Monday, April 13, 2009

Ticket Giveaway! Texas Hill Country Wine and Food Festival

Alright, can we all just sit here and fantasize about our dream jobs for a second? Because I have two. One is a little embarrassing, the other is perhaps attainable: when I grow up, I would like to either be the host of "The Biggest Loser," or work at Whole Foods. What are yours?

Have you all ever watched "The Biggest Loser?" It's funny, because I'm not really a die-hard fan - I just cry tears of joy a little bit when I happen to catch a segment. It's so inspiring. One time, the contestants - who at that point in the season had all lost a significant amount of weight - got to have outfits selected by Tim Gunn, and then did a catwalk fashion show in front of a bunch of people, including their cheering family members. As a still-pleasantly-plump Ali Vincent sashayed down the runway in her kicky little DKNY number, I sat there on the couch, alternating between sobs and tear-filled "you GO girl!" affirmations, double fist-pumping and everything.

That, Reader, is when I decided I wanted Alison Sweeney's job, as host of "The Biggest Loser." (Which, as a reformed "Days of Our Lives" viewer, are words I truly thought I would never utter).

Then of course, there's always Whole Foods. And really, who wouldn't want to work there? I used to call it "church," because I had this little routine on Sunday mornings where I worked out, then immediately drove to Whole Foods and ate back every single calorie. Guys, I go to town on that damn salad bar (/Indian-Mexican-and-breakfast-food bar). After I've created a proper mound of quinoa and marinated mushrooms and pineapple slices and curried chicken and roasted soynuts and whole wheat penne and whatever ELSE, I carry it to that little front patio and people-watch forever. It is heaven.

I bet you're wondering how this all relates to the Texas Hill Country Wine and Food Festival.

Well, for one, it's sponsored by Whole Foods. And like Whole Foods, it's also kind of sacred. It's been going on for 24 years now, and the events, musicians, and cooking demos they line up there are just insane. Especially this year. It's at the Salt Lick Vineyards, and there will be 50+ wineries providing tasting events for four days straight (some are already sold out), all leading up to the Sunday Fair....a smorgasbord of food, wine, and music. It's kind of like socially-sanctioned, really classy overindulgence.

Whole Foods' Culinary Center Chef Allison Heaton will be providing cooking demos under one of four monster tents at the Sunday Fair (maybe she will prepare that blackened mac-and-cheese they sometimes have - ironically enough - at the salad bar?), along with local cookerati Damian Mandola (Mandola’s Italian Market, Mandola Estate Winery and Trattoria Lisina), Scott Roberts (The Salt Lick), as well as other Texas chefs. And, should you eat too much food and drink too much wine during the Sunday Fair, never fret - live music beckons between noon and 5pm, and you can dance it off. (Or just sway a little bit, which science has recently shown to be as effective as sprint intervals.)

She-of-the-enviable-arm-tattoos Patrice Pike will be playing at the Sunday Fair, as will Dan Dyer, Drew Smith and Adam Ahrens. Patrice will even join in one of the cooking demos, that multi-talented gal!

For tickets - which are going fast - just head here, or, OR....!!

I have 4 tickets to give away to the Sunday Fair!

Just leave a comment below, telling us what your favorite wine is. (It can even be Franzia. Whatever. We won't judge. ) I'll pick four winners on Thursday, and announce them Thursday morning. (TIP: The way I select winners for this type of thing is literally by pulling up the comments section, closing my eyes, and touching my finger to the computer screen, so longer comments tend to have a better shot of winning. Just don't go crazy and write us a thesis on vino).

GOOD LUCK!

29 comments:

j.s. said...

I am more of a lush than an expert, but I love Argentina's varietals like Bodega Catena Zapata Cabernet Sauvignon!

Ted said...

Chianti. Sorry, I know that some esoteric variety, but it's what I like.

Naomi said...

Beringer white Zin! All the way! No, really, I like viogniers and malbecs.

Carlos said...

While I have a pallet for all white wine, especially when it's chilled, my favorite is definitely chardonnay. I like my chardonnay light and just a little sweet with lots of fruit flavors. I'm not wine connoisseur, for table wine, Big Foot does me just fine. I like to pair with with chicken especially and often cheddar and strawberries. Kendell Jackson is also a favorite. I hope to make it out to the festival in order to be introduced to some new fabulous wines!

Gabe said...

Grove Ridge Chardonnay

tali said...

My quick pick is always Smoking Loon - anything Smoking Loon. Although as of late, I've discovered the Bota Box and Target's boxed wines which are all very tasty as well!

Alexandra Richmond said...

At Wheatsville or Sun Harvest, I like the French table white, Rene Junot!
At HEB, I get Frey organic red!
And when at Whole Foods, I try to buy TEXAN wines (hiyoo), like the McPherson Voigner 2007, and the Texas Hills Orange Moscato 2005.

P.S., all of these wines are under $20 - the first two I mentioned under $10!

KWay said...

Target boxed wines are actually sort of awesome for their price point (particularly the white sangria). And they also have a really tasty Riesling called Polka Dot. It comes in a cute blue bottle. For only about $10!

Lindsay said...

For a year I lived next door to Central Market and would walk there more often than not after work for a bottle of my favorite rose from New Age. Only 8.99, so it was really tasty and affordable! After that I graduated to another rose, this one Spanish, called Mas de Bazan, a little pricier, but soooo good :)

Cory Ryan said...

Santana (one of "Steve's Picks" at HEB Hancock) tempranillo got me a make-out party, so it's my favorite for now. :)

Caroline said...

To echo Lindsay - I love New Age. It may not be the fanciest or most expensive wine, but it's tasty, affordable and linked to some good memories!

Brittney said...

Chateau St. Michelle resiling is the best! I'm a sweet wine kind of gal, and this Washington-made beauty really hits the spot.

I'm also a fan of Conundrum, a yummy mixed white - it's more expensive than the CSM (about $24/bottle vs. $7 bottle), but still quite affordable. I won't pretend to be a wine snob - I go for the cheap.

As a general rule, if I'm trying something new, I gravitate toward German reislings - the sweetest of the sweet!

Meg said...

I got Clos du Bois Pinot Noir as a college graduation gift a few years ago...but its really a gift to myself anytime I buy it. :)

Christine said...

My favorite wine is Pascual Toso Malbec. After my boyfriend studied abroad in Argentina he seemed to want to drink nothing else besides Argentine Malbecs, but their tannins are usually too strong for me. Pascual Toso has a great Malbec flavor without being too overpowering, so we are both happy!

Jack said...

For years I only drank red wine, but I am beginning to branch out and drink white as well. My current favs are Robert Mondavi's Cab (for red) and his Pinot Grigio (for white). Both under 12 bucks!

Jenn Cvengros said...

I have two, Silver Oak Cabernet and Chateaul Montelena Cabernet. Love them. Don't get to drink them as often as I like, but when I do, it's a treat. My work has 2 wine cellars in the basement w/ a bottle of Brunelo that I'm dying to try....one day!

andrew said...

Hmmm does Sake count? I've very much preferred that to wine as of late.

I've been amazed by several Junmai Ginjo sakes (cold) that are nothing like the hot house sakes I've had in the past.

Michael said...

Always down for some Pinot Nero. I wouldn't call it my definite favorite but it is my favorite at the time. Would like to learn more about wines and have been talking it up with friends trying to learn more. Also, I like to try many wines when we go out to dinner or just drinks

lazysmurf said...

My favorite vineyard is Snoqualmie and I often get their wines because I used to live up near there and I was in love with Snoqualmie Falls, it is where Twin Peaks was filmed! So I guess it is a silly reason to have a favorite, but when I see them I usually buy them because I love the place.

Victor Trac said...

I'm more of a beer drinker, but I enjoy a nice pinot noire every once and a while.

Gretchen said...

I have 2 faves that I never get to drink. Special occasion wines, y'know?
Plumpjack Cab and Faust Cab.

yamellow@yahoo.com said...

vin santo!

Laura said...

I enjoy both reds and crisp dry whites, but I'm a sucker for champagne and prosecco on any occasion. Give me a class of Veuve Cliquot please!

lexyut@hotmail.com said...

My favorite is the Italian Gianni Gagliardo's Falleggo (in the bottle with no label and the red wax stamp.) It's awesome and perfect for summer time.
I love the Food & Wine fest! My parents come in town every year and we make a day of the Sunday fair!

jay C said...

Becker Vineyards Iconoclast, which is a cab.

courtney said...

mmmm, i am a fan of the viognier from mandola's lately...also love most any sparkling red. fonda san miquel used to have a yummy sparkling malbec :)

savannah said...

I love merlots and cabernets...just about all reds. My favorite glass ever was a red port I had at a winery in fredeicksburg. I can't remember the name. I do however remember the name of the only white wine I've ever liked: Dirty Girl from torre de pietra.

Gwendolyn said...

At Water 2 Wine its a toss up between Washington Cabernet & Rosso Fortissimo. If I purchase wine anywhere else it tends to be Liberty School Merlot.

Chris said...

My favorite wine is Liberty School cabernet. I have had many (MANY) types of reds and whites over the years, but I always come back to this delicious cabernet. It's actually less expensive now than it was five years ago which, to me, makes it all the more delicious.