By Rhonda Meredith (Published in the October 2010 issue)
D’Vine Wine held its Second Annual Grape Stomp Weekend at their Kemah location. It was a rough job to cover this event, but someone had to do it.
D’Vine Wine is the only boutique winery in Kemah. It’s an Italian inspired building and after walking through the entrance, you have to just stop and let your eyes just “drink in” all of the glorious wine bottles sitting so perfectly on the floor to ceiling racks. Over two dozen different types of wine with names like Royal Decadence (Chocolate Raspberry), Artic Blu (Blueberry Ice), Hog Wild Red Blend and Twilight Black Cherry Pinot Noir.
The wine tasting area is open, but still quite cozy. You can sit at the counter or pick a table. Today though, it was standing room only. D’Vine Wine brought in their vendors so we had Artisan Cheese and Wine Jelly to sample. From this point forward, my views on cheese and jelly have changed. I mean, I will always love you Kraft and Welch’s, but I may have to move on. Please know it’s my fault and nothing you did.
Wateroak Farms’ semi soft cheese is handmade using goat milk. For journalistic purposes, I tried one of each type. The Feta and Gouda cheeses tied for first place. I promise to my readers a rematch will take place next year.
Outside, Brazos River Provisions Company had an array of jellies for sampling. Hands down their Fire and Ice jelly was the best. It was made up of red wine and red pepper, mixed with cream cheese and served with Wheat Thins. This dip I could even make. I was told the Blackberry Merlot is good on vanilla ice cream, while the Champagne Celebration is an awesome fresh fruit glaze. All of these are available for purchase at D’Vine Wine.
Suddenly there was a squeal that broke through the banter. Now the stomp had officially begun as a little girl began mashing the grapes. Mr. and Mrs. Grape were no match for ten little piggies and when it was over, her purple footprints were forever imprinted on a t-shirt. The smiles on the blue cotton candy faces were priceless as more children lined up to step into the barrels.
I walked over to the featured artist’s area. John Delafield of Delafield Pottery has been a potter for over 20 years. His wares were simply amazing. He even let those in attendance take a turn on the pottery wheel.
Actually, it was Mrs. Delafield who was the first adult to try stomping grapes. She said she was surprised how slippery the grapes were.
Soon the afternoon gave way to evening. Southern Reverb was to close the night with some southern rock tunes. Oh, it was nice – the tunes, the Kemah breeze, relaxing in patio furniture that you sink into, a glass of wine and friendly people. I couldn’t remember just how many purple stained feet I had seen today and the smiles and instances of laughter were countless. But I do remember how attentive and knowledgeable the D’Vine Wine staff has been. In fact, they were voted “Best of The Bay – Best Wine Bar” and that wasn’t by accident. D’Vine Wine is definitely a nice place located a few blocks from the Kemah Boardwalk. Check them out.