Texas Wine of the Month: Pedernales Cellars Tempranillo Reserve 2010

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.

Spilling the (Cocoa) Beans

DALLAS — “Texans will smoke anything,” said Scott Moore Jr., a Tejas Chocolate co-founder, explaining why his Papua New Guinea bars are one of his top sellers, to a roomful of hopeful chocolate makers at the annual Dallas Chocolate Festival last month. Another maker had just razzed him for playing up the smoke in his bars, something chocolate connoisseurs consider a defect of the Papua New Guinea bean.

Greased Up at the State Fair of Texas

No time to ease in. It’s 3:30 in the morning. Means we've got three hours to collect the cooking grease that's been used so far at the 2014 Texas State Fair, which, if last year’s numbers hold—attendees spent $37.1 million in food, game, and ride coupons—means there've been hungry hordes hankering for fried goodness. Oil drums of old grease sit in forty locations, two to three drums at each spot.

The Other White Meat

Two hours before go time at the World Championship BBQ Goat Cook-off, in Brady, a fellow judge and I are surveying the cooking rigs. The smell of lighter fluid hangs heavy in the air as we walk past the booth of one contestant, where a nearly raw half carcass is roasting on a spit. “I hope we don’t get that one at our table,” my colleague whispers to me, despairing of the possibility of tasting gas fumes when he bites into his lunch.

Texarkana, on the Rocks

The Sabbath is coming to a close in Bowie County, and in the glow of a lavender late-summer Sunday evening, Pastor Dave Seifert, of Wake Village’s Twin Cities’ Baptist Temple, is watching his flock depart. Almost twenty years ago, Seifert came to this county in the northeast corner of the state to get away from the rest of the world. But the world’s evils have followed him here, and now they’re nipping at the heels of the faithful.

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