Who Likes It: Nathan Fausti, Sommelier at Bullfight, in Austin
Fausti began his career at restaurants when he was a teenager, starting out as a dishwasher before eventually moving up to become a sommelier. Fond of the hard work and fast pace, he found particular satisfaction in the customer service aspect, a skill that earned him the title of Best Sommelier from the 11th Annual TEXSOM conference in August—the seventh Austinite to land the top honor. He is now a sommelier at Bullfight, a Spanish-inspired concept in Austin headed up by celebrated Chef Shawn Cirkiel.
This wine is composed of Cinsault (60%), Carignan (32%), and Viognier (8%), “a blend of three heat loving varietals traditionally found in the south of France that are perfectly suited to Texas,” says Fausti. “Cinsault provides the rich, fruit-driven backbone; Carignan adds tannin and a floral, smoky complexity; while Viognier offers a beautiful tropical fruit character on the nose and textural richness on the palate.”
Why He Likes It:
“The aromatics on this wine are alluring, with a richness of fruit and earth that begs for the grill, Tex-Mex food, and a football game,” says Fausti.
“McPherson’s Tre Colore pairs well with the duck meatballs we serve at Bullfight. The texture and tropical fruit of the wine play harmoniously with the hints of orange and chili flake in our tomato sauce,” says Fausti. “The smoke and fruit tones will balance with grilled Texas quail or pork, or any sort of barbecue, and you’ll hit a home run with tacos al pastor.”
On Down the Road:
“The Texas wine market is on the verge of breaking through to the world,” says Fausti. “The two largest factors are production levels and commercial exposure. For many years, our wineries struggled with producing enough grapes to make distribution outside of Texas economically viable. Today we’re seeing more land being converted to grape growing and a shift towards planting late-budding and heat-loving varietals that avoid the spring hail and take advantage of our sunny climate. This movement is tipping the balance in favor of distribution to the coastal markets. I fully expect this exposure to drive an influx of investment and tourism into our wine economy in the coming years. My best advice for restaurants and hotels both domestic and abroad is to catch the wave and snap up Texas wines as soon as they hit your market. The demand will far outweigh the supply.”
Retail stores throughout the state.