Write Off the Vine – Texas Wine News: April 3, 2009
Key Wine Shipping Legal Case Argued Today –
Today oral arguments will be heard in the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans on the most important wine shipping-related case currently moving through the federal Courts system. Siesta Village Market v. Perry challenges a complicated ruling in the lower Federal District Court of Texas over the issue of retailer-to-consumer wine shipments by out-of-state retailers to Texas residents.
SIESTA VILLAGE MARKET V. PERRY – Specialty Wine Retailers Association originally filed suit against the state of Texas arguing that it unconstitutionally discriminated against out-of-state retailers by not allowing them to ship wine directly to Texas residents while allowing its own retailers to do so. Our case was based on the 2005 Supreme Court decision Granholm v. Heald. In that groundbreaking case the Court announced that while a state has broad latitude in terms of how it may regulate the sale and distribution of wine within its borders due to the 21st Amendment, that authority does not trump the Commerce Clause of the Constitution that gives the duty to regulate interstate commerce to the federal government.
More at: http://fermentation.typepad.com/fermentation/2009/03/key-wine-shipping-legal-case-argued-today.html
Also see commentary from Steve Heimoff (“Texas is an Idiot”) at: http://www.steveheimoff.com/?p=2406
Texas Hill Country Wine & Food Festival Returns for 24th Year
The Texas Hill Country Wine & Food Festival returns in mid-April for its 24th annual celebration of epicurean delights.
This year’s festival has trimmed down to just under a dozen events and relocated its prime programming to venues around downtown Austin. It’s also made most events more affordable, including the finale Sunday Fair ($40), which this year takes places at the soon-to-be-home of the new Salt Lick Vineyards in Driftwood.
As in past years, the list of participating culinary experts represent some of the best restaurants and wineries that Texas (and Austin) has to offer, including Charles Mayes (Café Josie), Jeff Blank (Hudson’s on the Bend), Tyson Cole (Uchi), Kent Rosenblum (Rosenblum Cellars) and Paul Bonarrigo (Messina Hof Winery). Several leading wineries from the Napa Valley region will also be in attendance, including Beaulieu, Sterling, and Louis M. Martini.
More info and registration at: www.texaswineandfood.org
April 22-26: Grand Wine Affair (Sugar Land and Houston)
The Grand Wine Affair celebrated its fifth year with more wineries, talented chefs and a host of culinary events to please the most persnickety palate. Fifty celebrated award-winning chefs from all over the United States to South Africa, New Zealand, Australia, Spain and many others proudly offer exotic and sumptuous samplings. Over 100 wineries (many from Texas too) will be in attendance to make five inspiring days truly memorable. Promise yourself that April 22-26, 2009 will be an opportunity you will not miss!
Don’t miss: Pinot Gringos – Texas Grown, Texas Savored
This panel will pour, present and discuss a selection of fine wines from Texas wineries. The tasting will highlight new grape varieties that exploit regional differences in Texas climate and mineral-rich soils, and conventional varietals that have found particular micro-climates and conditions to excel in Texas. The panel will be moderated by Dr. Russell Kane, wine writer, blogger (http://vintagetexas.com/blog) and Texas wine aficionado. The panel will involve presentations by representatives from wineries around the state of Texas including: Kiepersol Estates (Tyler), McPherson Cellars (Lubbock) and Messina Hof (Bryan) and Alamosa Wine Cellars (Bend).
For more information visit the web site at www.thegrandwineandfoodaffair.com or call (281) 491-0216.
The first ‘Two-Sip Tele-tasting’ with Texas wines
by Kim Pierce
The “Texas Two-Sip Tele-Tasting” put on by the Texas Department of Agriculture was so cool. Yup: TDA and cool in the same sentence.
Here’s how it worked. TDA sent 10 wines in nearly indestructible wrappers to a handful of people who write about wine. They were all tagged – 1A, 1B, 2A, 2B, etc. – and labeled with the varietal.
Then at the designated time, we all signed on to a Webcast – I hope to have the link shortly so you can see it, too – where our tasting guides led us through each pairing.
Our guides were Devon Broglie (Best Sommelier at the 2006 Texsom Conference and a Whole Foods Market Southwest wine buyer) and Craig Collins (second in ’06 to Devon, oversees Central Texas sales team for Prestige Wine Cellars). I know both these guys through the Texas Sommelier Association and grape-picking at Guy Stout’s Hill Country vineyard.
The varietals – viognier, sangiovese, Rhone reds, tempranillo and orange Muscat – were chosen because they thrive in Texas and point to the future of wine here
National Grand Tasting Tour of California Wines In San Antonio
More than 20 wine producers from Paso Robles in Southern California will be stopping in San Antonio at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, April 15 at The Pearl Stable, 312 Pearl Parkway Building 2, for the only South Texas stop in a National Grand Tasting Tour.
The San Antonio New World Wine and Food Festival (NWWFF) is partnering with the Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance for this one time only tasting event featuring food prepared by San Antonio Chef Johnny Hernandez and students from the San Antonio campu s of the Culinary Institute of America.
Tickets for this tasting event are $40 per person in advance and $50 at the door. The NWWFF will receive a portion of the proceeds to continue its support of culinary education in San Antonio.
For tickets visit www.pasowine.com/events/grandtasting_san_antonio.php or through a link on the festival website, www.nwwff.org.