Friday’s post didn’t include all of the highlights from the new Zagat guide, which covers 1,505 restaurants in the state. Among the other wine-related findings:
? Texans’ favorite wine is cabernet sauvignon (22 percent), followed by pinot noir (16 percent) and syrah/shiraz (8 percent). Five of the top six wine choices are red — more than 60 percent of the total. This says something, although I’m not quite sure what. One possible clue: More men, says Zagat, completed the survey then women, by a 54-46 margin. Regardless, I do know that’s an awful lot of red wine to be drinking in August, when it’s 103 degrees outside.
? Chardonnay, with 8 percent, was the favorite white wine, and pinot grigio and sauvignon blanc were even farther down the list, totaling just 11 percent between them. White zinfandel wasn’t listed at all, but I’m willing to bet that was an oversight or part of some confusion with zinfandel, the red wine. Zinfandel was listed as a favorite by 7 percent, which seems high.
? Don’t count on seeing too many Texas wines on diners’ tables. Two-thirds said they rarely or never ordered Texas wine. This is not necessarily the diners’ fault, though. Many Texas restaurants, including those that should know better, are notorious for ignoring Texas wine. One more time, for everyone who is stuck in the Napa snob warp: There is quality, sophisticated Texas wine — not only from traditional producers like Becker, Llano Estacado and Messina Hoff, but newer wineries like McPherson and Flat Creek. The Wine Curmudgeon will be happy to do a blind tasting with anyone who doesn’t believe me.
? In one question, 8 percent of restaurant-goers said they didn’t drink. In another, the number was 14 percent. There’s an intriguing anomaly.
? And Texans’ favorite cuisines, which seem to have no bearing at all on wine selections, are Italian (22 percent) and Mexican (20 percent). I can understand all that cabernet with spaghetti and meatballs, but with Mexican food? That’s a recipe for a tannin overdose.