It is official: I’m in love with Texas. I know I’ve said “Austin” before, but now it has branched out to the whole state. I’m sure this is a huge overstatement, but I don’t care. I had a magical day.
The day started by a roadtrip to the original Salt Lick , a famous barbecue joint in Driftwood, TX (the original location). I’d seen it on the Food Network and the commercials on TV here would make even a vegetarian salivate. I went with my usual companion, Mary, and we both loved our sliced beef sandwiches and sauce dripping down our arms.
And after our delicious meal, we were on our way out the door when I smiled politely at a cute waiter and asked if I could snap a picture of the world famous meat pit. It is amazing what a smile and a pair of boots gets you around here, because he let me go into the kitchen and go behind the pit for a great picture!
After traipsing around and taking pictures, we took our bbq food babies back on the road and headed further west into Texas Hill Country. On the agenda? WINE!
Our first stop was at Texas Hills Vineyards in Johnson City. They had an adorable cute dog in the tasting room and you knew the wine was made on sight — you could smell the fermenting in the next room (reminding me fondly of my aunt and uncle’s champagne storehouse in France). There we did a 5 wine tasting where we picked the wines, sticking mostly to reds. They have an award winning 2005 Syrah that I highly recommend!
Next up was my favorite, William Chris Vineyards in Hye where we were greeted by the cutest sign ever!
We enjoyed a delicious wine tasting of 3 wines: 2 reds and a dessert white. I was absolutely smitten with the Enchanté, their blend of a merlot, malbec, and a cabernet franc. It was divine! I’m not a merlot fan, but even their merlot was amazing (and Mary liked it a lot, too!) The William of William Chris chatted with us as we tasted and he was so laid back and nice. The whole environment of the tasting was very relaxed and casual, but you still knew the product you were tasting was of great quality (all natural!) and elegant. Even with Bill’s dirt smudged boots and blue bandana, you knew it was a great wine. Perhaps that added to the character of the place?
Our next (and last) stop was Woodrose Winery in Stonewall. The tasting was in a giant dance hall with some love music, compliments of a guitar-strummin’ cowboy. Mary and I had decided on this winery because of a recommendation from a nice couple we met at the first wine tasting, and we ran into them again at Woodrose! They joined our table and let us know that our tasting was on the house because they’re members of the wine club there… also meaning we got a few extra pours, a free cheese plate, and excellent company! We sat there for a good hour and a half, maybe even two hours, and enjoyed great conversation with fun people. I even have slightly modified career aspirations because of our conversations with this couple! The whites were terrible, but the red wines made up for it and we certainly had a lovely time.
We rolled ourselves out of wine country around 5pm and headed back to Austin. Between the wine, the people, the boots, the big blue sky, and the sense that I truly belong in Texas, I’m sold on this place. Does it get any better than this? Today was a perfect Saturday for adventures in Big Sky Country.