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Get Your Thirst On for a Good Cause

Get Your Thirst On for a Good Cause

Raise your glasses as KLRN Public Television gears up for one of their largest fundraisers of the year: the San Antonio Wine Festival. For one weekend, you can sample wines and Champagnes from all over the globe, with a great representation of Texas’ best as well.

wine glassesThe weekend kicks off Sept. 26 at the St. Anthony Hotel, 300 E. Travis St., with the Wine Opener, an intimate black-tie event that serves fine food and a forest of wine bottles waiting to be uncorked. Henry Brun and the Latin Playerz will provide the music. There will also be a silent auction. Tickets are $200 apiece or tables of 10 can be purchased for $2,000.

On Sept. 28, it’s bubbles, brunch and jazz at the Champagne Brunch, also held at the St. Anthony Hotel. A variety of Champagnes and wines will be served along with a full brunch. A live performance by The Jim Cullum Jazz Band keeps the mood just right. Tickets are $75 or tables of 10 can be purchased for $1000.

red wine in glassesLater that evening, the Wine Festival concludes with the Fine Wine & Cuisine Tasting, which will be held for the first time at the Pearl Stable, 303 Pearl Parkway. Guests will be able to walk around sampling delectable dishes and taste a selection of wine from all over the world. Participating restaurants include Nao, Boiler House, Tuk Tuk Taproom, Cured, Southerleigh, The Peach Café, Los Barrios Family Restaurant, Hotel Emma at the Pearl, Green Vegetarian Cuisine, Arcade, Bakery Lorraine and more. Tickets are $100 apiece and include valet parking, a commemorative glass and plate.

The KLRN Wine Festival dates back more than 30 years. This year’s San Antonio Wine Festival is chaired by Carlos Torres and TJ Eshelman.

Tickets for all events can be purchased on-line at www.saWINEfest.com. All proceeds benefit KLRN, serving South Central Texas, to help fund educational workshops, programming and community initiatives. For more information,  call KLRN at 210-270-9000 and ask for a member of the events department.

Major sponsors of the San Antonio Wine Festival include: the Pearl Brewery, St. Anthony Hotel and United Airlines.

Posted in Drinks, Events, News0 Comments

A Taste of Something Different: Owner’s Dinner at Sandy Oaks

A Taste of Something Different: Owner’s Dinner at Sandy Oaks

Sandy Oaks 3Saundra Winokur, owner of Sandy Oaks Olive Orchard and Ed and Susan Auler, owners of Texas renowned Fall Creek Vineyards, offer you a unique farm-to-table experience on Friday, Sept.19, at 7 p.m.

Join Winokur and the Aulers as they present a unique dining event featuring local and seasonal bounty prepared by Sandy Oaks Executive Chef Chris Cook, paired with Fall Creek wines — and all showcased in Winokur’s home that overlooks the fields and sprawling live oaks dotting this working ranch.

The cost is $90 per person plus tax and gratuity. Reservations are strongly suggested, as this is a limited-seating event. To reserve your place, call 210-621-0044. Read more about Sandy Oaks Olive Orchard here.

Menu

FIRST
Gulf Snapper and Blue Crab Bouillabaisse
Fall Creek Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc, 2013
Red_wine_closeup_in_glassSECOND
South Texas Black Heritage Pork – Floresville, TX
Apples and Mustard
Fall Creek Vineyards Chenin Blanc, 2013
THIRD
Home Sweet Farm Lamb – Brenham, TX
Tapenade and Tomato
Fall Creek Vineyards GSM, 2012
FOURTH
Broken Arrow Ranch Antelope – Ingram, TX
Quail Egg and Foie Gras
Fall Creek Vineyard Meritus, 2010
FIFTH
Sandy Oaks Olive Orchard Honey – Elmendorf, TX
Panna Cotta and Pecans
Twin Springs Moscato

Posted in Daily Dish, Events, In Season0 Comments

Vines, Grapes, Harvest and Press: It’s Time at Becker Vineyards

Vines, Grapes, Harvest and Press: It’s Time at Becker Vineyards

Becker vineyards harvester cropped 2014

STONEWALL:  The rumbling of diesel engines is heard in an otherwise quiet, pastoral setting of vines and ripe bunches of grapes.  A blue Braud harvester rolls down a row of grapevines, shaking green grapes off as it goes along.  Yellow picking bins on a flatbed trailer pulled by a John Deere tractor are being filled with the ripe fruit and brought to the winery for processing.

Becker grape harvester 2014 croppedThe 2014 harvest has begun for Becker Vineyards.

This week, Sauvignon Blanc grapes were being harvested in the vineyard in front of the winery.

This past Saturday, grape growers Cap and Diane Holland harvested their Chardonnay grapes from their vineyard located between Bronte and Miles, outside of San Angelo, making them the first of Becker Vineyards contract growers to harvest grapes.

“This will be our 18th grape harvest, “ said Bunny Becker, co-proprietor with her husband Dr. Richard Becker. “Harvest is an exciting time of the year for us.”

The Beckers planted their vineyard in 1992 with the first harvest taking place in 1995.  They began selling wine to the public when they opened their winery tasting room in May of 1996.  Along with the vineyard at Stonewall, they own another vineyard at Ballinger and a third one in Mason. Becker Vineyards also purchases fruit from grape growers.

“We have the largest amount of contracts on Texas-grown grapes in the state,” said Bret Perrenoud, general manager, dumping a bin of grapes into the destemmer-crusher with a forklift.

The winery crush pad is a bee hive of activity. The destemmer-crusher is… destemming and crushing. The white grape varietals are then going – via hoses and pumps – to the press to separate the juice from the skins. The air is aromatic with the scent of fresh, ripe fruit. The juice will then head for a stainless steel tank to be inoculated with yeast.  If it is to be a dry white, the fermenting juice will then go to White Oak barrels and finish fermentation there.  If it is to be off-dry (sweeter-style wines), it will stay in stainless steel.

Winemaker Jonathan Leahy is looking forward to the harvest and said, “It’s been a cooler than normal summer. We have phenolic ripeness without the spiking of sugars. This will make full bodied, well developed and more complex wines.”

“We are all looking forward to the end results,” said Richard Becker, with a smile.

Becker Vineyards is located 11 miles east of Fredericksburg, 3 miles west of Stonewall, off U.S. Hwy 290 at Jenschke Lane.

Photographs, article courtesy Nichole Bendele, Becker Vineyards

 

And, let the grape stomps begin!

Grape Stomp t-shirtAugust is the month for stomping grapes, one of the Texas Hill Country’s favorite, crowd-pleasing times.  Becker Vineyards’ Grape Stomp is Aug. 23-24 and Aug. 30-31.

Here are more fun places to get your feet into some ripe, fresh fruit. Check out the wineries’ websites for hours and directions.

  • August 2-3 & 9-10 at Dry Comal Creek Vineyards
  • August 8-10, 15-17 & 22-24 at Pedernales Cellars
  • August 9 at Texas Legato
  • August 9-10 & 16-17 at William Chris Vineyards
  • August 16 at Westcave Cellars Winery
  • August 16-17 & 23-24 at Texas Hills Vineyard
  • August 16 & 23 at Fall Creek Vineyards
  • August 30 at Messina Hof Hill Country
  • August 30 & September 6 at Chisholm Trail Winery

 

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Join Sustainability, Food-Issue Discussion: TEDx, Food Policy Council

Join Sustainability, Food-Issue Discussion: TEDx, Food Policy Council

If your concerns about food reach beyond finding the next trendy restaurant or cocktail bar, this upcoming TEDx salon, with the Food Policy Council of San Antonio, has a variety of issues on its menu.

There's nothing like vegetables at their freshest. The salon-type gathering will be Saturday, July 26, at the Urban-15 space, 2500 S. Presa St. from 5-9 p.m. and includes speakers and a potluck prepared by local chefs. The price is $35.

To address ways to support a healthy, sustainable and local food system for all people, in all walks of life, the discussion topics will range from connecting to the environment, our impact on the economy and include community participants in a dialogue about food and the policies that surround it.

Organizers say the target audience can be best described as: eaters.  Real eaters. These are people in San Antonio who care about equitable access to quality food and quality ingredients. This includes farmers market aficionados, green/environmental activists and supporters, buyers of organic produce, restaurateurs and caterers and educators (K-12 and college level).

Speakers include Judith Vega of San Antonio Metro Health, Angela Harsell of Green Spaces Alliance, Elizabeth Johnson, Mitch Hagney and Kerry Meath-Sinking, local chefs and professionals who work with local farmers

The potluck follows with dishes from Elizabeth Johnson, Steven McHugh, Taste Elevated, Gaucho Gourmet, Brook Summers, Restaurant Gwendolyn and more, including sustainable cocktails by The Brooklynite’s Boulvedier Group.

Tickets are in limited supply: Click on this link

 

Food Police Council of San Antonio

The Food Policy Council of San Antonio serves as a stakeholder forum to support a healthy, sustainable, and local food system for people, the environment, the economy and community; gathers and disseminates information for all who work toward that goal in the San Antonio area; and advocates for policy improvements relating to food.

TEDxSanAntonio

TEDxSanAntonio encourages and supports events intended to foster discussion and community building around ideas worth sharing in San Antonio.

 

(Sponsored by Defining Delicious and Urban 15)

 

Posted in Daily Dish, Events, Featured, News0 Comments

Wine Dinners: Bliss Sparkles, Sandy Oaks Does White Wines

Wine Dinners: Bliss Sparkles, Sandy Oaks Does White Wines

Mark Bliss

Mark Bliss

Chef Mark Bliss will present an elegant five-course dinner paired with champagne and sparkling wine from around the world on Wednesday, July 30 at Bliss, 926 S. Presa St.

Wine experts will join guests on a culinary-inspired exploration of the versatility and luxury these special wines impart. Some of the wine selections will be available for purchase as well. The cost is $165 per person, all-inclusive. For reservations, please call 210-225-2547.  To see the menu, check this link.

 

An evening of sipping and dining at Sandy Oaks Olive Orchard

One of the best ways to endure a hot, humid, Texas summer evening is to sip a cool, refreshing glass of white wine. Better yet, pair that glass of crisp, white wine with delicious food and you have ingredients for a memorable evening.

Sandy Oaks Chef Chris Cook has put together a meal pairing each course with a selection of white wines from some of the best Texas has to offer, including Pedernales, William Chris and Hye Meadow Wineries.

The event is Friday, July 25. There is a 7 p.m. reception and 7:30 p.m. dinner. Cost is $50 per person plus tax and gratuity. For reservations, call 210-621-0044. For more information on Sandy Oaks, visit them at the link here.

Sandy Oaks Olive Oil Ice creamMenu:

Reception:  Lump Crab Croquette with Grilled Strawberry Sauce and Sandy Oaks Fig Vinegar Reduction/ Pedernales Rosé 2011.  Second:  Fresh House-pulled Mozzarella and Compressed Cantaloupe, Fresh Honey and Garden Basil/William Chris, Mary Ruth 2012;  Third: Local Chicken Ballotine with House-made Pancetta and Garden Doughnut Peaches/Hye Meadow, Viognier 2012. Fourth: Crispy Skin Redfish with Apple Mint Orzo, Radish and Herbs/Pedernales, Cinco 2013; Fifth: Smoked Almond Country Bread Pudding with House Olive Oil Ice Cream and Vanilla Blackberries/Hye Meadow Trebbiano 2013.

 

Sampling the wines of Spain, at Crumpets

Crumpets, at 3920 Harry Wurzbach Road, will be celebrating some of the excellent wines of Spain at this wine dinner on Aug. 8,  beginning at 7 p.m.  The cost is $70 per person, not including tax and gratuity. Call for reservations at 210-821-5600.

On the menu:   Gazpacho, served with Ostatu Rosada; Paella de Rioja/Ostatu Blanco; Jamon Serrano/Ugarte Cosecha; Pierna de Cordero Asado (roast leg of lamb)/Tres Ojos OV Garnacha; Helado de Avellana (ice cream)/El Maestro Sierra Pedro Ximenez

 

 

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Luckenbach, Food Trucks, Wine: Who Can Resist!

Luckenbach, Food Trucks, Wine: Who Can Resist!

If ever a Hill Country location was made for food trucks, music and wine, it’s the tiny — but renowned — town of Luckenbach.

The event will be the first annual Hill Country Food Truck Festival, featuring more than a dozen food trucks, Texas Hill Country wine and a lineup of live music starting at noon and continuing until 11:30 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 2.

Hill Country Food Truck FestivalNearly a dozen Hill Country wineries will offer wines for purchase by the glass and bottle from noon until 9 p.m. Wineries include 4.0 Cellars, Messina Hof Hill Country, Kerrville Hills Winery, Fall Creek Vineyards, Texas Hills Vineyards, Singing Waters Vineyards, Becker Vineyards, Texas Legato Winery, Westcave Cellars Winery and William Chris Vineyards.

More than a dozen food trucks will also be in attendance with plenty of food truck fare for purchase. Participating food trucks include Cheesy Jane’s, Clear River Pecan Company, Come and Get It Chuckwagon, Crazy Carl’s, KHILL BBQ Company, Mr. Meximum, Red Bud Roasters, Ritts Twisted Brisket, SaWeet Cupcakes, Slider Provider and SpiceSea Gourmet.

The Americana live music schedule headlines The Greencards, performers include Milk Drive, Martin & Lewis, Paul Cauthen, Bonnie Bishop, Dan Dyer, Steve Poltz, Rosie Flores, and more.

Wine bottles and corksProceeds will benefit the Texas Center for Wine and Culinary Arts (TCWCA), a planned 30,000 square-foot facility which will be located in downtown Fredericksburg.

In addition to the TCWCA, event organizers include Luckenbach, Texas, the San Antonio Food Truck Association, the Texas Hill Country Wineries and the Fredericksburg Convention and Visitor Bureau.

Tickets for the Hill Country Food Truck Festival are $15 per person for adults and children ages 12 and under are free. Tickets are available online here.

The TCWCA is a non-profit organization dedicated to the awareness, understanding, and celebration of Texas food, wine and agriculture through educational programming and hands on experiences for wine and culinary enthusiasts, for food and hospitality professionals and for high school and college students.

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Wine Week: Central Market, Wine Tastings and More

Wine Week: Central Market, Wine Tastings and More

Wine On IceCentral Market’s Wine Week begins today (Wednesday, June 9) in all Central Market locations throughout Texas, where devotees can discover a wide range of wines, find fresh new favorites and meet winemakers who will be sharing their wine expertise and insights.

On Thursday, July 10 from 5 p.m.- 8 p.m., customers can “let the good times stroll” with an in-store adventure to discover new ways to enjoy favorite wines, sample foods that pair beautifully with the selections and chat with Central Market experts at numerous unique tasting stations.

In addition to learning more about the flavors, aromas and production techniques for a variety of wines that range from cava to cabernet, customers who purchase the $10 admission will also receive a special gift bag that includes a wine glass, corkscrew, a Central Market Wine Guide and a Central Market Wine Event Guide

For a complete schedule of winemaker events here in San Antonio, visit http://bit.ly/SAWineWeek.

This week will feature nine meet-and-greet events with winemakers, including Thomas Houseman of Anne Amie, Adam Lee of Siduri Wines, Charles Smith of Charles Smith Wines, Tony Leonardini of BNA Wine Group, Giorgio Flessati of Falernia, Rocio Gonzalez of Mollydooker Wines, Hector Durigutti of Lamadrid and representatives from Bello Wines and Bouchon Winery.

Reserve a $10 wine stroll entry online at centralmarket.com/cooking-school.

 

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Monterey, Umai-Mi Good Tastes Coming Up!

Monterey, Umai-Mi Good Tastes Coming Up!

The Monterey sign featured
New chef at The Monterey
Luis Segovia, The Monterey’s chef de cuisine, is a taco-loving, Culinary Institute of America Hyde Park grad who previously worked at San Antonio’s The Sandbar Fish House & Market and Il Sogno. Luis makes some pretty killer Beef Tongue Tacos with pickled bell peppers and cotija cheese. They’re on the menu now, along with the likes of Szechuan Queso Dip, a French Fry Po-Boy and a Smoked Sausage Corn Dog.
And because its summer in Texas, the Monty is serving three takes on mariscos: Charred Squid (jicama, mango, lime vinaigrette, green curry, crispy onions), Grilled Shrimp Aguachiles (lime, jalapeño, cucumber, avocados, red onion) and Campechana El Monty (shrimp, bay scallops, fish collar pickled onions avocado). In true El Monty fashion, this new menu is not one that stays within the lines.
The Monterey is located at 1127 S St. Mary’s St, San Antonio, TX 78210, in the King William neighborhood. The restaurant is open Tues-Thurs: 6pm-11pm, Fri and Sat: 6pm-12am, and Sun: 10am-2pm. For further information please visit www.themontereysa.com.

 

Chef Rebecca MassonChef Rebecca Masson teams up with Jason Dady at Umai Mi

Chef Rebecca Masson, acclaimed chef at Houston’s Fluff Bake Bar, will join Jason Dady at Umai Mi – Modern Asian Restaurant & Bar on July 15 at 6:30 p.m.

This is part of a guest chef series, and a chance for you to get some tastes from a Houston chef without making the drive!

This six-course meal is limited seating and you’ll want to make reservations soon at 210-496-0555. Umai Mi is at 555 W. Bitters at The Alley on Bitters.

The cost is $60 per guest, plus tax and gratuity; $30 beverage pairing available;  You can also donate $25 to Rebecca’s Charity Lucky Dog Rescue in exchange for a free high five and a fluffernutter

 

 

 

 

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Grab That Coconut — SA’s Texas Tiki Week Arrives

Grab That Coconut — SA’s Texas Tiki Week Arrives

Tiki with Bartender cropped

All Tiki Photos Courtesy David Rangel.

This week, your favorite drinking and eating establishments want to interest you in fruity, boozy cocktails that are not only delicious, but comparable to a vacation in a glass.

Or – you know – a coconut.

In San Antonio, it’s time for Texas Tiki Week, going now through Sunday, June 29. (See Schedule below.)

These days, tiki is no longer considered tacky, and with the support of the United States Bartender’s Guild, high-end versions of these delightfully potent libations are appearing in your favorite craft cocktail bars in San Antonio.

In San Antonio, popular establishments doing tiki include Hot Joy, Bohanan’s and Blue Box at the Pearl.

Most notable, though, are The Brooklynite (a proponent of Tiki Tuesdays since its inception in 2012) and El Mirador (under new ownership); both of which are participating in this year’s Texas Tiki Week.

The Brooklynite will launch its new tiki menu this week. El Mirador will hold an educational seminar with Wahaka Mezcal before an Agave Tiki hour on the newly-renovated back patio.

The Esquire owners now own El Mirador, and bar manager Houston Eaves had the following to say about his excitement for Tiki Week:

Tiki with flame cropped“We are going to be hosting our event at El Mirador, instead of The Esquire. Texas Tiki Week is a way to involve our community in a lot of fun, educational, and philanthropic events (with rum!). It exposes consumers to a really fun part of American history that may be a bit misunderstood. Tiki drinks have gone full-circle. They began with fresh, tropical fruits, and a variety of rums, then got dumbed down to bottled mixes & sub-par rums. [Now] we are embracing the fresh and quality ingredients available to us, as well as innovative culinary technique. This is a week to celebrate the kitschy, contagious fun of Tiki!”

Jeret Pena owner of The Brooklynite adds, “Our focus is to go back to the basics of tiki vs. the modern flavors, weird colors and hyped out vibe.  The goal is to focus on the classics and still make them fun!”

Schedule for Tiki Week

The Esquire Tiki Week menu will be running now through Sunday featuring drinks like:

IMPROVED DAIQUIRI:  3-island rum, overproof Jamaican rum, lime, sugar, absinthe. WAKING THE DEAD:  bonded bourbon, espresso-fernet, italian vermouth, pineapple, lemon. MAI TAI: 3-island rum, jamaican rum, demerara 151 rum, curacao, orgeat, lime.  SINGAPORE SLING: dry gin, benedictine, cherry heering, lime, mineral water. SEA OF CONFUSION: Jamaican rum, demerara 151 rum, pear brandy, chartreuse, zucca rabarbaro, passion fruit, lemon, angostura bitters.

Wednesday (6/25) Agave-Tiki @ El Mirador (new concept)

3-5 p.m. Educational Seminar with Wahaka Mezcal for Industy only

5-7  p.m. Agave-Tiki Happy Hour

Texas Tiki Week croppedThursday (6/26 – 6/29)  Tiki Late Nite @ Hot Joy starting at 11 p.m.

Late night tiki menus (food & drink)

Sunday 6/29 – Blue Box

Bacardi Blender Bowl @ The Blue Box

Starting at 1 p.m. -3 p.m.

Bohanan’s will be hosting the closing SA party on Sunday (6/29) at 4 p.m. in their courtyard. With tiki snacks and guest bartenders making tiki drinks.

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French Tradition: Bastille Day Wine Dinner at Frederick’s

French Tradition: Bastille Day Wine Dinner at Frederick’s

Every July 14, Paris celebrates Bastille Day (referred to as La Fête de la Bastille or La Fête Nationale in French). Dine in fine French style at Frederick’s, on Broadway, which is having a special wine dinner in honor of the event from Monday through Wednesday (July 14-16).

Make reservations at 210-828-9050. Cost is $95 per person plus tax and tip.

Red_wine_closeup_in_glassBastille Day Menu

First Course: Black Pepper Crab Dumpling with Lemon Grass Beurre Blanc
Domaine de Nizas Rose, Provence, France

Second Course: Steamed Lobster with Garlic, Ginger, & Basil Sauce
Redde Sancerre, Loire Valley, France

Third Course: Slow Baked Halibut with Apples, Onions, & Coconut
Louis Jadot Macon Village, Burgundy, France

Fourth Course:  Charred Beef Tenderloin with Soy, Garlic, & Coriander
Chateau Doyac, Bordeaux, France

Fifth Course: Tart of Pears, Caramelized & Raw

Robert Mondavi Mosacto D’Oro, Napa Valley, California

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