if we want to showcase the wines from our own state at the holiday dining table.

These are wines that have been crowd-pleasing winners for so many years that they are easy recommendations for the Texas wine aficionado. But just in case there are a few of you who haven’t yet been seduced by the quality of Texas wines, here are some readily available wines with a pedigree of dependability.

In the realm of white wines, pride of place has to go to Duchman’s Vermentino ($19), a wine that world-famous British writer Oz Clarke declared the best Vermentino he had ever tasted. With its palate cleansing acidity and rocky minerality, it makes the ideal wine for an aperitif or with a white meat meal. Spicewood Vineyard’s Sauvignon Blanc ($20) is the wine that put them on the map and the wine that pushed me into doing two books and a PBS TV series just on Texas wines. Spicewood avoids the popular grapefruit flavors of the New Zealand version and focuses on the French Sancerre’s rendition.

Spicewood Vineyards owner Ron Yates (left) and my personal hero, co-owner of The Wines of Dotson-Cervantes, Alfonse Dotson (Photo Courtesy of Spicewood Vineyards)

For reds, one of the state’s oldest and best wineries, Fall Creek, has winner in its Meritus ($50). This wine is a rich and robust blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. They only produce it in the best vintages and despite its lofty price, the wine gives an ideal expression of what Texas wines are capable of. Brennan Vineyards is much newer, but they have been in business for 14 years. They have developed a strong reputation, especially for their Tempranillo ($28). The Brennan version is one of the reasons that so many wine experts are predicting the Tempranillo grape to be Texas’s best hope for world domination.

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