October is Texas Wine Month. Besides activities around the state, why not have your own little celebration at home, by pairing a Texas wine with a recipe from a Texas restaurant. Or, learn more about pairing at Fall Creek Vineyards wine seminar by Jane Nickles, noted wine-class instructor at the Texas Culinary Academy. The seminar is Saturday, October 20, from noon to 1:30, entitled “Lunch and Learn. ” Cost is $30 per person all-inclusive, with three wines. Reservations are required: 325-379-5361.
And for do-it-yourselfers, here’s a Texas-centric recipe with a Texas wine pairing. Salud!

Axis Deer with Warm Lavender Marinade and Honey Drizzle
August E’s, Fredericksburg
By Executive Chef Leu Savanh

Pair with Fall Creek Vineyards’ 2004 Meritus


1 cup of dry white wine
1 medium shallot, minced
1 heaping teaspoon of culinary lavender
3 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil


1 pound of Axis deer loin or
1.5 pounds of Axis deer rack
Kosher salt to taste
Freshly ground black pepper
Extra-virgin olive oil

Drizzle of raw honey (garnish)

To prepare warm marinade, heat sauté pan, add olive oil and shallots and sauté until translucent. Add lavender and wine and heat over medium-high heat until bubbly.

In a glass dish, pour the warm marinade over your chosen cut of Axis deer venison. Let stand for 15 minutes, turning once.

Next heat sauté pan over medium-high heat, and add olive oil and then butter. Pan-sear the meat, turning occasionally until it reaches desired temperature. (Restaurant recommends medium-rare to medium, 7- 10 minutes.)

Remove from pan and place on serving platter, garnishing with a honey drizzle and herbs. Let rest at five to ten minutes before slicing, to let juices reabsorb.

Serve with vegetable and starch. (Goes well with pan-sautéed grapes and wild rice.) Pair with Fall Creek Vineyards’ 2004 Meritus. Serves 4.

Notes: LLL Lavender Farms and Becker Vineyards (located in Fredericksburg) both grow culinary lavender. Broken Arrow Ranch in Ingram sells online the Axis deer used at August E’s. This recipe also works well with lamb or wild boar. (Final note: Recipe comes directly from August E’s. It has not been tested by Texas Monthly.)