How to taste like a Pro while visiting Texas Hill Country Wineries.
The 7 S’s of wine tasting See, Swirl, Smell, Sip, Savor, Split (optional, share a tasting) and Spit (optional)
Try new wines. If you are like me, you are still listening to your favorite classic rock music, but you also branch out and listen to the Hits channel. Be open to trying new wines. The grapes that are successful in Texas are Mediterranean varietals you may not have heard of before.
How do I pronounce these wine names?
Aglianico - (ah-L’YEE’AH-nee-koh) or (ahl-YAH-nee-ko)
Dolcetto - (dohl CHET oh) or (dohl-CHAY-toh)
Montepulciano - (mon tae pul chee AH noh) or (mon-tay-pool-chee-AH-no)
Mourvèdre - (moor/vehdr) or (Moor VAY Druh)
Sangiovese - (san joe VAE sae) or (sahn-gee-oh-VAY-zay)
Tannat - (tah-nah) or (tah-nat)
Tempranillo - (tem prah NEE yoh) or (tehm/prah/NEE/yoh)
Viognier - (vee oh nyay) or (vee-oh-n’yey)
Remember, practice makes perfect. You’ll be speaking, Italian, French and Spanish wine words in no time. Your pronunciation skills will improve greatly after a sip or two of the wine you are trying to pronounce! I am hoping Matthew McConaughey will want to record these Texas wine names for me! :)
Ask good questions.
Is this wine made with Texas fruit or grapes? Where are the grapes grown?
Which wine is this winery known for and why?
What food would pair well with this wine? Or explain your favorite dish to make, and ask them which wine they would serve with it.
How long do I have to wait to enjoy this bottle or how long should I store this bottle for optimal flavor?
Is this wine barrel aged?
What’s your favorite wine for Spring, Summer, Fall or Winter? But remember everyone has a different taste when it comes to wine. The only person who knows what tastes good is you. So, drink the wine that you enjoy, but don’t hesitate to expand your horizon and try something new based on their suggestions.
Do you use the same composition of varietals each year? I have found that most of the Texas wine makers create the best wine from the grapes each year and don’t try to mimic the wine from previous years. Texas is known for its unpredictable weather, so the grapes will taste different depending on the weather from year to year.
Speaking about Texas weather, remember to keep wines out of the hot car. Bring an ice chest or cooler with you to store your wine purchases as your going from place to place.
Most wineries will allow you to split or share a tasting, using the same glass. My husband and I will often enjoy the smaller sip while tasting, so we can enjoy a glass later. Please remember to drink responsibly. Most wine tastings can add up to a full glass of wine. Naming one person as your designated driver will allow you to enjoy the Texas Hill Country Wine Region safely.
The most important thing to enjoy yourself and feel comfortable asking questions whenever you are curious about something.
Sit back, relax, and enjoy your wine tasting! Most of the Texas Hill Country wineries have an outside patio area and allow you to bring in outside food. Please take a look at our wine directory for more information about the wineries you plan to visit.
We hope you enjoy your visit to the Texas Wine Country and return home with positive memories of the people, places and Texas wines.