During the DrinkLocalWine.com conference in August, I had dinner with Gil Kulers, the wine columnist for the Journal Constitution newspaper in Atlanta. We wanted to try something new from Texas, and we ended up with this.

I’ll be honest. I knew nothing about Red Caboose, which is one of Texas’ newest wineries. It had won a couple of awards at this year’s Lone Star International competition, but I didn’t remember it. But I’m nothing if not adventurous when it comes to wine, and Gil is a good enough guy that he would have kept the ribbing to a minimum if the wine had been poorly made.

But it wasn’t poorly made. In fact, the red blend ($28, purchased, avaialable from the winery) is a terrific example of what Texas winemakers can do with grapes that are better suited for this hot and dry climate than cabernet sauvignon and merlot. It’s an excellent wine for DLW’s regional wine week. The Red Caboose was balanced, not overly fruity and paired well with our dinner, which was mostly red meat. It had a bit too much oak, which got in the way of the freshness of the fruit, and $28 is a lot of money for an unproven wine. But most wineries should have those problems with their first couple of vintages.