Texas wine, Ming Tsai and John Besh

The Wine Curmudgeon, ever vigilant, fully expected to write one of those "Well, what do you expect posts?" when I saw Ming Tsai cook with John Besh on the former's PBS show a couple of weeks ago. Both men, and Besh in particular, are ardent supporters of the local food movement, but I don't know that either has really been associated with or embraced local wine.

So I didn't expect them to pair a Texas wine with their meals, prepared at Luke, Besh's new restaurant in San Antonio. Imagine my shock — and pleasure — when Besh poured a Texas cabernet sauvignon to drink with his country fried quail and Tsai's pan roasted chicken. He didn't say whose cabernet it was, but the restaurant wine lists includes the Becker Vineyards Iconoclast.

How happy was I? Enough to overlook the fact that cabernet is not what we do best in Texas, and that a tempranillo would have paired better and been more representative of Texas wine. Also, Besh said Texas sells grapes to other parts of the country. Which we don't, because we don't have enough for Texas winemakers to use.

It was enough to see two big-time, celebrity chefs drinking local wine on national television. What better way to get ready for DLW 2013 in Baktimore, featuring Maryland wine, in six weeks?


2 thoughts on “Texas wine, Ming Tsai and John Besh

  • By VintageTexas - Reply

    Also note that Becker Vineyards Iconoclast is from a Texas winery, but is made without appellation designed on the label and it carries the words “For Sale in Texas Only”. These words are code for “not having enough Texas grapes to qualify as Texas appellation wine, or any Texas grapes at all”, which means made from bulk (surplus) California wine.
    In my eyes and on my palate, this is not a Texas wine. To use a paraphrase from Lloyd Benson…”I know Texas wines and sir, this is not a Texas wine!”

  • By Jeff Siegel - Reply

    May not have been that wine, Russ. As noted, it was not identified on the program, and I was trying to figure it out from the wine list.

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