Project Y-ine Makes A Brief Stop in Houston

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Yesterday the ladies of Project Y-ine left New Orleans and headed for Houston, Texas. They were running a bit behind schedule. They had stopped in Lafayette for lunch.
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“What is the law in Texas about the passenger drinking a beer??”

At 6:18 p.m. CDT I got the above text from Shana. I shot back, “I don’t think you can have booze open in the car at all.” Then I looked it up just to make sure.

As of Sept. 1, 2001, it is illegal to possess an open container of alcohol in a motor vehicle. House Bill 5, passed by the 77th Texas Legislature, makes it a Class C misdemeanor to possess an open container of alcohol in the passenger area of a motor vehicle which is on a public highway or the right-of-way adjacent to a public highway.” ~ from State Bar of Texas “Open Container Law”

The last message I’d gotten was “Wenchie is thirsty,” and that the ladies had just driven through Beaumont.  Beaumont is in Jefferson County and Jefferson County is not the place in Texas you want to be pulled over with a open beer. As the saying goes, “they ain’t playin’” there. Probably one of the reasons Janis Joplin left. And where “Don’t Mess with Texas” started.  I mean there is a picture of a kid holding a baby ‘gator on the cover of their Official Regional Visitor’s Guide.

So I sent another text  – “It’s a Class C Misdemeanor.”  And got no response. I had no idea which of the ladies was driving. I was afraid the next text might be “Houston, we have a problem,” and I’d have to put on my lawyer hat and head due east. So about 30 minutes later I sent a text to Ashley asking if they had gotten pulled over. She texted back “No” and that their ETA was about 5 minutes away. Turns out Shana was enticed by a big cooler of iced down $1 beer at a gas station but checked to make sure she could actually drink it before she purchased one.  I’d say that’s entrapment — putting those at a gas station. But sometimes marketing forgets about the law.

Speaking of beer, when the ladies arrived we unloaded about 6 or 7  boxes of beer and wine from their car. Parting gifts from Florida, or their recent visit to New Orleans.  We had just picked up another Twisted Oak “care package” sent for Project Y-ine. The ladies are definitely stocked with libation for their cross-country trip.


Our favorite Clear Lake Area Watering Hole

After unloading the car and getting them settled into the teenagers’ rooms, Joe opened a couple bottles of his Wee Heavy home-brewed Scotch Ale for the ladies to enjoy while they freshened up to head out for dinner. Then it was off to Boondoggles for Texas’ own Saint Arnold‘s beer, some appetizers and a couple pizzas (Santa Fe for Shana and me, Tejas for Joe and Ashley).  Then we headed over to Chelsea Wine Bar for wine and dessert!  Since there were only two bottles of Twisted Oak *%#&@! left in the place, and let’s face it, we all knew we loved that, we chose a bottle of Orin Swift The Prisoner Napa Valley 2007.

Shana & Joe toast The Prisoner at Chelsea Wine Bar

Shana & Joe toast The Prisoner at Chelsea Wine Bar

Iris Allen, a friend of ours who runs a group called Urban Wineauxs turned us onto this fabulous red blend a few weeks ago, and it tasted as good as I remembered. Start with the brazen lush berries of 50% Zinfandel, combined with the power of 24% Cabernet Sauvignon, with the dark black fruit of 14% Syrah. Add 9% Petite Sirah for intensity, to 2% Charbono and 1% Grenache, and you’ve got a lush, intense and complex wine, worthy of royalty.  So much so, that it was luscious with a chocolate raspberry torte, and gluten free chocolate and fresh strawberries that The Beer Wench so generously climbed the stairs to retrieve.  Labeled 15.2% Alcohol by Volume, it packed quite a bit more punch than the Sangria I’d been drinking. No wonder the good folks at Wine Spectator gave this flagship wine of Orin Smith Cellars 92 points in its June 15, 2009 issue.

Wenchie Loves Chocolate

Wenchie Loves Chocolate

Once we polished off all the chocolate, we headed back to the house to open a bottle of Twisted Oak River of Skulls that El Jefe had expressed down in a Twisted Sampling for Project Y-ine to share along their journey.

After a good night’s rest, the ladies had a healthy breakfast of fresh fruit and homemade rosemary drop biscuits. They uploaded some photos, and posted a few blog entries — and then it was off to Rocket Park at NASA’s Johnson Space Center for some quick tourist fun (see above).  Then it was off to Austin, Texas – Music Capital of the USA to meet with Baconator and enjoy one of the finest places, outside of California to live.

We wish we were going with them — perhaps one day we’ll all be in Wine Country for good!

Bon Voyage Project Y-ine! And Cheers to you all!

About Amy Corron Power

A licensed attorney, Amy is a wine-lover, foodie, photographer, political junkie and award-winning author who writes about Wine, Food, Beer & Spirits. As Managing Editor & Tasting Director for Another Wine Blog, she travels all over the world's wine regions to share her experiences with her readers and nearly 10,000 twitter fans. She holds certifications from International Sommelier Guild, regularly attends Houston Sommelier Association events and is currently studying for her California Wine Appellation Specialist certification through the San Francisco Wine School.