Saturday, November 9, 2019

#Texasfinewine Pedernales GSM, Rosé, Viognier with Dim Sum #WinePW

The #WinePW blogger friends are taking a wine journey to Texas with Cam of the Culinary Adventures with Cam in the month of November. I was fortunate to taste some Texas wines in May in New York City when some of the producers visited. While I was very impressed with the quality of the wines I tasted, the wines from this state, for the most part, are still very new to me. Thanks to Michelle of the Rockin Red Blog for sourcing the samples from the Texas Fine Wine, I was able to obtain some fine wines from the Pedernales Cellars and to have a deeper dive into what Texas wines are truly about. To add more fun, I’m going to savor these Pedernales Rosé, Viognier, and GSM with Dim Sum.

The story of Pedernales Cellars began with Larry and Jeanine Kuhlken, who planted their first vineyard near Fredericksburg, central Texas in the early 1990s. During this time, Texas wine pioneers worked with different grape varietals and viticulture practices, to help master winemaking in the Texas terroir. The Kuhlken was no exception and has started producing consistently high-quality fruit with bold, intense flavors over time. In 2005, David and Julie, the children of Larry and Jeanine, began plans for what would become Pedernales Cellars, developing the concept for a boutique winery focused on handcrafted, small-lot wines, and working with varietals that thrive in the rugged Texas Hill Country terrain.

Using only Texas grapes that’s suited to grow in the terrain and to make wines that’s truly Texas, Pedernales is still able to grow a wide array of grapes such as Tempranillo, Viognier, Grenache, Mourvèdre, Albarino, Vermentino, Cinsault, Malbec, Touriga Nacional, Bordeaux and Italian varieties and to present an impressively large wine portfolio.

Let’s have a taste of their 2018 Over the Moon Rosé, 2017 Viognier Reserve and 2017 GSM Melange.

2018 Over the Moon Rosé (SRP$30)
While “Over the Moon” can be interpreted into so many beautiful things, this wine label here is to celebrate the love and commitment of the founders of Kuhlken, Larry and Jeanine who have been married for 50 years. One cool fact is that they met while working for NASA on the Apollo 11 mission and have been together ever since. This wine is a Rhone-style dry Rosé that has pronounced red fruit flavors like strawberry, bing cherry and raspberry as well as a long finish with replays of minerality. It’s medium-bodied and has a creamy texture that’s versatile with food.
Pedernales Viognier with Siu Mai, Shrimp Dumplings and Spring Rolls
2017 Viognier Reserve (SRP$40)
Pedernales’ Viognier brought home multiple awards and I know why after tasting this fine wine. On the nose, the Viognier is floral with strong scents of honeysuckle. As you sip, a hint of mango captures your attention, the stone fruit flavors like peach, apricot and pear follow, and a light taste of creamy orange sherbet wraps up the whole experience. With a portion of this wine finishing fermentation in new French Oak barrels, there is a delicate balance of vanilla and warm spice notes coming through to enrich the body of this wine. A complex yet friendly wine to discover!
Pedernales GSM with Beef Balls and Chicken Feet
2017 Texas GSM Melange (SRP$35)
The ‘GSM’ red blend is made from Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvèdre and it’s a classic from the Côtes du Rhône region. This Melange is a fun but mysterious one. Initially, it’s a bit floral on the nose, but with a few sips, it unfolds its dark fruit, cocoa, and smokiness that are more the classic traits of GSM.

What is Dim Sum?
Dim sum is a style of Chinese cuisine, specifically Cantonese. It is prepared as small bite-sized portions of food served in steamer baskets or on plates. It’s like the concept of Spanish tapas when people can taste a wide variety of food when it’s served in small portions. Dim sum dishes are traditionally served with tea as brunch but have evolved as 24/7 good eats in large or small Chinese-style eateries in a bigger city. Dim Sum and wine pairings are also featured by some sophisticated Chinese/Asian restaurants which have a solid wine menu.

For my home pairing purpose, I bought these Dim Sum dishes from the frozen aisle, the bakery and the hot buffet table of the Asian grocery store. Typically, the picture on the frozen packages will give you a very good idea of what’s inside, making the shopping experience a bit easy once you locate the frozen aisle. So what Dim Sum do you need to buy? Think about what you like - seafood, meat, and pastries/buns, and prepare (e.g., steam, fry, microwave) in accordance with the instructions on the package. Let’s take a look at the simple list that forms the basic Dim Sum dishes below:
  • Shrimp dumpling (Har Gow): steam shiny, translucent shrimp dumpling
  • Siu Mai: steam shrimp and pork filling in a smaller ravioli-like wrapper, usually atop with a bit crab or fish roe 
  • Spring roll: fried spring rolls
  • Beef balls: steam seasoned ground beef
  • Chicken feet (Fung Jeow): chicken feet. They are usually stir-fried in black bean source and oyster sauce and then steamed. If you can overcome the idea of eating chicken feet, this is a truly flavorful dish.
  • Assorted Hong Kong-style baked buns: in lieu of the steam buns, I often like to add the baked buns in my Dim Sum party at home as they are sweet and can be served as desserts. These buns are closer to the French- or Japanese-style bakery eats that are fluffy and not too sweet. While these baked buns come in so many flavors nowadays, I always stick with the traditional ones like “cocktail buns” (coconut paste inside), “pineapple” buns (crumbling sweet flour/sugar toppings) and fresh cream buns
Hong Kong Style Buns (top left)
These Dim Sum dishes work beautifully with the featured wines from the Pedernales Cellars as the Rosé works really well with the spring rolls and the baked buns. While the Viognier is a no brainer to the shrimp dumplings and Siu Mui. I’m particularly fond of the GSM with the beef balls and chicken feet. The best part of the meal is to finish the wines until the very last drop in every bottle even when the Dim Sum is long gone!

Disclaimer: wines are samples. Ideas and opinions are mines.

Check out my blogger friends’ posts and see what they pair their Texas fine wines with:


  1. What a colorful and delicious array of pairings! And thanks for the advice on how to source frozen dim sum favorites from the grocery store and local Asian market. Can't wait to test it out!

    1. Yes, nowadays eating Dim Sum at home is very easy.

  2. What a great way to find good pairings - multiple wines with dim sum. Yum!

  3. I want to join you for dim sum and wine!! My stomach is grumbling here.

    1. Yes, it's a delish pairings and definitely lots of food

  4. I loved the practical tips on buying for dim sum at home! Thanks for that. The wines sound delicious too!

    1. Yes, Dim Sum restaurants charge corkage fees too. It's sometimes easier to do it at home.

  5. These wines sound amazing, and now I'll feel more confident buying dim sum at an Asian grocery store. Thanks!

    1. These frozen Dim Sum are decent and are great to server in themed parties!

  6. We LOVE dim sum! But we haven't yet dared to make a dim sum party at home. Weren't all these Texas wines a nice surprise?!