Rodeo and wine

Old school wisdom asserted rodeo begets beer belches and whiskey shots. Times change.

Today, rodeo and ranching people may spend as much time on their iPads as they do in a saddle, and they have a taste for wine, especially to add spark to a meal.

If sizzling steak is part of your rodeo revelry, the classic pair is a big red with plenty of tannins to cut through the fatty tastes in ribeyes or T-bones or scraps or tenders. Cabernet sauvignon is the king of such pairings. Don’t mosey over to such a meaty meal with a wussy wine, pilgrim; bold and big is best.

If Mexican food is your go-to rodeo repast, bust out of the chute with margaritas and chips, then pair—gasp—white zinfandel with your Tex-Mex entrées. The sweetness and lightness of white zin does quite well with the cacophony of Tex-Mex textures and flavors. You also are sure to gladden the palates of some of your comida compadres—white zin is the favorite wine for 10 percent of American wine drinkers. Sip, ignore supercilious wine snob snorts.

If you’ve gone all healthy on us because of doctor dehortations or you just want to see more rodeos than your belly-over-the-belt-buckle friends, consider sauvignon blanc with light fish, oaky chard with heavier fish, sauv blanc or un-oaked chard with salad.

If you are a lonesome cowboy aiming to lasso a smile (or more) from your lady love, Caprock Winery in Lubbock makes three that could please her mighty fine, saddle pal. Easy drinking, easy on the wallet, the bottles even come with charming, cowgirl-themed labels she’ll likely love. Thank me after you stable the horse, kennel the dog, and turn off the iPad.

Tasting notes:

• Caprock Winery Sweet Tempranillo 2011. Beaujolais-inspired carbonic maceration; raspberry, cherry, even banana in a soft, fruity chick wine. $15

• Caprock Winery Toscana Rosso 2011. Sangiovese; coffee, vanilla, red fruit, cherry; tart, good tannins, could go with steak as cab alternative. $15

• Caprock Winery Knuckle Bump 2011. Red blend, largely cabernet franc. Cherry, pepper, tobacco, chocolate, licorice; pair with salmon or seared tuna. $15

Last round: There are two theories about arguing with a woman. Neither one has ever worked.—Cowboy wisdom. When this “wisdom” is uttered in mixed-sex company, it is definitive proof you require a designated driver.