7 Texas Wines You Should Try

Take a sip of rosé from Pedernales Cellars or the tempranillo from Spicewood Vineyards.

By Geneva Diaz

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Shop Texas wines from Llano Estacado, Bending Branch and McPherson Cellars.

Texas has its hands in every industry, so it should be no surprise that the world of wine and viticulture has a home in the Lone Star State. Wine labels from Texas can be found across the country, with West Coast wineries giving the state the recognition it deserves. With Texas being the fifth-largest wine producer in the United States, with more than 400 wineries and 5,000 vineyard acres, you are sure to find the perfect wine for your next dinner party.

Today, the state has eight American Viticultural Areas, also known as grape-growing regions,  from areas like the High Plains and Hill Country. You will find a range of grapes from these regions, such as tannat, mourvèdre, montepulciano, tempranillo and more. Popular European grapes like cabernet sauvignon, Sangiovese and chardonnay also exist. But the best part about growing grapes in Texas is the variety of grapes outside of those most commonly sold across the country and they have won many world-renowned awards.

Aside from the variety of grapes to choose from and award-winning taste, you’re supporting local wineries within state lines. Whether you’re an oenophile or love all things Texas, here are seven wines that should be in your kitchen.

Bending Branch 2018 Tannat, Newsom Vineyards Local


When opening Bending Branch’s tannat wine, expect to taste flavors like red plum, cedar and rhubarb pie on the palate, and it pairs well with filet mignon, aged cheddar and pork belly. This year, the wine won a Double Gold medal from the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, a Gold medal from the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo Wine Competition, and a Silver at the Houston Rodeo Uncorked! International Wine Competition.

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Duchman 2017 Montepulciano, Oswald Vineyard Local


If you've never heard of montepulciano, you're not alone. The grape is an Italian red variety from the Adriatic coast in the d'Abruzzo region of Southern Italy. Being rich in taste, the montepulciano is barrel-aged in neutral oak for two years, allowing a process called micro-oxidation. This process enhances the smoothness of the flavors, and you'll taste the grape on the first sip. This wine pairs well with hearty meat and pasta dishes such as lasagna, ragu, tagliatelle and beef brisket.

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Pedernales Cellars 2021 Over the Moon Rosé, Texas High Plains Local


The best thing about rosé is that it has all the freshness of white wine with the soul of a red and is exceptionally versatile. Because of a challenging year in 2021 for whites and rosé, Pedernales Cellars had to get a bit creative by combining rosé and saignee. Saignee involves “bleeding” off some of the juice from red wine (before it ferments) and fermenting it separately — leaving a lovely soft rosé. This wine is perfect on its own on a hot summer day, relaxing poolside with your friends, or with a charcuterie board and light dinner. With each sip, you’ll smell fruits such as peach, apricot and pear with a hint of rose petals.

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Spicewood 2019 Tempranillo (black label), Dutton Vineyards Local


Being the star grape for many Texas wineries, expect to see tempranillo wine on many restaurant menus. This wine is from the black grape variety native to Spain and is widely grown to make full-bodied red wines. The name is an ode to the Spanish word temprano, meaning "early," and refers to the fact that this grape ripens several weeks earlier than most Spanish red grapes. Spicewood's version of the Spanish grape has notes of figs with flavors of blackberries and cocoa powder. Enjoy this wine with pork tamales or chicken parmigiana.

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Messina Hof 2019 Mourvèdre, Texas High Plains Local


Image: Messina Hof

Another award-winning wine, and half the price of the tannat, is a bold dry red wine known as mourvèdre. You'll catch a whiff of the smokiness with the wine's earthy tones and black fruit flavors. You'll taste hints of olive marinating the palate, providing an overall rustic yet elegant taste; if you enjoy merlot or want to know what Texas would taste like if it was a wine, this is for you. The Messina Hof wine pairs well with smoked red meats seasoned with spice or fresh black pepper. If you're looking to buy in person, Messina Hof Harvest Green Winery & Kitchen is just a half-hour drive west of Downtown Houston.

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Sauvignon Blanc 2020, Llano Estacado Local


Image: Nexternal

An ode to the European classics, the 2020 Sauvignon Blanc by Llano Estacado, located right outside of Lubbock in the High Plains, is an affordable and safe choice. This intensely aromatic wine has notes of ripe citrus, fresh green herbs and exotic tropical fruits. Try this wine with brunch by pairing it with aromatic foods like herbed chicken, green salads or seafood like redfish, tilapia and scallops. Don’t forget to chill this wine before serving.

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McPherson Cellars Les Espines Rosé 2020, Texas High Plains Local


The first thing that jumps out about this wine is the lovely pink hue and beautiful wine label. Although you can’t go wrong with many wines from McPherson Cellars, located in Lubbock, this wine hits the spot. As soon as you open the bottle, you’ll smell a blend of red fruits like strawberry and cranberry and a soft hint of fresh roses. You’ll taste orange citrus and red berry fruits and flowers. Pair this wine with anything from seafood and salads to fruits and small bites such as a charcuterie board.

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