I can’t believe we’re actually now in the month of May! April seriously went by in a flash. It was here and then it was gone. I guess spending a week in Spain makes it go even faster. More on that coming soon! But for now, we’re talking about what’s going on in Texas wine. May is still a good time to head out to Texas wine country before the summer heat threatens to melt us all. In May, there are brunches, festivals, wine dinners, Derby parties and more. Here’s what’s going on.
Mother’s Day Brunch at Kerrville Hills Winery
So many wineries have cool events lined up for Mother’s Day weekend, so if mom is a wineaux (ahem) head on out and treat her well. Kerrville Hills Winery is celebrating mom with a delicious Mother’s Day brunch. Brunch will feature bottomless wine cocktails (#winning), along with pancakes, breakfast sausage, eggs benedict casserole with hollandaise sauce, fruit salad, and more! Tickets are only $60 and are bound to be a hot commodity. Plan accordingly!
Bending Branch Annual Derby Extravaganza
Bending Branch is hosting its Derby Extravaganza, which is always a great time! This years marks the 10th anniversary of the event and it will certainly be a fun-filled afternoon featuring live music, food, wine, hats, horses, and mint juleps. There’s even a charitable element to the event with part of the proceeds from ticket sales going to the Boys & Girls Club of Comfort. Your ticket gets you in on the live music, a catered meal, bourbon balls (yum!) and of course a mint julep (or wine if you so choose). And don’t forget your hats as there is a hat parade competition along with a ‘best tent’ competition. Tickets are $60 ($50 for club members).
Becker Vineyards Annual Lavender Fest
Join Becker Vineyards for all things lavender as they put on their 23rd annual Lavender Fest. The event will take place Saturday and Sunday, May 7 and 8at the winery. The festival will feature artisans, vendors, musicians, food trucks, live music, and of course wine tasting. Special events during the festival include a specially curated lavender luncheon and a lavender and bites pairing experience on Saturday, as well as a Mother’s Day Brunch on Sunday. Tickets start at $45 and go up from there depending on the different experiences enjoyed.
Southold Farm + Cellar Sunset Super Series
Southold was on of those wineries that people were so excited to visit when they first opened in the Texas Hill Country several years ago. It’s all about natural and non-interventionist winemaking there. I visited them when they first opened (read more here) and seriously need to get back out there. For May and June, they are featuring their “Sunset Supper” series which will feature a seasonal, purveyor-driven, and ever-changing chef’s tasting menu (vegetarian option available) of 4 courses paired with 4 wines. Reservations are $150 and are all-inclusive with one seating starting at 7 p.m. every Friday and Saturday.
Kuhlman Cellars Spring Pairing Dinner
Join Kuhlman Cellars for a five course culinary adventure on their Barrel Room Covered Patio (weather permitting). The event takes place on Saturday, May 14th, 2022 with a reception beginning at 6:30pm and dinner being served at 7:15pm. Tickets are $180 / $150 for wine club members. And wow, what a menu!
~~ Hors d’ Oeuvres ~~ 2020 Roussanne, Texas High Plains. Snapper Crudo. Castelvetrano Olives. Pine Nuts. Brown Butter Crostini. Green Garlic Whipped Goat Cheese. Beet Relish.
~~ Second Course ~~ 2020 Estate White, Texas Hill Country. Wilted Radicchio. Charred Carrots. Herbed Bread Crumbs. Bagna Cauda Dressing.
~~ Third Course ~~ 2021 Hensell Rosé, Texas High Plains Pork Medallions. Asparagus Gratin. Gruyere Foam.
~~ Fourth Course ~~ 2018 KanKar, Dry Creek Valley. Pan Seared Duck Breast
Creamed Kohlrabi. Blackberry Demi.
~~ Fifth Course – Dessert ~~ 2017 Astéries, Texas High Plains. Hazelnut Profiteroles. Whipped Chocolate Ganache. Hazelnut Butter. Strawberry Coulis. Chantilly Cream.
Opportunity to Taste Pedernales Cellars’ Kuhlken-Österberg Wines
I’ve only recently learned about Pedernales Cellars’ Kuhlken-Österberg (“KÖ”) line of wines and have to say I’ve been intrigued. These wines are made in very small quantities and thus are distributed on an allocation system, generally to members of the winery’s Collector’s Club. Its kinda like when I purchased Bordeaux futures and had to wait a couple of years to get my wine. But I’m excited to say that they are sharing the love and featuring an exclusive KÖ pairing experience at the winery on Sunday, May 22. And anyone can sign up. You’ll be able to sample some of their past KÖ vintages to get a glimpse into what these wines are all about. Wines will be paired with small bites prepared by Chef Sarita Silva from Kerrville, TX. The experience is complimentary for Kuhlken-Österberg Members, $32 / person for Pedernales Cellars Wine Club Members and $40 for everyone else. Act fast as the last time I checked, tickets were going fast.
Texas Wine Spotlight – Duchman Family Winery Aglianico
Known for their production of Italian varietals (owners Drs. Lisa and Stan Duchman are fans), it’s no surprise that Aglianico found its way into the Duchman portfolio. In fact, it’s the signature red wine of the winery. While not as widely known in the United States, Aglianico (pronounced “alli-yawn-nico”) is well-known in southern Italy, specifically in the regions of Campania and Basilicata. Along with Sangiovese and Nebbiolo, it’s considered by many as one of the most important varietals in Italy. It is known for being structured, full-bodied, and tannic, with dark red fruit, earthy, and rustic characteristics. In other words, it’s a big, bold wine. The version from Duchman shares these characteristics but I love that theirs is an approachable wine. Young Aglianico can be brusque and harsh (it often needs time) but in winemaker Dave Reilly’s hands, we get the notable structure and earthiness accompanied by baked red and black fruits and baking spice. And it’s so smooth! Looking for a wine for your brisket? Here it is! Available for $15-20 at HEB and Total Wine stores.
For more on visiting the winery, which was listed by HGTV as one of the 20 most picturesque wineries in the country, be sure to check out Texas Wines and Lake Views.
Here’s to supporting my local Texas wine industry! Cheers!