Friday, October 24, 2014

Texas Two-Step from the Dancing Bee Winery

About a year ago I visited the Dancing Bee Winery and Meadery.  It's roughly 80 miles north-east of Austin and part of the San Gabriel Wine Trail.  (See Mead 101 and the Dancing Bee Winery).  I bought a bottle of what I considered their most interesting wine, and I'm drinking it tonight in honor of Texas Wine Month.  This wine-mead combo is technically called a Pyment, which means it's made from honey (like mead) as well as grapes -- in this case 60% honey and 40% Merlot.  (This bottle lists Merlot as the grape, but my notes from the winery say Tempranillo.  Either I wrote it down wrong initially, or they were in the process of changing the blend.)  Let's see how this bottle fared over the last year...

Appearance:  Deep brick red.  More brownish in color than most red wines (at least young ones), due to the honey.

Nose:  Aromas of cherry, plum, honey, and toffee.

Palate:  Dry, with barely a hint of sweetness, but not enough to be called off-dry. Flavors of ripe red fruits, honey, and a nice earthy quality. Moderate acid and surprisingly strong tannin.  13.8% abv

On one hand, Texas Two-Step is a unique experience.  On the other hand, it might not taste as unusual as you'd expect, given the ingredients.  Despite being made from 60% honey, it still tastes mostly like red wine, and is well balanced.  The honey in the mix accomplishes 3 main things: adds flavor, adds a touch of sweetness, and makes the red wine ultra smooth.  I think the combination is pretty successful and easy to drink.  Make sure you chill it for a few minutes. 

Mead is an occasional thing for me, so I can't see myself drinking this on a regular basis.  However, I think it's a must-try for wine geeks.  And anyone who finds many red wines too harsh and wants one that is super, ultra smooth, could fall in love with this.

As far as I know, the only place in Houston to buy this at the moment is at the downtown Spec's, where it costs about $16.

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