Tag Archive | "Dry Comal Creek Vineyards"

Dry Comal Creek’s ‘(Re) Judgment of Paris’ Relives Famous Tasting

NEW BRAUNFELS — It has been called the event that democratized wine around the world. It inspired a best-selling book and a Hollywood movie. It turned little-known winemakers and wineries into superstars.
And now, Dry Comal Creek Vineyards is recreating that moment, as part of its Winery U wine education program.
On Saturday, May 10, the winery will sponsor “Bottle Shock:  “(Re) Judgment of Paris,” in commemoration of the Judgment of Paris wine competition that changed the world in May 1976.
Anyone who registers for the May Winery U session will be included on the distinguished panel of judges, which also will feature a number of guest judges from the wine world. The event begins at 10:30 a.m. at the winery, which is located at 1741 Herbelin Road, just outside New Braunfels.
Red_wine_closeup_in_glassThe original competition matched California and French Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon wines, judged by a panel of French experts. The tasting was “blind,” so the judges did not know which wines they were evaluating.
When the votes were tabulated, California wines won both categories.
The lone journalist at the competition was Time magazine Paris correspondent George Taber, whose report in the June 1976 edition of the magazine helped launch a wine revolution that continues today.
“The Paris Tasting destroyed the myth of French supremacy and marked the democratization of the wine world,” noted wine critic Robert Parker wrote in 2001. “It was a watershed in the history of wine.”
Robert Mondavi, the man credited with leading the growth of California wines in the 1960s and ‘70s, said the competition put California “squarely on the world map of great wine-producing regions.”
Taber’s popular book, “Judgment of Paris: California vs. France and the Historic 1976 Paris Tasting that Revolutionized Wine,” details the story, and the tasting was the basis for the 2008 movie “Bottle Shock.”
The (Re)Judgment of Paris will feature a turn-back-the-clock atmosphere and incorporate as many of the details of the original event as possible, including pouring some of the wines from the original producers.
Per person cost is $30. Join the fun and register online here.
From David King, CWE, Dry Comal Creek Vineyards

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Dry Comal Creek Vineyards: 4 New Classes at Winery U, 2014

NEW BRAUNFELS – Among the dozens of questions to be answered this ywhite wine2ear in Dry Comal Creek Vineyards’ Winery U, perhaps the oddest will be “Can I really buy this at the drug store?”

Others will include “Do we really have to guess what this is?”, “Can I really grow winemaking grapes in Houston?” and “Will there be wine tasting once you quit talking?”

In the grand tradition of Winery U, every question will get some kind of answer as part of the longest-running wine education program in the Texas Hill Country. The program, which is entering its sixth year, has a new lineup for 2014 that includes four all-new classes and revisions to old favorites.

The classes, 12 in all, are held on Saturdays at the winery, which is located just outside New Braunfels. Winery U is led by David King, who holds a Certified Specialist of Wine certificate from the Society for Wine Educators.

Dry Comal Creek Vineyards

Dry Comal Creek Vineyards

The new sessions for 2014 are:

“Wine on a Budget,” tips and tricks for finding the best bottles at unlikely locations, from the neighborhood convenience store to the big-box retailer. Scheduled for February.

“Bottle Shock,” a twist on the famous Judgment of Paris wine tasting that shocked the world in 1976, retold in the movie “Bottle Shock.” Scheduled for May.

“Wine and Cheese,” a guide to some of the world’s notable cheeses and ways to pair them with wines from around the corner and around the globe. Scheduled for October.

“Port, Sherry and other Fortified Wines” a look into the tradition-laden universe of fortified wines from Spain and Portugal. Scheduled for November.

Registration is available online at, or by visiting the Dry Comal Creek Vineyards tasting room at 1741 Herbelin Road. Classes are $30 per person per class, or $25 per person per class if bought for four or more at once. All sessions include discussion and wine tastings, as well as a class handout and other educational materials.

Here is the complete schedule for 2014:

Wine tasting at Dry Comal Creek Vineyards

Wine tasting at Dry Comal Creek Vineyards

Jan. 11: Introduction to Wine

Feb. 8: Wine on a Budget

March 8: Texas Wines

April 12: Sensory Evaluation

May 10: Bottle Shock

June 14: Food and Wine

July 12: Growing Grapes and Making Wine

Aug. 16: The Black Spanish Grape

Sept. 11: Sparkling Wines

Oct. 13: Wine and Cheese

Nov. 8: Port, Sherry and Other Fortified Wines

Dec. 13: Cabernet Sauvignon

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On the Wine Trail: Chisholm Trail, Becker, Dry Comal Creek Plan Events

The hustle of the holiday season is over, but that doesn’t mean you have to stay home. Several Hill Country wineries are offering events to tempt your taste buds.

Jazz at Chisholm Trail

Chisholm Trail Winery,  2367 Usener Road, Fredericksburg, is offering two events in January.  On Jan. 14, the winery will hold its annual Jazz in January event. The George Eychner Quartet will perform from 2 to 5 p.m. Listen to the smooth jazz while having some wine and lunch from the winery’s restaurant, the Oval Oven, featuring wood-fired gourmet pizza.

On Jan. 21, Chisholm Trail will be part of the Wine Road 290 Port and Pairings Event. Complimentary samples of Bourbon Orange Pecan Pie from the Fredericksburg Pie Company will be paired with the winery’s Port-style dessert wine, Almagres. The Oval Oven will also be open during normal winery hours.

For more information on Chisholm Trail, click here or call 830-990-2675. For more on the Wine Road 290 schedule, click here.

Winery U at Dry Comal Creek

The fourth annual Winery U at Dry Comal Creek Vineyards, 1741 Herbelin Road, New Braunfels, begins Jan. 14.

Sessions are held once a month on Saturday mornings, with each class focusing on a different aspect of wine “in as non-pretentious a way as allowed by law,” says instructor David King, who holds the Certified Specialist of Wine certificate from the Society of Wine Educators.  “We keep it fun and entertaining, because when you come right down to it, wine should be fun and entertaining. I talk for a while, and then we taste wine. Or in the case of the Food and Wine Pairings class, I talk very little and we eat and drink at lot.”

Here’s the lineup for the 2012 classes, subject to the water rising in the Dry Comal Creek:

  • Jan. 14: Introduction to Wine
  • Feb. 11: Texas Wines
  • March 13: Decoding the Wine Label
  • April 7: Growing Grapes and Making Wine
  • May 19: Wines of France
  • June 9: The Black Spanish Grape
  • July 21: Sensory Evaluation
  • Aug. 18: Wines of Spain and Italy
  • Sept. 15: Sauvignon Blanc
  • Oct. 20: Food and Wine Pairings
  • Nov. 10: Wines of the Southern Hemisphere
  • Dec. 8: Cabernet Sauvignon

Classes are $30 each, or $25 if four or more are purchased at once. For information and registration, click here.

Hill Top hosts Becker dinner

Hill Top Cafe, 10661 U.S. Highway 87, Fredericksburg, is hosting Richard and Bunny Becker at a dinner featuring a collection of Becker Vineyards wines from the Tallent vineyard and from Mason County. The dinner begins at 5 p.m. Jan. 29.

Reception wines include the 2011 Provençal and 2010 Reserve Grenache, followed by a first course of  Moroccan Red Lentil and Lamb Bessara with the 2010 Raven. Winter Salad with Bartlett Pears, Prosciutto and Fresh Texas Goat Cheese will be paired with the 2010 Albariño, followed by  Steamed Gulf Prawns with Sweet Ginger, Curry and Scallions and the 2011 Pinot Grigio.  Braised Texas Dry-aged Beef Short Ribs in Puff Pastry with Winter Vegetables and the 2009 Raven will be served before a dessert of El Rey Dark Chocolate Hazelnut Cake with Chantilly Cream and Becker Vineyards’ 2010 Vintage Port.

The cost is $75 a person plus tax and tip. Call 830-997-8922 or email


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The Beauty of Sauvignon Blanc at Dry Comal Creek Winery

A flavorful white wine, Sauvignon Blanc can taste many different ways depending how the grapes were grown and how the wine was made.

Sauvignon Blanc is a white wine with a character all its own.

For more information and to taste samples of this wine, come to Winery U at Dry Comal Creek Vineyards & Winery this Saturday.  Participants will receive course materials, additional informational materials, a Winery U diploma, and possible surprises.  Preregistration is required and the class is limited to 30 participants.

Saturday (Sept. 11), 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., $30 ($25 if registered for all 4 classes in the series)
Dry Comal Creek Vineyards and Winery
1741 Herbelin Road, New Braunfels

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Dungeness Crab At Dry Comal Creek A Great Pick

It’s crab-picking time again at Dry Comal Creek Vineyards. The annual Crab Pick Dinner will be at 6:30 p.m.  Oct. 24 at the vineyards in New Braunfels.  They’ll provide the mallets, crackers, picks and bibs, and more importantly, the three-pound Dungeness crab flown in fresh from the Pacific Northwest.  A full menu of side dishes and accompaniments also will be served.

The meal will be paired with Dry Comal Creek Vineyards Texas-style wines.

Purchase your reserved seats online, but do it soon — only 60 seats are available and this event always sells out. Pre-registration is required.  The cost is $85 per person or $160 per couple, plus tax.

To reserve seats online, get more information and directions to the winery, go to

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Wondering About Wine? GoTexan WineCasts Can Help

winecast-screenshot-2009-06-09The Texas Department of Agriculture wants you to know more about wine.

To that end, it has produced a six-video series featuring some of the state’s winemakers and vineyard owners discussing grape varieties and wine styles. The series can be found at or at the GO TEXAN YouTube channel (click here).

In the introduction, Susan Auler of Fall Creek Vineyards in Tow discusses the growth and history of the Texas wine industry with Tanji Patton.

In the second clip, Pat Brennan of Brennan Vineyards in Comanche details the rise of viognier (vee-ohn-yay) as one of the white grapes proving especially suited to Texas soils. Viognier displays peach, apricot, honey and citrus characteristics, and it can be paired with a variety of foods.

Kim McPherson of McPherson Vineyards in Lubbock talks about the success Texas winemakers have had with sangiovese in the third installment. This light-bodied Italian varietal goes well with pork, spicy fish dishes and cheeses.

Jim Johnson of Alamosa Wine Cellars in Bend discusses the Spanish varietal tempranillo, which loves hot climates like those found across Texas. In the fourth video, he talks about pairing the hearty red wine with leg of lamb.

Franklin Houser of Dry Comal Creek in New Braunfels showcases Black Spanish in the fifth piece. This varietal is proving to be resistant to disease, heat and humidity, making it an appealing option for grape growers and winemakers alike.

In the final video, Merrill Bonarrigo of Messina Hof in Bryan discusses port-style wines and other dessert wines that Texas is producing.

These videos are great introductions. Now, take that information and apply it to your tastings.

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