Part 3: Texas State Fair Wine & Dine

Vintage Lane & Lost Oak Wines

Vintage Lane & Lost Oak Wines

Fairhaven Vineyards Wine

Fairhaven Vineyards Wine

Weinhof Winery

Weinhof Winery

This is the final post about my wine & dine experience at the Texas State Fair.

I had to try a Fletcher’s corny dog with wine. There is something about Fletcher’s…maybe it’s the batter, it’s earthy with a bit of sweetness that encompasses the salty meatiness of the dog.

*I did not put mustard or ketchup on my corny dog.

The Wines:

Vintage Lane (Subsidiary of Lost Oak Winery) Willow White – bright acidity and floral. It was good and refreshing with the dog.

Lost Oak Winery “Crimson Oak” – light tar, some spiciness. The wine added some spice to the dog. Not bad.

Weinhof Winery Gewürztraminer – sweet with an earthy undertone. It was a good match because it brought out the sweetness in the batter.

Fairhaven Vineyards Blanc du Bois – slightly sweet with a refreshing clean finish. Really good with the corny dog.

Fairhaven Vineyards Chambourcin – blueberry & cherry with good acidity. It added more earthiness to the dog. It was a good match with the meat of the dog but it did cover up the sweetness of the batter.

I did the same wines with Avocado Fries. The fries were spicy and crunchy with a rich earthy flavor.

Vintage Lane Willow White – The wine had enough body and floral sweetness to stand up to the spiciness of the fries.

Lost Oak “Crimson Oak” – The fries flattened the wine and made it bland. Not good.

Weinhof Gewürztraminer – good pairing because the wine was sweet and the food was spicy. Opposites are a good thing in this instance.

Fairhaven Blanc du Bois – The fries spiciness and the acidity in the wine was not the best pairing.

Fairhaven Chambourcin – This was a nice pairing because the wine had enough dark fruit element to counter the spice in the fries. I also want to say that this wine is not sweet. However, Fairhaven does offer a sweet (dolce) version that reminded me of a well-balanced Black Muscat.

This concludes my adventures in Texas State Fair food & wine offerings and I hope I can work off the pounds I gained….what I do for my Twisted Peeps LOL!

Avocado Fries & Fletcher's Corny Dog-the aftermath

Avocado Fries & Fletcher’s Corny Dog-the aftermath

Cheers Y’all!

Lori – Your Twisted Sommelier

Part 2: Texas State Fair Wine & Dine

Texas Twisted Taco

Texas Twisted Taco

Dry Comal Creek French Colombard

Dry Comal Creek French Colombard

Bar Z Wines - Sangiovese & "Enigmatic"

Bar Z Wines – Sangiovese & “Enigmatic”

Fry Dog & Sriracha Balls

Fry Dog & Sriracha Balls

Llano Estacado Wines - Sweet Red & Signature White

Llano Estacado Wines – Sweet Red & Signature White

This is my 2nd round of doing a wine pairing with the food that is available at the Texas State Fair.


Food: Twisted Taco – Chicken fried steak, fried okra, roasted corn, spicy slaw in a flour tortilla. I think this is my new fave dish at the fair.

Wine: Bar Z Winery – Sangiovese – Bright cherry, earth, good acidity. Fantastic with the taco. Wish I had gotten a glass and just chowed down with the taco.

Wine: Bar Z Winery -“Enigmatic” Tempranillo blend – dirt, leather, tobacco leaves. The wine was almost too much for the taco and added a leather element that was a bit off. The wine on it’s own was good.

Wine: Dry Comal Creek – French Colombard -butter, light toast & bright citrus finish. Good with the taco and was refreshing too.


Food: Sriracha Balls – damn hot ball of fire with corn & chicken! I liked it, but after awhile my mouth went numb.

Wine: Llano Sweet Red – it’s basically like a red sangria (red wine with fruit). It actually stood up to the fire and quenched my thirst.

Wine: Llano Signature White – stone fruit with a zesty citrus finish. This pairing was not good because the acidity in the wine intensified the heat of the food.


Food: Fried Dog – a hot dog coated in fries, then fried and cheese poured on top. It was good, but eat it fast because it’s bad cold.

Wine: Llano Sweet Red – It was ok with the dog. Nothing special.

Wine: Llano Signature White – Not good with the dog. The wine gave the dish a weird tangy element. The wine on it’s own was good. I would consider it a patio/pool sipping wine.

2 other wines I tried were:

Bar Z Winery – Cabernet Sauvignon – smoke, earth, a little black fruit. Very good.

Dry Comal Creek Sparkling Demi Sweet – This is a sweet wine that I would consider for dessert.

That was about all I could do for the day.

I’m hoping to make it back and attempt a 3rd visit to the fair.

Wish me luck!

Lori – Your Twisted Sommelier


Texas State Fair Wine & Dine

This is a quick wine & food pairing guide to the Texas State Fair.


Food: Fried Guacamole -tangy & spicy. My favorite food. I get this every year.

Wine: Los Pinos Vermentino – honey, herbal with a little citrus. Very good with the guacamole.

Wine: Los Pinos Texican – fruit forward with a little earth & mineral. Nothing changed with the food or the wine. Good.

Wine: Messina Hof Blanc du Bois – light grapefruit with a light mixed citrus finish. The guacamole overpowered the wine because of the spiciness.


Food: Fried Shrimp Boil – This won “Best Taste 2014” and I really don’t know why. It was just a bunch of corn flavored fried dough with a slight fishy flavor.

Wine: Flat Creek Dama Rosa Rose’ – fresh strawberries with a little orange blossom & honey.  The wine really made the food better. Very Good!

Wine: Flat Creek Super Texan – earth, dirt a little dark fruit. The wine was good with the shrimp and added some spice.

Wine: Messina Hof DRZ – dark fruits with earthy dark spices and a light acidic finish. This was good with the shrimp because it cut the grease and added spice.


Frito Pie…..nothing was good. Just get a beer.

Cheers, Y’all from the Texas State Fair!

Lori – Your Twisted Sommelier

3 Merlots & a Bertolli

Merlot: Columbia Crest, 14 Hands, Bogle

Merlot: Columbia Crest, 14 Hands, Bogle

I was gifted a bottle of Merlot in the $10 price range & asked if I wouldn’t mind reviewing it…of course not!

So this is for you, Dominick…Thank you!

I decided to compare it with 2 other Merlots in the same price range and see how they stood on their own and up to food.

#1) 2011 Columbia Crest Grand Estates, Columbia Valley, Washington.

Smell: dried cherries, green herbs, vanilla.

Taste: cedar, dark chocolate, vanilla with a hot, dry tannic finish that lasted awhile on the palate. This wine was made to go with food.

#2) 2012 14Hands Vineyards, Columbia Valley, Washington.

Smell: very faint cedar, vanilla, cranberries.

Taste: assorted dried red/black fruit & smoke with a round mouth feel and soft tannins and short finish. Very drinkable on its own.

#3) 2011 Bogle Vineyards, California.

Smell: dirt, dark chocolate, dried cherries.

Taste: cherry, eucalyptus, with some earthiness in the soft, short finish. I was ambivalent about this.

I paired the wines with Bertolli’s Chicken Marsala & Roasted Redskin Potatoes. I love Bertolli! It’s so convenient to cut open a bag, pour the ingredients in a pan and heat it on the stove top. You are done in 15 minutes. Very good “sporkable” food.

Bertolli: Chicken Marsala & Roasted Redskin Potatoes

The Columbia Crest went well with the dish. The wine actually made the Marsala sauce a little sweeter (what’s not to like about that). I think that was from the vanilla aspect I kept tasting from the wine.

The 14Hands really did nothing to the food. I was a bit disappointed.

Bogle was a good pairing because it give the food a more earthy, robust flavor.

Overall, I would take Columbia Crest &  Bogle to a pizza party and everyone would like them.

The 14Hands, I would just enjoy on its own. It’s definitely for relaxing. I would even consider this a good Summer red wine.

Cheers Y’all!

Lori – Your Twisted Sommelier


Holy Grail Chili-pa-looza & Beer!

4 Chilies 4 Beers at the Holy Grail Pub

4 Chilies 4 Beers at the Holy Grail Pub

Hey Twisted Peeps!

This post is a departure for me because I’m going to write about beer.

My favorite place to get fantastic beer and great food is the Holy Grail Pub. The owner, Brian has created a comfortable neighborhood place with a knowledgeable friendly staff.

I don’t know if there are certified Cicerones (the equivalent to a Sommelier) that work at Holy Grail, but honestly they don’t need one. Everyone is passionate about beer and food and can easily help you with your choices.

Sully and I decided to try out the Holy Grail Chili-pa-looza event. I ordered a flight of chili, which was a sample of 4: Vegetarian 3 Bean, White Turkey Hominy, Smoked Brisket, and Ghost Pepper. (They were out of the Green Chile Chicken).

The Cicerone for the evening was Steven. I asked him to set up a flight of beer to go with the chilies.

He brought out: Green Flash West Coast IPA, Stone Brewery’s Oaked Arrogant Bastard Ale, Oskar Blues Ten Fidy Imperial Stout, and Southern Tier Choklet Imperial Stout.

Pairing #1 Green Flash West Coast IPA with the Vegetarian 3 Bean. Green Flash is a hoppy beer with citrus and pine. I do not like hoppy beers, but this was a perfect pairing with the Vegetarian. The beer really brought out the acidity of the tomatoes and added depth to the taste of the chili.

It also worked well with the White Turkey Hominy. It was an equal pairing where the beer and the chili did not really change one another. Very nice.

Pairing #2 Stone Brewery Oaked Arrogant Bastard Ale with White Turkey Hominy Chili. I love almost everything Stone does. However, this beer was too light which really surprised me, so I tried it with the Vegetarian and again, it was too light and sort of forgettable.

Pairing #3 Oskar Blues Ten Fidy Imperial Stout with the Smoked Brisket was wonderful. The beer has elements of bitter chocolate, coffee, molasses and roasted nuts that really complimented the smokey sweetness of the sauce and had enough body to handle the texture of the chili.

I also tried it with the Ghost Pepper Chili and it actually smoothed out some of the heat.

Pairing #4 Southern Tier Choklet Imperial Stout with the Ghost Pepper Chili…WOW! I loved it. This Imperial Stout is rich, sweet, earthy and dark. It added some sweetness to the Ghost Peppers which is a good thing so my mouth did not feel like it was being charred from the really really hot peppers. The beer made my palate feel like it was being “protected” in dark chocolate goodness before being assaulted by fire. That’s a weird analogy, but I don’t how else to explain it…LOL!

For fun, I tried it with the Smoked Brisket but that did not go so well. The beer made the chili bitter.

So all in all, I think it was a successful chili and beer pairing.

Thank you Steven for rising to the challenge and the whole Holy Grail Crew for putting up with this “wine snob”.

Your Twisted Sommelier,


Prosecco, Potato Chips, Pork Skins

Zardetto, Presto, Voveti, Mionetto

Zardetto, Presto, Voveti, Mionetto

Cape Cod, Lay's, Ruffles, Baken-ets

Cape Cod, Lay’s, Ruffles, Baken-ets

I love Prosecco. I love potato chips and pork skins. I thought it would be a match made in Heaven….not so much…

I enlisted the help of my Cousin Catherine, who has no problem getting her opinion over in a direct manner (remember she said a wine tasted like wet dog?) and my friend Teri who worships Prosecco.

We tasted 4 Proseccos and 3 kinds of potato chips and a bag of pork skins.

The 4 Proseccos:

Presto: It is a Whole Foods brand. Catherine was the first to declare it undrinkable. It smelled and tasted like a barnyard. We all wondered if it was “corked”. Teri & I tried to analyze it a bit more, but it was just too painful so we dumped it.

Mionetto: This was recommended by Carol who works at my local Whole Foods. It had a slight petrol and citrus smell. The taste was mineral, very light lemon and apple. We all liked it. I even think Teri found a new Prosecco to fall in love with.

Voveti: The smell was more flowery than the others. The taste was citrus, assorted apples and white flowers. We thought this one was nice, but not outstanding.

Zardetto: This has always been my “go to” Prosecco. The smell is light perfume and apples. The taste is baked apples, bread and a light mineral finish. We all liked this one.

The tasting results with the chips:

Cape Cod Kettle Cooked Reduced Fat Chips:

Mionetto brought out a herbaceous taste that we all liked.

Voveti made the chips bitter

Zardetto brought out a slightly sweet flavor that we liked.

Lay’s Potato Chips:

Mionetto brought out a green herb quality in the chips. It was good.

Voveti tasted weird and earthy. Not good.

Zardetto just tasted flat. Not good.

Ruffles Potato Chips:

Mionetto made the chips taste fresh, light and zesty. Awesome!

Voveti – bitter

Zardetto gave the chip a weird baked flavor.

Baken-ets Pork Skins:

Mionetto was well-balanced with the pork skins. Awesome!

Voveti brought out an earthy, dirt flavor that we did not like.

Zardetto amplified the bacon goodness, but it was not the palate cleanser I was looking for, but we all liked the pairing.

Afterwards we found out that you need a cast iron stomach to handle lots of bubbles and salty, oily chips.

I had a headache and stomach-ache. The next day we kept texting each other and sharing our misery. I will never do this again!

By the way, we found out that Voveti is very good with raspberries and probably should have stuck with that…

Cheers! Y’all!

Your Twisted Sommelier, Lori

Chardonnay and BEEF!

Butter Chardonnay

Butter Chardonnay

Sanglier Chardonnay

Sanglier Chardonnay

Beef, Potatoes, w/Avocados & Tomatoes

Beef, Potatoes, w/Avocados & Tomatoes

I had posted a few years ago about how I was trying to find a different wine other than Cabernet to pair with a beef filet. 

I settled on a Pinot Noir that created a rant about how I wish more restaurants were BYOB….Anyhoo…I digress….

I got to thinking about this because I have a friend that loves Chardonnay and that evening I said that an oaky, full-bodied Chardonnay would be perfect.

So to prove I was right, I tried 2 Chardonnay wines with a bacon wrapped beef filet, rosemary – garlic potatoes and a salad of avocados and tomatoes drizzled in lime and olive oil.

The 2 Chardonnays were:

2010 Sanglier Sonoma Coast Chardonnay. alc. 13.9% and 2012 JAM Cellars Chardonnay Butter. alc. 14.8%

Sanglier smell was: Ripe apple, cream, a bit of white flowers and creme brulee

The taste was: Granny Smith apple, assorted melons and lemon. The acidity was long but finished slightly creamy.

It was great with the beef. It sort of cleansed the palate, but the beef did not over-whelm the wine. It was perfect with the 2 side dishes.

 Butter smell was: Apple pie – bread, butter and cinnamon

The taste was: Light Red Delicious apple, peaches, smoke, with a soft vanilla, butter finish. The finish was short but creamy.

This Chardonnay was good with the beef. It even added a sweetness to the bacon, which is always awesome!

It paired very well with both side dishes.

Both of these Chardonnays were very good with beef because of how they were processed and the high alcohol level.

Sanglier was done “Sur Lie” in oak barrels, which adds more body, aromas, and complexity to the wine.

Butter went through 2 fermentations, the last one being malolactic, which softens the tartness of the wine making it creamy with more body.

I think I will take my own advice, and just order a Chardonnay. It will simplify my choices and the side dishes won’t feel neglected.

I want to Thank Whole Foods for this Whole meal; including the wine.

I have been shopping there for years and this is the ONLY place where I get bacon wrapped filets. I’m a West Texas girl and my Daddy was a judge on the Texas A&M Beef Team…I better know beef!

Also, the wine department, at least at my Whole Foods in Plano, is so knowledgeable and enthusiastic about what they do…I feel like a kid in a candy store every time I go in to shop for wine.  Thank you Carol & your team!

I also want to Thank fellow Twisted Peep, Lisa S. for turning me onto Sanglier.

Cheers Y’all!

Lori – Your Twisted Sommelier