The Texas Two Taste column is a periodical editorial with intent to discover eateries around Texas where one can uncork and enjoy wines made across the Lone Star State, bringing wine & food pairings closer to you, two tastes at a time.
Although I know there is a huge group of followers for and with the Texas wine industry, it is also evident through social media that there is a faction within that group that likes and enjoys sharing their weekly, sometimes nightly Texas wine choice with their snack, entrée, or dinner. It is in that spirit that this Texas Two Taste column features nonetheless a simple homemade offering – as we often forget the best eatery is closest to us.
On the menu at Chez Montes was a fresh baby spinach salad dressed with serrano pepper, raw garlic and lime vinaigrette, plenty of zing. Following the greens, a simple peppered trio of shrimp seared on a hot skillet, and chicken breast with a delish cayenne lemon pepper rub.
To wash it all down? Westcave Cellars Winery, Texas Hill Country, Viognier “Estate”, 2010. The viognier was clear bright and medium straw in color. It had ample aromas of ripe tropical fruit, pineapple, mango, guava and candied peach, with a white floral bouquet expressed alongside a subtle hint of vanilla covered almonds. On palate, the wine showed a medium body with balanced acidity, and confirmed flavors of pineapple and guava, also yellow apple with accents of lemon rind.
The wine had a great cooling effect on the chicken’s spicy rub, it helped refresh the palate, and make you crave that little kick one more time. The shrimp’s bold pepper and a bit of salt also benefited, but c’mon…shrimp and viognier?… Yey! – Most surprising was the interaction of the wine with the spinach salad. It seemed as if the greens brought forth a minerality in the wine that wasn’t expressed through the other bites of the protein, almost dulling the fruit forwardness a bit, and letting it express a subtle river stone essence. Overall, the viscosity, body and style of this viognier paired nicely with bold seasoning and flavors encountered in the dish.
So don’t forget to Pair with Flare, and leave your dinner lonely – two is always better than one.
I invite you to join us next time for more on Texas wine & food pairings – two tastes at a time in Texas Two Taste!