Liquid Love Letter: Texas

<p>Courtesy of Unsplash | Photo by Michelle Williams</p><p>It’s true. Everything IS bigger in Texas.</p><p>The moon. The steaks. The cars. The art. The margaritas. The rodeo. The hats. The boots. The belt buckles. THE WINE. </p><p>I just got back from a fun weekend in Ft. Worth, Texas to visit Bowie House, the newest addition to the Auberge Resorts Collection, located in the city’s burgeoning Cultural District. What an incredibly well designed space with charm and pizazz! Owner Jo Ellard has been collecting art for years, and it turns out the hotel became the canvas on which she gets to showcase her collection. I highly recommend <a href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:booking an art walk;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">booking an art walk</a> led by gallery director Emily Gregorie. Her passion for Jo’s collection and the way it interplays with the hotel design was fascinating. </p><p>So while I was in town, I drank a little bit of Texas wine. It’s been on the up and up over the last few years and I’ve done by best to keep a close eye on what’s forming around the Texas High Plains, Fredericksburg, and Texas Hill Country. I finally had local access to some of the greats, and I had to take advantage during my time there!</p><p><a href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:William Chris Vineyards;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">William Chris Vineyards</a>, <a href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Llano Estacado;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Llano Estacado</a>, <a href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:CL Butaud;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">CL Butaud</a>, <a href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Lost Draw Cellars;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Lost Draw Cellars</a>, <a href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Flat Creek Estate;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Flat Creek Estate</a>, <a href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Becker Vineyards;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Becker Vineyards</a>, and <a href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Southold Farm + Cellar;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Southold Farm + Cellar</a> are some standouts for me. It’s so exciting to see a region on the ascent, getting its footing in the local and outside markets, and making a splash. </p><p>Sure it’s hot in Texas, but it’s hot in most wine regions around the world. They have done well for themselves by planting grapes that are accustomed to warmer conditions such as Tempranillo & Mourvèdre. I’ve loved the aromatic whites I’ve had made from Riesling, Grüner Veltliner, and Muscat. Don’t worry folks, the wines bone dry or darn near close to it more often than not.</p><p>So get on down to Texas and grab yourself a Cattleman at <a href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:The Best Hat Store;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">The Best Hat Store</a> and a matching pair of <a href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Lucchese;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Lucchese</a> boots. Your visit to the Stockyards won’t be complete without a trip to the honky tonk! Make sure to stop by The White Elephant Saloon to hear The Neon Prophets rock 90s country all night. And it wouldn't be right unless you were staying the night at the new <a href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Bowie House;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Bowie House</a>, a Auberge Resorts Collection property.</p><p>You learn quickly that wine is for dinner and ranch waters are for pretty much all other moments. Sure you can drink a cold Coors Light or Miller Light while the sun is up, maybe even a Shiner Bock. But ranch waters lead to wine drinking at dinner, likely with one of the best steaks you’ve ever had, compliments of Cowtown. </p><p>Opt for local. Immerse yourself. Take in the rodeo. The people are welcoming, and you’re sure to make new friends deep in the heart of Texas. God bless old couples who show up at the honky tonk to take over the two-step dance floor.</p>
<p>Courtesy of Unsplash | Photo by J. Amill Santiago</p><p>Matthew and I live on opposite ends of the country, him on the West Coast and myself on the East, so it’s fitting that this week in particular our paths criss-cross in Texas. Matthew, as you’ve just read, has just returned from his visit to Ft Worth while my attention has been trained for a few weeks now on the Texas Hill Country Wine Symposium, taking place next week from February 5 to 7 in Horseshoe Bay, northwest of Austin.</p><p>Here are three reasons why this Symposium has caught my attention:</p><p>1. Organizing a three-day Symposium doesn’t happen overnight. Wine from Texas Hill Country may be new to you, but it is hardly new to them. They’ve been at it a while. The Symposium itself is celebrating its tenth year, but the industry of course goes back much further as evidenced and substantiated by the four well-developed tracks of seminars, lectures and discussions: Vineyard, Winery, Business and New Vineyard / Winery.</p><p>2. Wines from Texas fall well within my commitment to experiment creatively in 2024 with the beverages in my glass. Wines from Texas Hill Country in particular resist the “been there, done that” default that plagues so many wine drinkers who fall into a rut of enjoyment: with its own AVA (an officially designated American Viticultural Area, the third largest in the country, covering 9 million acres) and more than 60 member wineries, there are plenty of exciting, “non-default” wines to try.</p><p>3. Experimentation within Texas itself seems to be on the uptick. Texas wines, mainly reds accustomed to warmer conditions like the Tempranillo and Mourvèdre that Matthew mentioned, have crossed my table in the past, but recently I’m seeing more and more sparkling wines and rosé, which any of us can easily imagine fitting nicely into midday and evening drinking particularly as the weather around the country warms up.</p><p>I co-sign what Matthew experienced last week in Ft Worth: The people are welcoming, and you’re sure to make new friends. Opt for local wines, even if you’re just passing through Texas on business. Immerse yourself, and you’ll emerge with horizons broadened.</p>