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Photo by J. Griffis Smith Driving to Fredericksburg from the east on US 290, it’s easy to notice that spring adores the Hill Country: This oak-studded landscape is a hot spot for wildflowers—bluebonnets, firewheels, black-eyed Susans, and others color the vistas like a painting come to life, while roadside stands open in anticipation of peaches, tomatoes, blackberries, and other seasonal bounty coming to market.

Published in FOOD & DRINK

Looking ahead to spring, the Austin FOOD & WINE Festival, which will take place April 25-27 in Austin’s Butler Park, is gearing up for a full slate of cooking demonstrations, interactive fire pits, live music, and wine-and-cocktail tastings featuring internationally known chefs, sommeliers, and culinary personalities. 

Published in Blog: Plates

28B WineThe news couldn’t be any timelier. As we’re planning our April issue’s coverage of the red-hot Fredericksburg Wine Road 290, a string of 13 wineries near the Hill Country town of Fredericksburg, we received word that the Texas Hill Country was named among the top 10 wine destinations for 2014 in the February issue of Wine Enthusiast magazine, which boasts a readership of more than 800,000. (That’s a lot of wine enthusiasts!) Texas is in very, very, very good company—the other destinations include Greece’s Aegean Islands; Languedoc, France; Sonoma, California; Baden, Germany; and Mendoza, Argentina. In fact, only one other U.S. destination—Walla Walla Washington—made the cut. (You can read the whole story at www.winemag.com.)

And read more about the wineries of Texas at www.gotexanwine.org, and more about Wine Road 290 at www.wineroad290.com.

 

Stay tuned for our take of the Hill Country’s grape ways in the April issue. Until then, cheers! 

Published in Blog: Plates

Wine grapes grow well in Texas High Plains due to the soil composition, high elevation and semi-arid climate. (Photo by J. Griffis Smith)

A  six-foot steel sculpture of a corkscrew marks the entrance to McPherson Cellars in downtown Lubbock. Inside, the modern theme continues in a sleek tasting room with dark walls, polished floors, and local artwork.

Published in FOOD & DRINK

Among the many things I learned at the second annual Austin FOOD & WINE Festival, which took place at Austin's Butler Park April 27-28, here are my favorite take-aways:

Published in Blog: Plates

I'm hardly a wine connoisseur, during blind tastings in the past, I've invariably preferred the least expensive wines, but when friends suggested we meet Sunday afternoon for drinks at Crù, a wine bar in Austin's Domain shopping center, I was up for the experience. I figured at the very least it would offer a quiet place to talk. I've grown tired of trying to communicate, much less connect, in noisy restaurants and clubs.

Published in Blog

I just received word that the Texas Department of Agriculture's wine-marketing folks are celebrating the 1st anniversary of its popular "Winery Passport" promotion with additional incentives for wine travelers.

Published in Blog
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