By Texas standards, Messina Hof is an old winery. Founded in 1977, it was the fourth winery in the state — there are now more than 350 — and has grown to a Texas-size behemoth producing “200,000 gallons” of wine a year, as Messina Hof puts it in a brochure.
The description made me recall the jug-wine days of our grandparents, but that is not what Messina Hof is about. Instead, the winery says it aims to make wines “for every consumer’s unique taste, with over 90 wines crafted from about 30 varieties of grapes.” That’s some portfolio, adding up to more than a million bottles of wine a year.
One that stood out for me from a sampling of the wines was Messina Hof’s 2018 Gewürztraminer “Tribute to Memories” from the Texas High Plains, one of the top Texas appellations.
This off-dry wine is an excellent example of the aromatic variety, which is best known in Germany and France’s Alsace.
This one is a bit lighter in style, with alcohol at 11 percent, and shows typical floral and herbal aromas. The tastes suggest white peach, pineapple, and lychee with touches of orange rind and ginger.
Gewürztraminer is often thought of as the quintessential wine for spicy and hot foods, and Messina Hof’s example was perfect with a tomato-based shrimp dish I made seasoned with cayenne pepper, curry powder, and ground cumin. Served quite cold, the slightly sweet wine with bright acidity was a refreshing complement to the dish. It’s also a real bargain at $14.
You can buy the wine on Messina Hof’s website. The winery ships to 28 states and Washington, D.C.