Generally speaking Texans like big red wines. Why? Because typical Texas cuisine consists of steak and barbeque. Big red wines usually have big tannins, which like to be paired with fat, such as rib eye, ribs, and brisket. Today’s food and wine pairing is a perfect combination of big red wine and Texas cuisine.
The Wine: Dave Phinney’s Locations wines are all the rage. These are well made wines that break all the rules. No appellations, no expression of terroir, just pure enjoyment. That is what Dave Phinney created with his Locations wines.
To create Locations TX Phinney partnered with Kim McPherson of McPherson Cellars – one of the oldest winemaking families in Texas. The grapes consist of Grenache, Mourvèdre, Syrah, Carignan, and assorted Bordeaux varieties sourced from the Lost Draw Vineyard in the Texas High Plains AVA. It was barrel aged in neutral French oak for 10 months prior to release and contained 14.5% alcohol.
Locations TX ($24.99): It pours a deep ruby in the glass. The medium+ aromas offer layers of black and red fruit – fresh picked and baked, dried roses, baking spice, deep earthy minerality, dried tobacco, black pepper, cured meat, cedar, dry roasted espresso beans, black licorice, and dusty earth; a full-bodied wine with smooth pronounced tannins and medium+ acidity that was surprisingly restrained – not a word I typically use for Phinney wines. I was struck by how the baked fruit was not over jammy or concentrated and how the earthiness really wrapped the palate, lingering on the medium+ finish.
I really enjoy Location wines and am a big fan of the overall project – this may be favorite I have had so far.
The Food: I have established a theme here, big red wines want to be paired with big Texas cuisine. Not much left to decide.
My Choice: I decided to go with bbq. Since it was just my hubby and I we kept it restrained – chopped brisket, chicken, sides of pasta and broccoli salad, and of course, cornbread. I thought about jalapeño cornbread –after all it is Texas, but wasn’t sure how it would pair with the wine so opted for traditional cornbread.
The Results: Outstanding. Like I said, while dinner was cooking I had already fallen in love with the wine. I must admit, it took me by surprise how much I enjoyed it – my husband too. It paired great with the BBQ. The sauce was a great blend of slightly sweet (I don’t really like sweet BBQ sauce) and earthy that was a perfect accompaniment to the wine. I did not taste any sweet notes with the wine until it met the BBQ sauce, then a touch a cherry cola emerged that was quite delightful. We dined al fresco listening to Sgt Peppers Lonely Heart Club Band and had a wonderful evening. After dinner we enjoyed a second glass outside by the fire.
As we are heading into summer cookout season be sure to have some Locations TX wine on hand to pair with whatever you throw on the grill. I seriously think you will really enjoy it.
Song Selection: This wine is too big to pair with any song from Sgt Peppers. Plus, this is Texas wine. It needs a song as big as Texas. This song is perfect – bluesy Texas rock with restraint.
To find Locations TX near you visit their web site. Get your own bottle and let me know what song you pair with it. Cheers!