Texas will never be another California, and that’s just as well, said Betsy Andrews in Saveur. Some 35 years after the state’s first post-Prohibition wineries opened for business, Lone Star winemakers have finally learned to focus their efforts on “grapes that like heat, drought, and sandy soil.” The results are beginning to impress.

2011 McPherson Les Copains ($14).This “herbaceous, Rhône-style white blend,” created by the state’s most influential wine producer, features a “zesty, citrus-laced acidity.”

2009 Sandstone Cellars VII ($30). Made with a Portuguese port grape, this “bone-dry but racy red” is “spicy, smoky, and savory.”

2010 Brennan Buffalo Rhome ($16). A Rhône-style red that pairs well with game birds, this wine has notes of brown sugar and earth that give way to flavors of “ripe red fruit and savory beef jerky.”