Book Reviews

Shout-Out to @VintageTexas & his Wineslinger Chronicles

by Ray Isle (Executive Wine Editor, Food and Wine Magazine) on CNN’s Food Blog

Wine Pairings for Tex-Mex: Wine not?

I would be remiss if I didn’t add two important references to this rundown. Those who want to cook should check out Robb Walsh’s excellent The Tex-Mex Cookbook: A History in Recipes and Photos; those who want to drink (wine, that is) ought to take a gander at Russell Kane’s authoritative and engagingly readable The Wineslinger Chronicles: Texas on the Vine.

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Texas Wine: Let the WIne Slinging Begin!

by Jessica Dupuy, Texas Monthly, Eat My Words Blog Friday, February 10, 2012

Don’t worry, you don’t need to break out your rain poncho. No one is inviting you to an event where people will be slinging wine in your general direction. I am referring to a real wine slinger, but more along the lines of a Texas wine writer slinging good ole tales about the story of Texas wine, and I mean the whole story.

In his chronicles, Kane sets out on a viticultural excursion to dispel the history, truth and future of Texas wine through a series of grape grower, vintner, winery stories as well as his own personal experiences along the way.

Excerpt from The Wineslinger Chronicles…

“In my search to define Texas Terroir, I’ve often stopped to listen to the voices of the spirits that linger in the rustle of tall grass, the gush of spring water on slab limestone, or the rush of windblown sandy soil. These are the voices that tell of the land’s history, its potential, and its past and future trials that test the will of those who try to harvest its bounty. I’ve also listened to the unspoken words when a grower contemplates the extent of his harvest lost to a late-spring freeze or a summer hailstorm. These are the words that define the grit and gumption of the evolving Texas wine experience.”


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Book explores strengths of Texas vintners

Dale Robertson, Houston Chronicle – Tuesday, February 7, 2012

He recalls the dinner at grower Neal Newsom’s B & B that’s the final chapter’s focal point.

Fellow grower Jet Wilmeth, whose High Plains vineyards in Tokio has been battered at one time or another by every form of hostile weather imaginable, stood to say grace on a spring evening when a freeze loomed ominously in the forecast.”Dear Lord,” Wilmeth prayed, “thank You for this day and thank You for this gathering of our families and friends. Bless us all. We could use a little rain, but, most of all, please keep the frost away. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.”

Kane writes, “As only a farmer’s inner strength can convey, there was no doubt the fate of this year’s harvest was in the hands of a greater being.”

Which Texas wines taste good with fried rattlesnake or spicy mulligatawny soup?

 – Houston Weekend Warrior Examiner

Just ask Russ Kane.   His book, The Wineslinger Chronicles: Texas on the Vine, uncovers all things related to Texas wines and neatly blends a range of wine topics as vast as Texas itself.

“Cracking this book’s cover, compares to the pleasure in opening a rare, hand-crafted vintage bottle… and the subsequent wistfulness that accompanies finishing it.

The Wineslinger Chronicles is the go-to guide for the Texas wine explorer.  It’s also an easy take-along weekend read – and welcomes all levels of wine enthusiasts.   It’s a poignant adventure of exploration, perseverance, identity and revelation.”


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Book review: The Wineslinger Chronicles: Texas on the Vine

The Wine Curmudgeon (Jeff Siegel) – February 02, 2012

“The Wineslinger Chronicles” is as comprehensive and as thorough a look at Texas wine as I have seen. Everything is there, from wine’s beginnings in Texas with the Spanish missionaries and their grapes, through the state’s pre-Prohibition history, and its rebirth in the 1970s. He tells the story through a series of visits to the state’s wineries and wine regions, from Val Verde Winery near El Paso to the mega-producer Ste. Genevieve in the almost unreachable Fort Stockton to the tourist mecca in and around Fredericksburg.

“Kane’s search for Texas wine made with the mission grape, from which the first Texas wines were made some 500 years ago and which is almost impossible to find today. His “interview” with one of the original Spanish missionaries is nothing if not unique.”

“The dynamo that is the ageless Dr. Smith, or, as everyone calls him, Dr. Bobby. This chapter comes as close as possible to replicating a visit with Dr. Bobby, which is almost indescribable.”


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The Wineslinger Chronicles by VintageTexas (A Review)

27 January 2012 (by Jeff Cope @TXwineLover)

Most people know Russ Kane as VintageTexas, the self-proclaimed Texas Wine Czar. @VintageTexas is his Twitter name and accordingly he writes a blog called Vintage Texas in which he imparts his knowledge of Texas wines and his experiences traveling throughout Texas and other wine regions in the United States.

I was visiting a Texas winery near the start of my winery visits and after talking to the winemaker for a while, he said I should really follow Vintage Texas as I would learn a lot. That is exactly what I did and indeed I have learned quite a bit from reading Russ’s VintageTexas Blog.

If you have any interest in Texas wine and the history of Texas wine, I would highly recommend ordering your copy. The book is available for pre-ordering at most online bookstores and you can even order an autographed copy directly from Russ himself at his Wineslinger website. The book will also be available as an eBook [and hardcover on and Barnes & Noble].


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My-Table Magazine: The Wineslinger Chronicles – Book Review (Feb-March 2012 Issue)

“Since 1998 no one has more willingly or enthusiastically worn the mantle of Texas’ own wine writer than Russell Kane”

“His travels, experiences and the insights he has garnered from the long list of friends and acquaintances he enjoys in the Texas wine industry have all come to fruit in his new book The Wineslinger Chronicles: Texas on the Vine.”

“The most fascinating parts of the book are the in-depth conversations the author has with so many of the dedicated men and women who really make Texas wines that they are.”

– Joe Abruso (for My Table Magazine)

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Must Like Texas Wine: The Wine Slinger Chronicles, a New Guide to Texas Wines

By Jeremy Parzen (HoustonPress – Wine Time) January 23, 2012

“Russ’s book is full of the same fun, humor, curiosity, and keen understanding of wine and the wine industry that he shares when he lectures, blogs, or tweets about his second calling in life and his number one passion (after his beautiful wife, Delia).”

“Where other writers have glossed over Texas wine history and culture, Russ dives into the epistemological implications of Lone Star State wine with chapters like “A Sip with a Good Friar” (on the Spanish origins of Texas wine), “Limestone Ledges and Red Sandy Soil” (on the historical context of Texas winemaking), “The Supreme Expérimenteur” (devoted to “Northern Region” growing zones), and “From Mediterranean Shores” (on the success of grape growers who looked beyond the pedestrian and predictable Cab, Merlot, and Chard to Southern European varieties that now flourish here).”


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