On a recent trip to see family south of Houston, we escaped the family on Saturday night for a little bit and headed over to Haak Winery (website) in Santa Fe, Texas. Santa Fe was really only known to me for its “castle,” which is currently up for sale for just under $1 million. (website) The realty site gives you no history – so check out this post on Facebook from the Santa Fe Area Historical Foundation. So to find out there was a Vineyard and Winery there was even more amazing.
Unfortunately, our experience was not amazing. We arrived around 8 pm, after having seen online that the winery closed at 10 pm on Saturday nights. Didn’t see that they didn’t do wine tastings after 8 pm and to be honest, the staff looked at us like we had two heads when we walked in the front door. They didn’t say it was a private party, but I wondered if I had misunderstood my brother’s ‘don’t worry – it’s casual, you can wear flip flops’ when I just slipped on my tatty sandals with my dress.
The room just past the front area was packed, but we found a table and had a seat. Eventually my husband headed to the bar to get us two glasses.
Now, maybe it’s my fault for not checking the website, or maybe I have become a wine snob since starting to write this blog… but $35 for two glasses of wine is a bit steep for me. Especially when I can buy a better bottle at HEB or Specs for that price and drink it with people who want me there. But to get it in Solo cups – and they are only 6 oz pours. I really expected glass. Although, I should have looked around me and realized that wasn’t going to happen.
I will say the artist they had performing was good, not that the crowd seemed to notice, which is a shame. So, after all this frustration, I’m still telling myself it’s going to be fine. I’ve heard great things about Haak.
Their Notes: Medium-bodied and fruit-forward palate of rip [sic] plums and blueberries. Glass: 13 Bottle: 28.95
My Notes: Considering a bottle is about $32 (with tax), I could have bought a bottle for the cost of 2 glasses and gotten 3 for free. Not that I would have really wanted to buy a bottle. It was a very earthy and green. The smell was that of my great grandfather mowing the lawn – a mixture of gasoline, oil and fresh cut grass. And while I appreciate any wine that can evoke a memory, when the taste falls flat because of the alcohol and tannins, and it finishes like sweet Welch’s Grape juice – well, all I can say is that it’s not like any Malbec I’ve ever had before….
Their Notes: Glass 14 Bottle $34.95
My Notes: Unfortunately the photo of the menu did not come out – and even after running photo correction software the best I got was:
Black xxx and strawberry jam flavors, xxx and smoke spices
Or something like that. It smelled like Welch’s Grape Juice with a hint of spice. No alcohol burn and much more drinkable than the Malbec. But having just been in the Texas High Plains and Texoma AVAs, I had much better Tempranillos there.
Normally I’d give the wine a day of the week rating, but my notes at the bottom say “What’s less than Monday?” Maybe I was tainted by the poor reception when I walked in or maybe I was put off by plastic solo cups. And you already know how I feel about the price. I could have bought a bottle for what I paid for two glasses, because even after tax and solo cups, my husband still tipped the unhelpful guy behind the bar.
Needless to say, my husband was thrilled because we had planned to stay and enjoy the music and wine and instead I said “you know, we could still make it to the brewery you wanted to try.” So, my overall take, well the Blueberry Blonde ale I had at the Galveston Bay Brewing (website) in Dickinson was better than either wine I had at Haak and I don’t drink beer. Will I give them a second chance? Yes, I will – but it will be quite a while. Too many other wineries in Texas to try and some favorites to visit again first. (And maybe a brewery again.)