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Texas Food and Wine — What a Sensational Pair


Chef Kelly Casey (with pastry bag) of Hudson's on the Bend in Austin plates her dinners.

It wasn’t about the prosciutto-wrapped quail, so juicy and tender with each bite. It wasn’t about the cocoa powder and raspberry flavors that mingled so beautifully in each sip of the Inwood Estates Tempranillo-Cabernet blend.

It was, however, about how the lush red fruit flavors of the 2007 Fall Creek Meritus joined with slices of Texas beef tenderloin marinated in coffee and chipotle to reach new  gustatory heights.

That was the point of the first Edible Texas Wine-Food Match, held Friday at the AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center in Austin.

Five chefs, narrowed down from a field of more than 35, were competing to see who could make the most successful pairings of Texas ingredients with Texas wines.

It was clear to both the celebrity judges’ panel and to the audience who did that best: David Garrido of Garrido’s in Austin.

Susan Auler (left) of Fall Creek Vineyards and celebrity chef Jacques Pépin enjoy the Edible Texas Wine-Food Match.

The chef, who once worked for Bruce Auden at the original Biga, took home the $5,000 grand prize as well as the People’s Choice Award. The centerpiece of his meal was the already-mentioned beef tenderloin with the Meritus,  but he also presented a crispy oyster with habanero-honey aïoli partnered with the Fall Creek Vineyards Chenin Blanc 2010 and a pastel de calabaza, or zucchini cake, with lemon crema and spicy caramelized pecans served with the Sister Creek Muscat Canelli 2010.

Patrick James “P.J.” Edwards of San Antonio’s Bin 555 won a second place commendation from the judges for his meal, which started with a crudo of Gulf Coast group with cured Poteet strawberries and Becker Vineyards Provençal Rosé 2009. It was followed by roasted lamb loin with herb-glazed turnips and porcini-raspberry soil, which was presented with the Becker Vineyards Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2009. A Grapefruit “Dreamsicle” with vanilla semifreddo and the Becker Vineyards Clementine 2010 rounded out his meal.

Organizer Marla Camp

Other chefs in the competition included Peter Smith of the JW Marriott in San Antonio as well as Kelly Casey of Hudson’s on the Bend in Austin and Josh Raymer of Navajo Grill in Fredericksburg. Each presented small plate versions of his or her entire menu to the crowd.

Chef Josh Raymer of Navajo Grill's Prosciutto-Wrapped Quail alongisde a Fredericksburg Market Salad with Pickled Peaches.

The local ingredients included a number of treasures worth seeking out at farmers markets as well as grocery stores: Pure Luck cheeses, Round Rock Honey, quail from Diamond H and Texas Quail farms, Shiner Bock, Broken Arrow Ranch Venison, Bluebonnet Hydroponics lettuces, and Texas olive oil. Alongside Casey’s blue cheese cheesecake were figs from her own trees.

Other Texas wines poured included Messina Hof’s Riesling and Riesling “Angel,” Perrisos Viognier and Petite Sirah, Stone House Scheming Beagle Port, and Flat Creek Muscato, Estate Syrah and Port.

Kelly Casey's Hopelessly Blue Cheesecake with her homegrown figs.

The judges included celebrity chefs Jacques Pépin and John Besh as well as Mozzarella Company found Paula Lambert, François Dionot of L’Academie de Cuisine and Michael Bauer of the San Francisco Chronicle.

Proceeds from the evening, planned by Marla camp of Edible Austin and Terry Thompson-Anderson of the Texas Food and Wine Gourmet, will benefit the not-for-profit Texas Center for Wine and Culinary Arts, which is being planned for Fredericksburg. The goal is to raise all of the money needed to operate the center before it opens in October 2013.

 

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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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Want a Great Wine? Check Out the KLRN Winners


Wine lovers, it’s time to stock your cellars. The winners of this year’s KLRN Wine Competition have been announced.

This year, the best in show winners went to a robust Texas red and an icewine made with the uncommon grape Vidal. The champions are the Becker Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve Wilmeth Vineyard 2007 and the Jackson Triggs Vidal Ice Proprietor’s Reserve 2007.

The judges sampled more than 500 wines and awarded about 300 gold, silver and bronze medals. The wines were from all over the world, from Spain and Italy to Canada and Australia.

In the end, medals went to a host of well-known wineries, including Trinchero, Sutter Home, Rodney Strong, Franciscan, Banfi and Marques de Riscal.

In addition to Becker Vineyards, Texas wineries to win medals include Brennan Vineyards, Dry Comal Creek, Flat Creek Estate, Grape Creek, Haak, Kiepersol Estates, Llano Estacado, McPherson Cellars, Mandola, Messina Hof, Pillar Bluff, Singing Water, Sister Creek, Texas Hills Vineyard and Water 2 Wine.

For a complete list, click on the PDF link below.

KLRN Wine Competiton – 2010 Medalits

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