Deep in the Heart of Texas

Our intrepid One True Vine journal and culinary team recently traveled to Dallas, Texas to immerse ourselves in the magic and mysticism of the Texas backyard barbecue. No, we didn’t just climb over the biggest fence at the biggest ranch we could find; we were welcomed into the home and studio of our friend (and subject of any upcoming piece for the journal), master potter, Michael Obranovich and his wife Claudia. Michael is a lifelong Texan and is intimately tied to our wines as he uses ashes from our vines in his beautiful, functional pottery.

He gave us a short but mind-blowing tour of some of the passionate, family-run purveyors in the Dallas area (please see our blog on Rudolph’s Market) where we picked up a wealth of provisions for a grand scale feast. Chef Michael and our host put together a menu focusing on what else… beef! Grilled seitan will have to wait for our trip to the commune, which will occur… never.

With five 4-inch thick hand-cut porterhouse steaks, several racks of baby back ribs, bones with marrow, and charcuterie from Rudolph’s butchers, fresh mozzarella, buratta and goat cheeses from The Mozarella Company, food legend Paula Lambert’s hand-crafted cheese shop, and gnocchi and other authentic Italian provisions from Jimmy’s, a dyed-in-red-white-and-green family-run market, we were ready for an afternoon and evening of culinary exploits.

We invited a few others – including Richard Andreason, one of the co-owners of Rudolph’s, and his wife – to share the wealth and wine, and when the forks hit the plates, a dozen of us were in hog, beef, and pasta heaven. If you’ve never seen, let alone tasted, a perfectly cooked 4-inch thick porterhouse, please stop reading now and head to your local butcher.

Michael Obranovich foisted on us an amazing bone marrow with escargot-infused ragout on top of gnocchi dish. The ribs were melting off the bones. And the charcuterie coupled with the handmade cheeses? You had to ask?

In short, this is what we live for, it’s what we make wine for, it’s why we craft our journal and these blogs. To share and experience culinary adventures with friends and fans. To create backyard barbecues and invite people we just met or friends of friends to take a few moments to relish and reflect the good things in life. Our heart of Texas trip went straight to our hearts.

Submitted by Layer Cake Wines fan, Rick Baraff