When you first think of Dallas, you don’t automatically think, “Wow, some great wines are made there.” After going on the 6th annual Dallas Wine Trail this past weekend, I can assure you that there are indeed great local wines.
We got a last minute invite from a friend, and we in turn invited another couple to join us on the Trail. We purchased tickets online the day before so all we had to do was show up at one of two wineries to check in and receive our tasting tickets & wine glasses. It was a nice way to spend a somewhat gloomy afternoon and I definitely recommend going with a small group of friends as it is something a bit different to do.
Our little group started out at the Times Ten Cellars in Lakewood, where we could sample a 2013 Sauvignon Blanc, a 2012 Texas Trio, and a 2011 Cabernet Franc. Times Ten Cellars is a really nice place and if I were having a large party or special occasion it would be a place I would consider. Along with the wines were some cheeses and mini sandwiches we could nosh on. I enjoyed all three wines, but my favorite was the Texas Trio which is a blend of Grenache, Syrah, and Merlot.
Next on the Trail was the Calais Winery in Deep Ellum. It was a small location so it was tough to move around too much. They were offering three different red wines including a 2012 Cuvee Principale Roussanne, a 2012 Cuvee du Canton Syrah, and a 2011 Cuvee d’Elme Cab/Merlot/Malbec blend. I liked the Syrah best & ended up purchasing a bottle to bring home. There wasn’t much in the way of food at this winery since the location was so small, but they did offer chunks of crusty bread and bite-sized pieces of steak.
Our third stop was the Fuqua Winery. There were two different 2011 Zinfandels to try, with one being barrel aged and the other was not. The differences in flavor were distinct, but both were good. We also had the Coco’s Reserve Cuvee which is a blend that includes Syrah. The Mozzarella Company was there providing tastings of some of their cheeses including a black pepper and garlic caciotta which was amazing. In fact, I couldn’t purchase any because it had sold out. The other treat was Nib Chocolates. I had two of the most amazing caramels I have ever eaten. The red raspberry was the favorite amongst our group. Had we arrived earlier we might have been able to purchase some of those and sample some of the other items. They were so tasty that they, too, sold out. I did enjoy sampling some Pecan Balsamic Vinegar and Roasted Garlic Olive Oil from the Texas Olive Ranch. I bought both bottles because I can just imagine making all sorts of salad dressings with them. Yum!
Our final stop on the Wine Trail was Inwood Estates, located in the design district. We tried a 2012 Chardonnay, a 2010 Tempranillo-Cab, and a 2010 Cabernet ”Mericana”. I’m not a Chardonnay person, so I didn’t love it. The other two wines were probably my favorites of the whole Trail, lots of flavor and punch in them. The only downside is the wines are quite pricy at Inwood, which deterred me from making a purchase. I did purchase a glass of the “Mericana”, which I enjoyed every sip of.
All told, we spent about 3 hours on the Trail. A very fun afternoon tasting wines from wineries I had heard of but never considered purchasing from up until now.