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Texas Wine of the Month: Wedding Oak Winery Bridal Veil, 2012

This month’s pick comes from a relatively new winery located up in San Saba that’s proving this sleepy little ranching town is more than just “The Pecan Capital of the World.”

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The Wine: 
Wedding Oak Winery Bridal Veil, 2012

Who Likes It: 
Mary Stanley is the owner of The Turtle Restaurant, Gelateria and Enoteca in Brownwood, Texas. Stanley has traveled extensively through Europe, and over the past eleven years, she’s taken the hospitality knowledge she’s learned and applied it toward a collection of boutique eateries in this small Texas town. Her approach to food is seasonally driven, with a wide variety of global influences-including Italian house-made pastas to rich homemade Thai curries. Stanley is also well versed in the world of wine and offers a lengthy list of twenty wines by the glass featuring a wide variety of grapes and winemaking regions at mid-range prices.  

The Grapes: Trebbiano and Vermentino
Trebbiano (also known as Ugni Blanc in France) is originally from Italy and is the second-most widely planted grape in the world producing great yields, bright acidity, and fresh, fruity characteristics in wine. On its own, it tends to produce one-note wines and is often used to blend with other grapes.

Vermentino’s home is in the warm, sunny Italian region of Sardinia and offers an abundance of fresh citrus, floral, and herbaceous characteristics in wine. Both grapes grow well in Texas and are fast in gaining attention among Texas winemakers as white grapes to regard as top producers, along with Viognier and Roussanne. 

Why She Likes It: 
“We’ve been impressed with the quality of wines from Wedding Oak Winery, especially for being a new operation. And the fact that they are using Vermentino and Trebbiano shows they are focusing on grapes that are more appropriate for Texas’ climate. The Bridal Veil is a crisp blend of Trebbiano and Vermentino.”

Suggested Pairings:  
Almost any pesto and pasta dish goes well with this wine, as well as savory fish dishes or vegetarian dishes like roasted leeks and eggplant. 

On Down the Road: 
“To be a leader in a market place you can’t be a copycat. You have to find your own voice and project it with confidence,” Stanley said. “I think Texas needs to develop its own style, which takes time, experimentation, and even some failures. We will never be Rioja or Napa Valley, but we can become something equally unique, special and renowned. Texas is now attracting the attention and talent that can get us to that point.”

A smart critique from Stanely is that Texas needs to exercise patience with aging. “I know that there are economic imperatives that dictate having to release young wines and for restaurants to sell them immediately, but it’s extremely unfortunate to not let many of these wines age the way they should. For example, I recently stumbled on a case of Sangiovese I had stashed away six years ago from Barking Rocks Winery in Granbury. Back then, I thought the wine was just ok. But when I opened one of the bottles from this case that had just been aging for a few years, I was amazed at the beauty age brought to this wine. It was velvety and round in my mouth, tomatoey with cherries and herbs. It was just delicious and worldly.” 

Winemaker Notes: Penny Adams 
Trebbiano and Vermentino are the white knights of Italy and when blended, enhance the bright acidity and floral aromas of the other. To date both Muscat and Viognier have tried to make it as the top Texas white grape varietal. But despite the many styles of Viognier produced, there are many consumers who just don’t like its character and Muscat is usually produced in a sweet style that not everyone likes. Texans seem to be looking for a dry white wine to pair with seasonal gulf seafood and the heat of our Texas summers. And this is just that wine.

Availability:
At the winery and some restaurants. 

Price:
About $20

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