Sunday, January 19, 2014

A Great Texas Pairing; Wedding Oak Tasting at Vinously Speaking

Last summer, I conducted an interview up at Hye Meadow. I finished up earlier than I expected, so I headed next door to Hye Market, curious to see which winery would be sampling in the tasting room. I was very happy to see Wedding Oak Winery there. I had wanted to try their wines for quite some time but had not made it out to San Saba. That Friday afternoon tasting was just a beginning for me. This weekend was just another page in my chapter on Wedding Oak Winery with a tasting at their newest retail outlet, VinouslySpeaking.

During this weekend’s regular Saturday wine tasting and pairing, Vinously Speaking joined forces with Wedding Oak. We tasted through seven of the current Wedding Oak wines. These wines were paired with cupcakes from Melissa Deal Guytia of Dealicious Cakes. Unfortunately owners Mike and Lynn McHenry were not able to attend; the winery was involved with two other local events on Saturday. Instead, their son came down to talk about the wines and was later aided by the winemaker Penny Adams.

The tasting provided a strong showing of whites. The Terre Blanc – made from Marsanne and Rousanne grapes from the McHenry’s vineyard – is currently very bright with a nice, light acidity; it was refreshing and soft at the same time. The lavender and honey cupcake it was paired with set off the softer, more herbal and floral notes in the wine. Honestly, it was my favorite pairing. Also of not, the Terre Blanc and Terre Rouge are normally wine club only, so it is quite a ctach to pick them up at the shop. The other whites, which are often sweeter – have softened as well. The sweetness, which is usually a nice afterthought, is now a subtle underlying element. I like this turn, as it provides complexity in the wines. Among these wines included the Viognier and the Bridal Veil, both made from High Plains grapes.

The reds are really coming to a full body place right now. The minerality and earth is starting to move forward in these wines.  The standout here was the Tioja. It has gained a more rounded balance since I last tasted it (relatively fresh in the bottle at only a few weeks). Being paired with a bacon and cheddar cupcake helped accentuate the almost limestone nature hidden in this fruit forward Tempranillo blend. The Terre Rouge is my favorite due to its more naturally well rounded nature – the less common varietals in the blend add nuances that I always go for – came across well (another wine that mostly comes from the McHenry vineyards). Penny mentioned how she likes the recent changes in the Regency Bridge, which I wish I noticed more. She also told me they will have a VERY limited Tempranillo and a few other new reds later this year, probably towards summer.

The pairing ended with the always fun Bridal Blush. It is still coming off as the sweetest of the wines, but the sweetness tastes more like barely ripe strawberries. This of course paired well with my favorite cupcake, the strawberry cupcake. Normally I go with the chocolate, which paired with a red, but the strawberry had great flavor without any artificial sugar taste, bringing out the richer fruit flavors in the wine. It would have made a great dessert.

Original Art for Wedding Oak Winery by Leanne Holley
In the end, the best pairing of the day was Vinously Speaking and Wedding Oak Winery. Vinously Speaking loves supporting Texas wine, especially Texas wine that has character while also being a great sipping wine. Wedding Oak is a huge supporter of local businesses, so a small family and friend run wine shop is just what they would want. I am glad I suggested the two; this is a great pairing that I was glad I didn’t miss.

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