Sunday, September 23, 2007

Fredericksburg - Part 4: Torre di Pietra

Website: TexasHillCountryWine.com

For starters, I must confess I am not a wine guy. Perhaps a whine guy, but that’s for others to say. I could never go for a drink that practically requires a degree to be qualified to drink. Not to mention learning an entire vocabulary. Ah yes, it’s forward, not to say precocious, almost tough, with thin legs and a rather big and pretentious nose, though lacking body, but the bite is promising. What? The wine? No, I was talking about my nephew.

But when one is in Texas wine country, one must make the effort, mustn’t one? Being a tyro, I searched for some method of filtering out the options to a single selection. I settled on the old reliable: live music. I found a few with music and narrowed it down to the one with lunches available as well - Torre di Pietra. I figured we could make a day of it.

We got there around noon, purchased the $13 box lunch immediately (being advised that they sometimes run out) and then bellied up to the bar for the tasting. For $5 you get to taste 5 wines. The Woman opted for whites; I opted for reds. The guy did his best to educate us, but, alas, about the best we could do was say, “Yeah, I really like that one,” or, “No, it didn’t do much for me.” That mission accomplished, we each got a glass of what we liked best and headed out to the pavilion to scarf our lunches and listen to some live music.

The lunches were excellent. (Mine was Roast Beef & Cheddar on Sourdough with Chipotle Mayonnaise, Red Potato Salad vinaigrette, Cookies. The Woman’s was Smoked Ham & Camembert on a Croissant with Mango Chutney, Garden Salad, Cookie.) The wine was good. (As far as we could tell, but what do we know?) The music, Billy F Dee, was pure D country. I was thinking, “Two out of three ain’t bad.”

But then I listened closer. These guys were very good pickers. The original tunes were clever. (When the Vow Breaks Teardrops Will Fall, Not Tonight I’ve Got a Heartache, Heart Don’t Fail Me Now, May Your Heart Rest in Pieces) Billy Dee plays bass and sings. And plays bass very well. Clean and solid, better than I could do, even if I wasn’t singing. You could have set your watch by this guy. Mussolini could have used him to time the trains. Jim Lutz, on guitar, was really a jazz player slumming in a country band. And the drummer wasn’t a slouch, either. If you have to listen to country (And who says you do? But, IF you do), you could do a lot worse than Billy Dee.

All things considered, a good time was had by all. If you’re making the trek to Fredericksburg, give the wineries a shot. You could even do the Texas Wine Trail in December and have your own Texas Sideways adventure. After all, Thomas Hayden Church lives around here somewhere.

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