Salado Creek Winery & Vineyard Review
Address: 418 North Main Street Salado,Texas 76571.
Phone Number: 254-947-9000
Tasting Hours: Sun-Thurs 12:00-6:00, Fri 12:00-10:00, Sat 11:00-10:00
Reviewer: Becky Parr
Review Date: 3/3/2014
Reviewer: Becky Parr
Salado Creek Winery is tucked into a shopping area of Main Street in Salado. I almost missed it, but fortunately my passenger had an eagle eye. Even better, there were a few shops open at 1:00 on a Sunday afternoon in the same row, so Mom and I bought some Hawaiian jewelry before going into the winery. Hawaiian jewelry in Salado, Texas who knew?
The Place:  Salado Creek doesnt have much of a view; its primary windows look out onto the street. But its super-cute on the inside. As you enter, theres a room to the left with dark pink-red walls called the Gathering Room, which kind of reminded me of a small room you might find in a speakeasy or a smoking lounge. I could easily see myself sitting in that room with a bunch of girlfriends for happy hour. The main room is large, high-ceilinged, and lit with natural light (at least in the daytime!) and would be seriously fun for a party or even a small wedding reception, if they allow such things. The tasting bar runs the entire length of the room on one side. Its a good setup.
The People:  We gave Katie something to do that afternoon; she was all by herself when we came in! She is just the kind of person a local winery wants to have behind the counter. She likes to talk to people, but not too much; she told us a bit about herself, but not too much; and she gave suggestions and told us what wines she likes, but not so much that it was in any way overbearing. She told stories about herself and her husband, who is retired military (thanks for your sacrifice, both of you!) and lamented that he wouldnt drink wine with her like my husband does! It was a fun time. We took our time with the tastings just to hang out and talk to Katie.
The Wines:  Salado Creek has several wines from Georgetown Winery on its tasting menu. Apparently they had some inventory issues some time ago, and Georgetown Winery helped them out, so the relationship continues. I always appreciate camaraderie among neighboring wineries. Fortunately, Id tasted Georgetown Winerys wines the previous day, so I was able to concentrate on Salado Creeks wines.
Katie didnt have anything to take tasting notes on except a couple of Post-it notes, and I was out of scrap paper in my purse. I really think all wineries should have something available to write on; preferably a sheet that includes descriptions and names of all the wines, but at least a pad of paper. Even if Im not trying to remember wines to write about them, I want to remember them to possibly buy them! Its not Salado Creeks fault Im choosing this moment to air my pet peeve at least Katies Post-its were bright pink, so I could find them in my purse.
I tried the un-oaked Chardonnay; I tend to enjoy the un-oaked white wines. This one had a light, pleasant taste, but I found the nose to be quite unpleasant the note I wrote said icky nose. The Wildfire White had a much better nose and was of the lighter white variety, reminiscent of a Pinot Grigio or a Sauvignon Blanc.
As for the reds, the Tempranillo was a bit too tannic for my taste. I think it might benefit from more age. The star of this show, however, was the “Stagecoach” Super Tuscan. Mom and I both liked this one, a LOT, and its not typical for us to agree on anything, including wine! Its on the lighter side, but it is a beautifully balanced blend of Sangiovese (85%) and Cabernet Sauvignon (15%). Both of us bought some. Mom bought two!
Somehow I got talked into trying the Salado Sweet White, which was, well, sweet. Mom wasnt a fan either.
Salado Creek has some fruit wines that Katie recommended. I totally understand the marketing appeal; as Katie said, theyve used the Lone Star Lime to convert many a non-wine drinker. Its made from actual lime juice rather than from grapes. I tried some. It was actually not bad; kind of interesting. I approached it as if I were drinking a margarita, and this taste was in line with a fresh-lime margarita. Im not sure I personally would drink much of it, but I certainly understand how people who say they dont like wine might enjoy it. Katie said she actually prefers the Lone Star Lemon, and I kind of wish Id tried that too, just for the experience.
The Experience:  I really enjoyed Salado Creek, primarily because of Katie and the Super Tuscan! I think it was the highlight of the afternoon, except maybe for the pair of earrings I found at the Hawaiian store down the street.
Insiders Tip:  Remember that Salado Creek is not far from Killeen and Fort Hood. If you are active or former military, and you mention it, there might be a discount.