Tag Archives: Wine Club

Dinner in the Vines – Lost Oak Winery

Lost Oak Winery in Burleson held their first ever wine club member exclusive Dinner in the Vines Friday night. This event intrigued me when I saw the posting and I was very excited to purchase our tickets so Shelly and I could attend. The menu sounded wonderful, the venue I knew to be perfection, and the weather truly cooperated in the end. We arrived at the winery a little early, so we stopped by the tasting room and I purchased a glass of Shiraz that I love and Shelly purchased a glass of Mosaic. We made our way to the vineyard where the tables had been set up between the rows of Black Spanish grapes. A table of cheeses and meat had been prepared for us to nibble on as we arrived and the wonderfully talented musician, Dave Lincoln, was set up and began to play.

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A birthday party had purchased about half of the 30 tickets so they sat at one end of the tables while the rest of us sat on the other end and Gene and Judy were seated in the middle. That was a perfect arrangement as the party could continue as they wanted and we could visit with each other and not intrude.

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Ashley Babatov, the events coordinator and “hostess” for this event, made the introductions of Gene and Judy Estes and the evening began with the salad course. The salad was mixed greens and sliced avocados with a refreshing orange vinaigrette dressing. This was paired perfectly with the newly released Sauvignon Blanc. This vintage is actually my first experience with Sauvignon Blanc. I was able to participate in the harvest back in July or August and it was gorgeous fruit, tight and full on the clusters. Gene gave a brief introduction of the wine and explained that it came from Burning Daylight Vineyard not very far from the winery. I really didn’t find the flavor to be overly characteristically grassy like I’ve heard Sauvignon Blanc can be. It was refreshingly and delightfully crisp and did not compete with the orange vinaigrette at all.

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The next course was a wine braised brisket with cheddar polenta and roasted broccoli. The brisket had a fantastic flavor and was exquisitely tender. The cheddar polenta was a unique and delicious change of pace from the normal and typical mashed potatoes and I just love broccoli any way it comes. This was paired with the current vintage of estate Shiraz, which is the wine that I had began my evening with and I still had a little bit in my glass. Gene let us know that this vintage of the estate Shiraz was from a very successful harvest.

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Before we were served dessert, we were given a very special treat. We all were able to be the first to try the not-yet-released High Plains Texas grown Bingham Family Vineyards 2014 Viognier. The current release is the 2013 Viognier made with California fruit as that was a treacherous year for Texas grapes due to numerous post-bud-break freezes and hail storms that decimated harvests across the state. We were all very excited to be given the opportunity to try this new wine and pleased with how it is tasting.

It was at this time that the sunset became the most beautiful and the colors so vivid. The temperature was very comfortable in the low 70s when we arrived, but as the sun set it did begin to lower into the up 60s. I was glad I wore a sweater and brought a vest. Luckily the winds remained light, with only gentle breezes.

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The final dish to arrive was a flourless chocolate cake with warm black cherry sauce. This was paired with the ever popular Dark Obsession port-style wine. The ooos and aaahhs up and down the table as we each put the first bites into our mouths was almost comical.

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Throughout the evening Dave Lincoln entertained us with his beautiful guitar playing skills. He had played in the cellar room a few months ago and we really enjoyed him then and we were thrilled to see that he had been included in this evening as well. A guest joined him and sang a few songs as we finished up the event. We had a thoroughly enjoyable evening eating delicious food, drinking fabulous wines, visiting with new friends around us, and listening to Gene and Judy regale us with the adventures of being in the wine business.

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It was a great first event and I’ve already told Ashley to put us down for the next one!!

The caterer for this event was Fort Worth based All In Good Taste Catering.

Ashley’s very wonderful servers for the evening were Lindsay Walraven, Madison Goodwin, Tyrel McCory, and Mitchell McDowell.

 

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6 Reasons to Join a Wine Club

“Membership has its privileges.” Who doesn’t remember this slogan from the 1990’s? Who doesn’t like being a member of a club? It makes you feel like you are part of an exclusive group. Maybe you already belong to a group where you have something in common? There are many different clubs you can join…car clubs, country clubs, service clubs, book clubs, wine clubs…wait, wine clubs? My husband and I are members of a couple of wine clubs: Lost Oak Winery (Burleson, TX), Blue Ostrich Vineyard (Saint Jo, TX), and Wedding Oak Winery (San Saba, TX). There have been a few other ones I’d like to join, but my husband has said three is enough for now! We’ll just have to cycle through the clubs and see what we can do.

There are many reasons to join a wine club and these are just a few membership privileges:

1. Advance release and exclusive release of wines. Many wineries make early release or limited releases of their wines available to wine club members before they make them available to the general public in the tasting room or their website. Westcave Cellars, whose wine club members are known as the Cellar Dwellers, is located in Round Mountain in the Hill Country. They offer to their members access to special releases of wine not available to the public. Spicewood Vineyards is located about 35 miles northwest of Austin near the community of Spicewood. They offer the ability to purchase exclusive wines available only to wine club members.

Westcave Cellars from the patio deck.
Westcave Cellars from the patio deck.
Spicewood Vineyards
Spicewood Vineyards

2. Wine Club release events. Pick up events are usually scheduled around wine club release times where members come and drink the wines being released with special food pairings. Friends of Pedernales Cellars, the wine club for Pedernales Cellars in Stonewall, are invited to exclusive club release events including special passes to Pedernales Cellars’ celebration of Texas Independence Day with cooking demos, wine classes, and more. The Flock, Hilmy Cellars’ wine club located on US Highway 290 between Stonewall and Fredericksburg, are encouraged to pick-up their wine allocations on the date or weekend they are released in order to enjoy the celebrations surrounding each release.

 

Pedernales Cellars
Pedernales Cellars
Hilmy Cellars
Hilmy Cellars

3. Special Events. Many wineries offer member only special events like special pairings, wine pairing dinners at local restaurants, or even wine blending parties. Singing Water Vineyards is located outside of Comfort and their wine club is referred to as the Vintage Wine Club. Among other things they also offer special VIP invitation to special events throughout the year. Driftwood Estate Winery is located in Driftwood and offers discounted event tickets and exclusive Member Only events.

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Singing Water Vineyards
Overlooking Driftwood Estate Vineyards
Overlooking Driftwood Estate Vineyards

4. Discounts and special pricing. How does 10-20% on average off of wines, merchandise, and event tickets sound?? William Chris Wines is located in Hye and offers four levels of membership ranging from 2 bottles and 10% savings to 12 bottles and 25% savings. Bar Z Winery in Canyon offers 15% discount on wine and merchandise purchases.

William Chris Wines
William Chris Wines
Bar Z Winery
Bar Z Winery

5. Free tours and tastings. You and some of your friends can join in for free tastings and tours of the winery and vineyards. Blue Ostrich Winery and Vineyard located in Saint Jo offers complementary tastings and scheduled barrel tastings. Some wineries like Texas Legato in Lampasas offer free barrel and tank tastings with the wine maker with advance notice.

Blue Ostrich Winery and Vineyard
Blue Ostrich Winery and Vineyard
Aerial shot of Texas Legato from Keith George's drone
Aerial shot of Texas Legato from Keith George’s drone

6. Free newsletter subscriptions. Current information is offered on what’s going on in the winery and occasionally recipe and pairing suggestions. Woodrose Winery in Stonewall offers intimate tasting notes from the winemakers and gourmet Woodrose Winery recipes to pair with their wines. Lost Oak Winery in Burleson shares a copy of their From the Vine newsletter that includes winery notes from President, Gene Estes, and winemaker, Jim Evans, and a recipe is shared with each shipment.

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Woodrose Winery
Lost Oak Winery
Lost Oak Winery

I’m sure there are many other reasons to join, but these are the most common I found. Almost every winery offers wine club membership and is able to ship your wines to you, but you will still need to visit the winery in order to take full advantage of your wine club benefits.