Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Texas Wine Trip: Day Three

For those who don't know, Hubby and I are in Texas this week tasting wine and exploring cuisine. I have a conference in San Antonio the second week of June, so we came over a week early to check out Texas wine, food, and scenery. We're exploring the hill country and Austin.

I'm writing this blog post from Little City, a coffee shop in downtown Austin just down the street from the state capitol of Texas. Hubby was drawn to them because of this warning posted on their web site (perfect for this trip!):

Alcohol Warning: If you consume 3 or more alcoholic drinks every day, you may need to double the recommended dosage of Caffeine. Ask your doctor or co-workers.

It's one of the great mysteries of life that lower-priced hotels (e.g., Hampton Inn) include internet and breakfast, whereas the nice ones (e.g., Omni) don't. Luckily, thanks to Hubby's mad skills with Priceline, we're not paying the premium price, and I enjoyed my bagel with cream cheese, tomato, onion, and bean sprouts.

Yesterday we headed out early-ish and made it to Fall Creek Vineyards, which gets my vote for best entranceway/driveway:

The tasting is "about eight wines, and you get to keep the glass" for $4 per person. We tasted twelve wines and could have gotten three more pours, but we didn't want to burn our palates on sweet wines that early. The highlights:

2008 Tempranillo (blended with a little Cabernet Sauvignon):
Floral up front, a little tannic in the middle with good fruit, and nice fruity finish. While it's good to very good now, we got a bottle to age for a few years to mellow out the tannins. The question is now whether we'll remember not to drink it.

NV Merlot:
Oak and fruit with smoother tannin. Suggested pairing: Peanut Butter & Jelly
Rating: Good to Very Good

This is a good winery to bring a picnic and enjoy a glass on their patio, which is shady and complete with misters:

We also made the acquaintance of this gorgeous and friendly winery kitty:

We left Fall Creek with a quarter of a tank of gas. My GPS once again took us the scenic route on narrow county roads with loose livestock and not much else, so we arrived at Alamosa Wine Cellars hungry and a little frazzled. Karen Johnson, the "mom" of this "mom and pop" operation immediately set us at ease along with the welcoming committee, who did achieve consciousness when we walked through the door, but only briefly:

Their tasting is complimentary. The highlights:

2007 Scissortail HVV: Blend of Marsanne, Rousanne, and Viognier
A very well-balanced white with some citrus and vanilla.
Rating: Very Good

2004 Texacaia: "Super Texan" (that cracks me up) blend of Sangiovese, Syrah, and Tempranillo
Ripe berry nose. Medium-bodied with great fruit and a long finish.
Rating: Very Good

2007 Palette: Blend of Syrah, Grenache, Mourvedre, and Cinsault
Smoky nose that quickly goes to fruit, nicely balanced and complex with watermelon notes from the Cinsault smoothing out the tartness and tannin of the others
Rating: Very Good

2007 Rosato di Sangiovese:
Holy cow, another pink wine that Hubby likes! Milk chocolate-covered cherry and off-dry.
Rating: Very Good

A picture of the vineyard (with some Texas dust):

Karen recommended a couple of others, but they weren't open, so we headed back to Austin. We did get gas in time to not run out in the middle of nowhere (whew!), and we ended up at Subway in Lampasas for lunch because we couldn't find a local place that was open as late as 3:00.

I am proud to say that we hit the fitness center at the hotel after we got here. As Hubby noted, we "probably burned off a couple of tastes of wine and two bites of barbecue." At least we're trying!

We ate dinner last night at Malaga Tapas and Bar. We both ordered Spanish Tempranillo (sorry, Texas) and shared the Coca de Pato Ahumado, flatbread with smoked duck breast, blue cheese, caramelized onion, and sliced grapes:

Also, being true Southerners, we couldn't resist the thought of breaded and fried avocados with gaspacho salsa and some sort of lemon cream served with baked pita slices:

Then it was back to the hotel, where we enjoyed some time on the roof by the pool. I shall end this blog post with a picture of some of the Texas decor in our hotel room:

Moo, baby!

No comments: