By Connor Brown at the Grapevine in Gruene
Now we’re in full swing of the new decade, let’s take a moment to remember the epidemic that swept over our nation 100 years ago: Prohibition. The roaring twenties, a time of great class, wealth, and long nights occupying hidden corners of our city; where great music and libations set the scene. And what a change to be able to enjoy our favorite beverages in our favorite establishments, or in the serenity of our own spaces. However, despite the outright ban on alcohol and intoxication only 100 years ago, winos endured and enjoyed special privilege to get them through the decade. Home wine making was still legal and saw a whopping 10% increase during the time of prohibition, as 200 gallons of wine a year could be made for personal consumption. Therefore, as an ode to a magical time in our history and the tradition of winemaking, cheers to those who kept the art alive and the glasses full.
Winemaking in Texas goes back even farther than prohibition, and many if those who continued this tradition paved the way for some local favorite wineries such as McPherson, William Chris, and Llano Estacado. From each of these vineyards come a plethora of classy drink choices, but first, a personal favorite, William Chris Texas High Plains Rosé. This eccentric blend of Sangiovese, Riesling, and Mourvedre satisfies the palate with its full body flavor, and decadently creamy texture. Right out of the bottle, experience floral aromas and lively notes of melon, honeysuckle, and undertones of raspberry. Another wonderful quality of this wine is its versatility. Whether it be a posh function, or a simple gathering on the patio, this wine will rise to the occasion and prove to be a crowd-pleaser.
For red wine fanatics, Llano is responsible for many of our favorite Texas selections, and new to our area is their Bourbon Barrel aged Tempranillo. A varietal originally from Spain, many Texas winemakers test their chops with this one, because of the climate similarities to Spain and Northern Texas. The flavors of the grape shine through with smokey, peppery, leathery goodness and complex notes of dark fruit, but the bourbon barrel aging shows its teeth with a unique warming bite on the finish. These qualities make this wine perfect for a chilly evening, or a bargain bottle for a complex multiple course meal at a fancy dinner party.
Finally, for dessert, let’s unwind with an excellent Texas made Sherry from our friends at McPherson in Lubbock. A fortified wine, Sherry is another popular style originating from Spain, and packs a punch at 17.8% ABV so it’s best enjoyed in controlled quantities. With intense aromas of caramel and warm butterscotch, this copper colored wine melts into sweet flavors of dark plum, molasses, and toasted almond. Best enjoyed with something devilishly sweet, or on its own with someone sweet.
We owe something to the pioneers that kept us going through a tough time in our history, and with their dedication to keeping the wine industry alive, we’re able to enjoy the innovations of Texas winemaking wherever we are. And with that, here’s to another year of celebrations to kick off another decade of swanky elegance, reminiscent of the classy days of twenties past.