Summer is drawing to a close and the school season is about to begin or already began for some of you. Now parents are caught up in all the hustle and bustle of meet the teachers, last minute camps and vacations, figuring out school schedules, and about a thousand other things. Not to mention the rising costs and seemingly ever-growing length of back to school supplies lists and clothing shopping trips. To help out all the moms and dads out there who may need a glass of wine or ya know... a whole bottle, I decided to put together a list of my favorite "school-themed" budget wines to help you drink your way into a successful school year! So while your picking up those last minute sneakers, crayons, and lunchables, grab a bottle, sit back, relax and enjoy!
A to Z Wineworks 2017 Pinot Gris: $15
This wine was such an amazing find and "Oregonically Grown", which is too cute! I love how simple, yet delicious this Pinot Gris is. It has amazing notes of peach, nectarine, and delicate floral scents on the nose. On the palate you will find a beautiful crisp acidity and hints of minerality.
But seriously, just imagine drinking this wine, chilled to the max, and paired with a side of relaxation, because your kids are FINALLY back in school. And let's face it, it's still a million degrees outside and this will feel REEEALLLLY nice going down. Speaking of pairing...
Pair this with:
Liberty School 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon: $14
I. Love. This. Wine. This cab was SUPER impressive for the price point, and honestly, just in general. On the nose it showed hints of violets, black cherries, rich plums, and a bit of tobacco. On the palate, bright cherry, allspice, a slight oakiness really rounded out the flavor.
Honestly, I could not get enough of this wine. I opened the bottle for the photo shoot for this post around ten in the morning, and I'm not going to lie....it was gone by noon. I had intentions of sharing with friends, but.......at this price point I can just go and grab another bottle!
Pair this with:
Mad Genius Cuvée Red: $16
This easy drinking red from Excelsior Wines is a blend of Syrah, Merlot, Tempranillo and Zinfandel. It has beautiful aromas of bright red berries with a touch of white pepper on the nose. As for the palate, you will find a slightly floral flavor, with hints of vanilla and toasted oak.
Grabbing this wine was GENIUS! Haha...get it?!?! But seriously, this wine was such an easy drinker. It has a flavor profile that would be amazing paired with a large variety of foods. However, it was elegant, yet simple enough to be enjoyed merely paired with your favorite wine glass.
Pair this with:
Educated Guess 2017 Pinot Noir: $25
This wine was made by Roots Run Deep Winery out of California. This Pinot had a surprising acidity on the palate! With notes of black currant and blackberry upfront with a slight hint of tobacco and vanilla on the finish. The nose of this wine was like a smoked cherry. Quite fun and interesting!
I am always a huge fan of Pinots in the summer and this one definitely did not disappoint. Although a little bit higher on the price point, this is the perfect wine to take to your PTO meetings or to share with your fellow parents at all your kids after school play-dates.
Pair this with:
All in all, the school year is here to stay...for the next nine months at least, so why not make the most of it! No matter what the meal or occasion, there's a wine for that. So keep yourself sane, drink some vino, and don't let your kids forget who's driving the bus!
*Prices may vary by location.
**No wines were provided to me, they were chosen, tasted and described all on my own.
***You will need wine to make it through this back to school season.
Originally posted for Coravin
Texas wine?....Really?! Who would have ever thought that Texas would be home to one of the fastest growing wine regions in the country?! But it’s true! Here are the top six reasons you need to try Texas wine from a Texas wine expert.
1. Everything’s Bigger in Texas
Everyone knows that everything is bigger in Texas, but did you know that Texas is the home to the second largest certified Viticultural Area in the country? The Texas Hill Country AVA is well over 9 MILLION acres! This region is also the second most visited wine region in the nation behind Napa Valley with over one million visitors a year. Why not be one of them in 2019?
2. Rich History
Texas wine is not a new concept. The first vines planted in the United States were actually planted in Texas in the 1600s by Spanish missionaries. And while the state continued to grow grapes for centuries, other agriculture took precedence and grapes fell by the wayside. That is until the 1960s when a chemistry professor from Texas Tech, Clinton ‘Doc’ McPherson, travelled around the U.S. researching different grape growing regions. After studying various vitis vinifera and hybrid varieties, McPherson and his business partner Bob Reed planted an experimental vineyard in 1966 consisting of 140 varieties. After a decade, it was clear what varietals would thrive in the Texas climate and the two opened Llano Estacado Winery. Although varietals such as Grenache, Tempranillo, Muscat, and other lesser known varieties prospered, those vines were ripped out in favor of more known varieties such as Cabernet and Merlot. It took years before the industry was able to truly come into its own, and plant more varieties that flourished.
3. Try Something New
Texas wine growers are planting some amazing varietals that truly thrive in the Texas climate, a lot of which you may have never heard of. Roussanne, Trebbiano and Viognier are some of the white varietals that are growing in popularity throughout the state and can be found in a good number of tasting rooms. Most Texas wineries are also growing and producing Mourvèdre, a beautiful red varietal from the Rhône region that grows very well in Texas. Other places are getting a little more experimental. Places such as Lost Draw Cellars are growing and producing wines made from Picpoul Blanc and Tannat. Lewis Wines has become known for their use of Portuguese varietals such as Touriga Nacional and Tinta Cão.
And it isn’t just the varietals being grown, its different winemaking techniques. Places like William Chris Vineyards is among several wineries bringing Pétilliant Naturel sparkling wine back on the wine scene, with a beautiful rosé available in their tasting room. You can also find canned wines from brands like Yes We Can Wines.
4. Something for Everyone
With over 400 wineries in the state, it is easy to find something for every palate. Wineries such as Fiesta Winery and Fat Ass Ranch and Winery, specialize in sweeter wines, where wineries like Calais Winery and Pedernales Cellars focus more on dry reds. Places like 4.0 Cellars and Vintner’s Hideaway are actually a combination of different winemakers from across the state all under one roof, and offer a multitude of tasting options for every palate.
5. Breathtaking Views
People who have never been to Texas imagine it as a vast desert, covered in nothing but cacti, but in actuality, Texas has an array of different landscapes. The highest concentration of the state’s wineries is located in the beautiful Hill Country. Located just north of San Antonio and just West of Austin, this landscape is home to rolling hills, rivers and some of the most stunning views in the state. Other notable landscape regions are the Piney Woods in East Texas, where you can find wineries such as Kiepersol Vineyards and Enoch’s Stomp Winery, and the Gulf Coast region where you can find places like Haak Vineyards and sip on beautiful wines while taking in the view of the Gulf.
6. Amazing, World-Class Wines
While all of these new wines to try and beautiful views are great, if the wine isn’t good, what’s the point, right? Texas wines have the quality to back it all up. Wines from the state have been receiving National and International accolades for years! Places like Duchman Family Winery and Bending Branch Winery just received several 90+ point ratings from wine critic James Suckling. And wineries are constantly receiving high rating medals at some of the world’s top wine competitions, like Lyon International Wine Competition, San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition and the Houston International Wine Competition. Overall, the wine in the state has gotten better and better every year and is, bar none, on the same playing field as the top wine regions in the world.
So what are you waiting for? Come to Texas and explore the passion of Texas wine!