Austin Food & Wine Festival April 27, 2013: Texas Wines – Ready for the Main Stage
The 2013 Austin Food & Wine Festival is coming up fast and on Saturday morning April 27, 2013, a distinguished panel, a selection of gold medal wines and over a hundred participants will come together for a guided tasting at this year’s festival.
I will curate this tasting of Lone Star vino alongside premiere wine talent from the Lone Star state and beyond. This talent will include Austin’s advanced and master sommeliers Devon Broglie, Craig Collins and June Rodil, and FOOD & WINE Magazine’s Executive Wine Editor, Ray Isle. They will lend their expertise to this delicious discussion.
When commenting on his participation in this panel Ray Isle said, “As an expat Texan stuck in the wilds of New York City, the opportunity to come back to Austin and taste & talk about six great wines from my home state is one I look forward to pretty much all year long. The fact that I can run off with the leftover bottles and drink them with some worthwhile barbecue afterward doesn’t hurt either….Not that I’d ever break the rules and do that, of course.”
My return quip was, “Ray, my bet is that with the crowd of Texas tasters we will draw at this event, I’d be surprised if there will be any wine left. Last year our Texas wine tasting was on Sunday morning, a less than optimal time slot; however, we filled the tent with over a hundred people. Many more were relegated to standing room only and could only watch us sip and savor the fine Texas wines.”
Want to know more about last year’s performance of Texas wines at the 2012 Austin Food & Wine Festival? Click here.
Like last year, the real stars of the show in our guided tasting are the wines. All are Texas bred, made from Texas-grown grapes. There will be no imposters; all are Texas appellation wines. The Texas wines in the tasting are all recently announced gold medal winners from this year’s prestigious Dallas Morning News – Texsom Wine Competition:
- Brennan Vineyards 2011 Lily (White Rhone-style blend)
- Pedernales Cellars Viognier 2012
- Llano Estacado Winery Cellar Reserve 2011 Tempranillo
- KE Cellars (Kiepersol Estates) 2010 Stainless (No Oak) Cabernet Sauvignon
- Bending Branch Winery 2010 Texas Tannat
- Messina Hof Winery Tribute to Heritage, Father and Son Cuvee, Riesling 2012
As you can see, Texas does not produce the standard California set of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Many of the wines in Texas are made from grapes that originate from the climes of Mediterranean countries (sometimes). These include smoky Tempranillo from Spain, inky-dark Tannat from the extremes of the French Pyrenees, and floral white wines and blends made from Viognier, Grenache Blanc and Roussanne from the south of France.
But wait, there’s more.
The extreme flexibility of Texas wine production is highlighted by a Cabernet Sauvignon made with alternative techniques perfected by South American winemakers involving cold soaking and extended maceration that extract pure fruit essences and natural grape tannins without the need for oak aging. Finally, our tasting with finish with a real surprise: a quality Texas Riesling with a crisp, off-dry expression of citrus and honey. It’s going to be like a global wine tour and bypassing California. So, get ready.
As the festival’s promo says “Everything is bigger in Texas, even the wine scene!” So, get registered for the Austin Food & Wine Festival (click here), then mosey on down to the Cedar Tent at Auditorium Shores & Republic Square Park to enjoy a celebration of Texas’s best wines that can now share the main stage with the finest foods and wines around.
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Also, don’t forget to check out the Festival’s Instagram contest (click here).