May 042011
 

Judgments of Texas Wine: Time for Another Texas Two-Sip. Join Me at Culinaria in San Antonio

Where, What, When: Culinaria Wine and Culinary Arts Festival for the Texas Two Sip on Saturday, May 14, Hilton Palacio del Rio Hotel in San Antonio, Texas, 5:30 p.m. – $25 pre-sale, $35 at the door.

If you know food and wine writer, Rob Walsh, like I do, you know that good ol’ Rob has not always been an outspoken fan of Texas wines. If anything, he’s been the outright opposite.

In a recent statement on HoustonPress.com, Rob came out and acknowledged both how far Texas wines have come in terms of quality and how far he has come in terms of accepting them. He said, “If you haven’t had a glass of Texas Viognier yet, put it on your “to drink” list. It’s a lovely white wine with huge floral aromas and flavors reminiscent of apricot and peach. Texas wineries make some of the best Viogniers in the world. I never thought I’d be calling Texas wines the best in the world, but it looks like the “Judgment of Texas” has arrived.”

In his statement, the use of the term, “Judgment of Texas”, Rob makes reference to The Paris wine tasting held in 1976 often called the “Judgment of Paris“. It was a wine competition organized in Paris on 24 May 1976 by Steven Spurrier, a British wine merchant, in which French judges did blind tastings of top-quality Chardonnays and Cabernet Sauvignons from France and from California. A California wine rated best in each category. This tasting was a monumental moment in the course of California (and new world) wines that caused surprise. At that time, France was regarded as being the foremost producer of the world’s best wines. At the time, Spurrier sold only French wine and did not actually believed that the California wines would surpass the French wines in the tasting.

Robb admitted that the change in his perception of Texas wines came in 2007. He said, “My Judgment of Texas” moment came on a Saturday afternoon in late April of 2007. At the Buffalo Gap Wine and Food Summit that year, I was a panelist for the Texas vs. The World Wine Tasting. Austin wine writer Wes Marshall put on the blind tasting. I love his style — he used Brown paper bags to disguise the bottles.

I’ve always considered Steven and I kindred spirits of sorts. On numerous occasions, I’ve put Texas wines to the test: always in blind tastings and putting them up against highly rated, 90+ Wine Spectator wines from around the world. Examples include things I’ve posted before on VintageTexas:

The Judgment of Houston:  The Wine Society of Texas organized “The Great Texas Conundrum” as part of its 6th annual Texas’ Best Wine Competition at the Conrad Hilton School of Hotel and Restaurant Management at the University of Houston. Approximately 150 wines entered the competition from 31 Texas wineries. It was a double-blind tasting and judging was based on a modified University of California Davis 20-point evaluation method conducted with noted wine experts from around Texas. Click here for more.

The Judgement of Bryan Texas: At Messina Hof Winery and Resort in Bryan, Texas, winery owner Paul Bonarrigo put it on the line at the Messina Hof Twitter Taste-Off. The tasting included recognized, premium and best selling non-Texas wines from around the world paired with wines from Messina Hof Winery. It was a blind tasting in which the tasters did not know if the wines they tasted were from Messina Hof or the non-Texas wines. Click here for more.

The Texas-French Wine Shoot Out: A truly eye-opening experience was when we brought together about 55 people encompassing a wide cross-section of wine experience and tasting skills at the Culinary Institute Marie and Alain LeNotre in Houston for a Texas French Wine Shoot Out. In this head-to-head competition, the best Texas Merlot and Cabernet-based wines and blends were tasted against a selection of quality French Bordeaux wines. Click here for more.

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Well, get ready for another opportunity to challenge Texas wines head-to-head with the wines of the world. Come on down to the Culinaria Wine and Culinary Arts Festival for the Texas Two Sip on Saturday, May 14, Hilton Palacio del Rio Hotel in San Antonio, Texas, 5:30 p.m. – $25 pre-sale, $35 at the door.

Have some fun before the Culinaria Grand Tasting later Saturday evening at the Texas Two-Sip Tasting, where you will blind taste Texas wines against similar non-Texas wines from around the world.

Texas vs. The World; who makes the better wines?  You decide.

See the amazing strides in Texas wine quality since we stopped trying to emulate California and started to make the comparison between Texas wines and the wines of the old world: Spain, Portugal, Italy, Sardinia and southern France.

The Westin La Cantera Resort’s Sommelier Steven Krueger, Becker Vineyards Owner, Dr. Richard Becker and I will lead you through the Two-Sip Tasting, providing information about Texas’ popular varieties that are winning awards and gaining international attention. This event will be a great aperitif before the Grand Tasting.

For more information and tickets for the Culinaria Wine and Culinary Arts Festival and Texas Two-Sip, so to:

http://culinariasa.com/wine-festival/main/events.php

See you there!

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