HAPPY TRAIL TO YOU Do something different for Valentine’s Day: Nibble and tipple your way across Central Texas on the fourth annual Hill Country Wine Lovers’ Trail. Fourteen of the area’s wineries have joined together to offer a variety of wine-and-food tastings, lunches, and dinners for Valentine’s weekend, February 14 through 16. At the Chisholm Trail Winery, outside Fredericksburg, for instance, husband-and-wife owners Harry Skeins, Jr., and Paula Williamson are pouring a variety of wines that represent the combined fruits of their labor—he grows the grapes, she makes the wine (she is one of seven women winemakers in the state). A special tasting will pair her dry Chenin Blanc with complimentary oysters and smoked salmon (all wines are $1 to $2 per sample). On Saturday evening the winery will host a candlelit dinner featuring four wines; the main course will match pork tenderloin with a 2000 Merlot ($85 per person, reservations required). Other vineyards are offering various vintages with cheeses, assorted antipasti, sausages, or desserts—especially chocolate. At some locations, local artisans will sell their wares, adding to the festivities. Incidentally, The Wine Roads of Texas, by Austinite Wes Marshall (Maverick Publishing, $18.95), makes a handy travel guide. For more information, go to texaswinetrail.com or call 830-868-2321. One last thing: Don’t forget to have a designated driver.
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