Hill Country Wine and Music Festival – April 26-28, 2012 APR 06 2012
Whatever else you have planned for these dates, put it on hold. You will thank yourself many times over after experiencing three fabulous events filled with the best of Texas Hill Country wine, music, food, wildflowers, and hospitality. This year the festival planners have pulled out all the stops to provide a program that is truly a one-of-a-kind Bacchanalian event.
Begin your three-day celebration with the Texas Vintner’s Dinner and Reception at Ross Burtwell’s acclaimed Cabernet Grill Texas Hill Country Restaurant in Fredericksburg on Thursday, April 26th. The reception begins at 6:00 pm on the beautifully landscaped patio with live music by Shelly King, and the perfect Hill Country munchies paired with wines from Pedernales Cellars and Sandstone Cellars.
Beginning at 6:30 you will be treated to a five-course feast for the senses, paired with wines from some of the Hill Country’s top winemakers. Ross’s vintner dinners are always singularly spectacular, with camaraderie abounding as you have the opportunity to talk to fellow diners about the food, wine, and especially the pairings. But this menu may be one of his best yet, created using local and Texas-produced foods. Makes me salivate to even read the menu. Here’s a run-down of the menu to activate your taste buds: First Course – Mesquite Grilled Galveston Bay Oysters with Spicy Chiletepins Spinach Butter, paired with Becker Vineyards Pinot Grigio; Salad – Black Eyed Peas & Hairston Creek Farms Arugula Salad with Crispy Crawfish Tails, accompanied by Messina Hof Sophia Marie Rosé; Poultry Course – Lockhart Quail Stuffed with House-Made Fennel & Roasted Fig Sausage, served with Wild Mushroom Ragout, and paired with Texas Hills Vineyard Sangiovese; Beef Course – “Spinalis” Ribeye Cap with Savory Blackberry Jus and Horseradish-Parsnip Mash, complemented by Grape Creek Petit Sirah; and the crowning glory is a Dark Chocolate-Sundried Strawberry Bread Pudding with Salted Caramel Ice Cream paired with Torre di Pietra Winery’s heaven-in-a-glass Tango Port. Be still my heart!
On Friday evening, April 27th, mosey over to one of Fredericksburg’s hidden treasures, The Ruff Haus, for the Texas Wine and Food Pairing Evening. The event begins at 6:00 pm. Festival planners designed this event especially with the Texas food and wine lover in mind. Your hosts for the evening will be myself, Terry Thompson-Anderson, Chef, Cookbook Author and Wine Writer, and acclaimed wine writer and author, Dr. Russell Kane. We will provide a dazzling evening of seven tapas-style dishes which I developed. Russ and I, along with Russ’s wife, Delia, tweaked the dishes and paired them with seven truly memorable Hill Country wines. The dishes span the Texas gamut of bold and adventurous flavors from seafood to chocolate. We believe the pairings exhibit the wide range of unique wine styles being produced in Texas that pair so well with our distinctive Texas cuisine.
Each dish will be served as a separate course with its selected wine. Russ and I will have microphones in hand to explain our thoughts behind the pairings as you taste, sip, and enjoy the beautiful grounds of the Ruff Haus. A special treat will be provided by singer/songwriter John Arthur Martinez, who will pair music with the ethnic origins of the various dishes. Russ, also an accomplished music aficionado, orchestrated this excellent lagniappe (a little something extra in Cajun patois). The evening will culminate with chocolate and Muscat Canelli, the perfect ending to a wonderful night in the Texas Hill Country. As you enjoy your last dish, Russ and I will be signing our respective books, The Wineslinger Chronicles – Texas on the Vine, and The Texas Hill Country – A Food & Wine Lover’s Paradise, both of which are included in your ticket price.
As is often said, “But wait – there’s more.” On Saturday, April 28th, from 11:00 am to 7:00 pm, treat yourself to a day of wine, music, and food among the flowers. The main event, held at Fredericksburg’s renowned Wildseed Farms, will include non-stop music provided by some of the best musicians in the Hill Country – Trevor Labonte Jazz, John Arthur Martinez, Joel Guzman, The Almost Patsy Cline Band, and Thomas Michael Riley. Dancing is encouraged! Sample wines from 10 wineries and taste a plethora of good things to eat available from participating restaurants and specialty food purveyors. You can purchase wine by the glass or bottle, and there will also be a broad selection of domestic and imported beer available in the Wildseed Farm’s BrewBonnet Biergarten. Your ticket will include seven wine tastings and a souvenir glass. Truly a very special way to spend a day in the Texas Hill Country.
The best part of this spectacular festival is that all of the profits will go to the benefit of the Texas Center for Wine and Culinary Arts to be constructed in Fredericksburg. This center, which will be a food and wine lovers’ haven, will be located in the heart of Fredericksburg. The center will have a tasting room featuring all the wines produced in Texas, two classrooms which will host classes on wine education, food and wine pairing, cooking, both on an avocational level, and a more advanced level in the hands-on classroom, which will be equipped with six cooking stations, each accommodating six students. There will also be a tapas-style bistro with a menu that will change weekly, with recommended Texas wine pairings. Folks around the state are anxiously awaiting the center’s opening. To purchase your tickets, and help to make the center a reality, visit the festival’s website www.hillcountrywineandmusic.com. Remember that the Thursday and Friday evening events have limited seating, so act quickly so that you don’t miss out on either of these delectable events.
Chef, Cookbook Author and Wine Writer