Thursday, May 17, 2012

18. Muscat Mom

18. Muscat Mom

She is never sure
what she likes: his white, my red,
sweet or dry. Which wine

will appease her taste
buds? She nervously samples:
she chooses Muscat.

I was lucky enough to spend the Saturday before Mother's day with my mother and mother-in-law. My husband Sean and I decided that they deserved a bit of an adventure -- each for different reasons. With Spring returned -- we had a day that barely reached 80 with a refreshing North breeze (a BIG departure from the weekend before) -- we set off for Wimberely and Driftwood. What I came to find out is that my mom prefers Muscat.

Mom walking towards the tasting room @ Driftwood
Our first stop was Driftwood Estate Winery. This Hill Country Winery is a sight to behold, and that was the first thing that the moms took an interest in. Fearing oncoming crowds, we herded them into the tasting room. Mario -- the tasting room manager -- got us started and eased the moms rights into the tasting. Now, with my mother-in-law, there are no worries. She was born in the Napa area -- she lived near where a winery is now -- and often joins my husband and I on trips to the 290 wine trail (and yes, I get along well with my mother-in-law). She went right to it, exploring the diverse menu at Driftwood. My mother, on the other hand, is always over cautious. Part of her problem is she doesn't know what she likes -- my dad's penchant for whites is not exactly her thing, and my love for reds is interesting and confusing to her. With that in mind, my goal was to figure out what she liked. I helped guide her through the selections, helping her choose a variety so she could get a clear idea. Her top two were the 2010 Cuvee Blanc and the 2011 Muscat Canelli.

Her number one favorite at Driftwood was the Muscat. This had a strong taste of stone fruit -- especially peaches (one of my mother's favorite fruits). This was a fruit forward sweet wine without being too sweet (it had 2% residual sugar). This was a soft wine, delicate and flavorful. Now, it was still strong, so I didn't need too much. In fact, my mom asked which I would recommend to have with lunch. I had to steer her away from this one -- it wouldn't  pair well with sandwiches and it might take her out for the rest of the day.
Mom by the vineyard at Duchman.

Next we headed over to Duchman Family Winery. After a stroll through the grounds, we started a tasting. And I should have known that my mother would prefer the 2009 Orange Muscat. This strong wine -- over 16% alcohol -- is a burst of citrus, especially the orange in the name. It is sweet, but it doesn't overpower the drinker. There is a mildness in the wine that helps to soften the sweetness; in the end, the drinker doesn't just have a sugary taste overpowering and sticking around. Well of course my mom bought a bottle and made sure to pair it with chocolate birthday cake the next day (it was my sister-in-law's birthday). She must have really liked the wine, as she was not quick to share -- my sister-in-law had to stop everything and ask for a glass. And I can say, this wine goes well with chocolate. While at the tasting room, I enjoyed it my favorite dark chocolate -- Chocolat's (from Fredericksburg) Sweet Dreams.

My big lesson of the day was simple: my mom likes Muscat, especially Orange Muscat. She likes wines that hint at being sweet too, but generally are not (like the Cuvee). So, she throws a  kink into everything; we have yet another variant on what wine to drink. I am thankful that Texas wines provides so much choice; no mater where we go, we can all find something to make us happy.

*NOTE: For more insights on the wines and the wineries, check out my next blogs: Literary Visions (about Driftwood) and Blending (Duchman).

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