With Thanksgiving a few days away, finding the perfect wine to serve during dinner can be time consuming for anyone. Whether you are looking for a full-bodied red to serve during your dinner, or a rich white wine to pair with appetizers and desserts, Texas wines have so much to offer.
Here are 10 Texas wines you should look for at your local grocery store that will pair well with your holiday dinner:
2018 Haak Vineyards Ensaio BDB dry, $19
Haak Vineyards provides a refreshing wine to help kick off your Thanksgiving. Filled with rich melon and pineapple notes, Ensaio has a rich finish to help you enjoy the day cooking, munching on smooth cheeses or citrusy desserts. You can learn more about this wine at haakwine.com.
2019 Calais Winery Cuvee du Rocher Reserve, $36
Like most sauvignon blancs, this light-bodied wine offers prominent citrusy aromatics yet it is elevated and finished with ripe pear, apricot and gooseberry notes. Pair this buttery sauvignon blanc with herb-filled sides, such as stuffing and soft cheese appetizers or an apple pie to finish off your Thanksgiving dinner. You can learn more about this wine at calaiswinery.com.
2018 Brennan Vineyards Roussanne, $18
This roussanne is the perfect wine to pair at your table with hearty root vegetables and roasted turkey or ham. The wine offers notes of gala apples, papaya, dry mango and key lime for a crisp and sturdy finish. You can learn more about this wine at brennanvineyards.com.
2018 Duchman Family Winery Vermentino, $26
With so many new normals in 2020, you might want to switch up your Thanksgiving dinner by adding some seafood options. If you are looking for a wine pairing to suit your needs or to add flavor to any herb-filled dish, try this award winning vermentino. You can learn more about this wine at duchmanwinery.com.
2019 Landon Winery Viognier, $20
No holiday meal is complete without dessert. If you are in search of a light-bodied wine to pair with your fruit tarts and pies, this Viognier will do any dessert justice. With a peach, melon, wet stone and citrus flavors, finish off your Thanksgiving dinner with this creamy wine. You can learn more about this wine at landonwinery.com.
2017 Bending Branch Winery Cabernet Sauvignon, $50
This 2017 vintage of cabernet sauvignon has tasting notes of vanilla, red currant, black plum, leather, copper, figs, cinnamon, black pepper and warm herbs to fill the palate with a rich, intense finish. You can pair this cabernet sauvignon with red meats and sides with heavy herb influences. You can learn more about this wine at bendingbranchwinery.com.
2017 Pedernales Cellars TX Malbec, $40
It doesn't feel like a holiday dinner without a perfect Malbec to pair it with. With notes of plum, black cherry, currants, violets, earth and rosemary, this award winning Malbec by Pedernales Cellars can be a lovely pair for roasted meats and light cheese appetizers. You can learn more about this wine at pedernalescellars.com.
2017 Kuhlman Cellars Zinfandel, $34
The savory characteristics of this zinfandel will pair perfectly with your Thanksgiving Turkey, and any other lighter meats at your dinner table. If you are a fan of lighter-bodied wines, this zinfandel will provide notes of roasted berries, dried cranberry and black tea leaves. You can learn more about this wine at kuhlmancellars.com.
2013 Bending Branch Winery Tannat EM, $45
Bending Branch Winery
Amplify the rich taste of any holiday meal with this Texas tannat. Your savory dinner options, such as roasted meats and salty entrees, will happily pair with the acidity and notes of cola, spearmint, cedar and violets with this tannat. You can learn more about this wine at bendingbranchwinery.com.
2017 Kuhlman Cellars Reserve Merlot, $38
Looking for a Merlot to pair well with with a holiday roast? This classic French merlot is filled with rich aromas and significant notes of fresh figs and plums. Pair this wine with all of your favorite holiday meats such as ham, turkey or hearty sides. You can learn more about this wine at kuhlmancellars.com.
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Austin chefs were well-represented at the James Beard Foundation Awards on Monday night as two local restaurateurs took home the coveted award—more than any other Texas city.
Chef Iliana de la Vega of El Naranjo, 2717 S. Lamar Blvd., took home the title of Best Chef Texas and chef Edgar Rico of Nixta Taqueria, 2512 E. 12th St., took home Best Emerging Chef at the Lyric Opera of Chicago.
Nearby, Houston’s Julep was recognized for Outstanding Bar Program as the only other Lone Star State mention. The award has often been compared to high-caliber awards like the Oscars or the Grammys of food.
De la Vega told Austonia she wasn’t expecting to win—she hadn’t even prepared a speech—she was just happy for a weekend vacation with her husband and business partner Ernesto Torrealba. De la Vega said she considers it a joint award for the two of them.
“It was a little bit shocking, emotional, a little bit of everything. When we had to move from Mexico to here, I thought at some point, you know, it has to have a meaning,” de la Vega said. “We finally came to be recognized for the love and the sharing of the traditions from Mexico that we feel very proud of.”
De la Vega said when she originally started El Naranjo in Oaxaca, Mexico, in 1997, it was the “perfect place, the perfect life and the perfect everything.” After the economy collapsed, de la Vega and her family had to move to the U.S.
They bounced from New Mexico to San Antonio, when she was asked to create and lead the Latin American Studies program for the Culinary Institute of America, which she accepted. Soon after, they moved to Austin and started a food truck for their lost restaurant in Oaxaca before they were able to build a brick-and-mortar shop in 2012. The rest is history.
De la Vega said she was proud to share the stage with Rico and represent her native cuisine, she just hopes she can live up to the hype of newcomers.
“To recognize Mexican cooking as one of the best cuisines in the world, I think it's huge,” De la Vega said. “Maybe there will be new people coming in that didn't even know that we existed and they may have bigger expectations so (I’m trying to) live up to the challenge right now.”
Rico echoed de la Vega’s pride in his emotional acceptance speech, mentioning it's huge for "La Raza," which directly translates to "the race."
“This is huge for la raza, this is huge for my people. For all the taqueros, anything is possible.”—Edgar Rico of Nixta Taqueria, 2022 #jbfa Emerging Chef winner, sponsored by @SanPellegrino. pic.twitter.com/9K831GqM0T
— James Beard Foundation (@beardfoundation) June 13, 2022
“Honest to god I did not expect to win this award tonight, but it’s been a trial to get here,” Rico said. “This is huge for La Raza, this is huge for my people. For all the taqueros, anything is possible.”
Dust from the Saharan Air Layer took a trip over the Atlantic Ocean and into Austin's skies Tuesday, causing a hazy sunset and air quality that was labeled "Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups" by the National Weather Service.
The African desert's dust takes a trip across the Atlantic every three to five days in late spring, summer and early fall and tends to hit Central Texas most from mid-June to late August.
Did you notice the hazy skies today? This was attributed to Saharan Dust that has made it into the region. Here is a comparison of tonight's hazy sunset versus two nights ago before the dust arrived. The dust is forecast to impact the region through Friday. pic.twitter.com/tmj4VwQbOU
— NWS Austin/San Antonio (@NWSSanAntonio) June 14, 2022
Other than creating vivid sunsets, the dry Saharan air can make the sky appear milky white at midday. Just one dust cloud can be as large as the United States—and each cloud can help prevent tropical cyclones from occurring in the humid ocean air.
Those who are most sensitive to changes in air quality—including the elderly, young children and those with respiratory conditions—should limit their time outside as dust levels peak in the Austin skies Thursday.
And while the dust can cause a sore throat or itchy eyes, Saharan dust is an irritant that cannot be alleviated with allergy medications.
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