Wine. It’s gluten free, right?! Well, according to the TTB ruling that followed the FDA one, all wines can be labelled gluten free as long as there is no gluten containing ingredient. However, gluten can technically be introduced either in the paste used to seal oak barrels or in the fining process. Okay, so you’re probably safe. But, being a cautious celiac, I always call to find out exactly how the wine is prepared.
So, when my amazing friend and Lubbock tour guide, Kat, told me about McPherson Cellars Winery, the first thing I did was call over to ask my typical series of questions. I began with my typical questions about wheat being included in the oak barrel sealing. The woman who answered the phone quickly went to confirm her answer, and when she returned, she informed me that there was no gluten introduced in their process. With excitement, I hung up the phone, and Kat and I made our way over for a tasting that afternoon.
Now, I’m not a wine connoisseur to say the least, and I know this isn’t the fanciest cellar by the price. But, if you find yourself in Lubbock, TX, and want something to do I definitely recommend that you stop on by. (Especially because your food options as a celiac or someone with food allergies will be limited!) Kat and I did the tasting menu, and had a glass of wine with our included tour for just under $20.
We started off with the whites before moving into the reds. The first wine, the 2012 Chansa Gewurtztraminier was Kat’s favorite. It was sweet from natural sugar in the grape. This is different than many wines here because ether specialize in dry, aromatic wines. It would pair well with a natural sugar in the grape. As we moved on to the 2012 Dry Chenin Blanc, it had a bit to a zing of it at the end, that was original. Next, the Chansa Dry Rose used two red grapes and a white grape, and made for a beautiful summertime wine.
As we moved into the reds, which is more up my alley, we began with the 2012 Les Copains Red. It was a smooth red, and French (many of the wines are Texan here). And, our guide wanted to pair it around a Texas Tech tailgate with some smoked biscuits. (Clearly, he was a Texas Tech senior). The last wine was spicier with a hint of white pepper.
After the tasting, Kat tried one of the dessert wines that had 4% residual sugar, called Blush. Unlike the first wine, this sugar doesn’t come naturally come from the grape, and it was a little too sweet for a whole glass, but she enjoyed it as well.
We then set out on the tour- my favorite part of the day! The wines were currently fermenting, so we started off with a nice smell of yeast. Apparently, the room usually smells beautiful as it’s filled with all the wine.
Next, we moved outside to see where the the grapes come, get separated from the seeds, and rejoin a truck.
There were also some crates aging in the sun. The one out by itself on the far right has been there for twenty-five years.
We continued our tour looking at equipment, how the bottle the wines, etc. We finished the tour in the main lounge area, which had some neat artwork that I didn’t point out earlier.
The coolest part about the cellars is that it’s an old Coca Cola Factory! You used to be able to look through the front window to watch the bottling process live. McPherson Cellars has kept this spirit alive with a Coca Cola machine at the entry way, old time pictures of the bottling factory, and
Lastly, for those of you that love to hear bad travel stories, my flight from Dallas to Lubbock was cancelled with no hope of a flight until the next afternoon. So, a rental car and 5.5 hours later, I arrived in Lubbock, leaving Kat a Monday and Tuesday night (when many things are closed) to be my tour guide. And, I think she did an amazing job!
Thank you so much Kat, and I hope everyone is having a wonderful week!
P.S: I promise there’s a recipe coming on Friday, this was just too exciting to keep to myself! It’s been added to my map as purple because while the wine is prepared in a completely gluten free manner, you will have the option to be served crackers (and other gluten containing foods). So, just stick to the wine!
P.P.S: Wondering what else is in Lubbock?! Here’s what I’ve found so far!