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Highly Rated Central Texas Wine/Beverage

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Looking for the highest quality, most highly rated wine or alcholic beverage from our area. Thoughts anyone? Price is no object, just quality.

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  1. I have always been fond of Tito's Vodka which is made in Austin. It has won quite a few awards, and I feel is a quality product. I particularly like it for making infused vodkas. (jalapeno vodka is my fave.)

    4 Replies
    1. re: Homero

      Tito's is both excellent and highly regarded. Dripping Springs Vodka is the same.

      1. re: Torckus

        Cool, I'll have to check that out!

        1. re: Torckus

          I tried the Dripping Springs Vodka, and while it makes an almost ethereal vodka tonic, you must be wary of the slightest bit over consumption as it has brutal after effects.

          If I'm having one vodka tonic, I want Dripping Springs vodka. Otherwise, I'll stick with the Tito's.

        2. re: Homero

          I have not tried it yet, but there is now a rum called "Treaty Oak" that is distilled here in Austin from Texas grown sugar cane (the last remaining sugar mill in TX, IIRC)

          I am also partial to Driftwood Vinyards (www.driftwoodvineyards.com) and Texas Hills Vineyards (http://www.texashillsvineyard.com/) \. I don't know if the true 'wine snobs' will like them, but I do.

        3. I think you can even get Tito's at Costco's liquor store which you don't have to be a member, just need cash or a check. Always nice to save some dinero with the holidays coming up

          1. I think Alamosa wines are some of the best in Texas. Also look for Caprock wines and Kim Mcpherson's selections. And Becker Vineyards too has many fine wines, especially their Viognier.

            1. I really like both of the citrus liqueurs made by Texacello - Paula's Texas Orange and Paula's Texas Lemon.

              http://paulastexasspirits.com/

              1 Reply
              1. re: mkwng

                I bought a bottle of Paula's Texas Lemon for Christmas and my family loved it. It's very strong.. a little goes a long way, but the taste is wonderful. We mixed it with 7 -Up and drank quite a bit of it in one evening. Next time I go home I'll be taking a bottle of the orange and another bottle of lemon.

              2. Was at a private wine-tasting at Grapevine the other night and somebody was showing me a rum made in Austin that is supposedly quite good. Haven't tried it myself.

                As noted below, Dripping Springs vodka is another one, and I've read lots of good things about that.

                3 Replies
                1. re: Nab

                  Yes, Treaty Oak Rum. That's one of the ones I'm going to use.

                  1. re: amysuehere

                    Yea, that's the one !

                    What, may I ask, are you going to "use" it for ?

                    1. re: Nab

                      Last year for the holiday, we gave everyone Coopers mail order. This year, we're making a basket for everyone.

                      Think we'll do Treaty Oak Rum, Paula's Texas Spirits (think maybe the orange), and a nice bottle of Super-premium red...at least that's where it stands today.

                2. Real Ale and Live Oak are excellent Central Texas breweries. I consider Live Oak the best brewery in Texas, but unfortunately, they don't bottle their beer, so try out Real Ale's Fireman #4.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: air

                    Fireman's #4 is a great beer. Unfortunately it's not as great in the bottle as on draft, but still a good choice for central texas beer.

                    1. re: air

                      I'm an Ale-man, but I think Live Oak Pilz is quite an incredible beer, definitely one of the best lagers I've had outside of Europe

                    2. Check out Alamosa's Dry Rose and their top of the line red (the name is escaping me.) They're shockingly good. The owner/maker trained at UC Davis and did some winemaking in California before he moved to Texas. He's an interesting guy who makes terriffic wines.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Greg Spence

                        Maybe you're thinking of the El Guapo or one of their Sangioveses which are always good. That grape has some great potential for the Hill Country. Also just noticed they now have an El Guapo Grande reserve wine. That's got to be worth trying--as soon as I can find some in tow

                      2. I think Paula's Texas Orange is a no-brainer in this category. It has a bright orange flavor and is a perfect for mixing. It can do anything Cointreau can do, and has the benefit of being locally bottled and significantly less expensive. Austin is a margarita town, and I think that it is only a matter of time before "PTO" becomes our default orange liqueur, at least for a top shelf margarita.
                        Her Texas Lemon is a lower proof than the Orange, though it is not a syrupy as true Limoncello. It too has a bright lemon flavor and is a great mixer. Try it as a floater on a Gin & Tonic.
                        Regarding the Vodkas, I am personally tired of vodka. Audrey Saunders, at a martini tasting hosted by the New York Times, accused America of being "lobotomized by vodka," a sentiment with which I wholeheartedly agree. However, Tito's is the obvious winner in the economical category. I liked Savvy better than Dripping Springs in the boutique category, but I am probably not the best judge of vodkas given the opinion I expressed above.
                        Treaty Oak Rum is a quality product, and I have mixed cocktails with several bottles of it. I think they might be a little bit misguided in marketing it as a "sipping rum", since it is crystal clear. But for a white rum it has a great flavor. I highly recommend it.

                        I concur that Live Oak beers are fabulous. Real Ale beers are my favorite of the Texas brews, however, with the added convenience of availability in bottles, unlike Live Oak. Their 2007 Sisyphus barleywine is still available at some stores (CM, Whip In) and I recommend picking up a few bottles to put in the back of the refrigerator for a year or two. I had the pleasure of tasting some cellared 2004 and 2002 Sisyphus this weekend, and they were spectacular.
                        I have posted a number of recipes incorporating Paula's and Treaty Oak at tipsytexan.com