Wine

Best wine shops
The Best Wine Shops in Texas

Dec 23, 2019 By Jessica Dupuy

The right retailers can help you find the perfect bargain or blowout bottle. Here are our favorites across the state, along with their recommendations for the season.

Reign of Terroir

Sep 17, 2015 By Jordan Mackay

A decade and a half after I wrote about the poor quality of Texas wines for this magazine, Lone Star vintners are starting to turn heads.

Five Unexpected Wine Finds

Sep 17, 2015 By Jessica Dupuy

Comfort Bending Branch Winery’s Tannat grapes, a dark, inky variety from Southwest France and Uruguay, make for innovative wines with rich fruit concentration and grippy tannin. 2012 Estate Tannat, CM, $60. Del Rio Val Verde Winery, founded in this sleepy border city in 1883, is the state’s…

Drink Like a Texan

Sep 17, 2015 By Texas Monthly

Texans are a thirsty bunch, and our drinks package has everything you need to imbibe like Sam Houston's watching.

You Never Can Tell

Apr 11, 2014 By Patricia Sharpe

The setting and wine list may be sophisticated, but down-to-earth French fare gives Austin’s La V everyday appeal.

And Texas’s Best Sommelier Is…

Aug 13, 2013 By Jessica Dupuy

Following a rigorous competition at the ninth annual TEXSOM conference, Austin sommelier Scott Ota, of Arro restaurant, takes top honors in what has been called a game-changing year for the state's wine industry.

Neal Newsom, Vineyard Owner

Jun 30, 2012 By Texas Monthly

Newsom, who grew up in Yoakum County, took a chance when he decided to grow grapes on the High Plains. Today his vineyard is one of the largest in Texas, serving more than a dozen of the state’s top wineries. My family has been in cotton farming for more than…

Yao Ming Dabbles in Viticulture

Nov 30, 2011 By Sonia Smith

Fresh into his retirement from the Houston Rockets, Yao Ming has taken up viticulture and is hoping his cachet in China will help him sell wine in his home country.

Secrets of the (Texas) Sommeliers

Aug 22, 2011 By Jordan Mackay -- DUPE

(Editor's Note: This guest post about last week's Texas Sommelier Conference comes from San Francisco food, wine and spirits writer Jordan Mackay, a James Beard Award-winning author for his 2010 book with Rajat Parr, "Secrets of the Sommeliers." But we knew him when!) At TEXSOM, if you were not in a suit and tie, you’d have been likely to feel underdressed. But that’s part of the culture at the Texas Sommelier Conference: everyone’s suited up most all the time. Yet, thanks to the fact that they’re tasting wine all day, they’re likely still having more fun than you. And when they’re not drinking wine, they’re drinking coffee. And when they’re not drinking coffee, they’re drinking Campari, which the bartender of the lobby bar in the Four Seasons at Las Colinas, where the convention took place, told me the hotel stocks up on before the conference. The thirsty, wined-out sommeliers likely drink as much of the red Italian aperitif (with soda or in Negronis), he said, as the hotel goes through the rest of the year. (Other preferred non-wine alcoholic beverages included Aperol and Fernet Branca, as well as mezcal.) The bulk of the conference is taken up with education. In-depth wine seminars ran constantly for two days as heavily credentialed experts discoursed from the dais on subjects like “Grenache around the World” and “Red Wines of Burgundy's Cote d'Or” to hundreds sitting quietly in the audience, taking notes and trying not to spill any of the eight glasses of wine they had lined up before them. And all the while this was going on, a crew of masters from the Court of Master Sommeliers, the premier sommelier training and certification organization in the world, was putting 23 young sommeliers through a grueling multi-day examination to determine the winner of the Texas Best Sommelier 2011. The ultimate champion, Bill Elsey, was crowned at TEXSOM’s concluding event, the Grand Tasting, at which dozens of invited wineries and importers poured their wares for all the convention’s attendees. TEXSOM is of particular relevance to me as, when I left Austin and Texas Monthly in 2001 to pursue my own interest in wine outside Texas, there were, to my knowledge, no dedicated sommeliers in Austin. I hardly knew what a sommelier was when I arrived in San Francisco later that year. Yet destiny led me to fall in love with and, in 2006, marry, a sommelier. Last year, I published Secrets of the Sommeliers. These days, as I learned at TEXSOM, Austin has several sommeliers, like the spirited June Rodil (who won Texas Best Sommelier in 2009) of Congress and the affable Mark Sayre of the Four Seasons (2007’s winner). Texas has long been an important place for wine, even if it wasn’t noted for its sommelier community. Rebecca Murphy, who was one of the first members of the modern sommelier profession in Texas, starting in Dallas in 1972, remembers there being no culture of the professional wine steward. “I was working by myself, figuring out how to be a sommelier on the job,” she said. Today Murphy writes periodically on wine for the Dallas Morning News and runs its wine competition

Recovered from SXSW Hangover? Bring on Hill Country Wine and Food

Mar 31, 2011 By Jason Cohen

(Ground beef guru Josh Ozersky, from a 2008 Nightline appearance) Wednesday at approximately 4 p.m., culinary event planner Mike Thelin was driving around Austin in search of hardwood briquettes, trying to fill a last-minute request from one of the many chefs participating in the Texas Hill Country Wine and Food Festival. The 26th edition kicks off tonight with the Stars Across Texas Classic at the Long Center for the Performing Arts. Local talent will be featured at the gala, including Austinites Tyson Cole (Uchi/Uchiko), Shawn Cirkiel (Parkside) and David Bull (Congress), new part-time San Antonioan John Besh (Luke) and current Texas Monthly cover star Tom Perini (Perini Ranch). But Thelin and the festival staff have also wrangled an eclectic out-of-towner A-List for the weekend, including L.A.'s Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo (Animal), Australian chef and cookbook author Andrew Dwyer and several luminaries from his own home base of Portland, Oregon.

CD and Book Reviews

Jun 30, 1997 By Texas Monthly

Hot CDs The real pleasure in Toni Price’s Sol Power (Antone’s/Discovery/Sire) is trying to peg her as country, blues, or folk. Whether she’s singing something silly and simple, such as “Cats and Dogs,” or taking the sultry and sublime route, as when she covers Allen Toussaint’s “Funky,” the Austinite offers…

Drinking

Mar 1, 1982 By John Graves

Saint Paul said that a little wine is a fine thing. He must have known something.