Texan Wine

Fitting in with my previous article, here a few remarks as to American wine generally and Texas wine specially:

Let’s start with the fact that German wine – at least German wine that I deem drinkable – is fairly if not extremely rare here in the US. What I’ve seen so far are the mass-produced “Liebfraumilch” or “Piesporter Michelsberg”. I always wonder how that “dear woman” [“lieb(e) Frau”] can produce so much milk!  😉  And as to the quality of “Piesporter Michelsberg” suffice it to say that I always refer to it as “Pissporter”.  😉  But in earnest: it is astonishing, to my mind, how those large quantities of these wines can be produced. A really good wine from Germany, say a “Bocksbeutel” from Frankonia, a “Roter Spätburgunder” from the Rheingau or a “Kaiserstuehler“, to name but a few from my wish list, simply can’t be found here,  not even in upscale wine shops.

Talking of upscale wine shops: recently I was quite surprise to find at an H.E.B., admittedly in Lincoln Heights, one of the posher areas of San Antonio – a supermarket with a really large selection of good wines – a French wine selling at, believe it or not, $408! Yes, fourhundred and eight dollars! In a supermarket! Remarkable even if one considers the fact that the supermarkets certainly cater to the preferences of the customers in thier specific locations.

It was at that H.E.B, that I was looking for some Texan wines, on the one hand as presents and on the other hand for myself, as a treat for the holiday season. It is only on special occasions that I treat myself to these as they are a tad expensive for everyday consumption. They’re usually upwards of $10 per bottle. Which is why I usually limit myself to the cheaper wines from California. Thise I usually buy are more mass-produced, but still good. It’s just that the Californian wineries are much bigger enterprises that the Texan ones and can thus sell their wines cheaper. The Californian wines, btw, are somewhat sweeter than their European – and Texan, at that – equivalents. But as regards quality they really live up to their counterparts.

The wine I enjoyed very much come from the Sister Creek Vineyards in Sisterdale, one of the smallest towns [population 25] in the Texas Hill Country. Sister Creek Vineyards were founded in 1988 and are houses in a former cotton gin, btw.  The wine I got doesn’t have a name, at least not on the label:


The Label from the Front of the Bottle

In their wine list they refer to it as “Cabernet Sauvignon – 3 Blend” and describe it as as “Red Bordeaux Meritage”. “Meritage” is, as I see it, the equivalent of the French “Cuvee” – and that is what the red Bordeauxs are. I can only say that this wine really lives up to it’s description and is absolutely comparable to a quality Bordeaux.

As I never know – my tongue isn’t up to it – how wine buffs can, e.g., maintain that a certain wine may have a “hint of nuts” or something like this, I’m simply going to add another picture, this time the label from the back of the bottle, with more details about the wine:


The Label from the Back of the Bottle

There was another wine I liked a lot, a Merlot from the Fall Creek Vineyards, also in the Texas Hill Country, in Tow on Lake Buchanan, that is. I have passed by that vineyard on my bicycle a few times, and I need to return – not only for bicycling.  😉 .  Theirs is another excellent Texan wine, of course, as a Merlot, of quite a different character than the Sisterdale Cabernet Sauvignon 3 Blend. I s

Um diesen Eintrag in Deutsch zu lesen, hier klicken.


11 responses to “Texan Wine

  1. What a fun post! I like wine, but I’m by no means a wine connoisseur. It seems that the local supermarkets in Texas carry only sweet white wine from Germany. Have you tried World Markets? I think they might have a bigger selection. Regarding Texas wines… we have a few wineries here in West Texas. The biggest ones I think are Llano Estacado and Cap Rock. Tehre’s also McPherson and Pheasant Ridge. I like some of the dry reds that Llano produces. I’m not sure how much of the grapes actually comes from Texas. Cheers! 🙂 Oh, by the way, some actually offer tours and I believe there is a wine festival once a year. Let me know if you make it up here and if I’m in town we could meet for a glass 🙂

    • Hi Sabrina,
      Thanks for stopping by and commenting. For German wines I have checked out Whole Foods, but they don’t have a large selection. Maybe I need to look at out “posh” H.E.B in SA. I don’t think we have World Markets here. But anyway: I’m happy with US wines. Next time in the Hill Country I’ll probably check out some of the wineries there.
      And re the Panhandle wineries: I’ll let you know when I’m up there.
      Take care,

  2. I’ll have to admit that I’m no wine connoisseur and mostly drink Australian wines at this time, haven’t found a Nebraska wine I like, either.
    On another note, if they stayed with their culture, Fredericksburg should be good for German style wines, if I remember correctly it was settled almost entirely by Germans, including the von Nimitzes.

    • Thanks for stopping by and commenting. 🙂
      Well, there definitely are good wines in the Fredericksburg area. And some other great German traditions they stayed with are the food and the beer: I like it there! 😉

  3. The Sister Creek Wines are well made and the Muscat Canelli is a special wine as winemaker Danny Hernandez always makes it with a little spritz of carbonation. It’s not fully carbonated, but very refreshing.

    Texas makes some really good red wines and in the past ten years or so, has been going down the road of Mediterranean grape varieties, e.g. Mourvedre, Tempranillo, Aglianico, Barbera, and others. Very interesting times as it is like pre-Judgment of Paris California wine country. YOu never know what is going to be presented at the next winery stop. It makes for good winery tourism with more than 220 Texas wineries now, the fifth largest wine producting state.

    More information:


    • Hi Russ,
      I certainly intend to combine my hobby bicycling with tasting wines in the Texas Hill Country this year. I’ve passed the Fall Creek Vineyard a few times on bike rides and that’s one destination I plan to go to this year. Another one, and that’s a fix, are wineries near Fredericksburg as I’ll be there for the LBJ 100 Bicycle Tour on March 24.
      Best reragds,

  4. Happy 2012.

    I’ve never been a fan of German wines, even though some of my wife’s relatives have a winery on the Rhine. I much prefer the deep, dry, full bodied Bordeaux reds. Alas, they’re damned expensive.


    • Hi Randall,
      Well, of course I started off with German wines. My father used to drink Rieslings from the Mosel, but I’ve never liked those: too much acidity. We call those wines “herb”. I think that translates into “tart”.
      What I started with were Rieslings from the Rheingau, and there the slighty sweeter [“lieblich”] ones, especially the “Spaetlese” types. Talking of “Rheingauer”: they produce one of my favourite reds, “Assmannshaeuser Hoellenberg”. I always used to say that I didn’t like the 1st glass, but after the second I’d like to go on and finish the bottle – at least. 😉 I also used to drink wines from other German areas. My taste for those really dry whites from Frankonia only developed at later stages.
      Then, via very sweet ones from south-eastern Europe [Romania and Hungary] I kind of “migrated” to dry Frecnh ones, especially Bordeaux reds, but also Chablis and Sancerres. Like you, I do like the full bodies taste of a Bordeaux. And yes, it’s a pity they’re so expensive. But the Sister Creek I mentioned in my blog was really quite good and came close to a Bordeaux.
      Best regards,

  5. I appreciate you interest in Texas wines and also the link to the VintageTexas blog. You might also be interested to know that I’ve got a book coming out in February (The Wineslinnger Chronicles) more details are available at:

    Since you obviously have a passion for Texas wines, you might be interested to know that your picture of the back label shows “For Sale in Texas Only”. Believe it or not, this means that a majority of the grapes/juice used to make this wine, were not from Texas, ergo this is unfortunately NOT a true Texas wine. To be sure that the wine is, in fact, Texas wine, make sure that it indicates “Texas” on the front label or shows the name of one of the eight American viticultural areas in Texas on the label.

    There are many reasons for this usually related to the fact that we just do not have enought grapes yet planted in Texas to fulfill our needs. However, some winermakers are addicted to cheap out of state fruit (due to surpluses in places like California) and just can’t seem to make a committment to using Texas grapes which cost a little more.

    Regards and best wishes for the new year,

    • Hi Russ,
      Thanks for that information. I hadn’t known about that fact and I would never have guessed what “for sale in Texas only” really means. Still, I did like the wine.
      Best regards, and my best wishes for the new year, too,

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