Video: Thanks from Oz Clarke

Video: Thanks from Oz Clarke

During the lead up to the recently held Grape and Gridiron Classic, held on Monday evening in Dallas, I got a call from Austin PR maven, Denise Fraser. She was also consumed with the G&G Classic, but she said that noted wine expert Oz Clarke was coming to Texas. He wanted to taste some Texas wines with Texas wine columnist and author, Wes Marshall, but she needed my help to line up the wines. We had less than a week to select the wines, contact the wineries and get the wines delivered in Austin for the Oz tasting.

Thank goodness, we had a head start. I had already selected the eleven wines that would represent the starting line up from Texas in the G&G Classic and I had six more that were designated to be on the “special team” for Texas in this event. OK, that got me up to 18 wines, but Oz wanted at least three cases. That’s 36 wines.

One thing that I learned is that the VintageTexas blog is a wonderful thing. It’s an archive of Texas wine tasting experiences and the accolades that wines from Texas have garnered over the past few years. So, I quickly jumped on the blog and did a few searches using various keywords based on varietal, wine competition and winery names. I made a few calls to confirm Texas appellations on some of the wines and extended my list to about three cases.

After that, Wes Marshall and I exchanged a few emails which allowed us to add a few more Texas wines that he considered noteworthy, as well. Denise sent out emails to the wineries whose wines were selected and asked them to express ship the wines to Austin for Oz’s private tasting.

When I do something like this, I really don’t expect to be thanked as it is all for the good of the local wines of Texas. The growers and winemakers of Texas are working hard to make world class wines. Year by year I’ve seen these wines get better and better. This has especially been over the past four or five years since more wines based on Mediterranean grapes have been appearing in tasting rooms and retail outlets around the state.

A couple days ago, Denise and I got this short video clip (no…very short video clip) by email from Wes Marshall  in which Oz Clarke thanks us for lining up his wines. It’s a small acknowledgement, but deeply appreciated.

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