As someone that has visited countless tasting rooms over many years of wine travel, I find that more and more I want an “experience” when I venture out for wine. I still sometimes do the occasional ‘belly up to the bar’ for a pour, but more often than not, I’m looking for something that really gives me the essence of the place. I want the all-in wine country experience. And one of my favorite ways to experience wine country is to do a food and wine pairing. I always find it so interesting how a wine changes and is enhanced when paired with food. And since Texas Wine Month is coming up soon, not to mention that October is the perfect time to visit as it is finally starting to cool down, I’m sharing some fantastic Texas Hill Country wine & food experiences.
William Chris Vineyards
The Vineyard Table Experience at William Chris is an “elevated” food and wine experience. The pairing experience features a combination of four of the winery’s current releases and select Library Wines that are accompanied by seasonal pairings. These are heavy hors d’oeuvres, so come hungry. Tastings are available several days during the week with multiple times offered per day. Reservations are required and group size is limited to four guests. Pricing: $75 per person.
While their famous herbed almonds alone are worth the trip (I’m obsessed thank you very much), Kuhlman Cellars goes all out in their educational, 45 minute seated tasting. The Kuhlman Wine and Food Experience, which takes place in the barrel room, includes a sample of five wines paired with chef prepared seasonal small bites, including those delicious almonds. It’s a laid-back experience that encourage guests to ask questions. Tastings are available Thursday – Sunday by reservation only and are limited to six people per booking. Pricing: $35 per person.
Duchman Family Winery
Led by Executive Chef Wes Bracamontes, Duchman offers quite a delicious and intimate tasting experience. Guests can book the winery’s Private Tasting & Tour which includes a tasting of six Duchman wines in a semi-private space along with a selection of thoughtfully curated small bites from their chef. The experience also features an optional behind the scenes tour of the winery. There is an eight person minimum and tastings must be reserved at least 7 days in advance. Pricing: $50 per person + 20% gratuity.
Heath Sparkling Wines
Heath Sparkling Wines is the first winery in Texas dedicated to the art of fine sparkling winemaking. And if you’ve read this blog or followed any of my social media you know that bubbly in all its forms is my spirit juice. Their bubbly is made using the Méthode Champenoise and also implements sur lie aging, to offer added richness and depth. They also use some unique varietals in their sparkling wines (think Chenin Blanc and Trebbiano) that gives even experienced aficionados something new. Their tasting experience features four seasonal small bites to enhance each of the wines. Reservations are recommended though they will allow walk-ins if there’s availability. Pricing: $35 per person.
Texas Wine Collective
The Texas Wine Collective is home to three different wineries – Brennan Vineyards, Lost Oak Winery, and McPherson Cellars. We all know cheese loves to be paired with wine, and the wine and cheese experience here is hard to beat. Their ‘Texas Cheese & Wine Experience’ features five artisan cheeses from Texas cheesemakers and creameries around the state – CKC Farms in Blanco, Eagle Mountain Farmhouse in Lipan, River Whey Creamery in Schertz, and Veldhuizen Cheese in Dublin – paired with five wines from the three wineries that complement the cheeses. The tasting is by reservation and multiple tasting are available per day. Pricing: $35 per person.
I also love that they mix things up periodically throughout the year with other types of pairings. Several times a year they do a really fun pairing with Little Debbie snacks and holiday cookies as well as a ‘Taste of Texas’ pairing.
Cheers to Texas Wine Month. If you’re headed out to Texas wine country, be sure to check my recommendations on where to eat, stay, and taste. And if you try a great Texas Hill Country wine & food experience that you love, drop me a line so I can check it out.
Also, be sure to take advantage of the special Passport event that lasts all month long The Texas Wine Month Passport Event. It will be happening this year from October 1st through 31st at 47 wineries in the beautiful Texas Hill Country and offers amazing value for tasting.