Who Likes It: Matthew Pridgen, General manager of Underbelly, in Houston
“I’m a fifth-generation Texan that grew up around the agriculture business in East Texas,” says Pridgen. “I found a passion for wine while attending college in Houston, and have been in the restaurant business ever since. I’ve always had a healthy respect for the farming business, and so does Underbelly’s chef, Chris Shepherd. He’s allowed me to focus our wine list on small producers that have a strong connection to the land and vines they tend.”
Yellow City Cellars, Dead Flowers Rose, High Plains, 2014
“Bo Salling set out to make a rosé, and only a rosé, so this is not a by-product of red wine production,” says Pridgen. “The blend consists of quite a few grapes—Cinsault and Mourvèdre make up the bulk of the blend, but it also includes Grenache, Syrah and a handful of other red and white varietals.”
Why You Like It:
“I’m a sucker for French wine and love the rosés from southern France. With its subtle red and stone fruit notes, light minerality, and mouthwatering acidity, this wine reminds me of some of the wonderful blends from Provence,” says Pridgen.
“This rosé, like most, is incredibly versatile with food. I love it with the house-cured charcuterie, as well as the grilled cantaloupe and smoked beef carpaccio at Underbelly. It also pairs wonderfully with a nice porch, good friends, and a great Texas sunset,” says Pridgen.
On Down the Road:
“Texas wine has come a long way in a relatively short amount of time,” says Pridgen. “I think with the increasing quality and variety of wines produced, Texas wine is perched to have an ever increasing place at tables across the country.”
Note from the Winemaker: Bo Salling,Yellow City Cellars
Salling worked as a winery assistant for Lubbock’s Kim McPherson of McPherson Cellars when Kim was head winemaker for CapRock winery. Now Salling, who is in wine sales, has been able to realize his own dream of making a wine of his own. In 2012 he was able to source enough grapes to make Dead Flowers Rosé.
“For a long time, Kim McPherson has made wines with Mediterranean grapes like Cinsault and Mourvèdre, which are known in France for making beautiful rosé wines, ” says Salling. “I wanted to take on the challenge of making a pink wine in Texas that would blow peoples’ minds. Just like one you’d find in southern France. Once I was able to source the fruit and work with Kim to make the wine, I was focused on releasing a wine that was elegant, dry and lean. My hope is that we can get wines like this outside of the state borders to show the rest of the country that Texas can make some serious wines.”
Select retail stores across the state.