Category:Regional wine

Three Texas wines

drinklocal_small The Texas wines I picked for regional wine week and DrinkLocalWine.com have one thing in common (besides quality). They ?re excellent examples of wines that are well done in Texas, and that aren ?t made with the same grapes that everyone else uses everywhere else in the world.

That ?s a key to regional wine ? if chardonnay doesn ?t grow well where you are, then don ?t grow chardonnay. The wine world ? growers, wine makers, retailers, restaurants and wine writers ? is obsessed with cabernet sauvignon, merlot and chardonnay. Everything is measured by those three varietals, and almost always found lacking.

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DrinkLocalWine.com

Drinklocal_small
Our regional wine site is ready to go. When U.S. regional wine week kicks off on Monday, we ?ll have more than two dozen reports from across North America, covering everything from Canadian fruit wine to Texas reds. I'll have three of my favorite Texas wines for the site, as well as some regional wine-related coverage on the blog all week.

So the next time you ?re in a supermarket, liquor store, or restaurant, drink local wine.

State Fair of Texas wine seminars

See the Wine Curmudgeon in person! For free!!

John Bratcher, my partner in the Two Wine Guys, wine guru Dan Peabody, and I will hold Wine 101 seminars at the State Fair of Texas through Oct. 19. The classes, held in the Wine Garden in back of the Food and Fiber building, are free. They last 15 or 20 minutes, and we cover wine basics.

The schedule through the end of the fair is here.

Llano Estacado Winery

image This is one of an occasional series detailing Texas wineries. The complete list is here.

Llano executive winemaker Greg Bruni ?s candor is especially refreshing. ?We have not yet made the best wine we are going to make, ? he says.

How often does one hear a Napa winemaker say that?

And no jokes, please, about the quality of Texas wine. Is Llano, the oldest and second-biggest Texas winery, with more than 100,000 cases a year, as good as a Bordeaux first growth? Nope, but neither are most of the wineries in Napa. Llano consistently produces quality wine, just like any other 100,000-case California winery.

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Regional wine: DrinkLocalWine.com

Originally, the idea was simple. A handful of wine writers, including the Wine Curmudgeon, would blog about regional wine on the same day, score a few points for North American wine that isn't from California, Washington, and Oregon, and maybe attract a few new visitors to our sites

So how did we end up with DrinkLocalWine.com, a week-long project next month that has attracted some of the best wine writers in the country, people like Doug Frost, Alfonso Cevola, and Gil Kulers?

I'd like to say it was my idea, but much of the credit goes to Dave McIntyre, who is not only a fine wine writer but someone with a professional and thorough knowledge of regional wine (though his lack of appreciation for the norton grape is mystifying).

So what is DrinkLocalWine.com and why do you need to know about it? There ?s no link posted because the site isn ?t quite ready, but if anyone wants the press release announcing the project, email me.

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Mandola Estate Winery

image This is one of an occasional series detailing Texas wineries. The complete list is here.

What does one make of Mandola, which is not only Texas' first celebrity winery, but one of its newest and most costly to build? Visit on a Saturday afternoon, and it's a foodie Disney World, packed with people touring the winery and crowding the restaurant.

Complicating the issue is that Mandola, named for Damian Mandola of Carrabba's restaurant fame, has had some problems in its first couple of years in business. First and foremost, illness forced winemaker Mark Penna to take a leave of absence in 2008, and the winery has been making do without him for much of this year.

Fortunately, consulting winemaker Greg Harrington is one of the best in the business, and most of the the wines are doing what they're supposed to be doing.

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Time magazine knows almost nothing about regional wine

The Wine Curmudgeon loves regional wine. It ?s one of my reasons for being. So, when I saw that Time magazine had done a major regional wine article, I was excited. Overwhelmed. And really thrilled,

Which was my mistake.

I rarely call out other writers and other articles. Everyone is entitled to their opinion ? after all, some people might even object to me. But the Time piece is flawed — factual errors and so much damning by faint praise that I have to say something.

Regional wine should be taken seriously. If it ?s good, say so. If it ?s crappy, say so. But the author, Joel Stein, seems more concerned with being flip and hip and other clever things than he does talking about wine. If he had used this tone for an article about California wine, the Wine Magazines would have skewered him. And deservedly so.

And you know the worst part? He liked most of the wines he tasted. But that doesn ?t excuse being lazy or wrong or both.

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