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Samizdata quote of the day

Texan wine is actually quite good – on a par with Californian

– Philip Chaston

29 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • Douglas2


    I’ve had some French “Cuvée dépanneur” that was on par with nothing that I would drink voluntarily…

  • Cut Alaska in two and make Texas the third-biggest state….

  • Tom

    Excuse my off-topicness, I would prefer to post this question on one of Paul Marks’ threads, but as I cannot find a “view older entries” tag at the bottom of this page, I cannot find Mr Marks’ most recent post on this blogsite:
    I just wanted to ask any of the editors, is the “Paul Marks” who I voted for as a Conservative Council candidate yesterday, the same “Paul Marks” who posts on here? (Not that I have anything in particular to say about it one way or the other, if it is the same person, I’m just being wantonly curious).

  • guy herbert

    Damning with faint praise?

  • Tsk, Guy… California produces some truly excellent wines. I will set Madsen on you next time we have dinner and he will beat you around the ear with a nice Seavey Cabernet Sauvignon 😛

  • RW

    Compares favourably with a Welsh claret?

  • John B

    Ah, nothing like the peppery black currant muted with touches of aniseed and bruised cotton entangled with robust horse and seaweed overtones of a Welsh claret.
    There lie strength and courage. Indeed.

  • RAB

    Compares favourably with a Welsh claret?

    What a cheeky little Merlin, you mean?

    If you voted in Kettering Tom, then yes he is. He also posts on Counting Cats In Zanzibar, and all you have to do to find his stuff is keep scrolling down on our sclerotic server. 😉

  • Eric

    Damning with faint praise?

    That might have been the intention, but it doesn’t square with reality. The mid-market California wines are quite a bit better than mid-market French and German wines. The top California wines are quite good, though I can’t say I’ve had enough high-end European wine to compare.

  • Jacob

    You can also try Spanish wines.

  • David

    Try the wines from Messina Hof Winery in Bryan, Texas; in particular, the winery has a Texas variety of zinfandel, Tex-Zin, that is excellent. Worth a detour when you are driving from Waco to Houston, or visiting the kids at Texas A&M in College Station next door.

  • RW

    When the Queen visited Paris in the early nineties there was great speculation in the French press as to the menu to be served when the British embassy hosted a banquet for Mitterand. One enterprising reporter asked the embassy if HM preferred fine wines – the reply was “how would she know – she’s never had anything else”.

  • Kim du Toit

    Actually, it doesn’t matter WHERE the wine is made; it’s the METHOD which is important. Our favorite U.S. wine is actually from Missouri. The Blumenhof Winery has been making their wine according to the Ahr Valley manner (by people of German extraction, using German stock grapes) since the 1800s, and it’s wonderful — easily as good as any European wine, and better than most Californian.

  • Texas wine is very good. We just don’t make enough of it.

  • Johnathan Pearce

    I tried a Robert Mondavi “Woodbridge” 2008 last night.

    It was excellent.

  • Fred Z

    It’s not the quality, it’s the price/quality ratio.

    Chile and Spain are crushing everybody.

  • 'Nuke' Gray

    Contrary to a Monty Python sketch about Australian Wines, some of ours do not cause instant death and/or nausea!
    And James May (of Top Gear fame) has a TV show looking for great wines- and he found he liked some Californian wines very much!

  • Mike Lorrey

    Can’t say that I’ve had any Texan wines. Offhand the idea brings to mind the idea that I’ll be sipping saddle leather, sagebrush, cow paddy with a touch of petroleum with a finish thats like a twister on the tongue.

    For California wines, I recommend Thomas Fogarty, particularly the Chard and the Gewurtz. Highly regarded by the Expectorator among mid market wines, and the Gewurtz is simply awesome with either salmon or dungeness.

  • There’s a little bit of Texas in glass of french wine.

    The Texas Wild Mustang Grape and the French wine industry.

  • Paul B

    There should be an “each” in there somewhere. I blame the cheap Australian wine I’m currently drinking.

  • Most of the wines that I tried either originated round Lubbock or in the Hill Country. Definitely same range as California, probably not as good as Oregon or Washington, which I aim for in the States as they are never exported in quantity.

    Floridian wine does not travel. Go to the vinery in St Augustine for a range of tastes….

  • Many Australian wines are very good, but the trouble with them at the moment is that the Australian dollar is extremely strong for entirely unrelated reasons, and the good ones are just too expensive. I am drinking mostly Spanish wines at the moment. Spain traditionally made a lot of dross with a few good wines, but there has been an absolute revolution in Spanish winemaking in recent years. Regions that were making dross not long ago are making very good stuff that is still very reasonably priced, and while the really good stuff once only came from certain parts of Rioja, there are now really wonderful wines coming from a number of other places as well, at very competitive prices with equivalent wines from elsewhere.

    The trouble with Californian wines is that there are too many people with Hollywood or Silicon Valley money who have gone off and invested money in wineries. Some of these are vanity operations, others just have unrealistic ideas of what normal people pay for a bottle of wine. So Californian wines are often overhyped and expensive. The best ones are really superb, but it is a region with a lot of bullshit.

  • Alasdair

    Ahhhhh – so you *have* already visited Stockton, Michael ! (And Sacramento)

  • Richard Thomas

    You’re not likely to run across any but I can’t speak particularly highly about any of the Tennessee wines I’ve tried. Though I’m a “know what I like” type when it comes to alcohol so it could be a connoisseur would rave about them.

  • RKN


    Best Bang For $: Australia (esp. Barossa Valley)

    My Favorite: Italian, esp Amarone, w/Barolo close 2nd.

    California: Napa/Sonoma good, but try Central Valley wines, e.g. Justin, Tablas Creek, Calera, etc…

    Spanish: Tempranillo (e.g. Ramon Bilbao)

    French: Oh my. Burgundy (Pinot Noir). Terroir is everything. But $$$$

  • RKN


    Best Bang For $: Australia (esp. Barossa Valley)

    My Favorite: Italian, esp Amarone, w/Barolo close 2nd.

    California: Napa/Sonoma good, but try Central Valley wines, e.g. Justin, Tablas Creek, Calera, etc…

    Spanish: Tempranillo (e.g. Ramon Bilbao)

    French: Oh my. Burgundy (Pinot Noir). Terroir is everything. But $$$$

  • I think that in order to settle this argument, we all need to sit down and have a comparative tasting….

  • Kim du Toit

    I’m with Jennings on this one.

  • Paul Marks

    Errrr Tom.

    In case you ever see this……

    After all I have only seen your question by chance…

    I am indeed – if you are one of the voters in Brambleside Ward.

    I write under my own name – I have written stuff that I expected Labour to use against me (a few lines ripped from their context – that sort of thing), and have done so for years.

    Yet they never have.

    Perhaps that is because they have high ethical standards.

    Or it could be because they are too lazy to do opposition candidate research.

    I leave the question open.