Texas- part 2.


Welcome back y’all…

Where was I? Oh yeah. BIG. That’s what Texas is. But what about the wine, Jared? THE WINE.

O.K, O.K. There are lots and lots of wineries in Texas, and a lot of them grow vitis vinifera grapes, thereby producing wines we’re all familiar with. Texan merlot? You bet. How about semillon? Tempranillo, sauvignon blanc, syrah, you name it. But there are also many local and native American grapes grown here for wine production. Most of these tend to lean towards the sweeter side. This scares me. But how do you know unless you try it, right?

I opted for the plentiful “muscadine” wine, made from the same grape. I call it plentiful, because it appears to be grown and made into wine throughout much of the US south. In fact, this grape tends to thrive in the humid, hot climate of SE Texas and other states in the southeast part of the country. Usually mold and rot are problems for grapes in this climate. The muscadine grape, however, needs much less evening cooling than most grapes do, and welcomes the sun and steaminess.

I tried to visit one of the wineries in SE Texas that’s known for its muscadine– Piney Woods Winery. Piney Woods makes all sorts of fruity treats. Peach wine! Blueberry wine! Plum wine! And of course various types of muscadine wine. Was I able to get into the winery? Of course not. Driving around rural Texas in search of a winery is like walking around the streets of NYC in search of someone. Not. Gonna. Happen. So I went to my old reliable– the liquor store– and picked myself up a bottle of Piney Woods’ finest red muscadine. Ooooh-EEE, that’s gonna be good!

img_0405 It wasn’t…

In fact, it was so bad, I went to the corner store and bought a cheap cigar just to get the sweet, cough-syrup meets flat Dr. Pepper taste out of my mouth. It’s not the overt fruitiness of the grape that bugged me so much, but the hint of carbonation and lingering Pez candy flavor the wine left. Be afraid folks. Be very afraid…

It should be mentioned, however, that studies have shown red muscadine to be particularly high in resveratrol, the anti-oxidant found in many grape skins. This is the same resveratrol that gave us the “French Paradox”, and really brought the health benefits of red wine front and center on the world stage. Ironic.

Not all was lost in the Lonestar state; Austin turned out to be a great city to visit, with it’s vibrant music scene, great restaurants, and funky shopping districts. We had an outstanding meal downtown at Manuel’s, where my man DM promised I’d have the best flautas ever. He was so right. And the mole! Wowzers… If you like mole, and appreciate it when there’s a plethora of spices, chocolates, nuts, and chiles that go into it, then you’d love their enchilada de mole. Here’s a recipe, should you have the time and desire to make your own mole. I ate til’ I ached, and then ate some more. Thanks for the great advice, daddio.

In closing, I’d like to admit that overall I was charmed by the folks in Texas, impressed by the scale of Texas, and scared by the number of cops we saw arresting people in Texas. This is a true story: when we were leaving our hotel in Austin, I actually witnessed some guy get tasered by two cops in our parking lot. We got into our puny little non-Texan car and high-tailed it on out of there. As we drove onto the highway away from the hotel, at least five (!) more police cars sped pass us, lights flashing and sirens blaring. Don’t mess with Texas. Ever.

Y’all be good now- and enjoy the VIDEO (applause). It’s a collection of scenes from Utah, Texas, Arizonan and New Orleans. It’s lame, but I’m a rookie. And shield your sensitive ears if you frown upon foul language…




~ by Jared on April 12, 2009.

2 Responses to “Texas- part 2.”

  1. Nice job on the video. Cops and those damn tasers. It’s a great way to kick the shit out of somebody without leaving any of that pesky evidence. Austin is a great island of art and music in the middle of redneck heaven. You guys just missed SXSW. Probably for the best, it would have been a zoo. Keep the blog rolling. Love it.

    • I wanted to actually record the part where they shot him with those things, but Shanna said that was “gross”. Guess she was right…

      Thanks for the feedback, Kev. And I promise, a decent wine will came our way soon!


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