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Texas Wines With Texas Game

As MM Pack discusses in her article, Texas game producers are turning out some beautiful meats that do justice to our local melting pot of cuisine. As happens in so many places in the world, when an indigenous cuisine rumbles forward, the local wines are there to complement and contrast the offering. Here are some Texas wines that go perfectly with Texas game. We've included each winery's phone number so you can call and find out where to buy their wines. Alamosa Wine Cellars' "El Guapo-- ($19): Winemaker Jim Johnson has pulled another great vintage from his Tempranillo plantings. Try this big-boned wine with a buffalo burger. 915/628-3313.

Becker Vineyards Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon ($22): Goes perfectly with game and an ancho chili rub. You can drink the same wine W. poured Putin! We also love their Claret ($17). 830/644-2681.

Chisholm Trail Winery Merlot ($35): A new wine from a new winery. Big and gutsy with lots of tannins. Serve with a mushroom sauce sprinkled with rosemary over grilled ostrich. 877/990-2675.

Kiepersol Vineyards "Mengsel-- ($24): A small winery with the youngest winemaker in Texas, producing only heavy bodied red wines. Mengsel is Afrikaans for mixture, and this wine blends Ruby Cab, Cab, Merlot, and Sangiovese into a delicious and easy-drinking wine. Try this with a slow-cooked venison shoulder. 903/894-8994.

Lone Oak Vineyards Merlot ($20): Owners Robert and Jamey Wolf get the ultimate compliment -- other winemakers drink their wine. Great stuff, done in a French style. Very limited release. Try with smoked wild boar and tomatoes over your favorite pasta. 940/637-2222.

Pheasant Ridge Winery Cabernet Sauvignon ($13.50): Elegant and easy to drink. Perfectly matched to a grilled venison loin topped with nothing more than a dollop of butter and some salt and pepper. 806/746-6033.

Spicewood Vineyards Merlot ($13): A medium-bodied Merlot with nice fruit and a sweet oak aroma. If you let it sit open for a couple of hours before you drink it and make sure its temperature is under 70 degrees, you will be rewarded with a wonderful wine. Try it with sautéed duck breasts and a smoked tomato sauce. 830/693-5328.

Texas Hills Vineyard Sangiovese ($18): Owners Gary and Kathy Gilstrap were some of the first to take a chance on Sangiovese in the Hill Country, and their indomitable resolve has paid big dividends. They add just a little cabernet to richen up the aromas. Have it on a picnic with venison sausage and some good Italian cheese. 830/868-2321.

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