Cassaro Winery & Vineyard is located in Ovilla, Texas and has an interesting backstory. Which can be found on their website here. However, I’ll give you a few nuggets we learned from Joseph during the tasting. His Dad (John) insists on using 100% Texas grapes to make Texas wines using Italian tradition. Which means that making wine can be a challenge when the grapes don’t grow (and you won’t buy them from New Mexico, because then it wouldn’t be Texas wine, it would be New Mexico wine… Sorry, Joseph, I had to include the aside). Needless to say, with his smile, wit and dedication to the family business – Joseph had me hooked on trying out the wine.
We decided to try everything that wasn’t exclusive to Wine Club members, which mean with two flights, I could taste just about everything on the menu – except the Ponte.
Their Notes: They only have 4 cases left. To quote Joseph “when it’s gone it’s gone.” Although the website says “Featuring floral aromas and the essence of fruits such as lemon, pear, apple and nectarine, this wine is a year-round favorite.”
My Notes: This buttery, but crisp wine kicked off my tasting, as Joseph was amused I pulled out a small pink notebook to take notes. A discussion with another customer ensued on my rating system, which left Joseph shaking his head and the customer pondering the concept. My poor tasting companion only got two small sips of this one before I’d finished the glass. Needless to say, two bottles came home with me, so a full review of this Wednesday wine could be in the future, especially since one is a gift for a friend.
Their Notes: A light, sweet, white Albariño with a sweet aroma and refreshing taste. This 100% Texas Wine has apple, pear and citrus nuances and is perfect for pairing with poultry and fish. (2016 vintage)
My Notes: Personally, this bordered on a Porch Pounder for me. You can taste the apple and pear but the high sugar scent and flavor overwhelmed everything. I put it in the Porch Pounder varietal because it is a Saturday by the pool, or hanging out on the porch, or in front of the firepit kind of wine. And I might be likely to drink an entire bottle myself. Since Joseph mentioned his Dad wants to try a champagne – my advice, turn this one into a sparkling – it would be an instant hit in the Texas Summers.
Their Notes: Features our popular Albariño white grapes. This 100% Texas Wine has no residual sugar and is sure to please those who enjoy a crisp and refreshing dry white wine. (2016 vintage)
My Notes: Despite the acrid scent (for me) this tastes good. I know that’s not the flowery description you might have come to expect from me, but this is a dry crisp Tuesday wine that deserves a crisp/dry description. [Besides, Breve translates out of Italian into short.]
Their Notes: a rich, round, dry red wine with soft flavors of black cherry and aromatics of blackberry and plum. A light summer red Dolcetto pairs well with pizza, pasta, sausage and mushrooms.
My Notes: This will pair perfectly with Momma Deb’s bolognaise, or Cousin John’s lasagna (or Stouffers if you don’t have a cousin who can cook). My notes say it was spicy with nice feet. And then there are a lot of notes about the color…. a lovely bright pinkish-red in the sunlight. I should have photographed it. It reminded me of the deep pink Crepe Myrtle’s that bloom in Texas in the summer. A solid Tuesday/Wednesday wine that would be great for Sunday dinners with the family.
Their Notes: Cassaro’s blend of our Dolcetto and Sangiovese grapes. The Dolcetto exhibits tastes of blackberry and plum while the Sangiovese adds flavors such as strawberry, fig and cherry.
My Notes: Pronounced a bit like “joy-yah” (not the New Jersey accent of goysha) this wine immediately hit me with a good dark fruit scent. It was spicy and sweet at the same time with a good finish. I liked this one so much I had a glass with the charcuterie board and brought a bottle home. It went really well with the colby jack cheese from the board as it brought out the sweet. I can’t wait to pair it with Frank Sinatra’s recipe for Sausage and Peppers (find it here). However, I won’t use it in the recipe – that needs more of a cabernet.
However, this is a Friday night / date night wine. In fact, I can recommend making Frank’s sausage and peppers and serving this wine for a special occasion like a birthday or anniversary… it might not be romantic enough for Valentine’s Day and besides, this wine does not go with anything sweet.
I didn’t know what to expect when we headed out to Cassaro. But after trying the wine and hanging out with one of six kids of the owners (not all are involved in the business and I won’t share all the family secrets I learned), it is somewhere I wished was a bit closer to home (ok, an hour drive in the metroplex in light traffic is nothing, but you shouldn’t drink and drive).
I will share one fun fact Joseph shared with the regular customer he was serving when we arrived. Oak Barrels can only be used twice before they cannot be used again to age wine. Why, you ask? Because it will give the wine the flavors of the wine before – even if it is the same varietal – not a good idea. Which led to a discussion on how they produce wine now. Want to know the secret? I suggest you visit and ask for yourself.
Look for Flight Two’s review in a couple of days.