So, it’s Texas Tuesday, but I am a bit congested thanks to our favorite winter visitor, cedar pollen. I didn’t want to open anything special so I am simply offering an idea for a very last-minute gift. I always like to give Texas wine because so many people just don’t know what they’re missing. Even locals have never tasted the wines that are being made just down the road so I do my part to remedy that.
I was a teacher in my past life and know that I rarely splurged on a bottle that was more that $15. I also know that there were many nights that I felt absolutely spent and welcomed the reprieve of a glass of something tasty. So, I often give my children’s teachers the gift of wine. For Thanksgiving, I gave her a bottle of Gundlach Bundschu Gewurtraminer, a favorite with turkey. For Christmas, I gave her a bottle of Pedernales Cellars 2012 Tempranillo.
I chose this wine in particular because I find it both elegant and approachable. It is a grape that is unfamiliar to some, but so diverse and available in several local stores. Also, if they love it, they can drive west and sample more of what the producer has to offer. Medium bodied, red fruit with layers of baking spices and a touch of earth. It is complex enough to hold up to almost any fare, but smooth and soft enough to drink alone. But to make sure that doesn’t happen, I paired the wine with some Mexican Cocoa almonds. Cocoa, cinnamon, and a little cayenne would be a great compliment to the wine. The addition of a homemade snack to compliment the wine gives it a more personal touch.
If you are looking for a white, I’d suggest taking a pairing from Kuhlman Cellars and doing some Marcona almonds with herbs de Provence with a bottle of their Roussanne or McPherson Cellars Roussanne.
Here is the recipe for the almonds:
Mexican Cocoa Almonds
Whisk an egg white until frothy. Add a teaspoon of Vanilla.
Toss about 3 cups of almonds in the egg white.
In another bowl, combine 1/4 cup sugar, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 2 TBSP good quality cocoa, 1/2 tsp cayenne, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp salt. If you’d like also add the zest of an orange.
Toss the almonds in the sugar mixture and bake for 30-40 minutes, stirring frequently. Allow to cool before bagging.
What are your favorite Texas wine gifts? And what snack would pair? Wishing you and your family the merriest of days. Cheers!