Wall Street Journal Critic Shocked, Shocked by Dallas' Taste in Wine.

The Wall Street Journal's Lettie Teague, late of Food & Wine Magazine, was stunned by Dallasites' wine habits when she was in town this week.

Teague yesterday wrote about her recent visit to a Sigel's Fine Wine shop in Frisco, where she picked up a $9 Domaine du Pouy - "a brisk, refreshing white...made from the unfashionable Ugni grape" -- and an Alamos Malbec. But she apparently wasn't in the market for California chardonnays and cabernets, which dominate the store's inventory.

"Everyone in Dallas drinks Cabernet Sauvignon," manager Tim Farina assured the perplexed wine writer.

"Even on a day like today?" she asked.

Yup, Farina told her: Drinkers in Dallas like their wines big and brand names bigger.
"Of course, if you have someone over for dinner in Dallas, they're going to be looking at the label," Farina explained.

Serious wine connoisseurs like to believe California fruit bombs and label snobbery went out of style in the '80s, which is what helps make Teague's eye-opening shopping trip national news. Teague's findings shouldn't surprise anyone in Dallas, of course - nearly every area restaurant list is written to appeal to fans of Cakebread chards and Caymus cabs. But local observers, including wine writer Wes Marshall, say the scene's slowly becoming more sophisticated, thanks partly to initiatives like the annual Texas Sommelier Association conference.

What do you think? Was Teague's depiction accurate? Or are the days of pricy cabs-and-chards coming to an end?

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Hanna Raskin
Contact: Hanna Raskin