Three Perfect Hill Country Wine and Food Pairings

A visual map to pair the right food type with the right wine

Photo by Wine Folly

The perfect Hill Country Pairings are a matter of personal opinion. Many visitors to the Hill Country tour the Texas Wine Trail and discover many new wines. From there, why not take your new bottle back and prepare a great meal! When you stay in the Texas Hill Country, particularly at a luxurious home with a full kitchen, you should try preparing some local favorites. You’ll find many different varieties of wine to try. As a result, the Hill Country pairings can be limitless.

Wine Folly offers many option pairing suggestions. At the end of the day, preferences are a personal decision. For example, the world will be just fine if you pair a hearty merlot with a slice of apple pie. Additionally, whoever said white wine cannot be served with red meat never tried some of the amazing wines in the Hill Country.

We picked three recipes we felt were fantastic Hill Country pairings. In the end, your tastes are unique and should be explored!

Lou Lambert’s Beef Tenderloin

Chef Lou Lambert's beef tenderloin recipes featuring Duchman Family wine makes a fantastic Hill Country pairings.Oh, yes – its as good as it looks! You can prepare this fantastic meal with just a few steps. First, remove the tenderloin from the fridge and coat with olive oil. Next, season the meat with pepper and thyme and let the tenderloin come to room temperature. While the meat relaxes, time to get the grill to medium high. You will want to be sure to have a hot and cool zone on your grill. The last step is to generously salt the beef and place it right over the hot side of the grill.

Montepulciano has been in the Duchman portfolio almost from day one, and it remains one of the most popular wines in our lineup. Duchman Montepulciano fills the senses with aromas of ripe plum, pipe tobacco and vanilla. Rich flavors of blackberry, black cherry and a hint of spice please the palate. The balanced acidity of this wine pairs nicely with savory dishes.This is key – leave it alone for about 5 minutes per each side to caramelize and sear the outside edges. Once that is done, move the beef to the cooler portion of the grill. You’ll want to rotate the meet occasionally until the internal temperature reaches 125 degrees. In the end, you’re aiming for medium-rare (takes about 20 minutes). Let the meat rest under a loose fitting covering for at least 15 minutes and slice.

  • 1 beef tenderloin, approximately 4 pounds, trimmed and tied
  • 1/4 c. olive oil
  • 3 T. coarsely ground black pepper
  • 2 T. coarsely chopped fresh thyme
  • kosher salt, to taste

This meal pairs perfectly with the Duchman Family Winery Montepulciano. You’ll find the acidity and flavors of blackberry, black cherry and spices make this Hill Country pairing great for savory dishes.

Ross Coleman’s Black Eyed Peas 

One of many Hill Country Pairings that blend fruity notes, cedar notes and coffee hints that pairs perfectly with hearty dishes.With the New Year rapidly approaching, a southern tradition includes black eyed peas. No, not the band, but the hearty dish with roots in Africa, Europe, Asia and America. Although the ingredient list is a bit long, the wait will be worth it!

  • 1 lb. dry black-eyed peas
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 3 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 1 oz. chopped garlic
  • 8 oz. cherry tomatoes
  • 1 smoked ham hock (or 1 smoked turkey leg)
  • 1/2 gallon chicken stock
  • 1 lb. of andouille sausage, cut
  • 1 lb. of mustard greens, triple-washed, cut in 1/4-inch strips
  • 4-6 oz. Parmesan rind
  • 3 T. oil
  • Water
  • Salt and pepper to taste

This wonderful meal only has a few steps. First, in a large stockpot, sauté bell peppers, celery, and onion in 3 T. oil until they are soft. Next, add the chopped garlic and sauté for 2 minutes. After that, add the chicken stock, black-eyed peas, ham hock, sausage, cherry tomatoes, and mustard greens. Finally, bring the whole thing to a boil. Then, lower the heat just let it simmer for 1 to 1.5 hours until peas are soft. You will want to check the dish occasionally and add water needed.

When the beans are tender, turn off heat and add Parmesan rind. You’ll want to give the dish at least 15 minutes to thicken up. Add salt and pepper to taste and enjoy!

One of the more fruitful Hill Country Pairings, a Messina Hof Primitivo offers cedar oak barrel tones that pair perfectly with hearty dishes.

Eve’s Garden Noble Bread

One of many Hill Country Pairings options, this simple and filling bread fills your tummy with happinessBrennan Vineyards offers some spectacular wines.With two hearty meals above, you’ll want some amazing bread to go along with them! Eve’s Garden Noble Bread is easy to make and makes a third Hill Country Pairings’ option.

First, combine the flour, warm water, salt, yeast and oil in a plastic, 4-quart container. After the ingredients are combined, place the loosely covered container in the fridge for at least 90 minutes. Next, remove the dough, punch it down to relieve some stress and put it all back in the fridge for at least 2 more hours. If you have the time, prepare these steps the night before.

After at least 2 hours, divide the dough into four pieces. From there, each piece will make about 20 dough balls. This would be a good time for a sip of ;klms;le wine. Next, place enough balls in a 12 inch cake pan and bake at 450 degrees for 25 minutes (or until golden brown). Finally, cool them down on a plate and spread a layer of olive oil over them and sprinkle a bit of kosher salt and rosemary on top. Cranberries also make a wonderful garnish!

  • 6 1/2 c. unbleached all-purpose flour or bread flour
  • 2 1/2 c. warm (100-degree) water
  • 1 1/2 T. kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 T. yeast
  • 1/4 c. olive oil
  • Kosher salt, rosemary leaves, and cranberries for garnish

A fantastic pairing would be the Brennan Vineyards Mourvèdre Dry Rosé. This dry and light wine pairs so well with this bread.