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11 West Coast Red Wines Worth Trying

11 West Coast Red Wines Worth Trying

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From zinfandel to tempranillo, with some good cabernets and pinot noirs in between, here are some West Coast reds worth trying as we turn our calendars to the fall pages.

2011 XYZin California old-vine zinfandel ($26). Nicely made zin with rounded, creamy black raspberry flavors and just a touch of extra heat. Light tannins and a good finish.

2011 Quivira Dry Creek zinfandel ($22). Very good. Tangy dried-berry and cherry flavors, lean, spicy, minerally with moderate tannins. Good in the glass or at the table. It will develop some Bordeaux-style leatheriness with age.

2010 Matchbook Dunnigan Hills tempranillo ($15). With some tannat and graciano blended in. Savory notes and cherry fruit with a somewhat raspy, citrus finish. Would be good with roasted meats.

2010 Robert Mondavi Oakville cabernet sauvignon ($45). Juicy cherries with lots of tangy acidity and firm tannins. A little edgier than most Mondavi cabs.

2010 Sequoia Grove Napa Valley cabernet sauvignon ($37). Buttery fruit nose with good cassis flavors, some minerality, some herbal and savory characteristics and a crisp finish. Quite enjoyable.

2011 Paul Hobbs "CrossBarn" Napa Valley cabernet sauvignon ($42). Lots of enticing brulée and dark berry aromas. Intense blackberry flavors and browned butter notes with some vanilla. Dusty tannins and long on the palate. Powerful and delicious.

2010 Chateau Montelena Calistoga cabernet sauvignon ($50). Rounded, mature flavors of ripe plums, apple pulp, prunes, figs with well-integrated tannins. Some earthy chocolate in the finish. Well-balanced with good acidity.

2011 Route Stock Willamette Valley pinot noir ($19). This is "pinot light" — tart raspberry flavors, a little raspy and a little short on the finish. Flavors are fine, but not much of a grip.

2012 Line 39 Central Coast pinot noir ($11). Some dry-stemmy, savory notes with ripe dark cherry flavors and some balsamic. Enjoyable.

2011 LaFollette "Sangiacomo" Sonoma Coast pinot noir ($32). A nice, complex wine with flavors of ripe cherries, cola, a touch of root beer, and a savory finish.

2011 Paul Hobbs "Katherine Lindsay" Russian River pinot noir ($85). A biggg pinot! Cola and dark cherry flavors, fairly tannic, and still very tight. Put it away for a couple of years.

West Coast Distillers Create Festive Libations for the Holidays

While the pandemic has grounded international travel, it remains possible, and entirely delightful, to bring the tastes and aromas of beloved destinations into our homes, through the power of life’s necessities, food and drink.

Several distilleries based in British Columbia have worked some inspiring alchemy to produce potent potions and elixirs that can transport one to sunny southern France, or the gently rolling hills of Emilia Romagna in Italy. As we hunker down at home to celebrate the holidays and brave another Canadian winter, these spirits offer a welcoming taste of the familiar and foreign.

Richmond Food News: Week of May 7-May 11

West Coast Provisions brings coastal cuisine to the far West End, Don't Look Back makes a comeback, Taste of Virginia returns and happenings for Mother's Day weekend.

West Coast Provisions opened on Wednesday, May 9 and is dishing out seafood-centric dishes that have everyone in the city traveling to the far West End.

West Coast, Best Coast?

Oysters, sushi and seafood, oh my! West Coast Provisions, the sibling restaurant to East Coast Provisions, opened Wednesday, May 9, in GreenGate development in the far West End. If you want to get excited, and possibly start drooling before you venture to the newest Pacific-inspired spot from Richmond Restaurant Group, check out what to expect. (Richmond Magazine)

For Every Saison

Hardywood and Maymont teamed up to create For Every Saison, a crisp, botanical ale with lavender and thyme from the Maymont grounds. How Richmond are they? Ben Petty, regional sales manager for Hardywood, says For Every Saison is the ultimate Richmond brew. The beer was released during a five-course dinner at the Robins Nature Center led by local chefs. Check out some pics that will probably make your stomach grumble. (Richmond Magazine)

The Return Of The Taco

Taco fans rejoice! Don’t Look Back is making a comeback this week. The location at 3306 W. Broad St. in the former Triple billiards hall has pool tables, a swanky lounge area and the same delicious tacos. For the full scoop and a peek inside head here. (Richmond Magazine)

Bagel Upon Us

The time has come, bagel fans. Nate's Bagels, the pop-up that has been gracing the city for the past year is slated to open their brick-and-mortar at 21. S. Allen Ave. on Wednesday, May 16. We spoke with Nate about the unique bagel style he's bringing to Richmond and what diners can expect. (Richmond Magazine)

Wine Dinner With A View

Wine, a five-course dinner, views from the terrace of Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden and supporting local gardens — I’m in. On Wednesday, May 16, Lewis Ginter kicks off the first in a series of four themed dinners, Wine Like You Mean It. The dinners will benefit beautifulrva, the Ginter Urban Gardener program and the community greenspaces that Lewis Ginter works with throughout the city. The first dinner, Bees and Botanicals, highlights Virginia honey and the critical issues surrounding bee populations. Susan Hicklin, general manager of Meriwether Godsey at Lewis Ginter, says the events are meant to connect people and add meaning to traditional wine dinners. “It’s good food, beautiful environment, and it’s an opportunity to bring people together,” says Hicklin. “They can sit across and foster dialogue and information and find that people are looking for an opportunity to [volunteer] and don’t know how.” The other themes include Celebrate the Bay (June 13), Nature’s Bounty (August 15) and Pasture (September 12). Tickets are $75.

Lebanese Longevity

Our palates are in for a treat. The 34 th annual Lebanese Food Festival is on the horizon. The community celebration has become a Richmond staple and something to look forward to every May. It takes place at St. Anthony’s Maronite Catholic Church, and kicks off Friday and Saturday, May 18 and 19, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. If you want to indulge in spanokopita and falafel from the comfort of your couch, have no fear — there is an option for boxed lunches and full trays of meals to go (definitely grab dessert as well). They also offer bulk orders of grape leaves, spinach pies, tabbouleh and more if you want to experience the Lebanese food for the week. Sandra Brown, a festival organizer says, “We love to showcase our culture, and it’s made us embrace it more, and Richmond has certainly embraced us also.” Brown says preparation has been taking place for months and each year the church makes more than 40,000 pies. Some new additions this year include Lebanese Beirut Beers, a wine made by Lebanese monks, and "ashta," a sweet whipped cream stuffed in katayifs (Lebanese pancakes) and topped with an orange blossom syrup that I can’t wait to try. For a full menu, head here.

Punk and Pints

Punk rock and beer seems like a fitting combination. Richmonders will get the chance to experience the pairing themselves when Punk in Drublic, a craft beer and music fest with national tour dates, makes a stop in the River City on Saturday, May 12. The event is named after NOFX’s Punk in Drublic album and was created by NOFX frontman Fat Mike. Fat Mike teamed up with Stone Brewing for the NOFX Punk in Drublic, a hoppy, but smooth lager that will be available at the event. The exciting collab with musicians is the first of its kind for Stone. Over 100 beers from Virginia and beyond will grace the festival, along with live music from NOFX, Bad Religion, The Interrupters and Mad Caddies. Tickets start at $49.50 and include unlimited beer samples until 4 p.m., so get there early. (Press Release)

Cuisine and Coasters

Taste Of Virginia has returned to King’s Dominion if you’re looking for a weekend adventure involving food, wine and coasters! If we added sour beers or bagels into the mix, I’d be in heaven. Every weekend through May 20, guests can experience regional cuisine from across the state, as well as brews, spirits and wines from the Commonwealth. Hanover even makes an appearance representing Central Virginia with a famous Hanover tomato grilled cheese sandwich. Full menu here.

Strawberry Street Festival

Strawberry Street possesses a certain quaint charm that is undeniable. On Saturday, May 12, from noon to 4:30 p.m. join neighbors for the annual Strawberry Street festival ringing in its 39 th year! There will be locally grown strawberries for sale, vendors, games, raffles and auctions, and proceeds benefit Fox Elementary School PTA. Word on the street is that Scoop, the forthcoming ice cream shop from Whisk’s Morgan Botwinick located on Strawberry Street, will be dishing out samples of roasted strawberry and confetti ice cream.

Oh you know, just another Richmond-based brewery making an international splash — Center of the Universe Brewing and their sister research and development brewery, Origin Beer Lab, brought home two medals from the 2018 World Beer Cup. The decision wasn’t quick or easy. The judges deliberated over three days and six sessions, analyzing over 8,000 brews from 33 countries (whew). If you’ve ever had COTU’s Session Pale Ale, you’ve sipped on a silver-medal winner for best session beer. The 3.8 percent pale ale is brewed with Mosaic and Simcoe hops. And gold goes to … Origin Beer Lab for “The Bald Irishman,” an Irish-style red ale that won the only Virginia gold medal. The brew is released around St. Patrick’s Day and benefits the St. Baldrick’s Foundation. Cheers!

On May 10 at the VMFA, Richmond Region Tourism celebrated the area’s success as an inviting destination during National Travel and Tourism week. Rappahannock and Buz and Ned’s both won nods for Restaurant Partner of the Year, and Vasen Brewing co-founders Joey Darragh and Tony Giordana brought home the Rising Star Award.

Belmont Butchery was recognized as Best Local Gourmet Food Store in Central Virginia by Virginia Living. If you know Belmont, you know they are charcuterie connoisseurs and for the past 11 years have been providing the area with a curated selection of beef, poultry and pork.

Underground Kitchen, Underground Dinner

The Underground Kitchen, the foodie cult dinner club, is popping up in Richmond to host an Urban Oasis dinner event on May 13 in celebration of mothers. Chef Taz plans to infuse botanicals and explore the floral culinary realm for the six-course wine dinner, which also features an opening cocktail. Tickets are $150 and the intimate event has only 20 seats available. The location will be announced to ticket-holders 48 hours prior. (Press release)

Westward Expansion

Like so many restaurants inside the city limits, Carytown Cupcakes is opening a West End location. The bakery plans to open up their second location between Pandora and Franco’s in Short Pump Town Center by early summer. The new spot will offer the same specialties as its Carytown counterpart, such as their Lemon Lover and Hummingbird (my fave) cupcakes, but if you’re looking to enjoy a sweet treat with a boozy beverage, no luck. The second location doesn’t plan to offer beer or wine and will not have a kitchen on site. Stay tuned for an exact opening date! (BizSense)

Things are heating up at GreenGate in the far West End. A Conneticut-based taco chain, Bartaco, will open their first Richmond location at the end of this year or early 2019. I peeped at their menu and it looks affordable, most tacos are between $2.50 and $3.50, and tempting — crispy rock shrimp with a lemon parsley slaw portobello with roasted poblano peppers and queso fresco carnitas rice bowls and duck tamales.

UFO answers coming soon? US government to report on mysterious sightings

We could soon start getting answers to some vexing UFO questions.

Scientists ponder how to get samples from Saturn's weird moon Titan

A concept of a sample-return mission to Saturn's moon Titan envisions using local lakes of hydrocarbons as a source of fuel to power the trip home.

NASA partners with deep-ocean explorers to develop tech for Europa mission

An autonomous submarine set to revolutionize deep-sea exploration will test technology for future space missions to moons with hidden oceans.

This November’s best events


Moonlight Forest is making way for another holiday tradition at the L.A. County Arboretum this year: Lightscape. The illuminated seasonal event promises to blanket the grounds of the Arcadia garden in thousands of twinkling lights, mostly in tunnel form (one of which has a particularly photogenic cathedral-esque peak). The event previously ran in London and Chicago, and makes its West Coast debut here at the Arboretum from November 12, 2021 through January 16, 2022. Timed tickets are available in 15-minute intervals we&rsquore not entirely sure yet how long it&rsquoll take to make your way through the event, but expect the trail to be about a mile long.

The Art of the Brick

Budding engineers and artists will be equally enthralled by the masterpieces Nathan Sawaya has intricately crafted with over 1,000,000 toy blocks. (No, that number is not a typo.) Visitors who love dinosaur activities will gawk at the artist&rsquos 20-foot T. Rex, which is comprised of over 80,000 pieces alone. Creative youngsters will enjoy Sawaya&rsquos recreation of Van Gogh&rsquos Starry Night and Da Vinci&rsquos Mona Lisa, along with the exhibit&rsquos interactive elements, as well.

Immersive Van Gogh

True to its name, this exhibition transforms the iconic paintings of Vincent van Gogh into moving, wall-filling projections. &ldquoImmersive Van Gogh&rdquo promises half-a-million cubic feet of projections that pull from some of the post-Impressionist&rsquos most recognizable pieces, including The Bedroom, Sunflowers and, yes, The Starry Night. We don&rsquot have any location info yet, but we do know that it&rsquos set to open on May 27, with presale tickets available on February 10 and general sale on February 13. Tickets start at $30 for kids and $40 for adults &ldquopeak&rdquo times top out at $50, but you&rsquoll find a whole bunch of premium ticketing options that tack onto the price. In the meantime, check out this preview from our friends at Time Out Chicago.

SOAR: Tropical Butterflies

Walk through a pavilion of fluttering butterflies and peep a chamber with pupae and caterpillar&rsquos at South Coast Botanic Garden&rsquos new exhibition. In the spring and first half of the summer SOAR will feature tropical butterflies, while in the late summer and fall it&rsquoll flip to monarch butterflies. Timed reservations are required.

Motown: The Sound Of Young America

Follow the history of the culture-defining record label with this decade-spanning dive into Motown. The Grammy Museum exhibition includes stage outfits from the Supremes, the Jackon 5 and Boyz II Men, as well as some more recent additions like Migos Stevie Wonder&rsquos harmonica and a station where you can learn the Temptations&rsquo signature dance moves.


Raise a glass: The touring production of Lin-Manuel Miranda&rsquos immeasurably popular musical will relaunch in August 2021. Awesome. Wow. Before the world turned upside down, the hip-hop history of Alexander Hamilton&rsquos life had just returned to the Pantages Theater in the spring of 2020. But as events across L.A. were canceled, so too progressively were performances of Hamilton&mdashinitially for just a few weeks but eventually for a year and a half. Its new run dates: August 17, 2021 through January 2, 2022.

Banksy: Genius or Vandal? Exhibition

This exhibit boasts over 80 works from the famed British street artist. Based on a peek at previous editions of the show, the hour-long experience looks like it&rsquoll mostly feature signed prints as well as photographs of works, with a few pieces of preserved street art thrown into the mix. Just a heads up that all of the works come from a private collection Banksy himself is not involved with the exhibition.

The Pink Floyd Exhibition: Their Mortal Remains

Breathe, breathe in the air at this exhibition celebrating the world&rsquos most legendary psychedelic band. The Nick Mason-approved touring show will make its North American debut at Hollywood&rsquos Vogue Multicultural Museum, the old movie theater just down the block from Musso & Frank. The chronologically-organized exhibit starts with the Syd Barrett years and tackles all of the landmark albums, with over 350 instruments, lyrics, sketches and props, including stage designs from the Dark Side of the Moon era, a model sheep that was fired above the crowd in support of Animals and recreated inflatables from The Wall. Of course, no exhibition about the laser show favorites would be complete without some sensory overload, so things wrap up with an immersive listening space that includes a recreation of the band&rsquos last performance in 2005.

The Top Texas 40

"I'm a Ding Dong Daddy (From Dumas)" got stuck in my head last April. Besides making me crazy, it got me thinking about the phenomenon of a state that inspires so many songs. This Ding Dong moment happened in the wake of the Chronicle's Texas Top 40 last November, an effort that was so much fun to be part of that it didn't take long to marry the two in concept. Texas -- like New York, California, and the whole South -- just seems to inspire music.

And here's something that became obvious in listening to hundreds and hundreds of songs. Songs about Texas towns and places usually involve love -- unrequited, young, old, lost, newfound, enduring. Songs about the state of Texas generally celebrate its spirit and geography -- and love. Murder ballads, disco tunes, school anthems, television show themes, post punk, classic country, hot jazz, smokin' blues, New Wave . name a genre, and someone is singing about Texas in it.

Besides the majority of the Chronicle Music staff, voters included a number of esteemed musicos not even based in Texas. Jody Denberg, for one, almost begged off, saying, "As a New Yorker I feel so unqualified to participate," yet his sensibility in programming KGSR belies his origins. Non-Texas based critics admitted being daunted by the "overwhelming selection" of songs suggested the honed-down list of 500 or so titles considered was a drop in the bucket to the estimated 3,500 songs that mention the state, a city, or place in its title. And that was one of the few rules: The title had to say "Texas." Rules, of course, were made to be broken, so there's one notable exception.

Age reflected strongly in choices, too. No one older than 35 voted for Duran Duran's "Rio," and the flak from one voter made ears scorch. "Get a fucking life," he squawked, but when Simon LeBon sings "dance across the Rio Grande," he's name-checking the Lone Star State. No one younger than 35 voted for the Johnny Mercer-Harry Warren chestnut "I'm an Old Cowhand (From the Rio Grande)." All ages voted for the Doobie Brothers' "China Grove."

There's no doubt that what critics do best is argue. "Does 'Nuevo Laredo' count?" asked Joe Nick Patoski of the Doug Sahm favorite. "No!" was the resounding reply, mostly from youthful critics, with one veteran saying, "It's not in Texas." Yet three people nominated the song, doubtless reflecting Dave Marsh's sentiment: "Texas is stolen Mexican territory anyhow!"

And what of "I'm a Ding Dong Daddy (From Dumas)," the bouncy swing ditty by Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys that inspired this survey? It didn't place in the Top 10, but it was the 12th favorite song on the list, just behind the 11th, "Streets of Laredo" by Marty Robbins. It did beat out "Texarkana," "Asshole From El Paso," and "Rio," however. And if the images of Dumas and Laredo are as opposite as the sound of "Asshole" and "Rio," well . that's Texas. -- Margaret Moser

Texas Towns & Places

14 "Asshole From El Paso," Kinky Friedman & the Texas Jewboys
Songwriters: Chinga Chavin, Kenny "Snakebite" Jacobs
Year Written: 1975
Highest Billboard Chart Position: none
"Asshole From El Paso" skewered Merle Haggard's "Okie From Muskogee" and the Seventies country establishment with crude aplomb that still packs a punch. Co-written with Jewboy horn player Kenny "Snakebite" Jacobs and dirty ditty purveyor Chinga Chavin (Country Porn), it was an antidote to Cosmic Cowboy fatuousness and became as instant a classic as the other fuck-you anthem of the day, Ray Wylie Hubbard's "Redneck Mother." It made a cult star of its performer-turned-author Richard "Kinky" Friedman.

13 "Texarkana," R.E.M.
Songwriters: Bill Berry, Peter Buck, Mike Mills, Michael Stipe
Year Released: 1991
Highest Billboard Chart Position: none
An unlikely entry from an unlikely source, "Texarkana" was R.E.M. at its peak in 1991 on Out of Time. Its monster hit was "Losing My Religion," but "Texarkana" is typical of their shimmering, orchestral pop of the time, with a lead vocal by Mike Mills, who probably wrote it. The only apparent connection to the titular city is the presence of steel guitar.

12 "I'm a Ding Dong Daddy (From Dumas)," Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys
Songwriter: Phil Baxter
Year Written: 1935(?)
Highest Billboard Chart Position: none
The Panhandle town of Dumas boasted "Population: 571" in the late Twenties, about the time bandleader/songwriter Phil Baxter, himself from Navarro County, passed through and then immortalized it in song. Baxter's own success was little more than regional, but he had a knack for novelty tunes, such as "Piccolo Pete." On the Jack Benny Radio Show, bandleader Phil Harris took a liking to Baxter's tune and played it on the show, encouraging versions by Benny Goodman, Louis Armstrong, and of course Bob Wills.

11 "Streets of Laredo," Marty Robbins
Year Charted: 1960
Highest Billboard Chart Position: No. 25
Close your eyes and imagine "Streets of Laredo" performed with fiddle and bagpipes. That's a nugget of American country music, where Irish ballads such as "The Bard of Armagh" and "A Handful of Laurel" were turned into a Western classic about a Texas border town by Marty Robbins as a follow-up to "El Paso." The film Bang the Drum Slowly was named for a line in the song, which was also covered by Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, John Cale, and Roy Rogers & Dale Evans.

10 "I'm an Old Cowhand (From the Rio Grande)," Dan Hicks & His Hot Licks
Songwriters: Johnny Mercer, Harry Warren
Original Released: 1936
Johnny Mercer wrote the elegant music and Harry Warren the tongue-in-cheek lyrics for the loping ditty that first appeared in 1936's Rhythm on the Range musical. It was snatched up by every Western singing star of the era including Tex Ritter, and maintained its whimsical appeal through the decades. Sonny Rollins and Bing Crosby also saddled up to the song, but it's Dan Hicks' 1972 version with Austinite Maryann Price's unforgettable croon that's most beloved.

9 "China Grove," the Doobie Brothers
Songwriter: Tom Johnston
Year Charted: 1973
Highest Billboard Chart Position: No. 15
When the sun came up one morning in 1973, the people of San Antonio's China Grove were surprised to find their bedroom community celebrated by the Doobie Brothers. The lyrics are nonsense, but the music was an irresistible command to rock out, duuuude, with chunky chords and a steam-engine rhythm that helped establish the band's string of hits. A well-placed rumor has it that the song was inspired by a late-night hunt for drugs after the band's San Antonio debut.

8 "Amarillo by Morning," George Strait
Songwriters: Terry Stafford, Paul Fraser
Year Charted: 1982
Highest Billboard Chart Position: No. 3
Songwriter Terry Stafford (1941-1996), born in Oklahoma and raised in Amarillo, was barely 23 when Elvis Presley had a hit with his co-written song "Suspicion." Ten years later, he helped pen the lonesome, tender "Amarillo by Morning," inspired by a San Antonio rodeo gig and his drive back home. Stafford recorded it as a single on Atlantic, but "Amarillo" languished as a Panhandle favorite until George Strait recorded the definitive version in 1982.

7 "Galveston," Glen Campbell
Songwriter: Jimmy Webb
Year Charted: 1969
Highest Billboard Chart Position: No. 1
Oklahoma's Jimmy Webb was a one-man music-making machine. A lyricist and tunesmith of the first order, he already had hits with the 5th Dimension ("Up, Up and Away") and Richard Harris ("MacArthur Park") when he got in Glen Campbell what songwriters dream for: the right voice and personality for the music. Besides making a country-flavored pop hit about the Gulf Coast resort, Campbell scored with Webb's "By the Time I Get to Phoenix" and "Wichita Lineman."

6 "Luckenbach, Texas (Back to the Basics of Love)," Waylon Jennings with Willie Nelson
Songwriters: Bobby Emmons, Chips Moman
Year Released: 1977
Highest Billboard Chart Position: No. 1
The only song to place in both lists. See Texas 25 list, below.

5 "La Grange," ZZ Top
Songwriters: Billy Gibbons, Frank Beard, Dusty Hill
Year Released: 1973
Highest Billboard Chart Position: none
ZZ Top didn't invent boogie rock, but in 1973, they blasted it into national consciousness with a raucous song about a Texas whorehouse. "La Grange" owes it all to John Lee Hooker's "Boogie Chillen," but the little ol' band from Texas grabbed the blues master's mojo and made three-chord history. The lyrics are mumbled, but who doesn't punch air when singing along to, "haw haw haw haw"?

4 "Dallas," Joe Ely
Songwriter: Jimmie Dale Gilmore
Originally Released: 1972
Highest Billboard Chart Position: none
In reply to his opening, "Have you ever seen Dallas from a DC-9 at night?" Jimmie Dale Gilmore explains simply that "it told the whole song" and "took me a long time to write the rest of that song, because it had to live up to that line." First recorded in 1972 by the Flatlanders, "Dallas" thrives in the repertoires of Gilmore, Joe Ely, and others without fading or losing its dark mystique.

3 "(Is Anybody Going to) San Antone," Doug Sahm
Songwriters: Dave Kirby, Glen Martin
Year Charted: 1970
Highest Billboard Chart Position: No. 1
"This is a song now about my hometown." With those eight words not written into the lyrics, Doug Sahm (1941-1999) owned Charley Pride's No. 1 hit, "(Is Anybody Going to) San Antone." The song was written in the late Sixties by Nashville songwriter Glen Martin and Brady, Texas, native Dave Kirby, nephew of Big Bill Lister. Pride, the first (and pretty much only) black country star, made it a hit in 1970 Doug Sahm made it his on Doug Sahm & Friends in 1972.

2 "San Antonio Rose," Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys
Songwriter: Bob Wills
Year Written: 1935
Highest Billboard Chart Position: none
Bob Wills (1905-1975) wrote "San Antonio Rose" as a one-off in the mid-Thirties to capitalize on the popularity of his first song, "Spanish Two Step," a staple in the Playboys' set. "San Antonio Rose" became one of the most beloved of Wills' more than 500 compositions. Ironically, Wills once claimed the Texas swing classic was "a mistake. We just did it! Nobody knew what we were doing. We just did something to get out of there."

1 "El Paso," Marty Robbins
Songwriter: Marty Robbins
Year Charted: 1959
Highest Billboard Chart Position: No. 1
In the late Fifties, Marty Robbins (1925-1982) topped off a successful career with a No. 1 pop and country hit, "A White Sport Coat (and a Pink Carnation)," while also playing bit parts in Westerns. The experience moved his songwriting toward Old West myths and legends (inspired in part by "Texas" Bob Heckle, his cowboy grandfather), as he penned the theme for Gary Cooper's The Hanging Tree. "El Paso" shot up the charts, stayed at the top spot for seven weeks and on the charts for six months, and went platinum in the mid-Sixties.

Despite its obvious appeal, Columbia A&R head Mitch Miller rejected the story-song as long at four minutes and too wordy. Robbins countered by citing Johnny Horton's "The Battle of New Orleans" as an example of a mold-breaking hit. Columbia relented, releasing a radio edit for deejays, who rejected it for the full version, vindicating Robbins.

Romantic, tragic, elegiac, "El Paso" won a Grammy and became Marty Robbins' signature tune, forever a part of American music.

annotated by Margaret Moser

Texas in the Title

24 "Northeast Texas Women," Willis Alan Ramsey
Songwriter: Willis Alan Ramsey
Year Released: 1972
Highest Billboard Chart Position: none
With just one album recorded more than 30 years ago, Willis Alan Ramsey found his place in the annals of great Texas songwriters. "Northeast Texas Women" closes that album with a raucous tongue-in-cheek ode to big-haired Texas gals with "cast-iron curls" and "aluminum dimples." Ramsey is now putting the finishing touches on his second album, three decades in the making, at his studio in Wimberley.

23 "Long Tall Texan," Murry Kellum
Songwriter: Henry Strezlecki
Year Released: 1963
Highest Billboard Chart Position: No. 51
The Sixties were the golden age of cornpone, and Murry Kellum's "Long Tall Texan" rates just below better-known tunes like Ray Stevens' "Ahab the Arab" and Sheb Wooley's "Purple People Eater" on the guffaw-o-meter. Some have theorized "Long Tall Texan" would've been a bigger hit if not for the Kennedy assassination's chilling effect on funny songs about Texans with guns. Lyle Lovett resurrected it for 1996's The Road to Ensenada.

22 "Under the 'X' in Texas," Johnny Gimble
Songwriter: Johnny Gimble
Year Released: 1976
Highest Billboard Chart Position: none
In 1976, master swing fiddler Johnny Gimble established himself as the go-to session man in Nashville. First distinguishing himself nationally as Bob Wills' fiddle and mandolin player in the Fifties, Gimble was ready to settle down and let the work come to him. He sure missed Texas, though, so utilizing map imagery to illustrate his longing, Gimble wrote this sprightly song. Now 76, Gimble resides in Dripping Springs and still plays regularly.

21 "At the Crossroads," Sir Douglas Quintet
Songwriter: Doug Sahm
Year Released: 1969
Highest Billboard Chart Position: none
A lot was going on in Doug Sahm's life during the success of "Mendocino," and his personal concerns were often revealed in lyrics. Estranged from his beloved home state, he sang what may be the most heartfelt lines in any of his songs, inspiring critics to ignore the "Texas in the Title" rule and vote the song in. And who are we to argue with the sentiment, "You can teach me lots of lessons, you can bring me lots of gold, but you just can't live in Texas if you don't have a lotta soul."

20 "Texas (When I Die)," Tanya Tucker
Songwriters: Bobby Borchers, Ed Bruce, Patsy Bruce
Year Released: 1978
Highest Billboard Chart Position: No. 5
Upon its 1978 release, 19-year-old Tanya Tucker's TNT had all of Nashville aflutter with its overt rock aspirations and sexy gatefold pinup. While the album failed to break Tucker as a rock artist, it did spawn a lasting country classic with "Texas (When I Die)." Tucker realizes she may not go to heaven when she dies, but as long as the Almighty lets her go to Texas, she won't complain.

19 "Good Texan," the Vaughan Brothers
Songwriters: Nile Rodgers, Jimmie Vaughan
Year Released: 1990
Highest Billboard Chart Position: none
"Do it to me like I know you could, so I can do it to you baby like a Texan should." The grand tradition of Lone Star braggadocio reaches a new level of macho oafishness with this lyric. Only a vocalist as laid back and assuredly un-self-conscious as Jimmie Vaughan could pull "Good Texan" off without playing it for hardcore prurience or cheap irony.

18 "Texas in My Rear View Mirror," Mac Davis
Songwriter: Mac Davis
Year Released: 1980
Highest Billboard Chart Position: No. 9
Some people have to leave Texas to figure out they love it. Such is the case with the restless protagonist in this Mac Davis classic. Feeling he'll wind up in jail or dead if he doesn't escape Lubbock, he sets out for Hollywood, thinking happiness is "Lubbock, Texas, in my rear view mirror." But L.A. turns out to be tougher than he thought, so he returns to Lubbock with a renewed appreciation for his hometown.

17 "The WASP (Texas Radio and the Big Beat)," the Doors
Songwriters: John Densmore, Robbie Krieger, Ray Manzarek, Jim Morrison
Year Released: 1971
Highest Billboard Chart Position: none
"I love the friends I've gathered together on this thin raft," muses Jim Morrison. "We have constructed pyramids in honor of our escaping." Said raft sinks like a stone under the weight of turgid spoken lyrics about brightly feathered Negroes and blues-rock bloat. This is hardly the high point of L.A. Woman, the Doors' last album before Morrison's death. Nevertheless, "The WASP (Texas Radio and the Big Beat)" has become a Two-for-Tuesday staple, especially in the state it name-checks.

16 "Screw You, We're From Texas," Ray Wylie Hubbard
Songwriter: Ray Wylie Hubbard
Year Released: 2003
Highest Billboard Chart Position: none
While not quite as direct as the Loco Gringos' infamous T-shirts, Ray Wylie Hubbard's "Screw You, We're From Texas," from this year's Growl, works simultaneously as a rebellious middle finger and a celebration of Texas music. Hubbard growls the praises of Willie, Stevie Ray, and the 13th Floor Elevators over a swampy, blues-rock choogle. Highlights include snare shots punctuating the Dallas and Waco reference, and Hubbard's dismissal of the other 49 states with the line, "I don't care if I ever go to Delaware anyway."

15 "Memories of East Texas," Michelle Shocked
Songwriter: Michelle Shocked
Year Released: 1988
Highest Billboard Chart Position: none
The cover of Michelle Shocked's 1988 breakthrough, Short Sharp Shocked, is a news photo of her being dragged away by San Francisco police during a fair housing protest. The bucolic "Memories of East Texas" reconciles the pain of being an adolescent outcast with a bittersweet lyrical mix of fondness and frustration familiar to anyone who ever felt compelled to flee their hometown.

14 "The Eyes of Texas," Milton Brown
Songwriter: John Lang Sinclair (lyrics)
Year Released: 1903
First sung at Austin's Hancock Opera House on May 12, 1903, at a minstrel show to benefit the University of Texas track team, the origin of UT's official song is a legend in and of itself. According to the Handbook of Texas, John Lang Sinclair wrote "The Eyes of Texas" to the tune of "I've Been Working on the Railroad" at the behest of his roommate, UT band director Louis Johnson. The song instantly became a campuswide smash and has since been played by everyone from Kostelanetz to Elvis.

13 "Texas Me," Sir Douglas Quintet
Songwriters: Doug Sahm, Frank Morin, John Perez, Augie Meyers
Year Released: 1969
Highest Billboard Chart Position: none
It's hard to imagine a more poignant expatriate's lament than "Texas Me." Doug Sahm was one of many musicians who fled Texas for San Francisco during the Sixties, but he never stopped celebrating his home state. "Texas Me" combines Augie Meyers' swirling organ with steel guitar, fiddle, and Sahm's homesickness as he asks, "I wonder what happened to the man inside, the real old Texas me?"

12 "Luckenbach, Texas (Back to the Basics of Love)," Waylon Jennings with Willie Nelson
Songwriters: Bobby Gene Emmons, Chips Moman
Year Released: 1977
Highest Billboard Chart Position: No. 1
Oddly enough, this song represents the one and only appearance by unofficial state musician Willie Nelson, who sings backup here, on the Top Texas 40 chart. Moreover, "Luckenbach, Texas" wasn't written by Waylon, Willie, or the boys. It was penned by famed Memphis producer/songwriter Chips Moman and his American Sound Studios house band organist, Bobby Emmons. Nevertheless, the song's success in the summer of '77 put Luckenbach on the map. Souvenir-seeking thieves have been trying to take it back off ever since.

11 "West Texas Waltz," Butch Hancock
Songwriter: Butch Hancock
Year Released: 1978
Highest Billboard Chart Position: none
In 1978, long before Americana became a viable musical genre, Lubbock Renaissance man Butch Hancock released West Texas Waltzes & Dust-Blown Tractor Tunes on his own Rainlight Records label. Intimately informed by the sparse South Plains landscape and tales of people living there, modern country-folk songs like "West Texas Waltz" have garnered Hancock a devoted following. Emmylou Harris and Hancock's Flatlanders bandmate Joe Ely helped introduce the song to an even wider audience with their respective versions of the song.

10 "Texas Tornado," Sir Douglas Quintet
Songwriter: Doug Sahm
Year Released: 1973
Highest Billboard Chart Position: none
More tornadoes touch down in Texas each year than in any other state. While the tourist bureau would pooh-pooh this statistic by saying it's only because of Texas' overwhelming land mass, true Texans take a perverse sort of pride even in the state's most terrifying natural disasters. Doug Sahm illustrates this on the much-loved title track of his second and final album for Atlantic.

9 "The Yellow Rose of Texas," Gene Autry
Songwriter: Unknown
Year Written: 1836
Highest Billboard Chart Position: No. 1
Legend has it that this 1830s folk song was written about Emily D. West, an indentured mulatto servant of James Morgan, an entrepreneur settler of the lowlands east of present-day Houston. On April 18, 1836, Santa Anna's troops captured West as they moved into the area to battle Sam Houston's army. Santa Anna became so enamored of West that he left his troops vulnerable to Houston's surprise attack. West's alleged carnal distraction made her a "sung" hero of Texas independence. Some historians now say the song had nothing to do with West, but the legend lives on.

8 "Rolling Stone From Texas," Don Walser
Songwriter: Don Walser
Year Originally Recorded: 1964
Highest Billboard Chart Position: none
Beloved Austin troubadour Don Walser wrote his calling card, "Rolling Stone From Texas" in 1952 at age 18. Growing up on the West Texas plains, Walser absorbed the Western swing of Bob Wills, the blue yodel of Jimmie Rodgers, and the honky-tonk heartache of Lefty Frizzell. After serving in the Texas National Guard for 45 years, he began pursuing music full-time with his "Pure Texas" sound. Health problems forced Walser to retire from performing earlier this year.

7 "Miles and Miles of Texas," Asleep at the Wheel
Songwriters: Tommy Camfield, Diane Johnston
Year Released: 1976
Highest Billboard Chart Position: No. 38
Although "Miles and Miles of Texas" was recorded as a demo around 1950, the song didn't see the light of day until Asleep at the Wheel's Ray Benson and producer Tommy Allsup discovered it at Hank Thompson's publishing company in the mid-Seventies. Recognizing a potential new Texas anthem when they heard it, Asleep at the Wheel recorded "Miles and Miles of Texas" for 1976's Wheelin' and Dealin'. The song's use in a mid-Nineties mobile phone ad campaign further solidified its place in the collective Lone Star psyche.

6 "T for Texas (Blue Yodel No. 1)," Jimmie Rodgers
Songwriter: Jimmie Rodgers
Year Released: 1927
Country music as we know it began in 1927 when RCA Victor A&R man Ralph Peer recorded Jimmie Rodgers singing the country-blues hybrid, "T for Texas" in Bristol, Tenn. The million-selling song, re-recorded at the Victor studios in Camden, N.J., introduced America to Rodgers' trademark "blue yodel" and catapulted him to a fleeting stardom that was cut short by the Depression and his death from tuberculosis-related complications in 1933.

5 "That's Right (You're Not From Texas)," Lyle Lovett
Songwriters: Lyle Lovett, Willis Alan Ramsey, Alison Rogers
Year Released: 1996
Highest Billboard Chart Position: none
"That's Right (You're Not From Texas)" hasn't been around long enough to be deemed classic, but it's definitely a contender. Lyle Lovett takes us on a westward swinging ride through Texas musical history that touches on a wide array of cultural signifiers. There's the zealous transplant in an ill-fitting hat, the out-of-state girlfriend who just doesn't get Texas, and the reference to Uncle Walt's Band, to name a few. The title might strike non-natives as arrogant, but as Lyle himself so amicably concludes, "Texas wants you anyway."

4 "Waltz Across Texas," Ernest Tubb
Songwriters: Ernest Tubb, Quanah Talmadge "Billy" Tubb
Year Released: 1965
Highest Billboard Chart Position: No. 34
One of country music's best loved performers, crisp, Texas-born Ernest Tubb started out yodeling like his idol Jimmie Rodgers but eventually developed his own unique vocal style while plying his trade in honky-tonks across the South. Tubb's twang-laden drawl and the faraway steel guitar on "Waltz Across Texas" capture the fleeting nature of passion, adding pathos to the memorable lyric, "Like a storybook ending, I'm lost in your charms."

3 "Texas Flood," Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble
Songwriters: Larry Davis, Joseph Scott
Year Originally Released: 1958
Highest Billboard Chart Position: none
"Texas Flood" is best known today as the incendiary Albert King/Jimi Hendrix-style workout that introduced Stevie Ray Vaughan to the world beyond Texas in 1983. However, the song's history goes back to 1958, when Arkansas-bred Larry Davis cut the original version with Fenton Robinson on guitar for Don Robey's Houston-based Duke-Peacock label. Opinions vary as to which version is definitive, but Texas can proudly claim both as milestones in electric blues.

2 "All My Ex's Live in Texas," George Strait
Songwriters: Lyndia Jean Shafer, Sanger D. Shafer
Year Released: 1987
Highest Billboard Chart Position: No. 1
Combining shades of Western swing with a clever, sing-along lyric, "All My Ex's Live in Texas" is one of George Strait's most memorable hits in a career filled with them. The Hill Country native approaches the song good-naturedly, refusing to go too deeply into why Allison from Galveston or Dimple from Temple turned on him like Texas weather, but one gets the unspoken sense that more than one thrown plate hastened our hero's Tennessee flee.

1 "Deep in the Heart of Texas," Gene Autry
Songwriters: June Hershey, Don Swander
Year Released: 1941
One of the first things Texas schoolchildren learn is to clap-clap-clap-clap along with "Deep in the Heart of Texas." June Hershey wrote the lyrics and Don Swander wrote the music to the song in 1941, and it was No. 1 on Your Hit Parade for five straight weeks in 1942. Tioga, Texas-born Gene Autry's version, featured in the movie Heart of the Rio Grande, remains the definitive version of the song, though Bing Crosby, Bob Wills, Ella Fitzgerald, Woody Herman, Duane Eddy, Ray Charles, George Strait, and countless others covered it.

annotated by Greg Beets

Texas Towns & Places: Top 15

2 "San Antonio Rose," Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys

3 "(Is Anybody Going to) San Antone," Doug Sahm

6 "Luckenbach, Texas (Back to the Basics of Love)," Waylon Jennings with Willie Nelson

7 "Galveston," Glen Campbell

8 "Amarillo by Morning," George Strait

9 "China Grove," the Doobie Brothers

10 "I'm an Old Cowhand (From the Rio Grande)," Dan Hicks & His Hot Licks

11 "The Streets of Laredo," Marty Robbins

12 "I'm a Ding Dong Daddy (From Dumas)," Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys

14 "Asshole From El Paso," Kinky Friedman & the Texas Jewboys

Texas in the Title: Top 25

2 "All My Ex's Live in Texas," George Strait

3 "Texas Flood," Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble

4 "Waltz Across Texas," Ernest Tubb

5 "That's Right (You're Not From Texas)," Lyle Lovett

6 "T for Texas (Blue Yodel No. 1)," Jimmie Rodgers

7 "Miles and Miles of Texas," Asleep at the Wheel

8 "Rolling Stone From Texas," Don Walser

9 "Yellow Rose of Texas," Gene Autry

10 "Texas Tornado," Sir Douglas Quintet

11 "West Texas Waltz," Butch Hancock

12 "Luckenbach, Texas (Back to the Basics of Love)," Waylon Jennings with Willie Nelson

13 "Texas Me," Sir Douglas Quintet

14 "The Eyes of Texas," Milton Brown

15 "Memories of East Texas," Michelle Shocked

16 "Screw You, We're From Texas," Ray Wylie Hubbard

17 "The WASP (Texas Radio and the Big Beat)," the Doors

18 "Texas in My Rear View Mirror," Mac Davis

19 "Good Texan," the Vaughan Brothers

20 "Texas (When I Die)," Tanya Tucker

21 "At the Crossroads," Sir Douglas Quintet

22 "Under the 'X' in Texas," Johnny Gimble

23 "Long Tall Texan," Murry Kellum

24 "Northeast Texas Women," Willis Alan Ramsey

25 "Texas Flyer," Freddie King

Texas Towns & Places

"Abilene," George Hamilton IV

"Across the Alley from the Alamo," Asleep at the Wheel

"Alleys of Austin," Michael Martin Murphy

"Amarillo by Morning," George Strait

"Amarillo Highway," Doug Sahm

"Anahuac," Austin Lounge Lizards

"Asshole from El Paso," Kinky Friedman

"Austin Breakdown," Bill Neely

"Austin Pickers," Gary P. Nunn

"Austin Texas Mental Hospital," Stars of the Lid

"Bandera Waltz," Ernest Tubb

"Beaumont Bag," Bob Wills & the Texas Playboys

"Beeville by Morning," Michael Hall

"Big D Blues," Hot Lips Page

"Big Rio Grande River," Austin Lounge Lizards

"Bosque Bandit," Johnny Gimble

"Brazos River Blues," Michael Fracasso

"Broke Down South of Dallas," Junior Brown

"Brown Arms in Houston," Orpheus

"Brownsville," Sleepy John Estes

"Brownsville Girl," Bob Dylan

"Chester Nimitz Oriental Garden Waltz," Austin Lounge Lizards

"China Grove," Doobie Brothers

"Coming Back to Texas," Kenneth Threadgill

"Corpus Christi," Angkor Wat

"Corpus Christi Bay," Robert Earl Keen

"Corpus Christi Waltz," Harry Choates

"Corsicana Daily Sun," Billy Joe Shaver

"Driving Around Houston," Tom House

"Dallas," Jimmie Dale Gilmore

"Dallas Blues," Louis Armstrong

"Dallas Country Jail Blues," Gene Autry

"Dallas Darling," Tex Ritter

"Dallas, Houston, San Antone," David Allen Coe

"Dallas, Texas," Austin Lounge Lizards

"Dance by the Rio Grande," Corey Morrow

"De San Antonio a Penjamo," Flaco Jimemez

"Deep Ellum Blues," traditional

"Devil Lives in Dallas," Rusty Wier

"Dobro Daddio from Del Rio," Ray Campi

"Does Fort Worth Ever Cross Your Mind?," George Strait

"Down the Trail to San Antone," Sons of the Pioneers

"Dracula from Houston," Butthole Surfers

"El Paso Cowboy," Don Walser

"Excitement in Nacogdoches," Bob Murphey

"Fair to Midland," Dwight Yoakam

"Fort Worth Blues," Steve Earle

"Fort Worth Jail," Gene Autry, Tex Ritter

"Fort Worth Stomp," Crystal Springs Ramblers

"Fort Worth Thursday Night," Chip Taylor

"Fort Worth, Dallas or Houston," George Hamilton IV

"Fort Worth, Texas," Johnny Dowd

"Gallivantin' Galveston Gal," Gene Autry

"Garner State Park," the Triumphs

"Heaven, Hell or Houston," ZZ Top

"Home in San Antone," Johnny Bush

"Hot Nite in Dallas," Moon Martin

"Hour in Texarkana," Don Cognoscenti

"Houston (Means I'm One Day Closer To You) Gatlin Brothers

"Houston Bound," Lightnin' Hopkins

"Houston El Mover," Joe King Carraso

"Houston Solution," Ronnie Milsap

"I Can't Go Back To Austin," Doug Sahm

"I Don't Care What it is That You Did In Fort Worth," Cornell Hurd Band

"I Walked from Dallas," L'il Son Jackson

"I'll be Your San Antone Rose," Jerry Jeff Walker

"I'm a Ding Dong Daddy from Dumas," Bob Wills

"I'm An Old Cowhand from the Rio Grande," Dan Hicks & His Hot Licks

"If I Can't Be In Austin," Chip Taylor

"If You Ever Get Back to Amarillo," Alan Jackson

"I'm An Old Cowhand from the Rio Grande," Dan Hicks

"(Is Anybody Going to) San Antone," Charley Pride, Doug Sahm

"Laredo," Chip Taylor & Carrie Rodriguez

"Laredo," Sir Douglas Quintet

"Layover in Pecos," Billy Walker

"Learning to P'like and Luckenbach Women," Jerry Jeff Walker

"Leavin' Amarillo," Billy Joe Shaver

"Life in Amarillo," Li'l Cap'n Travis

"Livin' on the Edge (of Houston)," the Reverend Horton Heat

"Lonely Lubbock Nights," Aaron Watson

"Lost in Austin," Bobby Bare

"Lubbock Texas," Terry Edwards

"Lubbock Tornado," Terry Allen

"Lubbock Woman," Terry Allen

"Luckenbach, Texas," Waylon Jennings

"(Making the Run to) Gladewater," Michelle Shocked

"Man From Houston," Mark Lindsay

"Marfa Lights," Tom X. Hancock

"Meet Me in Seguin," Augie Meyers

"My Galveston Gal," Milton Brown

"No More the Moon Shines on Lorena," Alex Chilton

"Panhandle Rag," Hank Thompson

"Pflugerville," Austin Lounge Lizards

"Pine Island Bayou," The Gourds

"Port Arthur Waltz," Harry Choates

"Possum Kingdom," the Toadies

"Pretty Little Lady from Beaumont," George Jones

"Raining in Port Arthur," the Gourds

"Red River Valley," Gene Autry

"Remember the Alamo," Asleep at the Wheel

"San Angelo Swing," Joe Carr

"San Antonio," Willie Nelson

"San Antonio Blues," Big Bill Broonzy

"San Antonio Girl," Lyle Lovett

"San Antonio Romeo," Tish Hinojosa

"San Antonio Rose," Bob Wills & the Texas Playboys

"San Antonio Waltz," Harry Choates

"Sleepy Rio Grande," Gene Autry

"Snowin' Again in Lubbock," Andy Wilkinson

"South of Round Rock, Texas," Dale Watson

"Streets of Laredo," Marty Robbins (Trad)

"Stupid Texas Song," Austin Lounge Lizards

"Texarkana," Claude Williams

"Texarkana, Pecos or Houston," George Hamilton IV

"The Alamo (Green Leaves of Summer)

"The Night Flight from Houston," Laurie Anderson

"The Wolfman of Del Rio," Terry Allen

"There's a Rainbow on the Rio Colorado," Gene Autry

"Tim Moore's Farm," Lightnin' Hopkins

"Truckstop in La Grange," Dale Watson

"Uvalde County," Mike Blakely

"Uvalde Polka," Hank Thompson

"Velma from Selma," Augie Meyers

"Viva Luckenbach," Jerry Jeff Walker

"Viva Seguin," Santiago Jimenez

"Waco Express," Waco Brothers

"West of Pecos," Donald Byrd

"What's Fort Worth Worth?," Lawton Williams

"Who Do I Know in Dallas," Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard

"Wichita Falls," Houston Marchman

"Wichita Falls Blues," T-Bone Walker

"Young Dallas Cowboy," David Allen Coe

Texas in the Title

"A Heart As Big As Texas," Gene Autry

"All My Exes Live In Texas," George Strait

"All Night Texas Turnaround," Ted Roddy & Tearjoint Troubadours

"And God Created Texas," Johnny Bush

"Beautiful Texas," Gene Autry

"Beautiful Texas," Willie Nelson

"Beautiful Texas Sunshine," Doug Sahm

"Beneath a Texas Moon," J.C. Crowley

"Big Beautiful Texas," Gene Autry

"Big Texas Moon," Red Steagall

"Big Yellow Moon Over Texas," Bill Neely

"Blame it on Texas," Mark Chesnutt

"Blue Texas Moonlight," Elton Britt

"Blue Texas Waltz," Billy Joe Shaver

"Blues Come to Texas," L'il Son Jackson

"Texas and Pacific Blues," Frenchy's String Band

"Boogie Back To Texas," Asleep at the Wheel

"Breathe Across Texas," Lisa Germano

"Bury Me in Texas," Choreboy

"But I've Got Texas," Jon Wayne

"Cactus, Texas," Waylon Jennings

"Can't Shake the Sand of Texas from My Shoes," Gene Autry

"Christmas Time in Texas," Dale Watson

"Come on Down to Texas," Steven Fromholz

"Coming Back to Texas," Willie Nelson

"Dad's Little Texas Lad," Montana Slim

"Dallas, Texas," Austin Lounge Lizards

"Dance Time in Texas," George Strait

"Deep in the Heart of Texas," Gene Autry

"Dirty Little Texas Story," Chip Taylor & Carrie Rodriguez

"Don't Sing Me No Songs About Texas," Johnny Bush

"Down in Texas," Jerry Jeff Walker

"Down Texas Way," Gene Autry

"Down the Trail to San Antone," Gene Autry

"Driftin' Texas Sand," Webb Pierce

"East Texas Blues," Dave Alvin

"East Texas Drag," East Texas Serenaders

"East Texas Pines," Libbi Bosworth

"Even Texas Isn't Big Enough Now," Riders In The Sky

"Eyes of Texas," Milton Brown, Tex Ritter

"Flower of Texas," Pee Wee King

"Fort Worth, Texas," Johnny Dowd

"Fuck You, We're From Texas," DJ Rob-E, Southside Reverb

"God Blessed Texas," Little Texas

"Goin' Back to Texas," Gene Autry

"Going Back to My Texas Home," Bill Boyd

"Gone to Texas," Terry Allen

"Gonna Build a Big Fence Around Texas," Gene Autry

"Good Texan," the Vaughan Brothers

"Great State of Texas," Pine Valley Cosmonauts

"Headin' for the Texas Border," Flamin' Groovies

"Heart of Texas," Billy Joe Shaver

"Heaven's Almost As Big As Texas," Johnny Paycheck

"High Texas Rider," Augie Meyers & the Western Head Band

"Home to Texas," Cornell Hurd Band

"Hot Texas Christmas day," Dale Watson

"Hot Texas Night," Mac Davis

"I Can't See Texas from Here," George Strait

"I Do (Waltz Across Texas)," Midnight Rodeo

"I Got Texas in My Soul," Tex Williams

"I Left My Heart in Texas," Moon Mullican

"I Love Texas," Michael Ballew

"I Meet Texas Alexander," Lightnin' Hopkins

"I'd Like to be in Texas," Don Edwards

"I'd Like to Say A Word About Texas," Flatt & Scruggs

"Ides of Texas," Chad Mitchell Trio

"If You're Gonna Play In Texas (You've Gotta Have A Fiddle In The Band)," Alabama

"I'll Go Riding Down That Old Texas Trail," Gene Autry

"I'm Going Back to You My Texas," Kenneth Threadgill

"It's a Texas Thing," Gary P. Nunn

"I've Been Down to Texas," Deuce Spriggins

"I've Got a Heart as Big as Texas," Gene Autry

"Jesus Lives in Texas (With a Machine Gun)," Dark Black Past

"Jimmie's Texas Blues," Jimmie Rodgers, Merle Haggard

"Keep Texas Beautiful," Jerry Jeff Walker

"Leavin' Texas," Jerry Jeff Walker

"Lonesome Texas," Randy Banks

"Long Tall Texan," Lyle Lovett

"Love You Big as Texas," Tex Ritter

"Luckenbach, Texas," Waylon Jennings

"Memories of East Texas," Michelle Shocked

"Memphis, Texas," Cooder Graw, Chip Taylor & Carrie Rodriguez

"Merry Texas Christmas, Y'all!," Asleep at the Wheel

"Miles of Miles of Texas," Asleep at the Wheel

"Movin' On to Texas," Goin' Postal

"Mr. Moon Over Texas," Texas Playboys

"My Brown Eyed Texas Rose," Tex Ritter

"My First Taste of Texas," Ed Bruce

"East Texas Blues," Dave Alvin

"Beautiful Texas Sunshine," Doug Sahm

"My Texas Dream," Ben Atkins Band

"My Texas Girl," The Carter Family

"My Texas Sweetheart," Montana Slim

"New San Antonio Rose," Bob Wills

"Northeast Texas Women," Willis Allen Ramsey

"Nowhere Texas," Cross Canadian Ragweed

"On Earth As it is in Texas," Deryl Dodd

"Put Me on a Train Back to Texas," Waylon Jennings/Willie Nelson

"Raisin' Cane in Texas," Gene Watson

"Roll on Texas Moon," Roy Rogers

"Rolling Stone from Texas," Don Walser

"Screw You, We're From Texas," Ray Wylie Hubbard

"Ship Me Back to Texas," Chris Wall

"Somewhere Down in Texas," Jason Boland & the Stragglers

"Somewhere in Texas," Willie Nelson

"Songs About Texas," Pat Green

"South Texas Highway," Libbi Bosworth

"South Texas Night," Neal Coty

"South Texas Swing," Adolph Hofner

"Starry Eyed Texas Girl," Hank Thompson

"Stars Over Texas," Tracy Lawrence

"Stupid Texas Song," Austin Lounge Lizards

"Sweet Mother Texas," Waylon Jennings

"T For Texas (Blue Yodel #1)," Jimmie Rodgers

"Tail Lights to Texas," the Controllers

"Take Me Back to Texas," Katy Moffatt

"Take Me Back to Texas," Roy Rogers

"Talk To Me, Texas," Keith Whitley

"Tears in the Eyes of Texas," Sonny Burgess

"Texans Never Cry," Gene Autry

"Texas (Blatant Localism)," Bad Mutha Goose

"Big Yellow Moon Over Texas," Bill Neely

"Blue Texas Waltz," Billy Joe Shaver

"Texas Rangers," traditional

"Texas (Bold As Love)," Opie Hendrix

"Texas (When I Die)," Tanya Tucker

"Texas and Norma Jean," Brooks & Dunn

"Texas and Pacific," Louis Jordan

"Texas Barbeque," Bela Fleck

"Texas Blacktop Highway," Django Walker

"Texas Blue Water," Michael Ballew

"Texas Blues," Lowell Fulsom

"Texas Blues," Mance Lipscomb

"Texas Blues," Oscar Peterson

"Texas Blues," Vassar Clements

"Texas Special," Texas Alexander

"Texas Easy Street," Henry Thomas

"Texas Worried Blues," Henry Thomas

"Texas Bound," Harris & Ryden

"Texas Bound and Flyin'," Jerry Reed

"Texas Bound Blues," Margaret Thornton

"Texas Bound Train," Corey Morrow

"Texas Chatter," Harry James

"Texas Clover," Paul Ray & the Cobras

"Texas Cowboy Night," Mel Tillis & Nancy Sinatra

"Texas Fiddle Man," Asleep at the Wheel

"Texas Fiddle Song," Merle Haggard

"Texas Fiddler," Texas Playboys

"Texas Flood," Larry Davis/Stevie Ray Vaughan

"Texas for Christmas," Mickey Gilley

"Texas Girl at the Funeral," Randy Newman

"Texas Has a Whorehouse in it -"Best Little Whorehouse in Texas"

"Texas I Love You," Marty Robbins

"Texas Ida Red," David Houston

"Texas in 1880," Foster & Lloyd

"Texas in My Rearview Mirror," Mac Davis

"Texas in My Soul," Ernest Tubb

"Texas is a State of Mind," Ray Wylie Hubbard

"Texas is Bigger Than it Used to be," Mark Chesnutt

"Texas is for Lovers," Curbside Service

"Texas Jail Cell," Jon Wayne

"Texas Kid's Retirement Run," Alvin Crow

"Texas Kinda Attitude," Dan Hicks & His Hot Licks

"Texas Lady," Les Paul & Mary Ford

"Texas Law & Justice," Bill Neely

"Texas Law Sez," Tompall Glasser

"Texas Little Darlin'," Johnny Mercer

"Texas Lonesome," Gary P. Nunn

"Texas Love Kit," Gary Primich

"Texas Love Song," Elton John

"Texas Lullabye," David Allen Coe

"Texas Man Blues," Monette Moore

"Texas Me and You," Asleep at the Wheel

"Texas Memories," Max Steiner

"Texas Moaner," Louis Armstron

"Texas Mood," Rampart Street Paraders

"Texas Moonbean Waltz," (trad polka)

"Texas Morning," Michael Martin Murphy

"Texas Morning," Michael Nesmith

"Texas Never Fell in Love with Me," Tom T. Hall

"Texas Nite Train," Cornell Hurd

"Texas on a Saturday Night," Willie Nelson

"Texas on My Mind," Jerry Jeff Walker, Pat Green

"Texas or New Mexico," Bruce Henderson

"Texas Panhandle Rag," Bob Wills

"Texas Playboy Rag," Bob Wills

"Texas Polka," Riders in the Sky

"Texas Ranger Man," Doug Sahm

"Texas River Song," Townes Van Zandt

"Texas Rose Café," Little Feat

"Texas Sand," Tune Wranglers

"Texas Saturday Night," Moe Bandy

"Texas Shuffle," Count Basie

"Texas Sized Heartache," Joe Diffie

"Texas Skies," Uranium Savages

"Texas Song," Calvin Russell

"Texas State of Mind," Monty and the Pythons

"Texas Sun," Bastard Sons of Johnny Cash

"Texas Tattoo," Gibson/Miller Band

"Texas Tea Party," Benny Goodman

"Texas Thing," Doug Moreland

"Texas Time Travelin'," Cory Morrow

"Texas Top Hand," Don Walser

"Texas Tornado," Big Bill Broonzy

"Texas Tornado," Judy Garland

"Texas Town," String Cheese Incident

"Texas Troubadour Stomp," Ernest Tubb

"Texas Twister," Little Feat

"Texas Up Here Tennessee," Billy Joe Shaver

"Texas Women," Hank Williams Jr.

"Texas Yodel," Wesley Tuttle

"Texas You & Me," Asleep at the Wheel

"That's Right (You're Not From Texas)," Lyle Lovett

"That's What I Like About Texas," Dale Watson

"The Bluest Eyes in Texas," Restless Heart

"The Flies of Texas Are Upon You," Ray Stevens

"The Night Before Christmas, In Texas, that is," Gene Autry

"The Streets of San Laredo," Gene Autry

"The Texas Crapshooter," Sons of the Pioneers

"The Texas Rangers," Tex Ritter

"The WASP (Texas Radio and the Big Beat)," the Doors

"There Ain't A Cow in Texas," Merle Travis

"There's A Girl in Texas," Trace Adkins

"There's A Little Bit of Everything In Texas," Ernest Tubb

"To Japan from Texas," the 1-4-5's

"Too Much Texas," Rhett Akins

"Touch of Texas," Kay Kyser, Stan Kenton

"Twilight Over Texas," Ernest Tubb

"Two-Bit Texas Town," Angela Strehli

"Two More Tears in Texas," Cooder Graw

"Under the Light of the Texas Moon," Montana Slim

"Under The X in Texas," Johnny Gimble

"Walked Over Texas," Cakekitchen

"Waltz Across Texas," Ernest Tubb

"Way Down Texas Way," Asleep at the Wheel

"Way Out West in Texas," Gene Autry

"West Texas High and Me," Gary Morris

"West Texas Highway," Lyle Lovett

"West Texas Holiday," Pat Green

"West Texas Sun," Nanci Griffith

"West Texas Teardrops," the Old 97s

"West Texas Trucking Board," by Ducks Deluxe

"West Texas Waltz," Billy Joe Shaver

"West Texas Waltz," Butch Hancock

"West Texas Wind," Cooder Graw

"What I Like About Texas," Jerry Jeff Walker

"When in Texas," Sonny Burgess

"When it's Round-up Time in Texas," Gene Autry

"Who Put All My Exes in Texas?," Willie Nelson

"Wingin' it Home to Texas," Jerry Jeff Walker

"Women in Texas," Jerry Jeff Walker

"Yellow Rose of Texas," Gene Autry

"You Can't Texas Out of Me," Spade Cooley

"You'll Never Take Texas Out of Me," Waylon Jennings

"You're from Texas," Bob Wills, Asleep

1) Toadies, "Tyler"

2) Jon Wayne, "Texas Funeral"

3) Scarface, "Southside: Houston, Texas"

4) The Reverend Horton Heat, "Livin' on the Edge (of Houston)"

5) Molly Hatchet, "T for Texas (Blue Yodel No. 1)"

6) Butthole Surfers, "Dracula From Houston"

7) Big Black, "Texas"

8) Boss Hog, "Texas"

9) Junkyard, "Texas"

10) Ünloco, "Texas"

Gene Autry, the singing cowboy and entrepreneur who recorded more songs about Texas than anyone else, was born Sept. 29, 1907, in the North Texas community of Tioga. As a telegraph operator in Oklahoma, a chance meeting with Will Rogers eventually led him to New York City and a deal with the American Record Corp. In 1931, Autry's "That Silver Haired Daddy of Mine" sold more than 500,000 copies, and he began appearing on Chicago radio station WLS' National Barn Dance program. He broke into the movies with a cameo in 1934's In Old Santa Fe and, atop his faithful horse Champion, was soon a leading box-office draw of the Thirties and Forties. After 1949's smash "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer," Autry slowly began phasing out his performing career in favor of business interests, owning hotels, radio and TV stations, oil wells, and the California (now Anaheim) Angels. He died Oct. 2, 1998, at age 91.

1) "Miles and Miles of Texas"

7) "Screw You, We're from Texas"

10) "There's a Little Bit of Everything in Texas"

Deep in the heart of Texas.

The prairie sky is wide and high,

Deep in the heart of Texas.

The sage in bloom is like perfume,

Deep in the heart of Texas.

Reminds me of the one I love,

Deep in the heart of Texas.

The coyotes wail along the trail,

Deep in the heart of Texas.

The rabbits rush around the brush,

Deep in the heart of Texas.

The cowboys cry, "Ki-yip-pee-yi,"

Deep in the heart of Texas.

The doggies bawl and bawl and bawl,

Deep in the heart of Texas.

Deep in the heart of Texas.

The prairie sky is wide and high

Deep in the heart of Texas.

The sage in bloom is like perfume

Deep in the heart of Texas.

Reminds me of the one I love

Deep in the heart of Texas.

The coyotes wail along the trail

Deep in the heart of Texas.

The rabbits rush around the brush

Deep in the heart of Texas.

The cowboys cry, "Ki-yip-pee-yi"

Deep in the heart of Texas.

The doggies bawl and bawl and bawl

Deep in the heart of Texas.

I fell in love with a Mexican girl.

Nighttime would find me in Rosa's cantina,

Music would play and Felina would whirl.

Blacker than night were the eyes of Felina,

Wicked and evil while casting a spell.

My love was deep for this Mexican maiden,

I was in love, but in vain I could tell.

One night a wild young cowboy came in,

Wild as the West Texas wind.

Dashing and daring, a drink he was sharing,

With wicked Felina, the girl that I loved.

So in anger, I challenged his right for the love of this maiden.

Down went his hand for the gun that he wore.

My challenge was answered in less than a heartbeat,

The handsome young stranger lay dead on the floor.

Just for a moment I stood there in silence,

Shocked by the foul evil deed I had done.

Many thoughts raced through my mind as I stood there,

I had but one chance and that was to run.

Out through the back door of Rosa's I ran,

Out where the horses were tied.

I caught a good one it looked like it could run.

Up on its back and away I did ride,

Just as fast as I could from the West Texas town of El Paso,

Out to the badlands of New Mexico.

Back in El Paso my life would be worthless.

Everything's gone in life nothing is left.

It's been so long since I've seen the young maiden,

My love is stronger than my fear of death.

I saddled up and away I did go,

Maybe tomorrow a bullet will find me,

Tonight nothing's worse than this pain in my heart.

And at last here I am on the hill overlooking El Paso,

I can see Rosa's Cantina below.

My love is strong and it pushes me onward,

Down off the hill to Felina I go.

Off to my right I see five mounted cowboys,

Off to my left ride a dozen or more.

Shouting and shooting, I can't let them catch me.

I have to make it to Rosa's back door.

Something is dreadfully wrong, for I feel

A deep burning pain in my side.

Though I am trying to stay in the saddle,

I'm getting weary, unable to ride.

But my love for Felina is strong, and I rise where I've fallen.

Though I am weary, I can't stop to rest.

I see the white puff of smoke from the rifle,

I feel the bullet go deep in my chest.

From out of nowhere Felina has found me,

Kissing my cheek as she kneels by my side.

Cradled by two loving arms that I'll die for,

One little kiss, then Felina goodbye.

Kent Benjamin: Features editor, Pop Culture Press

Michael Bertin: Contributor, The Austin Chronicle

Jim Caliguiri: Contributor, The Austin Chronicle

Michael Chamy: Associate Music editor, The Austin Chronicle

Jody Denberg: Program director, KGSR

Matt Dentler: Contributor, The Austin Chronicle

Ben Fong-Torres: Author, The Hits Just Keep on Coming: The History of Top 40 Radio

David Fricke: Senior editor, Rolling Stone

Christopher Gray: Columnist, The Austin Chronicle

Michael Hall: Senior editor, Texas Monthly

Melanie Haupt: Contributor, The Austin Chronicle

Raoul Hernandez: Music editor, The Austin Chronicle

Christopher Hess: Contributor, The Austin Chronicle

John Kunz: Owner, Waterloo Records

Terry Lickona: Producer, Austin City Limits

David Lynch: Contributor, The Austin Chronicle

Dave Marsh: Author, The Heart of Rock & Soul: The 1001 Greatest Singles Ever Made

Margaret Moser: Staff writer, The Austin Chronicle

Joe Nick Patoski: Author, Stevie Ray Vaughan: Caught in the Crossfire

Jerry Renshaw: Contributor, The Austin Chronicle

Ira Robbins: Editor,

Robert Rodriguez: Director, Once Upon a Time in Mexico

Jay Trachtenberg: Air staff manager and host of Jazz, Etc., KUT contributor, The Austin Chronicle

Scottish Wine Guru Appreciates California Vineyards, Treasures a Good Champagne and Loves a Great Wine Rap

I love to talk about wine with people who share my passion for it. We open bottles, we trade stories about travel and soil types, terroir and residual sugar, and we talk of taste and food and restaurants. We recommend wines to one another, we drink, and we learn a lot.

In Wine Talk, I introduce you to some of my friends, acquaintances, and people I meet as I make my way around the world, individuals who love wine as much as I do, who live to taste, who farm and make wine. You’ll appreciate their insight, and I hope you’ll learn something from them as well.

T he man possesses an impressive CV. An undergraduate degree in environmental sciences from the University of Edinburgh. Graduate degree in viticulture and enology from Lincoln University in Christchurch. A formative stint at Domaine Leflaive, as well as Barossa Valley and Napa harvests.

Yes, Robin Akhurst, now winemaker at Clos Pegase, knows his way around a vineyard and a crushing floor, not to mention a cellar. The Scot, who was guided to California in 2009, when he worked harvest with Thomas Rivers Brown, went on to ply his craft at a custom-crush project, Envy Wines. In 2015, Swanson Vineyards hired him as a winemaker.

All the while, Akhurst worked on his calling and craft, which resulted in a call from Clos Pegase, where you’ll find him today.

I visited the winery last year, and if you like architecture and wine, it is a place you must seek out once travel returns to usual in this coronavirus world. Michael Graves designed the winery, and spending an afternoon there in the tasting room or out back on the patio is a pleasant interlude.

Let’s find out what Akhurst has to say in Wine Talk.

PaperCity: Tell us about three wines you think are drinking well at the moment. What makes them worthwhile? How about a food pairing for each one?

Robin Akhurst: First, the 2015 Lupicaia, Castello del Terriccio – Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petit Verdot. The wine shows green notes of grilled herb and a sharper, more defined level of fruit intensity. This wine is profound and deep.

The tannins are very well integrated, and the wine shows a vertical softness that makes this vintage stand out from the rest. Very food-friendly. I would eat with roast beef, potatoes au gratin, roasted winter vegetables and creamed horseradish. Last opened a bottle of this back in Scotland on Christmas day with all the family whilst snow fell outside, great memories. Around $140

Robin Akhurst, winemaker at Clos Pegase, has a soft spot for Merlot, and Bollinger. (Courtesy Clos Pegase)

Then, a 1996 Bollinger R.D. Extra Brut Champagne. It’s my favorite Champagne house. This version is toasty, yeasty, yet with lemon, citrus and berry notes and a bracing acidity that keeps it all in check. I drank this when I gained my postgraduate diploma in viticulture and enology, in New Zealand. As a dirt-poor student it was an extravagance, but totally worth it.

Finally, the 2018 Clos Pegase Mitsuko’s Vineyard Chardonnay. It’s a well-balanced Chardonnay that shows an even-handed addition of French oak alongside bright acidity and a food-friendly finish. The soils and microclimate of this vineyard demonstrate how a wine can be full bodied with oak maturation and full malolactic fermentation yet still be crisp, clean and refreshing.

Best paired with classic roast chicken, vine-ripened tomatoes, a French baguette, and a knife. You can find it for around $30.

PC: If cost was no consideration, tell us the one bottle you would add to your personal collection, and why?

RA: A 2008 Domaine Leflaive Chevalier-Montrachet. I had the honor of working with the domaine for the 2008 harvest. I met a lot of good people, and it’s been an inspirational time of my life ever since. It has a special place in my soul.

PC: What is your favorite grape, and why?

RA: I would find it hard to say a favorite, but I have been really enjoying working with Merlot. I love how well it integrates with oak, how it always gives generous aromas, and how, if farmed right, can give serious age-worthy wines that continue to improve and fascinate for decades.

Aspara Cellars is high on Akhurst’s list.

PC: How about one bottle that our readers should buy now to cellar for 10 years, to celebrate a birth, anniversary, or other red-letter day?

RA: I recommend the Apsara Cellars 2015 “Amoenus Vineyard” Cabernet Sauvignon, from Napa Valley. 2015 was an outrageous vintage, giving concentrated fruit, intense flavors and robust tannins. This wine would be perfect for any special occasion, and if needed will last two decades and continue to improve.

PC: Where is your go-to place when you want to have a glass or bottle?

RA: It would be sitting on the beach at Point Reyes National Seashore on the California Coast with my wife, daughter, and golden retriever, Knox. A bottle of Clos Pegase Rosé would also be accompanying us.

PC: If there was one thing you wish everyone would keep in mind when buying and drinking wine, what is it?

RA: Tough question. It would probably be to remember to enjoy it, enjoy who you’re with, what you’re doing, and don’t forget to take a moment and consider how lucky you are to be alive in this wonderful world.

PC: What is your “wine eureka moment,” the incident/taste/encounter that put you and wine on an intimate plane forever?

RA: It would be the tastings I was invited to when I worked for Lea and Sandeman in central London, exploring the great depth of French and Italian wines and learning about the history of how the classic wine styles came into existence.

PC: What has been the strangest moment or incident involving wine that you have experienced in your career?

RA: Falling into a tank of Merlot and having to walk all the way back to the house leaving red boot marks from the winery to the front door.

PC: What is your favorite wine reference in a work of literature?

RA: Mic Flo.

In Napa with the wine flowing,
Spitting rhymes that are mind-blowing.
Looking at my daughters like, “Damn
where is time going?”

I’m a new dad, so this means a lot to me. If you like lyrics about wine, life, and parenting, check out Mic Flo.

Take a Fall Wine Tour in Northern Michigan

Northern Michigan is a popular destination for fall color tours. Blazing reds, oranges and yellows paint the abundant forest and look even more vivid against the blue backdrop of Lake Michigan. If you’re headed up here this autumn, add a few stops at the local wineries to your itinerary. Michigan’s unique climate, influenced by the lakes, makes it an ideal location for producing wine, including a variety of fruit wines.

Maple Moon Sugarbush and Winery – A visit to Maple Moon, America’s only maple winery, fits perfectly into a fall color tour. Newly open in 2015, this Petoskey winery offers nine vintages of maple wine. They also offer other maple products, including ice cream, syrup, candy and root beer. Visit their tasting room to sample all their offerings.

Crooked Vine Vineyard and Winery – Located in Alanson, just 15 minutes from Petoskey, Crooked Vine grows cold hardy grape varieties to produce the nine vintages of wines currently available. Special events allow you to enjoy live music in the vineyard while sampling wines.

Harbor Springs Vineyards & Winery at Pond Hill Farm has a tasting room that allows you to sip a wide variety of Michigan red and white wines as well as crisp hard cider. You can also dine at their Garden Cafe where they serve fresh farm-to-plate dishes. An on-site brewery offers a “farm-to-barrel” experience. You can also shop their farm store for fresh produce and canned goods with a homemade touch.

Mackinaw Trail Winery, established in 2004, is one of Michigan’s most award-winning wineries. Their state-of-the-art Petoskey facility has 15 acres of planted grapes. Besides producing quality wines, they focus on giving back to the community and supporting local agriculture. In addition to their Petoskey facility, they have three other tasting rooms in Michigan. Besides grape wines, they offer a variety of fruit wines, including blueberry, strawberry rhubarb and spiced apple.

Petoskey Farms Winery is just three miles from Petoskey. Their tasting room features local Northern Michigan red wines, white wines, and fruit wines all with a view of the beautiful rolling hills and countryside. You’ll also find a variety of gifts at their store, including wine accessories, gift baskets and fine chocolates.

Walloon Lake Winery , a family farm for over 60 years, is one of Michigan’s newer wineries. They continue to grow and develop their offerings. Stop by for a taste of their new Dennis Purple Ribbon Blueberry wine. They have a variety of red and white wines as well. They’re located outside of Petoskey.

Pleasantview Winery in Harbor Springs specializes in creating unique blends from American varietal grapes. They do it all themselves, growing, harvesting and crushing the grapes. Then they also make, bottle, sell and deliver the wine. Their wine tasting room offers seminars about wine making and wine pairing. They focus on using an environmentally friendly process that leaves a small carbon footprint. They also have an on-site bed and breakfast, so you can sleep right in the heart of wine country during your visit.

Seasons of the North is a small, premium winery offering distinctive, quality wine with an emphasis on local production. Their wines get their unique features from their hybrid, cold hardy grape varieties developed specially for Michigan’s climate. Their offerings include reds, whites and fruit wines. Visit their outdoor wine garden to sample them. They gladly welcome children to their family-friendly environment in Indian River.

The Cellars of Royal Farms features wines that showcase locally produced Michigan fruits. Along with sipping their varieties of wines, including a white made from honey-crisp apples, you can enjoy their delicious homemade foods. They have a bakery where you’ll find fresh pies, cookies and donuts. The gift shop offers unique novelty items with a cherry theme, fitting for their location in Elsworth and the Cherry Capital of the World. In the fall, you’ll find fresh apples, and you can take a hay ride or try to find your way through their corn maze.

But, along with Tasmania’s impressive array of wineries, there are numerous events and places to lure visitors of all ages and interests to our beautiful island state in the cooler months.

So, to whet your winter appetite, here are our top 12 picks to consider for your itinerary

Festivals of all flavours

Dark Mofo, 6-23 June, Hobart

A festival that now attracts visitors from around the world as well as interstate, Dark Mofo is not just a thought-provoking and avant-garde program of art, music, theatre and performance (and even a Nude Solstice Swim in the chilly waters of Sandy Bay!), but a true ‘people’s festival’, during which Hobart’s streets are transformed into places of celebration, feasting and fun for young and old.

Festival of Voices, 28 June-14 July, Hobart and East Coast

Now in its 15th year, the Festival of Voices has cemented its reputation as Australia’s foremost choral music festival. For two weeks, singers gather from across the globe to perform and take part in classes and workshops. From community choirs of thousands, to intimate concert performances, this is a wonderful event for music lovers of all tastes and ages.

Chocolate Winterfest, 11 August, Latrobe

A winter’s day devoted to all things chocolate – what’s not to love? Take part in chocolate-making workshops, chocolate-based sculpture and cake-decorating competitions and, of course, taste to your heart’s content at this high-spirited community event, just 10 minutes’ drive from Devonport in Tasmania’s north-east.

Junction Arts Festival, 4-8 September, Launceston

This five-day event has been running for five years, and is described as ‘an intimate festival of extraordinary experiences in unusual spaces’, showcasing Tasmania’s talented creative community. Centred around Prince’s Square, the festival hub is the Fountain Bar, where the state’s top musicians, bands and cabaret artists perform. Here, too, you can savour a range of Tasmanian produce and wines, while the kids also get their share of fun with shows at Junction’s Little Devil.

Bay of Fires Winter Arts Festival, 8-10 June, St Helens and East Coast

The East Coast’s foremost arts event is predominantly based around the town of St Helens, but stretches from Four Mile Creek through St Marys, Scamander and Binalong Bay. Here, art in all its manifestations is celebrated – from painting and sculpture, to music-making. The festival is launched with the announcement of the winner of the $20,000 Bay of Fires Art Prize, and the weekend continues from there with a series of activities and events for art lovers young and old. Don’t miss the Arts Trail, where you can combine exploring the region with meeting local artists, who open their studio doors to share their time and talent. You’ll even have the chance to snap up a bargain at ‘studio door’ prices.

Tasting, tippling and cooking

The Grumpy Piper, Launceston

For many, winter means a warming snifter of whiskey (or whisky!), and where better to indulge your single-malt sensibilities than at The Grumpy Piper. This whiskey bar boasts some 275 local, Scottish, Irish, Japanese and other world styles, as well as whiskey-based liqueurs, plus a range of craft beers, meads and more. Add to that the quirky Bagpipe Museum, and this is one definitely worth checking out.

Hinton Bay Kitchen, Hillwood, Tamar Valley

Jane Bissett, former owner of the River’s Edge Café in Longford, runs this cooking school out of her home situated on the Tamar Valley Wine Route, north of Launceston. This idyllic spot, which Jane describes as ‘Tuscany-on-the-Tamar’, enjoys views of the Tamar River and surrounding vines, and is the perfect place for taking time out to learn a new skill or some new recipes, before settling down to eat your creations by a roaring fire.

Buttons Brewing, Ulverstone

Open to the public on Friday (4-6pm) and Sunday afternoons (2-6pm), this independent, family-owned craft brewery offers visitors the chance to taste its range of small-batch beers, as well as limited-release prototypes that are only available at this cellar door.

The Agrarian Kitchen, Lachlan, Derwent Valley

This award-winning cooking school and organic farm (the first of its kind in Tasmania) brings the paddock-to-plate philosophy to life and to the table, both in the cooking classes it offers and at its more recently opened restaurant, the Eatery, just up the road. Rodney Dunn, chef and former food editor at Gourmet Traveller, and his wife, Séverine Demanet, have transformed this 19th-century schoolhouse into a food-lover’s paradise, where rare-breed pigs and chickens, goats, geese and bees thrive.

Wild winter stays

Pump House Point, Lake St Clair, Central Highlands

The ‘new kid on the block’ in Tasmania’s portfolio of luxury, lodge-style accommodation, Pump House Point, situated on the World Heritage-listed Lake St Clair, is a spectacular restoration and reinvention of a former industrial site built by the State Hydro Electricity Scheme. For lovers of nature, photographers, fishers, walkers and anyone who seeks a luxurious escape in pristine surroundings, this is your ultimate retreat.

Thousand Lakes Lodge, Central Plateau

Just 90 minutes’ drive from Launceston (two hours from Hobart), you’ll find this welcoming retreat in the heart of the Central Highlands World Heritage Area. In this tranquil alpine environment, native wildlife and flora abound. Visitors are likely to come across quolls, Tasmanian Devils, wombats, Swift Parrots and Tasmanian Wedge Tailed Eagles and more on their wanderings, be it by bike, on foot, or by boat. Trout fishing in the West Lakes, for Tasmania’s famous wild brown trout is an experience not to be missed.

Cradle Mountain Lodge, Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park

There’s accommodation – and activities – to suit a range of budgets and tastes, and its situation in an alpine wilderness region means visitors can experience the best that winter in Tasmania has to offer. As well as terrific food and wine offerings, magnificent walking trails and stunning scenery, the Lodge offers indulgent treatments-with-a-view at the Waldheim Alpine Spa.


It started as an annex for Marco Canora and Paul Grieco’s much-adored Hearth. Now, Terroir, is one of the best wine bars in the city, with 5 locations in Manhattan and Brooklyn, including one on the Highline. There are snacks like Canora’s sausage-stuffed sage leaves and a signature panino of duck ham with hen-of-the-woods mushrooms and taleggio. But the wine selection, and knowledgeable staff, is the real reason to keep coming back again and again.


This Long Island City wine bar serves a great selection sure to please oenophiles and casual wine drinkers alike. The bar staff is friendly and helpful without being overbearing, and the bar snacks pair just right. Domaine is just one stop from Grand Central so there is really no reason for Manhattanites not to take the trip for an outer borough night out. Music lovers take note: there is live jazz on Tuesday and Friday nights.

Domaine Wine Bar, 50-04 Vernon Blvd, 718.784.2350,

Talk about an early adopter: D.O.C. has been serving an all-Italian selection of wine in the now fully-gentrified Williamsburg for over ten years. And it’s stuck around for a decade for good reason: there is a solid selection of wine, the vibe is laid back (it’s situated in a house with no sign) but also takes its wine very serious.

D.O.C., 83 N 7th Street, Brooklyn, NY, 718-963-1925,

The otheroom

Walk through the doors at the otherroom and you can just feel the dark and sexy sophistication. Part of a larger family (the room, anotheroom) this West Village location is a relaxed place to come on a date, thanks to the dark lighting, comfy couches and private nooks and crannies. The bartenders are friendly and the vibe is lowkey. And of course, they boast a great selection of wine.

the otheroom, 143 Perry Street, 212.645.9758,

Fort Defiance

There is something about a really great neighborhood bar with an exciting wine list. Red Hook’s Fort Defiance is that place. Even though the ‘hood has grown and expanded, it’s still out of the way enough to maintain its charm, thanks in part to Fort Defiance. Make the trip – it will be worth it.

Fort Defiance, 365 Van Brunt Street, Brooklyn, 347-453-6672

Felice Wine Bar

With multiple locations – two on the Upper East Side and one in Fidi – Felice Wine Bar boasts an excellent selection of wines and Italian dishes including focaccias, pasta and risotto. And for good reason – the place is part-owned by the team behind Sant Ambroeus and features a house wine from partner Jacopo Giustiniani’s family vineyard in Tuscany.

Felice Wine Bars: various locations,


Elegant yet casual, Lelabar is a small but perfectly laid out wine bar in the West Village, with an extensive list featuring over 150 vintages. The wraparound bar encourages a communal and friendly atmosphere but there is also the right amount of romance thanks to dark wood accents, candlelight and a jazz soundtrack. Need something to go with that wine? Lelabar offers paninis, cheese and charcuterie and chocolates from C&M Chocolatier.

Lelabar, 422 Hudson Street, 212.206.0594,

Vero Midtown

When Vero first opened in Midtown it was a welcome addition to a neighbor overrun with fratty after-work bars. It’s still going strong, and only getting better. Featuring a comfortable bar with friendly staff, high-top tables conducive to a night out with friends and a seasonal outdoor patio, Vero – from the same team behind Bounce Sporting Club and Bounce Uptown – has just the right vibe for any occasion. But you will want to come on Mondays when the paninis are free with a drink purchase (yes, really) – and make sure to try the Cookie Monster, a giant chocolate-chip cookie topped with a mountain of vanilla ice cream and whipped cream.

Vero Midtown, 1004 Second Avenue, 212.935.3530,

Azya Wine & Chocolate Bar

Honestly, is there a better combination that wine and chocolate? We think not. And now we have Ayza Wine and Chocolate Bar to satisfy those cravings. With locations in Midtown and the West Village, Ayza is a comfortable and romantic place to sample decadent food and drinks, including a selection of killer chocolate martinis.