It was April 2005 when planters began the painstaking task of rooting 7,000 vines in the rich, rocky soil of Cathedral Mountain Vineyard. Situated just 19 miles south of Alpine, Texas, the location was ideal––plentiful sun and chilly nights would sustain the Tempranillo, Syrah, Grenache, and Mourvedre vines until the grapes were ready for harvesting. That day finally arrived in 2006, when cultivators descended upon the vineyard to reap the first fruits destined to become Times Ten Cellars' Spanish- and Rhone-style wines. These may seem like extraordinary lengths to go to for a decent pour, but one look at Time Ten’s wine list is all it takes to realize its founders’ fondness for Texan-born wines knows no bounds. At the tasting bar, guests can sample limited-release wines such as Cathedral Mountain Vinyard's Dessert Red or Vino de Piedra, alongside other domestic vinos from the Lone Star State, as well as those from California and––on occasion––even Italy. On select nights, jazz music drowns out the chorus of sipping rising up from the comfy cocoa arm chairs in the lounge, and Times Ten Cellar's also offers occasional classes for anyone looking for an excuse to expand their knowledge of wine or stick their nose in other people's glasses.
Featuring an extensive menu of creative American food—including The Reuben 1976, born on the restaurant and brewery's opening day—Humperdink's has served the mertroplex area for 36 years. Humperdink's boasts menu items such as barbecue ribs, sustainable seafood, steaks, gourmet burgers, and original buffalo hot wings, along with a number of award-winning microbrews crafted on the premises and served on tap.
Nestled among the wooden corrals and brick façades of the historic Fort Worth Stockyards district, Cowtown Winery pairs meats and cheeses with red, white, semisweet, and dessert wines handcrafted by an in-house vintner. Amid shelves stocked with emerald rows of bottles, the winery’s tasting bar hosts daily samplings of premium wines such as the tart Silver Spur red and a pinot grigio with subtle aromas of apple, pear, and aged stetson hat. Live acoustic music on the weekends helps to inspire first-time winemakers as they consult with vintners to design custom labels and concoct up to 29 bottles of their own signature wine.
Sugar Ridge Winery's rolling acres once held everything from white-speckled fields of cotton to waving meadows of hay. Then owners Don and Michele Andrews planted their first rows of varietal and transformed the land into a verdant, nectar-giving paradise. Michele inherited the acreage from her grandparents and honors their legacy through a red heritage wine that fills the tasting room's antique wooden shelves alongside chardonnays, tempranillos, and cabernets. This pride in the vineyards' history shines through in the decor as well: Outside the tasting room, a wood-sided well stands flanked by giant urns. Shaded by trees, a tranquil fountain babbles on a stone patio and a resident cat and kittens prowl the grounds, guarding the grapes and playing cat games such as Parcheesi. In addition to public and private wine tastings, Don and Michele also host tasting afternoons paired with an outdoor massage and encourage winery visitors to pack their own picnics.
Reserve Wines equips oenophiles with a panoply of accessories and accouterments to enhance, streamline, and beautify the wine-consumption process. Treat wine to a luxurious, albeit brief, stay in one of the shop's many pouring vessels, including crystal stemware from Riedel or decorative wine glasses ($23.99+). Ornamental wine stoppers ($9.99+) will spruce up sips, and cork cages ($25.99+) display the plugs from favorite bottles and keep them from banding together to pose as a very weak baseball bat. Complement a friend's purple teeth with gift items from the shop’s selection of slate cheese boards ($14.99+), cigars ($3.99+), and gift bags ($2.99+). Although this Groupon is not valid towards the purchase of wine, Reserve Wines offers hundreds of wines under $20 as well as a large selection of rare and allocated bottles.
Sudsy brews slosh in clink-ready cups at the third annual North Texas Beer and Wine Festival, which takes up residence at the new Irving Convention Center on Saturday, May 12. Once the doors open to the general public at 2 p.m., imbibers can snack on high-end eats from the likes of Velvet Taco and The Ranch in Las Colinas, and sample the wares of local and international brewers from Imperial and Franconia. These brewmasters sling samples of hundreds of different beers, from classic signature brews to new, experimental creations. Just one of several enriching presentations on the schedule, Kelly Harris of Homebrew Headquarters edifies entrepreneurs and enthusiasts at 2:45 p.m. with an introductory course to home brewing. In a sprawling beer garden, live music from The Superkings and Dallas All Stars Blues Jam serenades sippers in the afternoon hours, easing eardrums into the VIP-only event featuring Band of Brothers and Zionaura.