By on April 8, 2013 Texas Two-Taste

Executive Chef Ross Burtwell knows Texas wine by heart and mind.  He is the owner of Fredericksburg’s famed Cabernet Grill Texas Wine Country Restaurant and the heaviest supporter of Texas wine in the restaurant industry, committed to an ALL Texas wine list.  With over 75 Texas wine selections and growing, Chef Burtwell continues to create new and delicious pairings for his delighted guests touring Texas Wine Country.

With a fully trained staff, you can request that your meal be perfectly paired with the finest wines from around our State, and if you would like to know more about what you’re drinking, they’ll happily clue you in.  Rest assured you will not leave unsatisfied or uneducated because not only is the food out of this world, but Chef Burtwell expects his guests to “walk away with a whole new perspective on Texas wine.”

Cabernet Grill patio

The Texas Sangiovese

For this Texas Two Taste Chef Ross Burtwell chose a Sangiovese from Texas Hills Vineyard; a wine grape which is creating quite a reputation for itself among Texas growers and winemakers alike. The Sangiovese grape varietal is the most planted grape in Italy and especially thrives in Tuscany. Demanding a hot and sunny vineyard, Sangiovese is a match for several Texas grape producing areas.  Texas Hills Vineyard is located in the gentle hills of the picturesque Pedernales River Valley in the Texas Hill Country near Johnson City.

Texas Hills Vineyard

Owner/winemaker Gary Gilstrap and his wife Kathy favor the Mediterranean grapes and their potential to solidify Texas’s growing reputation as a respected wine region.  The Gilstraps have one of the largest acreage of Sangiovese in Texas, planted in 1996.  “We work hard to produce this wine in the style of Italy and believe you will agree with us that Sangiovese grapes like Texas, and we like the fine wine that we can produce from this grape.”

Texas Hills Vineyard gate

A Perfect Pairing: Keeping It Local

Chef Ross Burtwell, “At the Cabernet Grill Texas Wine Country Restaurant, we serve our Lockhart Texas Quail either as its own dish or as part of a mixed grill to our dining patrons. It is wrapped with bacon for a bit of extra flavor and stuffed with a jalapeno for a bit of Texas attitude. And while we normally shy away from pre-made sauces, we make an exception for Fischer & Wieser Roasted Raspberry Sauce, which adds a hint of sweetness and spice to our house-made rosemary-raspberry demi-glace. As Fischer & Wieser products are made just down the street from us in Fredericksburg, it’s part of our approach to “keep it local.”

Another way we keep it local is matching our cuisine up with a 100% all Texas wine list (the largest all-Texas wine list anywhere, by the way). We chose to pair this dish with Texas Hills Vineyard 2010 Texas High Plains Sangiovese, with grapes from Newsom Vineyard.

What I personally like about this pairing is the raspberry notes in the wine are highlighted in the sauce. It all comes together with a bit of pepper, rosemary and medium tannin that ends in a smooth mouth feel – which is needed to hold up to the chile and light gaminess of the quail. Not to mention, the wine makers and staff at Texas Hills Vineyard and the grape growers at Newsom Vineyards are just plain salt of the earth kind of folks that you like to be around and do business with.”


Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Stuffed Lockhart Quail
With Rosemary Raspberry Sauce and Maple Chipotle Sweet Potato Mash

Cabernet Grill Lockhart Texas Quail Recipe

Serves 6 as an entree

Jalapeno Stuffed Quail

  • 12 semi-boneless Lockhart Texas quail
  • 6 fresh jalapenos, cut in halves lengthwise
  • 12 strips applewood-smoked bacon
  • kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cup rosemary-raspberry demi-glace, warm (see recipe)
  • Rosemary sprigs

1. Stuff each quail with a jalapeno half and wrap with one slice of bacon. Secure bacon to the quail with a toothpick.
2. Prepare a grill with mesquite wood and bring to a medium high heat.
3. Season quail accordingly with salt and pepper.
4. Lightly oil the cooking grate on the grill and add quail.
5. Cook for about five minutes on each side, or until the juices from inside the quail run clear and the bacon begins to crisp up a bit.
6. Remove toothpicks from the quail and set on a serving platter.
7. Top with rosemary-raspberry demi-glace and garnish with rosemary sprigs.

Rosemary-Raspberry Demi-Glace

  • 2 tablespoons butter or salad oil
  • 2 small shallot, minced
  • 2 teaspoon fresh rosemary, minced
  • 1 cup veal demi-glace sauce
  • 1 cup Fischer & Weiser Raspberry Chipotle Sauce
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Heat a small sauce pan over medium heat and add butter, shallots and rosemary. Cook shallots lightly until they begin to turn translucent. Do not allow them to brown.
2. Stir in demi-glace and raspberry sauce and heat through. Adjust seasoning accordingly with salt and pepper.

Maple Chipotle Sweet Potato Mash

3 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled & cubed
2/3 stick butter
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 Tablespoon canned chipotles in adobo, minced
Kosher salt and white pepper

  •  Boil sweet potatoes in enough water to cover until tender (about 20 to 30 minutes) and drain from water completely.
  • Place drained sweet potatoes in a medium size bowl and mash with butter, syrup and chipotle while still hot.
  • Adjust seasoning with salt and white pepper.


Cabernet Grill Texas Wine Country Restaurant
Cotton Gin Village Lodging: 830-990-8381
Restaurant: 830-990-5734
Cotton Gin Village
PO Box 609
Fredericksburg, Texas 78624

Texas Hills Vineyard
P.O. Box 1480
878 RR 2766
Johnson City, Texas 78636

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