The Best Texas Wine Money Can’t Buy
…and it’s not from Greece!
I had dinner with friends last Saturday evening at Lucio’s on Taft in downtown Houston. They are a tremendous BYOB establishment ($5 corkage fee!) with a great menu to boot. I brought a bottle of wine to the gathering and asked my dinner companions to guess the origin.
It was a white, nearly colorless wine, light in body and crisp beyond the norm.The aroma was that of white flowers, citrus and a hint of musk. As the reviews came in from my guests, it was apparent that the wine gave the revelers nuances of a Mediterranean white wine, the likely source of which was Greece (at least in their opinion). You know what I’m talking about…crisp, white and floral, but made from a grape with a name that you can’t spell (lots of O’s, X’s and Y’s) and if you saw it written out, you still couldn’t pronounce it either.
However, in this case, the unlikely source of the grapes was not a Mediterranean island but Austin County Texas, located inland from the Texas Gulf Coast around where the flat Gulf margin starts to roll and undulate indicating the coastal outline some two million years ago.
The wine was made from Blanc Du Bois grapes grown in Jerry Watson’s Austin County Vineyard. In fact, Jerry also made this wine himself in his estates micro-winery under controlled low temperature fermentation.
The reason I say that this was the best Texas wine that money can’t buy is because it’s not for sale! Jerry make it for himself and his wife Cozette and a few of his close friends to enjoy. He is an amateur winemaker, but a damn good one. I feel honored that Jerry gave me a bottle to enjoy that I shared with my friends at dinner.
Most people have never heard of Blanc Du Bois and if they knew its heritage and where it is grown, they would likely turn up the noses and not give it a fair shake. Well, Blanc Du Bois is ready to go mainstream, ready to be poured on any table next to vinifera wines from major growing reagions. More of it is grown in Texas than anywhere else in the modern wine world. Furthermore, most of it is grown around the Texas Gulf Coast and up into East Texas, with a little even making it up to the Hill Country and North Texas, too.
For those of you that are overly self-conscious and fear what your friends might say to you enjoying a Blanc Du Bois from Texas, just tell them it’s a wine from Greece and that you’d like to tell them what it is, but you can’t spell it or pronounce it.