My “Best of Texas”

Here are my favorite Texas Wines and Wineries

Duchman Family Winery

2009 Dolcetto (Bingham Family Estate)

Duchman Dolcetto was my introduction to good Texas wines. I was already a lover of Italian wines, but I had never tasted a Dolcetto – from Italy or Texas. It’s a perfect every day “dinner red”.

2010 Trebbiano

I’m not a big white wine fan; however, I do enjoy a good glass when circumstances are right – eating seafood or chicken, or drinking wine on a hot summer day. The ’09 Trebbiano works well in all three circumstances; where I usually can only stand a glass or two of a chardonnay or sauvignon blanc, I had to consciously stop myself from drinking glass after glass of the Trebbiano at the first winemaker’s dinner. The Trebbiano is sexy. Tripocal fruit notes with the slightest hint of banana.

2009 Orange Muscat

It’s a dessert wine. Fresh, citrus, sweet, and downright FUN. Not quite “crack in a bottle”, but that’s a good thing. If it were more addictive, I’d be in trouble.

Grape Creek Vineyards

Of the wineries we have visited in Texas, Grape Creek’s winery tour was the most fascinating. Probably the single most informative for beginner and intermediate wineauxs.

Tara Vineyard & Winery

We spent two days at Tara and the surrounding area, and enjoyed our first bud-break there. Patrick Pierce was the most approachable winemaker and spent a lot of time with me, sharing his experience and unique winemaking talent.

Patrick is a master of Blanc du Bois, IMO, and he is one of a short list of winemakers in Texas that I know who I think could really put Texas on the map with a groundbreaking red. Tara is on my Wineries to Watch list.

Alamosa Vineyard & Winery

Julie swears that Jim Johnson and I are twins separated at birth, from the Hawaiian shirts we both wear to our dry and persistent humor. Although we befriended Jim quickly, it has taken me a good year to “get” his wines. 

Tio Pancho Ranch Estate Viognier

OMG. With the slightest hint of oak, Jim’s Tio Pancho Ranch Estate Viognier stands apart from “the pack”. Again, I’m not a “white” guy, but this is on my “drink and recommend” list.


Jim brought a bottle of his 2006 Pallete to a hole-in-the-wall barbecue house in San Saba where we enjoyed their Wednesday Ribeye special and told us, “this is a serious wine.”  Well, when I had my first sip I was thinking that this was a seriously tannic wine, but after it had a chance to open up, it was a seriously delicious wine. It was even sexier the following day. Decant this and give it a little time to breathe and you have a wine on par with Chateau Neuf du Pape. (in my opinion, of course)

Haak Vineyards and Winery

Raymond Haak planted Blanc du Bois grapes in the craziest place – about a mile from the Gulf Coast in Texas – and works magic with them, but his standout offering is the Haak Madiera, which he makes with both Blanc du Bois and Jacquez (Black Spanish) grapes.

2010 Reserve Blanc du Bois

What is it with Texas wineries and Blanc du Bois? I’m not sure, but it works well. The 2010 Haak Reserve Blanc shows the more sophisticated side of the grape.

Madiera (Jacquez)

Pick a year and it’s wonderful.

William Chris Vineyards

William Chris was this winery that we passed on our way to Fredericksburg but just hadn’t stopped at. We finally did, and have fallen in love. William Chris is a buy-a-bottle-and-hang-around kind of place – even if they didn’t have live music.

Talk about some awesomesauce.

2011 Mary Ruth

A Semi-sweet blend. Sit outside sipping juice. A Texas mint julep. It’s what drew us to WCW.

2010 Malbec

Should be labeled “OMG”

2010 Enchanté

Stands on its own or can make a good steak taste great.


“Just put a straw in the bottle and hand it over.” – Julie

Sandstone Cellars Winery


a Port-style Touriga


100% Touriga Nacional

Pontotoc Vineyard

2011 Tempranillo