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Grapefest - Grapevine, TX [Sep. 7th, 2006|06:49 pm]
[Tags|, ]

On September 7, 2006, my parents and Don and I went to Grapevine's annual GrapeFest, in historic downtown Grapevine. This four-day event features loads of live music, a man catching grapes in his mouth (who holds a Guinness record for such), free hourly shuttles to eight local wineries, and the People's Choice Wine Tasting Classic.

Nostalgia train which goes all the way to the Ft. Worth Stockyards

Lots of wine-related (and unrelated) arts and crafts were displayed.

Entrance to the "Champagne Terrace."

Bubbly menu.

Wine tasting pavillion!

Tables decorated like bottle necks.

D'Vine Wine Grande Rosso and Cross Timbers Texas Blush.

The GrapeStomp Challenge.

And since I know you must be wondering...

Cross Timbers Texas Blush is well-balanced and a little dry - and perfectly suited to a hot sunny day like this one. D'Vine Wine Grande Rosso smells strongly of chocolate, and after sipping, the flavor will change about 7 or 8 times on the palette. I'll need to try it again to document what these 8 flavors are, but one of them was definitely chocolate.

[User Picture]From: nickdangerous
2006-09-11 07:05 am (UTC)

D'i Luted intentions

Thanks for sharing the pics. I have yet to take Michelle for a ride on the Tarantula, but it won't be long. It's a lovely train with an unforgettable steam whistle. Whenever it blows, I can hear it all the way from the grounds of the Ft. Worth Modern. It makes a wistful, haunting sound as if part of a childhood dream.

Beware... rant ahoy!

I gave D'Vine Wine an honest try in 2004, but I found their wines to be seriously lacking. In fact, I question the validity of their entire business model. D'Vine isn't an actual winery, no ma'am. Out back, you won't find acres of well-tended grapes growing in the sun. Instead, it is an elaborate facade that "assembles" wine from kits. McDonald's uses the same method to "cook" hamburgers.

During my visit, every wine assaulted my tastebuds like an explosion in a candy factory. Nasty stuff. Your description of "7 or 8 different flavors" was right on. They contradict one another like an 18-car pileup. Why bother with this stuff when any $5 bottom rack special at Tom Thumb blows it away?

What I saw in the back room helped explain my negative experience: Racks of glass carboys fitted with plastic fermentation locks, same as for making homebrewed beer. The whole operation had an "experimental" vibe. I never got the impression that anyone knew what they were doing. D'Vine's web site makes no apologies for the simple production method. In fact, they mention several forehead-smacking-in-disbelief practices such as "topping up" a kit with WATER to make up for losses in bottling. Dude! This isn't supposed to be like mixing up a barrel of grape Kool-Aid!

I may have strong opinions, but I'm not a wine snob. I drink inexpensive wines and have even found a few from Texas that stand up to serious competition. It's just that I think winemaking is best left to those who are vested in the entire process: Planting vines, picking grapes, and proper aging in oak or steel kegs. It's fun to let customers "make" their own wine for entertainment purposes, but I have a problem with how serious D'Vine presents their operation to be. It degrades the overall perception of the industry. I'd hate to think that a newcomer to drinking wine might be permanently turned off to it because they didn't understand D'Vine's position.

Rant off.

See if you can find a bottle of Bogle Old Vine Zinfandel. It is widely available and typically under $12 a bottle. Excellent quality for the price, and a great example of how far D'Vine has to go to compete with the mainstream.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: chu_hi_wines
2006-09-20 09:00 am (UTC)

Re: D'i Luted intentions

Thanks for the insight into D'Vine's production - it explains the weirdness on my palette. I do like Bogle Old Vine Zinfandel! I try to pick up a bottle every time I'm in New York.
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