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Texas Wines Bring Home the Medals


It’s been a good year for Texas wines. The burgeoning wine industry has claimed a growing number of medals in state, regional and international wine competitions. The list includes some well-established wineries, such as Becker Vineyards and McPherson Cellars, as well as some up-and-coming names on the scene: Sunset Vineyards and Georgetown Winery.

The following is not a complete list of award-winners, but a sampling of some of the wines that have taken top honors at various competitions.

  • Becker Vineyards 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve, Wilmeth Vineyard – Best of Show Red Wine (San Antonio Wine Festival)
  • Becker Vineyards 2008 Fleur Sauvage – Class Champion and Texas Class Champion (Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo International Wine Competition)
  • Becker Vineyards 2008 Barbera, Peter’s Prairie Vineyard – Texas Grand Star (Lone Star International Wine Competition)
  • Becker Vineyards 2009 Clementine Late Harvest Viognier, Bingham Family Vineyards – Texas Grand Star (Lone Star International Wine Competition)
  • Flat Creek Estate Mistella NV – Top Texas Wine and Texas Class Champion (Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo International Wine Competition)
  • Georgetown Winery Lone Star Frost NV – Grand Star (Lone Star International Wine Competition)
  • Grape Creek Vineyards 2007 Serendipity – Texas Class Champion (Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo International Wine Competition)
  • Grape Creek Vineyards 2009 Viognier, Lost Draw Vineyards – Texas Grand Star (Lone Star International Wine Competition)
  • McPherson Cellars 2009 Rosé of Syrah – Grand Star (Lone Star International Wine Competition)
  • McPherson Cellars – Reserve Class Champion (Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo International Wine Competition)
  • Messina Hof Winery – Best of Herd Award (San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo)
  • Messina Hof 2005 Papa Paulo Port Private Reserve – Texas Grand Star (Lone Star International Wine Competition)
  • Messina Hof Winery 2008 Chenin Blanc – People’s Choice Grand Champion White Wine (San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo)
  • Sunset Winery 2005 “Vintner’s Select” Orange Muscat, Newsom Vineyard – Texas Class Champion (Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo International Wine Competition)

Some of these wines are found only at the winery or on the wineries’ websites, but others can be found in wine shops. For a complete list of award-winners, click here.

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A Chance to Sip, Savor and Hoist That Umbrella


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Intermittent showers couldn’t dampen spirits Sunday at Sip, Savor & Shop, the opening event of the 10th anniversary of the New World Wine & Food Festival.

NWWFF-SipShop6Guests strolled through the new section of the Shops at La Cantera where fashion shows, food and fine wines were served up while the stores offered discounts and makeovers.

Wines ranged from Domaine de la Gardine and Franciscan Magnificat to Texas’ best from Becker Vineyards, Llano Estacado and Messina Hof. Restaurants and caterers, including Kona Grill, Grimaldi’s, Mariposa at Nieman Marcus, El Papalote, Così and the RK Group, served up a host of dishes including tacos norteños,  tuna tartare, bacon-wrapped chicken bites and pizza.

Towards the end of one shower, a rainbow arched briefly over the Shops at La Cantera, and the sight of it made the raindrops inconsequential.

NWWFF-SipShop2SavorSA was also on hand offering tastes of holiday Cran-Raspberry Sauce (for the recipe, click here), an easy-to-make relish that’s great with Thanksgiving turkey or poured on top of ice cream. As the afternoon progressed, more ideas on how to make and serve the sauce evolved. Pour it over cream cheese or alongside baked Brie for an easy appetizer. Serve it with pork tenderloin, pork chops or roast chicken. Add jalapeños or serranos for a kick, or stir in pecan pieces for a welcome textural addition.

The New World Wine & Food Festival continues at 7 p.m. Tuesday with Burgers & Beer at Bin 555. For a full schedule, click here.

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