During a recent trip to the wine region in the Texas Hill Country in Fredericksburg, I had the opportunity to visit two wineries.
The first vineyard we visited was Becker Vineyards. It is situated right off the highway on a beautiful piece of land on which grapes and lavender are grown. We were welcomed in the tasting room by Henri de Lobbe, a French speaking tasting room sales representative originally from Morocco, who shared his knowledge and love of Becker wines as well as stories of his life as he poured tastes into lovely monogrammed glasses. I have to admit that I was happily surprised by the quality of the wines included in the tasting. The last time I tasted Becker wines was in 1997 and I thought they were average and lacked the dimensionality that one gets with a French or California wine. In the last ten years Dionysus, the ancient Greek god of wine, has been very good to Becker Vineyards whose wines are largely made from grapes grown in Texas.
I was quite impressed with the consistently good taste of the wine list. Becker offers two Napa quality cabernets sauvignons but boasts an impressive array of varietals and some of my favorite Becker wines would pair well with Indian food. Usually I find only one or two white wines at a winery that I like. We started our tasting with the 2011 Pinot Grigio. Since this is such a light wine (and I tend to prefer reds) I thought about skipping it at first. I’m glad I tried it since I think it would be delightful with shellfish such as my Shrimp Avinasi recipe.
When we moved on to try the reds, I continued to be impressed. Not a bad wine in the bunch! I tasted the 2010 Culinaria, made from Cabernet Franc and Merlot grapes, which I believe would be wonderful with game.
My favorites included the ‘09 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Canada Family Vineyard and the ‘10 Raven, which is a blend of Malbec and Petit Verdot grapes.
I have saved the best news for last: these wines are priced for everyday enjoyment between $15 and $20 per bottle.
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