In vino veritas: Our Messina Hof contest winners prove that wine is more than abeverage
If there's one thing we know, dear reader, it's that Houston loves its wine.
When we asked you on Facebook to tell us about your love affair with wine, you told us — and you told us in droves.
It didn't hurt that we were offering the sweetest anecdote: A one night stay at Messina Hof Winery & Resort's Villa Bed & Breakfast, dinner for two at the Vintage House Restaurant, a wine and cheese social in The Wine Bar, a winery tour and tasting, and a full champagne breakfast in the morning.
Yes, all of that for your great grape narratives!
The competition was fierce. The stories were heartwarming, funny, and entertaining. But there could only be one victor in this veritable vino clash.
The competition was fierce. The stories were heartwarming, funny, and entertaining. But there could only be one victor in this veritable vino clash: CultureMap reader Viswa Subbaraman.
Without further ado, grab your glass, sit back, and read the winning entry and our runner-up picks.
I knew nothing about wine. In fact, in college, wine was Boone's Farm (sad to admit!).
I went to Paris to study and ended up winning a job there. My boss looked at me and said, "Such a shame you are in France and know nothing about wine." We'd go out to eat once a week, and I'd be lectured non-stop about wine and terroir.
One day before I moved back to Texas, the waiter poured me the wine to taste, and I sent it back because it was corked.
My boss said, "Wait a second ... wait. He knows nothing about wine. Let me taste it." He took a taste, waited for a second and said, "No, surprisingly, he is right. Take it back."
He looked at me and said, "If you learned nothing else about your time in France, at least I taught you about wine."
- Viswa Subbaraman
Flavors Rounding Out the Top Flight:
I grew up with a Cajun grandpa from Louisiana who taught me at an early age that food and wine were some of the great pleasures of life. He would cook all the time to show his love for his family.
I didn't have my first glass of wine until I was 16, but I was taught much earlier about the history and types of wine.
The years have rolled by, and at age 40, I know the happiest times are spent around a table, surrounded by family and friends celebrating with good wine and food. Everytime I drink a nice glass of bordeaux I think of my papa and smile.
- Anna Fulbright
I grew up in a family that very much appreciated a great bottle of wine. We learned the differences between cabernet, pinot noir, merlot and "house" wine very quickly. As an adult, I can solidly say that a good girl's night in or out always includes a good bottle ( or three) of wine.
With a wine-loving father and green developer fiancé, I like to support the (few and far between) outstanding Texas vineyards and wines that are just as great as what is coming out of California.
As an event planner, I always find that buying Messina Hof is a great option, whether it be a wedding, a gala, a gallery opening or birthday party. It is local, affordable and goes well with so many things.
It is nice to always have a great standby that you feel good about serving friends and loved ones.
- Nicole Laurent
My mother-daughter bachelorette party was a Texas vineyard tour near Wimberley, Tex. Armed with a pink boa, a bride-to-be crown and an empty glass, we spent one of my favorite days of my life marauding around, trying different wines and generally being girly. We ended the day with a special dinner at our bed and breakfast.
Spending the day with my family and friends was the best bachelorette party I could have ever imagined. During the day, my mother bought me a bottle of wine that we split on my wedding day, another very blessed and favorite day!
- Jamie Glover-Dabbs
I just graduated from Texas State University, where I worked with the marketing department for two years. Needless to say, it was a great environment and I truly loved my coworkers, especially the "social media dungeon," as we called it.
On my last day of work, my boss came to my desk and surprised me with a bottle of homemade wine from his personal vineyard. It was called Tom Cat's Magic Elixir. It was a delicious white wine, which he obviously knew all too well that I would just love.
It was such an amazing going-away gift, and I cracked it open on my graduation day with my family and friends. I'm the first to graduate from college in my family, so to have it and spend time with them was a very special thing!
- Britney Mungia