Vinously Speaking is all about the development and revolutionizing of the urban wine culture of San Antonio! And when events are held that promote that, well we love that even more! So when The Westin La Cantera Resort here in San Antonio invited me to join them for an exclusive social media wine tasting event, you better believed I accepted!
The event they put on was called “A Taste of Texas Wine” and they invited a few local bloggers to come taste some delicious Texas wines, selected and discussed by their in-house sommelier Steven Krueger and well-known Texas wine blogger, Dr. Russ Kane of Vintage Texas. They also encouraged us to use this as a ‘tweet-up’ and tweet our lil’ social media hearts out about the Texas wines we were tasting and the various topics we discussed throughout the night. The event was also planned for us bloggers to spread the word about the daily wine tastings held at The Westin La Cantera every evening from 5 to 6 p.m. at Steinheimer’s Lounge. Whether you are a guest staying at the resort or just coming to the resort for a fun evening out, their daily guided taste of four Texas wines is available for you to discover or re-visit for just $10. Sommelier Steven Krueger changes the selection often, so there’s always something new to taste and always a reason for a return visit! Not to mention, after the tasting you can stick around the resort and enjoy one of their many dining options available or even try out some of the snazzy cocktails the Steinheimer expert mixologists can shake up for you!
Our event was held, of course, at the Steinheimer’s Lounge at the Westin La Cantera.
A sultry Texan style bar that even features a treasure map on the ceiling that supposedly points to the legendary hidden gold of Karl Steinheimer that is supposedly buried somewhere in the Texas Hill Country. For a great video of the Steinheimer Lounge, please check out Tanji Patton’s video on YouTube.
When we arrived, we were welcomed by Westin Sommelier Steven Krueger, Dr. Russ Kane, and Laura Aplin, the Westin’s Director of Media and Public Relations. Oh, and four glasses of Texan wine :) Yeehaw!
They also printed out a very handy tasting sheet with information about the wines, the Texas wine industry, a Texas Wine regions map, and some useful links for us to blog with :)
So on to the juicy stuff … the wines! :P
The wines that we had the delicious privilege of tasting were (in order):
2009 Blanc du Bois (Dry) from Haak Vineyards and Winery
Aromas of lemon, apple, grapefruit, hints of stone fruits, baking spices, vanilla, and as John Griffin of Savor SA said, “key lime!” Spot on John! This wine was dry in style, but Haak Vineyards also produces a sweet version of the Blanc du Bois if sweeter wines are more your style. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Blanc du Bois and want to get all vinously nerdy with me, click here for an article about it. One of the reasons Blanc du Bois grape is such a great grape to grow here, is that it is very resistant to the pesky Pierce’s disease that you find here in Texas.
2010 Viognier from Becker Vineyards
Boy did this Viognier knock my boots off :) Yeeeehaw! Mouthwatering aromas of an apricot and coconut tart, hints of honeysuckle, dry hay, white peach, tangerine, and vanilla! This is a perfect wine to serve during our warm South Texas autumns! Perfect for all of your fall pumpkin and butternut squash dishes and a must have at the Thanksgiving dinner table! Even Master Sommelier Andrea Immer Robinson said this was one of the best Viogniers made in the US! You may not find many Chardonnays grown here in Texas, but look out for the Viogniers, they may not have been born in Texas, but they got here as quick as they could!
2007 Syrah Blend “Palette” from Alamosa Wine Cellars
Only a wine that was made after my own heart! It may be because I am Texas born and raised, but I L.O.V.E. wines that have that rustic barnyardy, leather, tobacco smell on them. Mmmm! Throw in some delicious dark fruit aromas and flavors, and I am all yours! This wine is a blend of Rhone varieties: Syrah, Grenache, Mourvedre, Cinsault and in true Rhone fashion, the small addition of a white grape, in this case Viognier :)
2007 Tempranillo “Cornelious” from Inwood Estates
Now, I know I am beginning to sound like a proud Texas wine slut by saying I love all these wines we are trying, but seriously, they were all so Mmmmmmm! (And yes,” Mmmmmmm!” is a perfectly acceptable word to describe wine, and if you don’t agree, well then put a cork in it!) This wine had to be, by just a fraction of point, my favorite wine of the night. Why? Because before being a fan of fruity/barnyardy wines, I am a huge fan of the oxidized-style wines like Sherry and Jura wines. Those aromas of over-ripe fruits like plum, black cherry, those maple, nutty aromas, and that unexpected dry finish … that’s enough for me to write a sappy country song about :P I must also mention that I have never tasted a wine with this port-style before coming from the Tempranillo grape. But Dr. Russ Kane, informed me that Tempranillo is related to the Touriga National grape, which is the staple grape of Port wines … see, ya learn somethin’ everyday!
After the tasting was done, we were invited to stay and lounge around, nosh on some appeteasers, and enjoy our favorite wines of the evening or move along to some snazzy cocktails. Being a wine lover, I decided to stay with the wines … how could I not? They were all so Mmmmmm!
Naturally I had to take a photo to show off my Texan boots that I wore specially for the Taste of Texas Wine event. You are not a real Texan unless you do.
The event was a true success! The wines were amazing and with the exception of Becker Vineyards, it was my first time tasting the wines from these Texan wineries, so thank you Steven, Russ, and Laura for the great discovery. I also thoroughly enjoyed meeting the other local bloggers that were in attendance. I am looking forward to future local blogger meet-ups like this, and I am happy to have some great blogging names to add to my invite list for Vinously Speaking Blog events :) Yay!
And to show some blogger love, here are the links and Twitter accounts to everyone that was at the event! (If I miss anyone, please leave me a comment so I can add you to the list!)
Bloggers in Attendance:
Heather Hernandez of GeeketteBits.com – @geekettebits
Lauren Madrid – i go right for the blogular – @ohmypuddin
Kim Murray McDonald - flutie*mcd – @flutiemcd
Emily Stringer – Defining Delicious – @definedelicious
Stacy Teet – kids*stuff*world – @steet
Sarah Vernetti – WanderingOff – @Wandering_Off
John Griffin – SavorSA – @johngriffin0928
BTW, if you want to check out the various tweets that were tweeted about the Taste of Texas Wine Tasting, check out the Westin La Cantera wine hashtag we were using that evening: #WLCWine
See y’all on the next post, and yeeeeeeehaw!