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Texas and Drink Local Wine’s sixth annual Regional Wine Week

Drink-Local-Wine

Texas drink local wineRegional wine week started yesterday, and what kind of co-founder and past president would I be if I didn’t participate? So here are my links for this year’s effort, focusing on the changes in Texas wine since I started writing about it:

• How much more accepted is Texas wine than just five years ago? The culinary students I spoke to on Thursday night at Dallas’ El Centro College were interested not because they were supposed to be, but because they really wanted to know about Texas wine. Contrast this with the culinary students I taught at the Cordon Bleu, whose main interest in Texas wine came when I drew my not very accurate map of Texas on the board.

• Not only has Texas wine changed, but so have the people drinking Texas wine — the focus of a story I wrote for the Texas Wine and Trail website. The new generation of Texas wine drinkers I talked to this fall were not “the older Anglos who have powered the local wine movement in the state since the 1990s, and doing yeoman work in the process. Rather, they were younger and, at Grapefest and especially at its People’s Choice wine tasting and competition, less white. I talked to a Chinese husband and wife who asked such detailed questions about what was going on and which wineries to visit that I couldn’t answer all of them.”

A French producer made sparkling wine in the state 30 years ago, though the winery eventually failed. Still, one has to admire the effort: “Texas-made sparkling wine is rare, even today. Thirty years ago, when there were only a handful of wineries in the state, it was much less practical. Sparkling wine is difficult, costly, and time-consuming to make, requires top-notch grapes, and needs an established market for its products.”

• The Hill Country is the focal point for Texas wine for most consumers, and it has undergone huge changes, too — not only in the number of wineries and quality of the wine, but in how the region sees wine in terms of tourism and its economy. Ten years ago, wine was an afterthought; today, Highway 290, with its dozens of wineries, could be a wine trail in California.

• And what would a Texas wine post be without reviews of Texas wine?

One more sign local wine has made the mainstream

If this wasn’t enough, or even this, there’s this – that 11 regional winemakers made Michael Cervin’s list of the 100 most influential winemakers in the United States.

Frankly, I was shocked, and had not even looked at the list when it came out. Cervin is a California wine writer who didn’t ask me for recommendations, so I figured this would be another Winestream Media glorification of California cult wine.

Shows how much I know, and that I always end up breaking the first rule of wine writing, no matter how hard I try not to – taste the wine before you judge it. Or, in this case, read the list before you judge it.

“We have to stop being so myopic in our choices about where wine comes from,” says Cervin. “This is a big deal that there are so many regional winemakers on the list. There’s a paradigm shift underway, and it has been going on for a while.”

More, after the jump:

Drink Local Wine, regional wine, and the growth of local

This week, the second most important wine writer in the world wrote about what she called the 50 states of wine: “But the exciting thing is that the proportion of good to very good wine made somewhere other than on the Pacific coast has been increasing markedly recently.”

And then Jancis Robinson mentioned Drink Local Wine. Even the Wine Curmudgeon had to smile. More, after the jump:

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