PRESS & REVIEWS
DFW.COM - May 2012: Patios you probably didn't know about
LightCatcher's beautiful elevated patio overlooks quiet gardens and is the perfect spot to enjoy a glass of their Pinot Gris and a gourmet flatbread pizza.
Fort Worth Weekly
BEST OF 2011
Critic's Pick: Best Alfresco Dining
"Chef Caris' work is stellar..."
***We also have indoor dining seating
FORT WORTH BUSINESS PRESS
October 13, 2010
Wines of the World: Texas Wineries not to be missed
by Renie & Sterling Steves
"LightCatcher Winery is about 8 miles west and slightly north of downtown Fort Worth. Its owners/winemakers, Caris and Terry Turpen who say they have a “wildcatter mentality,” are making Fort Worth famous. With really good wines such as Texas Roads Hummingbird White Wine, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, they don’t even need the live jazz Sundays [every first and third Sunday], and good food that comes from the kitchen on the weekend. If you have a sweet wine palate, LightCatcher makes those too. Grab a chair and enjoy!"
Winner Fort Worth Weekly - Best of 2009
"Best Kept Secret"
"You'll have one of those "It doesn't get any better than this" moments sitting on LightCatcher's lovely, breezy patio overlooking lush gardens, listening to live jazz (if it's the first or third Sunday of the month), sipping a glass of one of LightCatcher's award-winning wines, and dining on sublime bistro dishes. The small menu changes frequently to take advantage of the best fresh, local produce, but in owner-winemaker-chef Caris Turpen's hand you'll never go wrong, whether she's dreamed up an asparagus-ricotta tart, smoked duck with fig jam and pearl couscous, or an orange panna cotta with dark-chocolate sauce. How have you never heard of this marvelous place? Well, mostly because you actually have to drive through two other towns to get there. But for lovely scenery, amazing food and wine, and sometimes even legendary jazzbo Johnny Case on the ivories, LightCatcher is well worth the trip."
Fort Worth Weekly - Chow, Baby - May 14th, 2009
Bistro LightCatcher gets a Chow,Baby review - "...utterly fantastic", "...the gestalt of the Genoa pizza on its crispy housemade crust was stunning." and other very nice details. Thanks, Chow, Baby!
Fort Worth, Texas Magazine - April 2009
Part of a FORT WORTH WINERIES article, with lovely pictures and good information about not only we, but the other wineries in the area.
Fort Worth, Texas Magazine - Feb 2009
Mention of "affordable Valentine" as part of larger article about things to do for Valentine's Day.
Fort Worth FOODIE Magazine - Fall/Winter 2008
THE WINE ISSUE
Spotlight: Caris Turpen, Executive Chef & Winemaker
"From Cinema to Chardonnay"
By Crystal Williams
Vintage Texas - The Wine Blog Searching for Texas Terrior
LightCatcher Winery - A Touch a (sic) Magic
by Russ Kane
October 18, 2008
The Tasting - Summer Sangria Port
Caris and I got to talking about how wine should be fun. Sometimes wine writers get hung up focusing mostly on dry wines like Cabernets and Chardonnays that get high accolades. Caris has definitely created a serious red wine portfolio that can go up against the best as [...]
Texas' Best Wine Selections for 2008
"Big Red Wines of Texas"
By Randy McCrea, CSW, A Class of Wine
Looking for something hearty to go along with rich, luxurious fall dishes like Osso Buco? (see My Recipe in this issue) ... I suggest you try some powerful red wines from Texas that can cut through the oils and fats of beef, pork, veal, and game birds and refresh your palate. Here are a few favorites based on a recent tasting at the 3rd Annual Texas Fall Fest & Wine Auction. My ratings are 0-5 with 5 being best.
2004 Lightcatcher Cabernet Sauvignon. This delightful wine made from fruit of the Newsom Vineyard blasts cherry and dark berry aromas out of the glass. Its rich flavors impress no less and it has a heartiness with mature tannins, yet lots of finesse. Rating: 4.5
Affairs of the Vine - "Cabernet Shootout" - December 2007 - LightCatcher 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon
"An Affair to Remember" (Silver) (84 points) - the only Texas wine to place in the 55 finalists out of many hundreds of wines entered, most from Napa and Sonoma.
Male: Sweet perfume aromas carry through onto the palate. Flowery flavors underscore the red fruit.
Female: Appealing deep purple in color. Aromas of chocolate and red berries. Good acid with raspberry fruit flavors.
Now that you know what you’re doing, it’s time to redeem rosés
By Julie Blacklidge
Chances are, some of the first wine ever to pass your lips was a white zinfandel. The sweet pink drink might have come from a box served at your backyard pool party or at a picnic in the park.
Now that your tastes have changed — you’re more likely to drink a big red cabernet than a sweet, fruity “blush” — it’s time to revisit the pink. Not the white zinfandel your mom swears by, but the other pink — rosé.
Pink does not automatically mean sweet. Rosé is traditionally a complex dry-style wine with very little to no residual sugar. Produced from red grapes, it can be made in three ways: Saignée (bleeding), contact with grape skins, or blending.
Saignée is a process in which the winemaker “bleeds” the juice from the vats before the skins have a chance to fully color the juice, and it’s fermented separately. This process imparts tannins, structure, and color to the wine. Many French rosé wines are made in this process. Very few winemakers chose to blend a red with a white to create rosé. (It’s seen as cheating and a cheap alternative.)
The vast majority of these wines are made from contact with grape skins. This process is simple. The winemaker leaves the juice with the skins long enough (usually no more than three days) to achieve the desired color—anywhere from pale pink to vibrant hot pink. The longer the juice is left with the skins, the more intense the flavors.
Common grapes for rosé are syrah, grenache, and pinot noir, but that is changing as winemakers experiment with varietals. While dining at Central 214 a couple of weeks ago, I was thrilled to find an Argentinean malbec rosé that is both affordable and tasty. The 2005 Casa Marguery Malbec Rosé is bright with luscious berry flavors and a dry finish. Look for it on the Central 214 wine list for $25 a bottle (5680 N Central Expy., 214-443-9339). It’s also available at La Cave Warehouse (1931 Market Center Blvd. #129, 214-747-9463), currently on sale for $8.96, regularly $12.99.
Domaine Chandon Winemaker Jim Kress recently stopped by to show off his lineup of still wines. Chandon is known for fantastic Sonoma sparkling wine, but I was excited to taste the 2006 Unoaked Pinot Noir Rosé.
It is ideally paired with a relaxing day in the sun and plenty of friends, but it also goes great with salads, fish, and fresh berries. The aroma reminds me of summer — light watermelon notes with a lingering fruity finish.
Don’t freak out when you notice it is under a screw cap rather than cork. The screw cap will ensure your bottle’s fresh flavors and prevent it from being exposed to oxidation. Check Pogo’s (5360 W. Lovers Ln. # 200, 214-350-8989) for a good deal priced at $24.
If you’ve got a little time on your hands, run out to the LightCatcher Winery in Fort Worth (6925 Confederate Park Rd/FM 1886, Fort Worth, 817-237-2626) for a bottle of the 2007 Texas Kiss ($14). I can drink this all summer long. It is made from merlot, which gives it round, velvety texture and bright strawberry and cherry notes. Pair it with barbecue or hearty Mexican food.
Morning News - June 2007
Selling Texas Wine to Yankees
By WES MARSHALL / Special Contributor to The Dallas Morning News
NEW YORK – The Texas Agriculture Department recently put together
a wine demo trip to New York in hopes of getting wine and food journalists
past the mind-set of "if it isn't from a state touching the
Pacific Ocean, it can't be any good."
Winemakers are a touchy group when one winery gets more publicity
than another, so the state decided to ask a nonwinemaker – me – to
go to talk about Texas wines.
Joining me were recovering New Yorker Paula Disbrowe (chef and author
of Cowgirl Cuisine), and former Oakland Raiders defensive tackle
and current Texas vineyard owner Alphonse Dotson. Together, we took
on the big, bad New York media world like the Three Musketeers (for
literary buffs, I would be Porthos).
I'm a journalist, not a promoter, but I was happy to go to New York
to tell fellow writers what I've learned. Of primary importance:
When you taste a wine while looking at the label, you develop a set
of notions about the flavor before you ever drink a drop. For taste
tests, I like to compare Texas wines against some of the best wines
in the world. But each bottle is enclosed in a bag, and no one, not
even me, knows what's what. That's a test.
Many of the places we visited wouldn't go along with that drill.
(It's embarrassing to like the wrong wine.) But a few did. We had
the pleasure of watching epiphanies as New Yorkers realized they
liked Texas wines.
Big winners from Texas included the Brennan Vineyards Viognier (matched
against Guigal Condrieu), Fall Creek Meritus (vs. Raymond Rutherford
Cab), and Lightcatcher's Dry Muscat (against the spectacular
Bott Freres Grand Cru Muscat). These are world-standard wines from France
and California, so kudos to the Texas winemakers for doing so well.
Austin writer Wes Marshall is the author of "The Wine Roads
the wine referenced here is our 2005 LightCatcher Dry Orange Muscat (sold out).)
Worth Star Telegram - June 2007 - Brunches that Sing
Worth Star Telegram - June 2007 - 10 Patios to Try This Summer
Worth Star Telegram - April 2007 - Food Review
JUNE NAYLOR SPECIAL TO THE STAR-TELEGRAM
A woman of multiple talents, Caris Turpen could teach the rest of us a few things
about multitasking. With husband Terry Turpen, she is owner and winemaker at
the popular Lightcatcher Winery in far, far west Fort Worth. Along with a welcoming
tasting room inside an attractive stone building, Turpen offers a gift shop with
lots of goodies for wine drinkers and people who like to entertain.
But what impressed me most on my recent stop at Lightcatcher was Turpen's touch
Published on 2007-04-06, Page S38, Fort Worth Star-Telegram (TX)
Worth Star Telegram - March 2007
ON THE TRAIL OF THE GRAPE
JEFF SIEGEL SPECIAL TO THE STAR-TELEGRAM
When Caris and Terry Turpen opened LightCatcher Winery in Fort Worth, they figured
they'd rent a building for a couple of years. After that, if they wanted to stay
in the wine business, they'd buy land to build a winery. Three months after they
opened, they were looking for a place to build.
It has been an amazing experience," says winemaker Caris Turpen. "We
never thought we would have done so well so quickly. We had no idea...
Published on 2007-03-28, Page E1, Fort Worth Star-Telegram (TX)
Texas Cooking Magazine - Jan 2007
Catching lightning in a bottle"
by Randy Lankford
No one can ever accuse Caris Turpen of not being creative. Take the name of her Ft. Worth winery for instance.
While LightCatcher is a subtle reference to her career as a cinematographer it may also be a more veiled admission of her desire to catch lightning in a bottle.
After a successful film career where she worked on such diverse productions as "60 Minutes" and "WISHBONE" a PBS series about a little dog with a big imagination, and a stint at George Lucas’ Industrial Light and Magic, Turpen sees plenty of parallels between film making and wine making.
"They’re very similar," she explains. "Wine is art and science stirred by mystery. Film making is art and science stirred by something else. Ego, I’d say."
Turpen, the daughter of a Texan, grew up in San Francisco and came to Texas after marrying her husband, Terry. The idea of opening a winery grew out of her winemaking hobby. She says there are two kinds of hobbyists: Those who want to make wine cheaply and those who want to make it well. She fell into the latter group where she found little support.
"I was in a little local wine maker’s club and I was online looking for information and I bought a bunch of books on how to make wine and I saw so much conflicting information, so much subjective opinion that was being touted as science and so much, frankly, suspect information, that I got really frustrated."
Not interested in making cheap wine, Turpen went back to school and earned an enology degree at the T.V. Munson School of Viticulture and Enology. Munson was the viticulturist credited with saving the French wine industry at the turn of the last century.
"I wanted to make top-quality wine. And, sadly, I didn’t find enough people who had the same level of interest that I did. Either they just wanted to make cheap wine or they were quirky about it and trying to make wine out of carrots and kiwi. That’s all fine and good but I wanted to be like a top level Napa Valley winemaker who knew what they were doing."
That’s when she heard about the Munson school which is affiliated with Grayson Community College in Denison. "When I realized it was only 100 miles from my house with classes set up on weekends, rather than Monday through Friday, so all of us second-career people could go there, I started taking classes, not sure what I’d find."
Turpen, it turned out, found exactly what she’d been looking for. The school concentrated on the science of winemaking and left the art to the students. "It gave me the foundation in science and the critical knowledge on how to create and protect my product. It allowed me to become not only a consistent winemaker but also taught me where I could break the rules and where I couldn’t. I’m pretty fearless when it comes to breaking the rules and trying new things."
Turpen demonstrated that fearlessness when she decided to make bold red wines. "All of my big reds are enhanced with proper food pairings but they can all be consumed by themselves. You don’t have to have them with food in order to balance them.
"Many of the Bordeaux-style cabernets that are big and chewy and dense, you have to have something fatty with them to in order to calm down the tannins. Texas grapes don’t typically produce that much tannin. The vineyards are too warm, unlike the Bordeaux region, where it’s a lot colder and the vines are a lot smaller. Texas grapes don’t have those kinds of tendencies so I’m naturally getting wines that don’t have that kind of tannin content which is your major obstacle in food pairing or just sitting and enjoying a wine without having to have the food."
That’s not to say Turpen isn’t interested in how her wines pair with food. She’s an accomplished chef who plans to publish a cookbook in the near future.
"Cooking is another creative outlet. Winemaking has a pretty intense period through harvest and the initial few weeks of fermentation and then the rest of it is just sort of keeping up with your product inventory, whether it’s blending and bottling or moving wine between barrels and things like that. There’s a lot of time where you’re not really doing much, so I just needed something to keep me going creatively and I thought what better way than to tie into the food aspect more."
Once again, Turpen is only interested in top-of-the-line productions when it comes to her cooking. "It’s not just cooking. What I’m doing is really cheffing. I’m making sauces from our different wines. If I were to call myself a particular kind of chef, I’d say I’m a saucier because I really love what sauces can do for foods. In most foods you have either a vegetable or a protein base and they have their own flavors but sauces can go 500 different directions. I’ve had an enormous amount of fun with it."
As far as her winemaking goes, Turpen refuses to be classified by her California roots or her Texas location. "I would call myself a world winemaker," she says. "I’m neither a California nor Texas winemaker. I source grapes from Texas and I try to bring to my wines the same things I bring to my food and my art. It’s the best parts of everything I’ve experienced whether it’s good stuff I learned in California or Italy or France or Texas, it really doesn’t matter to me. My wines are Texas wines because they’re made from Texas grapes but I’m not a fanatical regionalist. I’m trying to create a style that stands on its own. It’s going to be de facto associated with Texas because that’s where the grapes are from and that’s where our winery is but I’d be doing the same things if I were working in California or South Africa or anywhere else grapes are grown."
# # #
Slow Braised Lamb Shanks
Lamb shanks look a bit big and scary at the start, but they cook down to a mild flavor with a melting texture. This is a rich dish that wants a big wine. Serves 6.
* 3 T Olive Oil
* 6 lamb shanks
* 4 shallots, coarse chopped
* 2 carrots, coarse chopped
* 1 bulb fennel, trimmed and coarse chopped
* 1 stalk celery, coarse chopped
* 1 T. minced fresh thyme
* 1 T. minced fresh sage
* 1 1/2 C. dry red wine
* 2 1/2 C. beef broth
* 2 T. tomato paste
* Risotto or mashed potatoes for side
* Minced flat leaf parsley for garnish
In a heavy pot, heat the oil until hot. Brown the lamb shanks, two at a time on all sides. Remove and hold warm.
Add shallots, carrots, fennel, celery and garlic. Sauté until they’re just beginning to brown. Add the herbs and wine, stirring to scrape up any browned bits at the bottom. Add the broth and tomato paste and stir well to combine. Return the shanks to the pot. The liquid should just cover the meat. Bring to a low simmer, cover and braise until very tender, about 1 1/2 hours. Check the level of the liquid after one hour and add more broth if necessary. Remove shanks and hold warm. If you want a thicker sauce, raise the heat and reduce the sauce until it is the consistency you want.
To serve: Use a rimmed plate / bowl. Place a bed of risotto or potatoes. Place a shank on top. Pour a ladle of sauce over each shank, making sure you’ve got some of the veggies along.
Magazine - August 2006 - "Best
of Big D" -
Named 'Best Jazz and Juice' for our Jazz Sundays
Driver Magazine - September 2005 - Feature on the winery.
Magazine - September 2005 - Featured note on the winery and fall wines.
Morning News - April 2005 - Feature article "Shining LightCatcher"
Morning News - April 2005 - 'Tasting Notes' - featured winery and
Magazine - Sept 2004 - North Central Texas Wine Trails, winery highlight
Magazine - August 2004 - "Best of D" issue - 'Best New Wine'
Press - Dec 2003 Feature Article
Worth Gazette - May 2003 issue, review
Worth, Texas (The Magazine) -, Review of wines (full page), by Beth
and Brian Hutson, March 2003
Magazine- 'Turning Pro' , July/August 2002
Worth Business Press, featured in article by Julie Blacklidge, November
County Business Section - Manufacturing Highlight, by Barry Schlacter,
Worth Star Telegram - Feature article by Bud Kennedy, November 2002
Wine&Cuisine.org - food and wine pairings by J.R. Clark of Reata Restaurant, using
Worth, Texas (The Magazine) - Article on Tarrant County Wineries
with LightCatcher Winery featured.
Wine&Cuisine.org - 'Most Noted Winery', April/May 2003 review
Art" by Rick Hurst
Winery, north of Ft Worth, Texas in Tarrant County, is something
unique in Texas wineries in that it takes an artistic approach to
winemaking. Not only do they offer you a great glass of wine,
but will sell you the fine art of featured artist, Julie Wende of
wines are made with a blend of grapes, including ones from their
vineyard in Bonham, Texas. One of my favorites is the Strawberry
Kiss 2002 Nouveau Merlot, that they like to refer to as a "Grownup
wine." It is an off-dry red with hints of cherry, pomegranate,
and, of course, strawberries with a beautiful red color. It
pairs nicely with barbeque, Mexican and Thai foods, or anything
spicy. It was also the recipient of a silver medal from
the Wine Society of Texas, Best of Texas 2003. It would make
a great present to your loved one for an anniversary, special occasion,
or just a romantic evening by candlelight. In their own words,
"With a lush mouth feel, this is no silly wine, but a lovely accompaniment
to various meals, casual entertaining, or just for sipping on the
patio." Winemaker Caris Palm Turpen will be glad to pour you
a glass on their patio at the winery. At $11.99 per bottle
it is well worth the price.
to be overlooked is the wonderful Texas Roads 2001 Chardonnay.
This is a wine that LightCatcher claims was made with the red wine
drinker in mind. I found it to be a delightful light wine
with no bitter aftertaste. Made for entertaining, it would
be well received by family and guests alike. It was awarded
a bronze medal at the Dallas Morning News 2003 Wine Competition.
LightCatcher says, "Handling the grapes cool and in stainless steel
has preserved and accented the flavors of apricot, banana, melon,
and pear with a touch of grapefruit." At $13.99 per bottle
it is a bargain.
other favorite of theirs is the Texas Roads Cabernet Sauvignon,
which I like to pair with a Texas T-Bone. A beautiful red,
it is easy on the palate and warm to the taste. At $19.99
a bottle it works well into any budget with enough left over to
purchase a good cut of beef. All said, LightCatcher produces wines
that Texans are sure to love and will enjoy for years to come.
If this writer sounds somewhat biased, it's true. Being born
and raised in Fort Worth, I'm always glad to see a new artist in
my home town. Visit them as soon as you can and enjoy the
rest of the drinkable art they produce."
We do not own the vineyard near Bonham referenced in this article.
We contracted grapes from the owner for the 2002 harvest.
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