Tasting Notes: Holiday Wine Blog Round Up

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Vintage Texas: Top Texas wine writer and Houstonian Russ Kane weighs in this week with his Top Texas Wines of 2011.

In the first installment, he reveals five of the ten, including a few from wineries we don't always see in year-end lists of favorite labels from Texas.

Russ's new guide to Texas wines -- The Wine Slinger Chronicles (Texas Tech University Press) -- will hit the shelves in early 2012, and he's created a new eponymous blog to chronicle the Chronicles.

TX Wine Lover: Russ isn't the only dude who's excited about Texas wine. Houston wine blogger Jeff Cope continues to document his adventures on the Texas wine trail with a post about Santamaria Cellars in Fredericksburg.

As we follow Jeff's excellent blog, we are reminded of how much fun enotourism can be in the state of Texas. From the High Plains to the Hill Country, wine tourism and hospitality programs are a centerpiece of the Texas wine industry, and they represent an affordable and friendly resource for folks who like to enjoy the outdoors. Keep the good stuff coming, Jeff!

Wine Skinny: And on matters more urbane, we've been loving the new look of Houston publicist Robyn Tinsley's blog Wine Skinny, and we adored this Sex and the City-inspired post on pairing panettone -- Italy's quintessential holiday fruit cake -- and Moscato d'Asti.

Any blog post that begins "Once upon a time, my boyfriend in Milan had me nearly convinced..." has us hooked from the first keystroke!

Robyn's been posting more frequently lately and on a wider variety of subjects. To this, we raise a glass and say bring it on, sistah!

From the Gutt: By our count, Houston wine blogger Tom Gutting posts on his blog From the Gutt roughly twice a year. But when he does, he means it.

We were impressed with his Beginner's Guide to Flawed Wines and especially by his addendum on "how to handle returning the wine."

"Trust your own palate," writes Tom. We couldn't agree more with this advice.

Vine Sleuth Uncorked: Speaking of Houston wine bloggers whose blogs we'd like to see more of, Amy Gross, author of Vine Sleuth Uncorked, posted this roundup of "clever wine Christmas decorations," including the "tree of wine bottles" (above, right).

How she found this stuff, we're not quite sure. But we're glad she did!

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