I drank a very interesting (and tasty) Texas wine last night from Homestead Winery. Homestead’s main production facility is in Ivanhoe, TX, but it has tasting rooms in Denison and Grapevine. I visited the one in Grapevine last year and purchased a bottle of their “Desert Rose.”
Desert Rose is made from the Muscat Canelli grape, which grows well in east Texas. (This grape is grown in southern France where it is known as Muscat Blanc à Petits Grains. It is also the grape of the famous Italian Moscato d’Asti.) Don’t be confused by “rose” in the name – this is a white wine. It is mostly dry, with perhaps a hint of residual sugar. The aromas include the “grapey” and floral qualities typical of Muscat, along with some grapefruit, apricot, and a slightly herbal undertone. It has a medium body and medium-to-high acid, so it is food friendly! I drank it with a Thai red curry, and it held up nicely. I’ve tasted many Muscat Canellis from Texas, and this one may be my favorite.
A note on the alcohol content: I noticed as I was tasting that the alcohol was a bit high. Not enough to detract too much, but enough to keep it from being perfectly balanced. However, the bottle doesn’t list the alcohol content. Texas wine law allows producers to label their wine as “table wine” and omit the alcohol percentage on the label, as long as the wine has less than 14% alcohol, and Homestead has done this. I bet it’s pretty close to that 14% maximum though!
Desert Rose is $13 a bottle, but unfortunately I don’t know of any locations selling it in the Houston area. Homestead does have a wine club though, and ships to Texas residents. Better yet, use this as an excuse to visit Homestead and the other wineries on the Grapevine Wine Trail, just outside of Dallas. It’s an easy weekend getaway if you live in the Houston area. While you’re there, stay at the Gaylord and visit their incredible wine bar!