Randy Hester, winemaker, C. L. Butaud
A born and bred Texan, C.L. Butaud winemaker Randy Hester has some great recommendations on what to pair with a summer barbecue. C.L. Butaud wines can ship anywhere in the U.S. so wine and barbecue lovers can pair Texas wines with their Texas-style BBQ all summer long.
2019 C.L. Butaud ‘Pa Pa Frenchy’
One of his favorite pairings is jalapeño sausage from Terry Black’s Barbecue in Austin with his Pa Pa Frenchy White, a blend of Texas Roussanne and Muscat Blanc grapes aged on the lees in stainless steel and four months in Garrison Brothers Distillery bourbon barrels. The medium-bodied wine has enough acidity to cut the fattiness of the sausage, and it’s citrus and butterscotch notes pair well with the heat from the jalapeño. In fact, it will go well with anything rich and spicy such as queso and chips.
2017 C.L. Butaud Tempranillo
“Although Texans do brisket better than anybody on the planet, a Texas smoked pork rib paired with our Tempranillo is magic,” says Hester. “Terry Black’s ribs are smoky and spicy like you would expect, but the surface is caramelized and sweeter than the savory “bark” that is so important to our beef. The flavors play well with the spice and complexity of Tempranillo, and the judicious use of new French oak barrels matches the smoky sweetness of the meat. The pork also has less fat than the beef, so the moderate acidity of the wine keeps your mouth watering.”
D. Thompson, Director of Education & Experiences, William Chris Vineyards
“BBQ is its own kind of religion in Texas, so it’s essential that William Chris have wines to help wash down these smoke-flavored delights,” says Thompson. “However, it’s important to note that the same qualities that make these wines great for Texas BBQ make them an equally perfect complement to your burgers and dogs.” Here are some of Thompson’s ideas for pairing William Chris wines with your 4
th of July fare.
2017 Cinsault, Lost Draw, William Chris Vineyards
“This Southern Rhone variety grows incredibly well in Texas and produces a lighter red wine that, with a thirty-minute chill, is the perfect way to cool off after standing in front of the hot grill,” says Thompson. “This wine pairs perfectly with all the smokey flavors on your plate, but especially pork ribs and hot dogs.” The grapes are from Lost Draw Vineyards in the Texas High Plains AVA, where cooler nights help maintain good acidity and freshness.
2017 Mourvèdre, Timmons Estate, William Chris Vineyards
“While there are plenty of good pairings for BBQ, Mourvèdre reigns supreme,” says Thompson. “This variety brings meaty and savory notes, in addition to the typical fruit aromas. Sourced from the Timmons Estate just outside of Lubbock in the Texas High Plains AVA, this wine was made in the lighter, fresh style of Spanish wines that spend less time in oak than is typical for bigger, richer red wines. “With only eight months in mostly neutral oak, it shows flavors of candied raspberry, red plum, and a hint of thyme,” he adds. “It’s the ideal pairing for slow-smoked beef brisket and grilled Angus bacon cheeseburgers and should be served with a chill.”
2019 Cinsault, Wanderer Series Relief Project
This wine, released to benefit the Texas hospitality industry created in collaboration with Master Sommelier Craig Collins, features 95% Cinsault and 5% Mourvedre from the Texas High Plains AVA. All profits from the sales of this wine are sent to the Southern Smoke Foundation to help the Texas restaurant community, which has been critically impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. “This is a playful red that jumps out of the glass with lifted aromatics of raspberry jam and violets,” says Collins. “Cranberry and cherry notes are complemented by a savory spice on the palate. Served slightly chilled, this wine is perfect on its own and ideal with grilled meats and Texas BBQ!”
Rae Wilson, Winemaker, Dandy Rosé
An Austin sommelier turned winemaker, Rae Wilson founded Wine For the People in 2010 after learning the craft with winemakers in California and Portugal. She championed the growth of the Texas wine industry through classes and collaborations with local wineries, and in 2014 began establishing a small vineyard on a friend’s property in nearby Blanco County.
That same year she released the first vintage of Dandy Rosé, a dry and refreshing wine made from traditional French varieties made specifically to pair with the weather and fare of Central Texas. These wines are 100% grown and produced in Texas in vineyards above 3,000 ft elevation in the Texas High Plains.
2018 Dandy Bubbles
“I’ve always loved BBQ with bubbles and rosé,” says Wilson, “so much so that I enjoyed a very special bottle of Champagne with some amazing BBQ for my birthday last year. The 2018 Dandy Bubbles, which is the current release, is made from 40% Pinot Meunier, 40% Counoise, and 20% Sangiovese.” It is a great partner because it has a little more body that shows up in its deep magenta tint,” she adds. “It’s fresh and juicy on the palate with bright cranberry and raspberry flavors that cut through to balance rich smoky meat.”
2019 Dandy Rosé
The current vintage consists of 40% Mourvèdre, 25% Cinsault, 15% Syrah, 10% Grenache, and 10% Counoise, which produce a pale pink hue and notes of strawberries and bright stone fruit. “This is an incredibly versatile style of wine that partners with a wide range of foods,” says Wilson. “It’s a perfect bottle to reach for to enjoy while outdoor grilling and with all the fresh side dishes. Whether virtual or distanced, I recommend stocking up on this easy crowd-pleaser.”
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