Used to be, when the Wine Curmudgeon judged the Lone Star International Wine Competition, I judged Texas wines. Not anymore, as the event -- still the preeminent wine competition for Texas wines -- has truly become international. There were 577 wines from 17 states and 11 countries.
And some damned fine ones, as well, including an $80 syrah from Napa's Cakebread Cellars. And yes, it won a gold medal.
This was easily the best Lone Star competition since I started judging it five years ago. My report is here. What's important to note is that the Texas wines that won golds -- which included a barbera from Becker Vineyards in the Hill Country and a tempranillo blend from Llano Estacado in west Texas -- are excellent examples of what Texas can do with grapes that aren't cabernet sauvignon, merlot and chardonnay. That is the future of Texas wine, and it's good to see these wines rewarded for their efforts in helping Texas wine secure the future.