Katherine Compton: Fredericksburg weekend full of wine, wonderful memories | Live well
Benjamin Franklin said “Wine makes everyday life easier, less rushed, with less tension and more tolerance.”
I’ve been living life in fast-forward lately, so over Memorial Day weekend, one of my favorite wine-drinking buddies and I decided to slow things down a bit with a quick trip to Fredericksburg.
Our first stop on Friday afternoon was at the beautiful and impressive Barons Creek Vineyard. We spent a lovely afternoon on their large and impressive patio, listening to live music. I’ve been to Barons Creek several times, but the great Italian-inspired grounds never get old. The friendly staff are quick to pour and always happy to make recommendations for new and interesting places in the area to enjoy food and fun, making this a fantastic place to spend some time discovering and tasting a fabulous wine.
When we finally decided to head back to town, we freshened up and enjoyed easy conversation and libations at 78624/The Bar.
If that name sounds familiar, it should. Several years ago, Lauren Bade/77901 had a wine bar and gift shop in downtown Victoria. Much to my disappointment, the Victoria location closed, but the Hill Country location picked up exactly where Victoria left off! The decor, food and atmosphere are the same.
It was a bit like coming home. When it was time for us to say goodbye to the Bar, we headed to one of my favorite diners in Fredericksburg, Vaudeville. Vaudeville describes itself as “…a collaboration of equal parts food spectacle and artistic variety.” And I couldn’t describe it better. The street-level gift market is a feast for the eyes full of an eclectic mix of luxurious and interesting finds. Downstairs, there’s the tranquil bistro with white tablecloths just waiting to linger over succulent wines and even more decadent bites.
We started with the creamy seafood gratin, which was every bit as rich as it looks. I enjoyed the seared yellowfin tuna which was served over the best spaghetti squash I have ever tasted. The Vaudeville atmosphere is the perfect marriage of formality and relaxation, and the seating feels like it was designed to encourage camaraderie with fellow diners. We had a lively visit with the couple sitting next to us which made the evening even more memorable.
The next day we took a Majesty wine tour which was an absolute blast. Highway 290 between Fredericksburg and Johnson City is a wine lover‘s paradise. So many wineries and tasting rooms have sprung up along the 290 that the route has been recognized as one of the top wine destinations in the United States. Our tour included stops at Safari and Foyt wineries and finally at the Texas Wine Collective, which is three wineries in one.
Safari and the Wine Collective were outstanding. Foyt was honestly more than a little disappointing, but the fact that the other three couples on our tour were so fun more than made up for a less than stellar stop. The other couples were so entertaining that when the tour ended we all decided to continue the party and headed to Martini’s Seafood House for sips and a sumptuous supper. We settled into the soft velor armchairs around our table for a lively and sometimes rowdy evening full of laughter and spectacular seafood.
Of all the outstanding dishes we enjoyed at Martini’s, the cold seafood tower was the most impressive, but the PEI oysters on the half shell were my favorite.
It was a weekend full of wine and wonderful memories. I’ve been to Fredericksburg many times and each time I discover something new, which is one of the reasons I keep going back. Next time you find yourself in Fredericksburg, be sure to stop by one or all of my old or new favorite spots, you’ll be so glad you did.
Red wine and the hot Texas summer don’t mix, but they can. This marriage of three of my true loves, cheesecake, popsicles and red wine is the perfect way to beat the heat.
Katherine Compton is a working mother of two adult children and a real estate agent. She loves cooking almost as much as she loves living in Jackson County. Katherine can be contacted by email at [email protected]