In a spirited but friendly competition, Texas wines prevailed over New York opponents by a score of 8-3 in blind taste tests Monday night at the 2010 Grape and Gridiron Classic.
Prior to the Dallas Cowboys versus New York Giants football game, approximately 30 wine experts, including representatives of the Texas and New York wine industries and media, tasted 11 pairings of specially selected Texas and New York wines at El Centro College’s Food & Hospitality Institute.
McPherson Cellars Rosé of Syrah 2009 of Texas and Dr. Konstantin Frank’s Vinifera Wine Cellars 2009 Semi-Dry Riesling of New York took home the MVP awards for most valuable wines for their respective states.
"While the Cowboys and Giants clashed on the gridiron, wine lovers toasted glasses of award-winning wines from two of America's biggest and best wine-producing states," said Deputy Agriculture Commissioner Drew DeBerry. "Texas and New York wines win international acclaim, and this was a unique opportunity to showcase vintages from both states in the spirit of friendly competition."
Texas wine bloggers Jeff Siegel of The Wine Curmudgeon and DrinkLocalWine.com, and Russ Kane of VintageTexas led guests in the blind tasting. Jim Trezise, president of the New York Wine & Grape Foundation, Richard Leahy of Richard Leahy's Wine Report and Fred LeBrun from Albany Times Union represented New York.
"We were proud to take part in such a unique and friendly competition," Trezise said. "The wines from both states showed exceptionally well, and events like this help us bring more attention to the growing popularity of regional wines."
Record harvest expected
Texas winemakers have even more to cheer this year as the Lone Star State is poised to yield a record grape harvest. Production for 2010 is forecast at nearly 8,900 tons, up 44 percent from a year ago.
Texas wineries represented in the tasting included Llano Estacado Winery, Messina Hof Winery & Resort, Becker Vineyards, Duchman Family Winery, Haak Vineyards & Winery, Brennan Vineyards, McPherson Cellars, Dry Comal Creek Vineyards, Lone Oak Winery, Inwood Estate Vineyards and Flat Creek Estate.
Texas is the fifth-largest wine producing state in the country with more than 200 wineries. All Texas wines that were poured at the 2010 Grape and Gridiron Classic were made with Texas grapes and carried Texas appellations. For a complete list of participating wines and winners, visit www.TexasAgriculture.gov and look under Most Popular Links.
To learn more about the Texas wine industry, visit www.TexasAgriculture.gov and click on GO TEXAN Programs.