EARLY — Spirit of Texas Winery’s “Welcome Wine” was the Go Texan Sponsored Blue Ribbon Wine at the Texas State Fair, which recently concluded.

Out of 100 wine entries a panel of nine judges blindly judged 94 wines from across the Lone Star State and selected Spirit of Texas’ “Welcome Wine” as one of the 12 winners.

Named after Welcome Chandler, an original settler of Brown County, the wine is a very fresh, crisp dry white with an aroma of citrus and white flowers, 80% Trebbiano and 20% Vermentino from the Lost Draw Vineyards in the Texas High Plains.

“That would be a great choice with turkey this holiday season especially for Thanksgiving, and a Rose would be great also,” Moira McCue said.

Moira and Brian McCue, owners of Spirit of Texas Winery,

are letting us in on how to make an enjoyable wine selection just in time for turkey, dressing and everything yummy on this seasons’ menu.

Brian recommends reds, saying, “Typically, in the summer people don’t drink a lot of reds because it’s heavier. This time of year, reds make for a great selection.”

Wine needs to be enjoyable; it’s about having fun. What do you and your guest typically enjoy, what flavors are the most enjoyable to you and your guest? To familiarize the pallet the McCues’ recommend coming to a wine tasting. Tastings can be intimidating, but Brian said the experience allows wine drinkers to better understand what they like in a wine.

“One of our best days was the day after Thanksgiving last year, we had kids running around, families enjoying themselves,” he said. “Everyone just needed to get out of the house the day after Thanksgiving. And those are the days we love here at Spirit of Texas.”

When asked which wine best fits a dinner date, party, or pleasing the in-laws, the McCues’ made some great starter suggestions, but adamantly expressed having a great time with wine and drinking what you like.

When Spirit of Texas opened in 2017 it presented four wine selections to the public — two whites: Texian a smooth white Roussanne grape, and a Estrella Blanca Riesling; a Blush — very smooth not to sweet Muscat blend; and a aged Republic Red.

In perfecting each flavor selection, the McCues stuck with testing wines and listening to the opinion of their guests and the community during Tastings.

“Getting feedback as we were giving feedback to our wine makers was helpful,” Moira said.