Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Sipping on Sauvignon Blanc


Sipping on Sauvignon Blanc - The Grapevine in Gruene, TX


By Connor Brown, The Grapevine in Gruene

Sauvignon blanc is one of the most popular grape varietals known to just about anyone who drinks wine. Originally from the Bordeaux region in France, sauvignon blanc dominates vineyards all over the world for its versatility and variety in flavor. And of course, with so many different climates and conditions in the world, no two wines will be the same, as flavor profiles are distinctively different depending on the region they’re from. 

New Zealand is one of the most prominent producers of sauvignon blanc. The Marlborough Region is responsible for close to 270,000 tons of fruit that eventually made its way into a nice, chilled bottle of wine. The flavor of New Zealand sauvignon blanc tends to be very crisp and refreshing, with very prominent citrus notes depending on how ripe the fruit is when produced. A particularly good example of New Zealand sauvignon blanc is from Echo Bay Vineyards. This wine expresses an herby bouquet with rich notes of grapefruit and lemongrass on the palate. This zesty beverage is perfect for summertime sipping, or pairing with lighter fare such as seafood or chicken.

The United States is also very well known for its production of sauvignon blanc. This grape can be grown in every corner of the country – including Texas. However, while this varietal demands sunshine, it cannot thrive in high temperatures. Therefore, one of the largest and most reputable wineries in Texas, Llano Estacado, grows their fruit in the high planes so it won’t be pummeled by the extreme Texas heat. Llano Sauvignon Blanc boasts beautiful tropical fruit aromas, with a ripe lemon citrus flavor that carries a balanced acidity into a pleasantly full-bodied mouthfeel. This wine carries a complexity found in other full bodied white varietals while maintaining its light and zesty delicacy, making it a unique and great example of an American sauvignon blanc.

With all the different climates, regions, and other factors that go into making a good sauvignon blanc, winemakers have relied on this varietal to please the palates of the masses, and express their mastery of terroir. Come and taste your way into sauvignon bliss the next time you’re in our neighborhood, and find your favorite summertime sipper!

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Los Pinos Ranch Vineyards – Come and Taste It!


Come and Taste It- Gruene, Texas By Connor Brown

            
Now that summer is almost officially here, many of us are thrilled for what’s to come. The season of summer vacations, lazy days by the river, but most importantly the new memories that will follow us through our finest days. And no Texas summer scrapbook is complete without a day of enjoying great Texas wine in a great Texas town. The Come and Taste It event at The Grapevine welcomes the public to taste some of the finest, and most unique wine and beer being produced in the state, while offering a unique opportunity to meet those responsible for creating it. This month, we’re excited to welcome Los Pinos Ranch from Pittsburg, Texas to showcase a few of their award-winning Texas wines.
               
For white wine drinkers, Los Pinos will be featuring a personal favorite; Blanco Grande. This lovely, crisp white is made from Blanc Du Bois, a varietal favored by many Texas wine makers for being able to flourish in extreme heat and drought like conditions. This selection carries a myriad of accolades, most recently winning Gold at the Texas International Wine Competition. On the nose, pleasantly pungent citrus aromas arouse the senses before blooming into soft notes of melon and tropical fruit. On the palate, this zesty, and refreshing wine greets the drinker with fresh notes of apple and grapefruit with a fresh and clean finish aided by its stainless steel aging process and lack of intrusive tannins. A perfect midpoint between Sauvignon Blanc and Chenin Blanc.
               
Los Pinos Cabernet Sauvignon is another selection among the growing list of critically acclaimed wines from Los Pinos Ranch. However, one should not expect this to resemble other cabs. Winemaker, Arnulfo Perez, takes advantage of the Texas terroir, focusing on the characteristics that set apart Texas wine from the rest of the world, truly embracing the essence of Texas in a bottle. Bold notes of leather, pepper, and tobacco give this wine an unrivaled complexity and style that compliments the subtle notes of toffee, caramel, and cherry vanilla tied together with soft tannins and a tasteful oak presence. As mentioned, one shouldn’t expect a familiar friend with this particular cab, it is great in portraying the natural flavor of Texas, allowing for a new kind of relationship to blossom.
               
So, if Texas wine is something tried and true, or something yet to try, Los Pinos Ranch offers more than enough different styles to get you hooked. With so much time for rest and relaxation, allow us to introduce you to your new favorite local winery at our next Come and Taste it. But remember, this is a monthly event with so many possibilities of wineries to attend, so the best measure is to just come often!

Friday, June 14, 2019

Spend Father's Day in Gruene!


June is here and most Dads believe that it’s more like Fathers’ WEEKEND, not Father’s DAY.
Whether he’s a music man or a sommelier in disguise, Father’s Day weekend is best spent in Gruene!

For the Dad who likes to have fun in the sun- floating the Guadalupe River is a must! And after the float, head up the hill to Gruene Hall. There you’ll find free shows inside Texas’ oldest dance hall like Billy Bacon and the Forbidden Pigs on Saturday and the Guy Forsyth Band on Sunday. If he’s a fan of Reckless Kelly, the show starts at 8 on Friday and 9 on Saturday. Advanced tickets are recommended as it’s liable to sell out.

Reckless Kelly at Gruene Hall

The Grapevine offers a more relaxed setting for Dad to sit and sip fine Texas wines. With free live music all weekend in the Grapevine Garden and a wide range of Texas wines and craft beers, there's no shortage of food and drink to keep him entertained. You might even be able to distract the kids with one of their Boar’s Head cheese plates!

The Grapevine- Gruene, Texas

No weekend is complete without delectable food and some Gruene area eateries have recently shaken up their menus. Cantina Del Rio has a new El Rey platter- a twist on the burger favorite, with a cheese topped beef patty, all the fixings, and a to die for homemade ranchero sauce to satisfy cravings. If you’re headed to Mozie’s  start with the new Double Dip (guac and jalapeno pimento cheese with tortilla chips to dip!) and a cold draft beer. Trust us, Dad will be thrilled! If you plan on celebrating with the entire family, Gristmill is the perfect place to enjoy outdoor dining with a vista of the lush foliage and river views. Be sure to order their fall off the bone ribs and an ice cold Shiner for Dad!

Gristmill River Restaurant & Bar- Gruene, Texas

And for all you procrastinators out there…
You are sure to find a gift between the likes of the Gruene Hat Company, Gruene Outfitters, and the many specialty vendors on the lawn at Adobe Verde for Gruene Market Days. Market Days are open all day Saturday and Sunday. Why not bring out your Dad and let him mosey around and pick out his gift! From clothes to wood working and leather goods to Texas beef jerky and cigar box guitars, there’s something for every kind of Dad at Gruene Market Days.

If you’re not lucky enough to live nearby, why not hop online and purchase a gift card valid at Gruene area businesses- Cantina del Rio, Mozie’s, Gristmill, and The Grapevine! You can give Dad the gift of a road trip. He’ll be thrilled! Just imagine the good times and great stories that you’ll have after a weekend spent in Gruene!

We’ll see you soon!

Friday, May 10, 2019

Rosé in May

By: Connor Brown
The Grapevine in Gruene

The Grapevine in Gruene, Texas
There’s never a better time for a glass of wine than in the sunshine. Fortunately we’ve finally reached the month of May, which means summer is just around the corner. However, this leaves many of us with a tough decision on our patio pounding preferences.

Pedernales Rosé is a wonderful Rohne style rosé made in Fredericksburg, Texas. Made of Carignon and Mourvedre, this lovely wine has beautiful balance between its full body and its crisp acidity. Notes of strawberry and red fruit on the nose forecast a bright flavor profile of ripe fruit, with a balanced zesty-smooth finish. While Pedernales Cellars is known for its Tempranillo and Viognier, the rosé stands on its own, offering unique flavor characteristics that are very approachable to any novice or experienced wine drinker.

Next are a couple selections from a vastly underrated local winemaker, Rae Wilson. In addition to other fine wines from Austin, Rae is responsible for two of the finest Texas Rosé wines around. First we have the Dandy Rosé. Available with or without bubbles, however both provide a fantastic drinking experience. Dandy is a french style Rosé with a lot of flavor. This wine is balanced with a zesty finish, but a lot of flavor upfront. Dandy makes the perfect companion for summer drinking and casual chilling, as it is versatile enough to pair with most meals, but structured enough to enjoy on its own.

Also from Rae Wilson is her Rosato. This Italian style rosé is made of 100% Sangiovese, a naturally acidic wine that makes for a perfectly crisp and even rosé. What makes this wine special, is it’s a sangiovese, a grape commonly found in Texas, though it drinks similarly to a french rosé. One will experience an excellent equilibrium between whats expected from a sangiovese, but also expected from a medium bodied dry white. This rosé carries the entire package of flavor, crispness, and delicacy, without being too much of anything. A solid choice for drinking or pairing.

In addition to these fine Rosé wines, theres a world of wines ready for tasting to compliment your favorite summer past time. Just remember what Texas has to offer, and be amazed what can be found right in your backyard!

Springtime Sippin’


By Connor Brown 
The Grapevine in Gruene

The Grapevine in Gruene, Texas


With the sun shining and ideal weather upon us, there is no better time to kick back with some tasty beverages while awaiting the wrath that is Texas summer. However, during the few months we have, let’s think about our springtime thirst-quenchers and consider enjoying the rest of this magnificent season with some fresh and local suggestions from a reputable source, just up the road in your favorite historic district of New Braunfels.

Of everything I’m planning to indulge in this spring, I’m mostly looking forward to the company of a fresh, fun beer, and a delicious and delicate rosé to make the most of this seasons’s offerings.

Out of San Marcos, AquaBrew is responsible for some of the best craft beer within 20 miles of New Braunfels, and can be found in many establishments around town. While AquaBrew boasts a large and diverse portfolio of craft brews, one specific seasonal brew stands out. Ape-Pricot Wheat is a deliciously unique beer that is a must-try for any craft beer enthusiast. On the surface, this is a well done, full bodied wheat beer with a great balanced flavor between its complexity, fresh fruity flavor, and alcohol presence (Only 6.9% ABV!). The name says it all, notes of ripe and juicy apricot can be experienced on the nose and the palate, to create a fun and fresh choice of beverage to enjoy on a beautiful springtime stroll through Gruene.

On the wine front, Lewis Winery already has a great reputation in South Texas with their outstanding Tempranillo, and the fun and fresh Swim Spot. Located in the Hill Country of Johnson City, Lewis Winery produces a fantastic Rosé blend. A wonderful Provence style dry rosé made from a blend of Mourvedre and Grenache varieties. This rosé has pronounced flavors of ripe red fruit and citrus with a pleasantly pungent floral nose. This lovely rosé has patio-pounder capability as it drinks smooth while being incredibly refreshing. Enjoy on a sunny day with fresh fruit and delicious Brie cheese to take total advantage of prolonged visits with mother nature while enjoying the season.

Even if fruit beer or dry rosé doesn’t quite resonate with your palate, these fine examples show that Texas wine and beer makers have what it takes to compete with the trends, and continue to show why Texas has earned its place in the industry. But really, who doesn’t think apricot and beer sounds delicious? And the thought of a crisp rosé while lounging in the sun? Oh my! I know where I stand, try it out!

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Bottles and Cans with No Bans

Wine Spotlight from New Braunfels Monthly
March 2019

Craft Beer at The Grapevine- Gruene, Texas
By: Connor Brown

A beautiful display of beer taps can be quite mesmerizing. It’s easy to go for a pint, and it certainly helps being able to taste it first – but let’s try something different this year. It’s a little known fact that some of The Grapevine’s best Texas craft beer awaits thirsty travelers behind the glass doors of our beer fridge. With over 30 different beers – at least half of those Texas- born – with a myriad of styles and flavors, it can be a bit overwhelming at first, but there is something for everyone, and even the pickiest of beer drinkers will be satisfied.



It always helps to know what you like and to have something in mind before facing a wide selection of bottles and cans. Seek the assistance of a professional if you’re new to beer tasting.

For lighter beer drinkers, try the Independence Brewing Native Texan Pilsner. This is an easy drinking pilsner that loosely resembles everyone’s favorite river beer with some added depth. Since this is still a craft beer, expect more pronounced flavors and substance, but still enjoy the crisp refreshing flavor without simply feeling hydrated.
 
Craft Beer at The Grapevine- Gruene, TexasIf you happen to be a middle of the road kind of person, and don’t mind hops, Celis Pale Bock could be a new favorite brew. This touches the spirits of Amber and IPA fanatics alike, displaying a lovely copper color while uniting the worlds of a Bock and Pale Ale style beer, with a smooth malty flavor and a crisp and easy finish. It also helps that Celis can do no wrong (I’m not biased- I promise).

Nevertheless, whatever tastes you prefer, there will be something available to quench your thirst while taking in Texas at its finest. And if all these options seem too daunting, fear not there are lovely wine and beer-tenders always ready for a challenge, and eager to aid in a tasting journey. But let’s explore the best craft beer selection available in New Braunfels - draft, bottle, or can.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Valentine’s Varieties

Wine Spotlight from New Braunfels Monthly
February 2019
By: Connor Brown
              
Valentine’ Day is right around the corner, and most of us are aware of the stress that can come with it. Often times, it seems that we’re completely on our own trying to make each year better than the last. Fortunately, its very easy to rely on a solid bottle of wine to be your companion for a successful Valentine’s Day. Whether dessert or dinner is the specialty, a good bottle of wine will take the dish to another level. And the least I can do, is recommend a couple of bottles that reserve a special place in my heart for this Valentine’s Day. 
               
Barons Creek Vineyards
Out of Fredericksburg, Texas, Barons Creek Vineyards makes some of the finest wine known to south Texas. In particular, their Merlot is an easy wine to consider as its complex yet neutral flavor profile compliments any hearty meal. It’s full body and rich ripe cherry notes cascade beautifully into a deep smoky vanilla finish, to provide support to both smooth and savory flavors. This wine also contrasts beautifully with dessert and other sweet treats, so experiment and enjoy!
Fall Creek Sauvignon Blanc

For a lighter meal with chicken or fish as its focal
point, a dry white wine is ideal. In many occurrences, the zesty and refreshing white wine is paired with lighter fare to bring out the softer, and more delicate flavors of a dish. Try some crisp whites out of Texas like the Fall Creek Sauvignon Blanc. Notes of citrus and mint awaken the palate to form a lasting and rich fruity yet refreshing finish, not only pairing well with a dish, but complimenting it as well.

Los Pinos Ranch
Sweet treats are best enjoyed with a sweetheart. And with everything that goes into this special day, some slack is always welcome. Don’t sweat it with the chocolate covered strawberries, when you can experience Los Pinos Ranch Besitos De Chocolate. From Pittsburg, Texas, this Lenoir based sweet red wine is literally dessert in a bottle with spot-on notes of chocolate and strawberry and just a hint of alcohol on the finish. Though its one of the most interesting wines to come through The Grapevine, it’s quite delicious and does a solid job of covering dessert for any occasion. 

So here’s to a hopefully less stressful and more successful Valentines Day, with hopes that these Texas wines can help elevate your palate and upgrade your experience on this holiday. Happy Valentine’s Day!