Ray Isle (@islewine on Twitter) is Food & Wine's executive wine editor. We trust his every cork pop and decant – and the man can sniff out a bargain to boot. Take it away, Ray.
There are plenty of Independence Days around the world. July 4, of course; also July 9, when Argentina exited the Spanish Empire; December 1, when Iceland finally loosed itself from the cruel clutches of the Danes; not to mention August 31, when Kyrgyzstan finally achieved independence from the Soviet Union (though they’re still waiting for the day when someone can actually pronounce the word Kyrgyzstan).
March 2, though, is the most significant of them all: Texas Independence Day. Yes, on this hallowed day in 1836, the Texas Declaration of Independence was signed. It's celebrated by hundreds of millions of people across the globe (well, not quite, but as a Texas native, I certainly feel it ought to be). And thus Texas’s career as a sovereign nation began.
That career, unfortunately, only lasted 10 years until the Texans got annexed by the U.S. But what the heck, it was fun while it lasted. And it’s still a good reason to go out and drink some Texas wine. Here are several to check out. They may be a bit tough to find outside Texas, but what an excellent reason to visit, right?
2011 Becker Viognier ($15)
Viognier can be flabby and overly rich when done poorly, but when made well - as with this wine - there’s enough bright acidity to balance the ripe peachy fruit.
2010 Duchman Family Winery Vermentino ($15)
Vermentino typically grows on the Italian coast, not in West Texas (where the grapes for this wine come from). But maybe that will change; this grapefruit-inflected, floral white is a good argument for it.
2011 McPherson Cellars Roussanne ($14)
An absurdly low-priced wine given its quality, this Rhône-style white has an herbal aroma and rich citrusy flavors.
2010 Sandstone Cellars XI ($25)
This Syrah-based blend recalls the reds of the southern Rhône with its lush berry flavors and full-bodied texture.
2010 Pedernales Cellars Tempranillo Reserve ($30)
I first came across Pedernales Cellars at last year’s Austin Food & Wine Festival, and was impressed by their take on this classic Spanish grape: lively acidity, cocoa notes and vivid red-fruit flavors that last.
More from Food & Wine:
America’s Best BBQ Cities
Best Burgers in the U.S.
America’s Best Bars
Best New Places to Drink Wine
© 2011 American Express Publishing Corporation. All rights reserved.
Wedding Oak Winery in San Saba hasn't been open a year yet and they are already making a name for themselves in the Hill Country
I don't think Llano makes a Viognier anymore. What's the vintage? Good grapes make good wine, 4 of there have Bingham Family Vineyards fruit in them. Becker Viognier, McPherson Roussanne, Perdenalles Temp. and the Vermentino
I cannot believe they didn't mention the Llano winery. I'm having a glass of viongier right now. It's awesome.
I like Texas it is very peaceful here. Everyone is armed.
If you want some REAL fun, go wine tasting in the Texas "Hill Country". You'll be behind dozens of college kids who hop from winery to winery in search of getting drunk as fast as possible. You'll spot them quickly... they will be the ones treating each sample like it's in a shot glass, then asking for more.
Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.
Join 8,106 other followers