This year kicks off with a Tempranillo for Texas Wine of the Month. By now, you should be fairly familiar with the prevalence of this grape. It’s turning heads in Texas blends (McPherson Cellars La Herencia) as well as in single-varietal wines (Inwood Estates Vineyards “Cornelius” Tempranillo). This month, we celebrate a wine devoted solely to Tempranillo grapes—most of which were grown in the Hill Country. It’s an elegant representation of just how great this grape can be in Texas. In fact, it was one of the top 10 Texas Monthly Wines of 2012. And it comes from a winery in Stonewall that continues to make strides in the emerging Texas wine industry.
Food and wine fans from across the country will have a chance to share in a virtual community dinner in one of four cities, this Saturday, September 20 as part of a special event by Rodney Strong Vineyards.
Before the dog days of summer run their course in Texas—which is probably not any time soon—this month’s Texas wine pick is a perfect patio sipper designed to evoke sentimental memories of taking a dip in your favorite Texas swim spot. Whether it’s a spring-fed river, a lanquid lake, a quite strip of coastal beach, or simply your backyard pool, this refreshing white wine is a perfect way to bid a fond farewell to summer.
Just when we think we’ve seen every bit of clothing, every knick-knack, every tchotchke that can possibly be splashed in burnt orange and adorned with the Longhorn logo, someone comes up with an original idea to showcase some pride for the University of Texas. Case in point: the “Hook ‘em donut,” a deep-fried dough ball shaped into the famous hook ‘em hand sign before being coated with an orange, sugary glaze.
The pastry is Pisey Seng’s pride and joy. Seng—or Angel, as she prefers to be called—co-owns Donut Tacos Palace, a small bakery tucked away in a strip mall in Southwest Austin. It may not be as palatial as its name suggests, but Donut Tacos Palace has developed a bit of a cult following. Seng moved from Boston, where she worked as a nail technician after immigrating to the United States from Cambodia, to Austin, in 2006. “One day my brother-in-law says come to Texas. They do good on the donut shop,” she said in English, her second, self-taught language. Seng and husband, Marc, took the advice, moved to Austin, and bought a little shop called the Donut Palace within the year. (They later revamped the store and its menu, and re-named it Donut Tacos Palace.)
People in agriculture know their business is at the mercy of Mother Nature. And she was not particularly kind to the Texas wine industry in 2013. A late spring freeze last year left grape growers across the state harvesting less than a quarter of the average crop numbers they ship to winemakers, and the 2013 vintage suffered as a result.
Great news, Texas! Your ability to enjoy Whataburger condiments from the comfort of your own home is about to expand from "spicy ketchup" to "spicy jalapeno ranch," "creamy pepper sauce," and more.
A dry rosé is the great equalizer. Both white wine and red wine lovers can appreciate it; it can be enjoyed year-round; and it pairs with various proteins, from grilled Gulf shrimp and smoked chicken to steak and barbecue. This month’s featured pick comes from one of the state's top producers, Kim McPherson.