Recent Fun, Food, and Libations in Austin-Texas Tuesday

As media, I get invited to some pretty fantastic events around Austin. I don’t receive compensation other than the yummy food and drink. Here are a few I recently attended:

Last Thursday, The Wine and Food Foundation held Toast of Texas, an event honoring the wines featured in Jessica Dupuy’s list of the best wines of 2018 for Texas Monthly. The evening included delicious barbeque by Leroy and Lewis and music by Warm Sugar.
toast of texas 2.png

Let’s start with the ‘que. I rarely eat BBQ. Usually only when people come to visit and I don’t think about it until I have to come up with ideas for guests. I haven’t STOPPED thinking about this BBQ. The brisket was perfect. The sides were balanced, unique, and delicious. The compliment of the kimchi, homemade pickles and beet BBQ sauce were spot on. They are a food truck on Pickle Road in South Austin and also cater events. Using classic and alternative cuts of meat with local and seasonal produce is working for them. Highly recommended.

Of the twenty-six wineries pouring, I found some perennial favorites, many familiar faces, and some I’d not yet had the opportunity to try. The room buzzed with happy reunions and discoveries. After a chance to sample, the Top Texas Wine was announced. Honors went to 2015 Fall Creek Vineyards Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre (GSM), Salt Lick Vineyards. Attendees had the opportunity to vote for their favorite. The wine receiving the most votes was for a rosé from Rancho Loma Vineyards in Coleman, Texas.

There were too many favorites for me to narrow it down to one vote but, on the extremely hot evening, I was really enjoying the Picpoul Blanc from Lost Draw Cellars and McPherson Cellars and getting a chance to taste the wines from Southold Farm + Cellar. Some other surprises showing the range of wines in Texas included an unfiltered Malvasia Bianca from Crowson, Touriga Nacionale from Haak Vineyards, and a single vineyard Dolcetto from Pedernales Cellars. The diversity and quality of the wines being poured show the depth and breadth and growth of the Texas Wine industry.

(I think my camera had heat-exhaustion. Excuse the poor quality of the photos.)

Many thanks to the WFFT for inviting me and for supporting Texas wines.

You’ve likely eaten at Wu Chow and celebrated when Swift’s Attic reopened their doors. From the same restaurant group comes Rosedale Kitchen and Bar, an entirely different undertaking.

Treaty Oak Distillery is also jumping into a different venture: wine. With the help of the winemaker from Kuhlman Cellars, the are launching their first bottling of wines from Texas. They have plans to expand to different tiers and terroir as well as provide opportunities for education. We sampled a Rhone style white blend, a red blend, and a Cinsault Rosé.

Treaty Oak and Rosedale Kitchen and Bar combined efforts to provide appetizers and a three-course meal (menu in photos), ending with Ghost Hill Texas Bourbon Whiskey, cooled with liquid nitrogen.

Rosedale Kitchen and Bar is being marketed as “a neighborhood kitchen with craveable fare.” Think mom’s home-cooking, elevated. Look for the restaurant to open at Lamar and 38th sometime in July.

Many thanks to Elizabeth and the people of Rosedale Kitchen and Bar for the invitation.

In April, I attended the Austin Food and Wine Festival courtesy of Bota Box. I have several people ask me if there are any box wines that are good. Bota Box is where I send them. It is a great option for parties, the occasional glass on Tuesday, or a consistent affordable go-to. My favorite was the Sauvignon Blanc. A great summer wine.

It was stifling that day, muggy and heavy, which meant that I had to be choosey in my sampling. If I’d had it previously, I skipped the booth. One local spirits producer was a fun surprise.

Frankly Organic Vodka is made locally with 100% organic ingredients. No refined sugars, gluten, GMOs, synthetic pesticides or artificial colors. Real ingredients make really tasty flavored vodkas. Currently, they make  original. strawberry, pomegranate (both with lemon), apple (with ginger root),  and grapefruit (with cinnamon). They are so fresh tasting and delicious. The only mixer needed is seltzer.

Their website is beautiful with more information about the business and charitable donations supporting animal welfare. Check out the locator option to find them near you for retail or restaurant purchase.

Many thanks to Bota Box for the invitation to attend and Nora for being such a welcoming host!

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Being a stay- at-home mom can leave one thirsting for a taste of the outside world, a world in which sentences are composed of more than three words. Being an educator means one is always seeking an opportunity to explore and learn. Being a woman with a need to connect can be a challenge when adult conversations are rare. In wine, I find the marriage of art and science, agriculture and storytelling provides limitless areas to explore. But it is the people that keep me engaged. The tenacity needed to keep the family dream alive, the risk to start anew, the trials and principles. I love the history of the vine, the impact of a season, the sentiment in the bottle. That is why I write. I write to tell their stories, to share a piece of mine. I write to learn as I teach others. I write to connect with new friends, to disconnect from the world. I write to celebrate what makes each of us unique, and that which ties us together.

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