Tuesday, August 16, 2011

My 36-Hour Summer Vacation: Next Stops - More Wine and a B&B

Ok, I finally found the time to share my next installment of the 36-hour summer vacation, in between working and researching which members of the cast of Most Eligible Dallas I know (none) and which said cast members are really as important as they pretend to be (also none.)

So, where was I? Oh yes, the lovely people at Pilot Knob advised us to visit the Vineyard at Florence where there are two wineries that share a parking lot. "A TWOFER!" I screamed in my head, hell to the yes. Sig-O and I finished up, thanked them and headed over to our next stop. When I (yes, I usually drive, the Sig-O is a fine driver if you like driving slower, thus I drive on all roadtrips) pulled into the parking lot and decided to hit Inwood Estates first. Inwood Estates is actually in Dallas too, in case you didn't know. They're part of the oh so cool Dallas Wine Trail, so I was happy to visit them where they grow these yummy grapes. The winemaker at Inwood Estates is serious about his wine, our new wine pouring friend Courtney told us. He's been at it for 31 years, so it was no surprise that they produced some very, very good wines. Not just Texas good, but like for real deal good. Dubious? Keep reading about the amazing grape juice we got to enjoy. They have the Estate Level, Limited Production and Segundo (second-label) wines. Since they're in Dallas, I'm going to tell you to go try these wines for yourself rather than telling you about each and every one.

But I have to tell you about the very surprising Texas Palomino-Chardonnay. First, it was good. That's important. Second, it's grown in Dallas. Seriously, City of Dallas in Dallas County, apparently just a mile or so away from mi casa. Sig-O and I may have to hunt down where this is grown (will post pics if we find it). The other wines are produced in the Texas high plains, think Lubbock/near the New Mexico border. The Inwood Estates Cornelius, Magellan and Tempranillo are all beautiful wines. Tempranillo grows very well in Texas. If you haven't tried it, you should. Come on, go local already. And, in the same paragraph, I'm now going to tell you about the Segundo wines (second label), which aren't entirely Texas wines, but are a blend of Texas grapes and some others from around the country. Don't hate on them for this. Rather than waste the grapes not good enough for the estate wines, they combine them with other American grapes and make some excellent wine, at a lower price point. They have a Segundo White, Red and Port-style. The Sig-O is a fan of port (look for how my port was stolen from me at RW at Bijoux) and reported that it was quite good. What I really have to rave about is the Segundo Red. It's a blend of several grape varietals and it is freaking great. I dubbed it the Segundo Mutt and the Sig-O kindly indulged me by buying a bottle for us to take home after I agreed to make a really good steak to go with it.

We were planning to head across the parking lot to the Vineyard at Florence, but looked at our watches and realized that it was almost 5 p.m. and we should go check in at our lovely Bed & Breakfast - The Gold Coat Inn. Off we went, thanks again to the Google map from the Pilot Knob dude.

Gold Coat Inn was easy to find and we were warmly greeted by Inn owner Jo. We went over the necessary paperwork (don't mess up the house, duh) and were taken to the lovely Summer Garden Suite. It's a wonderful room, with lovely decorations, including an antique Singer sewing machine that's been in the family for generations (how cool!) After settling in, we headed down to the pool to enjoy the last bits of daylight and the fact is wasn't 109 degrees. They've got a saltwater pool, which is great b/c it doesn't leave you smelling like chlorine and won't turn your hair green. Jo even brought out pool towels to the pool for us! After a relaxing dip in the pool, Sig-O and I realized we were hungry since we hadn't eaten since West and it was approaching 7:30 p.m, so we headed into Georgetown to grab dinner.

There went our planned excursion to the Georgetown Winery since they closed at 8, but we did find ourselves at Wildfire on the Georgetown Square. With a Texas/Southwestern theme, this is a dinner spot I'd recommend. Stars for the evening included the Duck Quesadillas for a starter (they have a number of duck options on the menu and do them very well) and the Bananas Wildfire for dessert (think bananas foster with a wildfire twist). Entrees were enjoyable, but the start and finish really shined. The wine list featured a number of Texas wines, and the bar looks to make a solid martini, as I saw more of those than I did bottles of wine.

Apologies for the length of this post, I'll try to shorten the 3rd installment. Back to work!

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