GO TEXAN DrinkLocalWine.com Texas Twitter Taste-Off Winners


GO TEXAN DrinkLocalWine.com Texas Twitter Taste-Off Winners

The byline for the blog today is “Syrah between my keys”….

The first GO TEXAN (www.GoTexanwine.org) Twitter Taste-Off organized and moderated for (www.DrinkLocalWine.com) by VintageTexas was held Saturday August 15th at the Le Cordon Bleu Institute at the end of the Drink Local Wine Conference. Sixty people including a cadre of wine writers, bloggers and wine aficionados had a Texas wine experience more like speed dating than picking a life partner. However, the majority of the attendees thought that it was a good first time Texas wine tasting experience and had favorable comments on the wines. Find the Twitter traffic online at www.search.twitter.com and type in the hashtag “DLW09”. Nearly three hundred tweets were recorded as of Sunday morning on Twitter mostly tasting notes on a broad range of wines (45 local wines of Texas Appellation from 23 Texas wineries). The wines covered a radius of 350 miles within Texas, as Texas is more than 700 miles north to south and also from eat to west (Texas has about 20% larger area than the entire country of France). Anywhere else, something this size would be a whole country by itself.

I asked one wine writer if he was going to be blogging from the Texas Twitter Taste-Off. He said no. I was surprised and asked why? He said that he did not want to get Syrah between the keys of his computer. I though. Wow! What a great name for a wine blog. Luckily most of the other writers did not have the same fear. I can say that by the end of the taste-off I had a bit a wine splatter between my keys, but they were more likely from dark inky Tempranillo than Syrah.

At the end of the Drink Local Wines Texas Twitter Taste-Off a call was made for the vote and the following wines took home the first ever Texas Twitter Taste-Off wine awards:

Best White Wine – Dry division
Flat Creek Estate (
www.flatcreekestate.com) Pinot Blanc (Texas Hill Country) 2008

13.2% Alcohol, 0% R.S. $34.95

2008 was the inaugural release of this estate grown Pinot Blanc.  This full bodied white wine is dominated with banana, passion fruit and guava.  Pair with stuffed Cornish hen, seafood, or pasta prima vera. 

Best White Wine – Sweet division
Haak Vineyards & Winery (
www.haakwine.com) Madeira Blanc du Bois (Texas) 2006

18% Alcohol, 10% R.S. $39.95 

24 months in new American Oak, then placed in neutral barrels and aged in a Estufa (heated cellar) for 6 more months prior to bottling. This wine is reminiscent of dried apricots and peaches fused with almond, vanilla with a touch of honey.

Best Red Wine – Dry division
Inwood Estate Vineyards (
www.inwoodwines.com) Tempranillo Cabernet blend (Texas High Plains) 2005

14.3% Alcohol, 0% R.S. $39.50 

30 months in French Oak. Full-bodied, inky blend of 65% Tempranillo and 35% Cabernet grapes from the Newsom Vineyard in Texas High Plains near the Texas-New Mexico border. Red fruit flavors juxtaposed with the dark flavors of blackberry, black currant and cassis and a lingering chocolate, nutty finish.

Best Red Wine – Sweet division
Sandstone Cellars IV (
www.sandstonecellarswinery.com) Red Port-style wine (Mason County Texas) 2006,

19.5% Alcohol, 12% R.S. $40.00

12 months barrel aged and 12 months in tank. This is a vintage style port, with a bouquet of boysenberry, chocolate, crème brule, and wintergreen mint. The palate is a wintergreen mint, boysenberry, crème brule, licorice, orange peel, wintergreen, and Turkish coffee on the finish.

Like Kicking a Rock Down Hill

Having organized the Texas Twitter Taste-Off, I had much apprehension at the start if all would good well. However, it was like kicking a rock down a hill. The advance planning, room set-up and attendees all came together for a smooth, fun and frenetic Texas wine tasting event.

More details, runners-up mentions and some interesting metrics will come on subsequent VintageTexas Blog (and other) posts.


Russ Kane

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1 Comment

  1. Russ,

    I had a blast reading the tweets and blog posts during the Taste-Off, although I wish my schedule had accommodated me participating in person. I’ve been posting some interesting metrics around the dinner, in addition to several posts forthcoming on the bottles! Thanks again for pulling together a great event and allowing me (and others) to participate from afar. Events like this will continue to raise awareness for Texas wines and others outside of the big 4! Cheers!

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