Next time you’re motoring through East Texas on Interstate 20, don’t dare pass the Tyler/Lindale/Mineola exit. There’s plenty to enjoy in Tyler-the famous Municipal Rose Gardens, the Caldwell Zoo, Dewberry Plantation, Tyler State Park, and much more. To the north about 15 miles on US 69, the venerable town of Mineola awaits with the Select Theatre, a railroad depot/museum, Lott House, 99.9 country KMOO-FM, a nice nature preserve, and historical markers galore.

However, I found a feel-good surprise in between Tyler and Mineola—country music singer/songwriter Miranda Lambert’s hometown of Lindale. On a recent trek, I stopped in at the Miranda Lambert Store & Red 55 Winery—named after the first truck Lambert owned, a red ’55 Chevy pickup. This former funeral parlor at the corner of Hubbard and Main offers wines (like Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, a sweet, white Muscat Canelli; and Red 55, a smooth Cabernet Sauvignon) from LouViney Vineyards in Sulphur Springs. The wines’ names honor Lambert’s hits, prized possessions, and career highlights.

It’s relaxed, friendly, and comfortable here. The store/winery also doubles as a cozy lounge/music space with a stage, sound system, and Miranda memorabilia—posters, magazine covers, and gold records. There’s karaoke on Thursday nights; live music on Saturday nights. And, the store is the source for licensed Miranda merchandise-CDs, DVDs, T-shirts, caps, et al. Manager April Lewis takes phone and online orders from all over the world. Main Street banners proclaim: Welcome to Lindale—Star of East Texas.

The Miranda Lambert Store & Red 55 Winery is at 100 E. Hubbard in Lindale. Open Mon-Sat. Call 903/882-9305; www.mirandalambert.com. Miranda Lambert’s latest CD, Revolution, is now available from Columbia/Sony Music Nashville.

From the November 2009 issue
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