Friday, November 8, 2019

Texas Wine Pairing with Pedernales Wines and Parmesan Crusted Chicken

The wine life is all about enjoying what we love and already know and exploring that which we have yet to try.  This month our Wine Pairing Weekend digs into the Texas wine scene.  A state I have yet to discover.  Within the last year I also tried wines from Michigan which I truly enjoyed so was excited to receive some samples from Texas to see what wines from this region were all about. 

The Texas Wine Scene 
Michelle of Rockin Red Blog was gracious to gather some samples for the group to taste this month and provided a great overview of the wine industry in her home state Texas.  Here are some quick facts from my research to give you a glimpse into the wine industry of Texas. 
  • Texas is the fifth largest wine producing state in the US   
  • Texas has over 400 wineries growing grapes on 5000+ acres  
  • 80% percent of the wines are grown in the High Plains of TX  
  • The primary white grapes grown in Texas include: vermentino, trebbiano, viognier, albarino, roussanne, marsanne and picpoul di pinet   
  • The primary red grapes grown in Texas include: sangiovese, aglianico, tempranillo, mourvedre, syrah, cabernet sauvignon, tannat, graciano and touriga nacional
  • There are 8 AVA’s with Texas Hill Country be the largest in Texas and 2nd largest in the US (all information sourced from 
If you note there are definitely a variety of Italian grapes being grown on Texas soil that I’ll have to get my hands on for sure to share at a later date.
The Winery ~ Pedernales winery 
The Pedernales winery was established in 2006 Stonewall, TX in the Texas Hill Country AVA that looks over the Pedernales River Valley, hence the name.  Pedernales actually refers to flint in Spanish for the flint stone axes and Indian flint arrowheads that were discovered in the vineyards. 
Kuhlken family of Pedernales Cellars
The Kuhlken Family ~ copyright of Pedernales Cellards
The original wine estate, Kuhlken Vineyards, was established near Fredericksburg back in 1995 by Larry and Jeanine Kuhlken.  Their children, David and Julie, decided to open the Pedernales winery to focus on Rhone and Spanish style wines from small lots.   The winery is operating under the family’s 6th generation.  Sustainability is a key focus in their practices in many aspects of the winery from the vineyards to inside the winery. 

The Wine 
I tasted through a few of their bottles including the 2017 Pedernales GSM Melange, 2017 Pedernales Viognier Reserve and the 2018 Pedernales Over the Moon Rose.  Unfortunately I believe my 2017 GSM bottle was damaged as there was a slight leak to the cork and without trying another sample I’m not sure it was quite the bottle that the typically produce so I’m withdrawing from sharing that one.  Luckily, the dish I’m pairing this week went very well with the viognier and the rosé was a great sipper to start. 
Pedernales Winery in Texas Hill Country
2018 Pedernales Over the Moon Rosé - This is a new release for Pedernales and I love the story behind this wine.  The idea of naming it “over the moon” stems from the 50 years of marriage that Larry and Jeanine celebrate from their original introduction both working for NASA on the Apollo 11 mission.  A beautiful pale pink in the glass this wine is a blend of 62% cinsault, 30% mourvedre and 8% carignon.  Medium body with lively acidity bringing strawberry flavors to the palette with some salinity on the finish.  A crisp and refreshing wine.  ABV 14.8% SRP $30  

2017 Pedernales Viognier Reserve – It seems the grapes are sourced from Lahey Vineyards in the High Plains.  Part of this wine is fermented in French oak that definitely lends richness to the wine and nose with vanilla and spice notes.  A fuller bodied white with layers of tropical and stone fruit flavors.  ABV 14.1% SRP $40     

The Pairing 
For me it’s always about what dish I’m going to pair with the wines I’m writing about each week and what will my kids actually eat.  This week I chose to prepare a parmesan crusted chicken with parmigiano reggiano added to the batter paired with some roasted potatoes and baked asparagus topped with pecorino romano (one of my favorite cheeses).  The multiple flavors of the viognier reserve paired beautifully with the chicken.  Asparagus is always a little tricky and it definitely changed the profile of the viognier, but the chicken was very complimentary.  
Join my fellow food and wine lovers as they share their Texas pairings.  Catch us live on Twitter this Saturday at 11am EST at #WinePW as we chat all about the Texas wine industry and share our wonderful pairings.

*These wines were provided as samples, but opinions are always my own.


  1. Asparagus is hard to pair. I don't even add it into the equation when it is a side. I just concentrate on the entree as you did.

  2. Love the story of the rosé - especially that two NASA aerospace engineers started a winery of their own. Too bad the GSM bottle was compromised; I bet it would have been quite delish with your chicken.

  3. Great summing up of what we do: writing about what we know and exploring what we have yet to try. Seems like this was a mostly happy exploration!

  4. I love the family stories behind these wines, in particular the love story behind the Over the Moon Rosé!

  5. I got the same wines as you. It was so fascinating the scientists got into the wine biz!