Wednesday, September 28, 2011


Blood Of The Vines

Wine Goes To The Movies With and TrailersFrom
When John Wayne speaks out about the independence of Texas in "The Alamo" - saying that the word 'republic' sounds good to him - maybe he thought they said 'republican.'   Never mind the politics, "The Alamo" is a movie that makes even my Texas blood - twenty-plus years removed - run a little hotter.
Davy Crockett, Jim Bowie, William Travis and Sam Houston are names very familiar to anyone who grew up in The Lone Star State.  John Wayne, though, is just as familiar and a much better badass.
The Duke may have been born with the name Marion - in Iowa, no less - but here he's all two-fisted Texas swagger ready to take on that Mexican army all by himself.  Well, actually, he's ready to cut and run until the impassioned speech from Laurence Harvey persuades everyone to stay for the massacre scene.
The story ends badly - for Texans, anyway - but a portion of the mission known as the Alamo is still there as a reminder of the struggle for independence and the valor of going up against the odds to fight the good fight.  Growing up in Texas in the Vietnam War era, I heard a few of my classmates wonder why the Texas soldiers didn't just bail on such an obviously bad situation.  I found comfort in knowing that the bravery of a few hundred men may have played a part in me being where I was at the time.
Today, political correctness has caused Texas teachers to bring into the classroom a "kinder, gentler" view of the battles that led to the independence of Texas.  What would John Wayne think of this?
Much of the grounds of the old mission have been swallowed up by downtown San Antonio, but the tiny, crumbling main building still stands, housing a gift shop and pictures of Hollywood's cinematic tribute.
A tribute!  A toast to the Texas army!  It may be hard to find in some places, but I hear tell Texas wine is making quite a bit of noise.  It may seem like long odds for a small Texas winery to go up against the crashing red wave of California wine, but who better to do it than than Duchman Family Winery?  Duchman is pronounced like Duke, man, so this choice is a natural.
Other bottles for the battle:
San Antonio Winery - It's not Texan, but it is San Antonio.  Operating the only remaining winery in Los Angeles, the Riboli family faced tough odds, too.  Prohibition killed off the other hundred or so wineries which once called L.A. home, but the San Antonio Winery hung in there - thanks to sacramental wine.
Balcones Baby Blue Texas Corn Whiskey - With a 5,000 man army charging your garrison, you might want something a little stiffer than wine to drink.
Shiner Bock - Made by the Spoetzl Brewery in Shiner, Texas.  They are the oldest independent brewery flying the Lone Star flag.  Even older than Lone Star.

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