Thursday, June 9, 2011

Texas Adventure

Last week I attended the IACP Annual Conference (International Association of Culinary Professionals) in Austin, Texas. After the conference my husband and I headed to the Texas Hill Country and then to San Antonio. Every day we were in Texas it was in the mid-90s to 100 degrees. Hot, hot, hot!

Around Fredericksburg, an historic German settlement, there are almost 30 wineries. We didn't have much time but we were able to visit two of them and sampled six wines at each.

Our first stop was Becker Vineyards based on the recommendation of my husband's cousin who had grown up with the owners. On the wall of the tasting room (above), they had framed several menus from the White House featuring Becker wines served by George and Laura Bush.

We tasted a pinot grigio, voignier, fume blanc, claret, malbec and sweet dessert wine made from viognier grapes. The malbec and dessert wines were our favorites.

The photo hanging at Singing Waters Vineyards shows a sparkling creek flowing over a small drop and droplets of water sparkling in the sun. Unfortunately the creek bed is now completely dry as Texas swelters through a drought.

We tasted all the wines they are producing today. My favorite was a crisp, dry sauvignon blanc, perfect for summer sipping. Their blend of merlot grapes, named Sweet Lupe, is medium dry and perfect for sangria.

For summer sipping, I like fruity wines, some with a little carbonation, served well chilled. try prosecco, vinho verde, pinot grigio and soave. Sangria is also a great choice. When I make white sangria, I add a cinnamon stick to the sugar syrup before simmering and allow it to cool with the cinnamon. Remove the cinnamon stick before serving.

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