The Wine Curmudgeon has not done much with regional wine lately, and especially with Texas wine. Just too much going on, what with The Cheap Wine Book, a new consulting gig, keeping the blog up to date, and even some freelance magazine writing.
Which is why I ?m spending next week in the Texas Hill Country on a media tour, visiting as many wineries and tasting rooms as possible. My reports will appear on the blog over the next couple of months; I want to try and put Texas wine in perspective, not only with other Texas wine, but with other regional wine ? and, even, the stuff made in California.
There is no doubt that Texas wine long ago passed what the noted Texas food writer Dotty Griffith calls the Chateau Bubba stage. The quality of Texas wine has never been better, and more wine drinkers than ever know this. A Texas wine Twitter event in January was such a success that #TxWine was the site's most popular hashtag that evening ? not easy to do on a social media network where the Kardashians are the top attraction. And how about a Texas wine stunning the food types at a barbecue cook-off in the Pacific Northwest earlier this year, besting wines from California, Washington, and France?
But does that mean, at all prices and for all producers, that Texas wine is ready for the big time? That ?s the next challenge regional wine faces, that it can compete dollar for dollar with wine from the rest of the world. And that ?s what I ?ll be looking for.
One personal note: I ?ve resigned as president of DrinkLocalWine, and won ?t be at the Maryland conference next month. Just too much else going on to allow me to organize my fifth conference in five years. I have no doubt that the Baltimore event will be DLW ?s usual smashing success, thanks to the efforts of people like Michael Wangbickler, the new president, and Richard Leahy, who is spearheading the conference.
This will be the first DLW event that I ?ve missed since Dave McIntyre and I started the group almost six years ago. I ?ll miss it (though not managing the bank account) ? not only for the wine, but for the wonderful people I ?ve met who make regional wine so much fun. But not to worry, becasue I ?m still a regional wine guy, and anyone who doubts that doesn ?t know the Wine Curmudgeon very well.