The 11th Annual Wine & Food week was held June 1-7 in the Woodlands, Texas. Thousands of people enjoyed a variety of events that included a wine walk, fancy dinners, grand tastings, art exhibits, and event beer & tacos. This year I attended the Ladies of the Vine Luncheon, as well as the Grand Tasting.
The Ladies of the Vine luncheon was held at the beautiful Club at Carlton Woods Jack Nicklaus Golf Course. Our host for the afternoon was the fabulous Charlotte Neuville (The Fashion Chef and Wizard Gourmet owner). The panelists included some of the best women winemakers in the business - Sara Floyd (Master Somm. - Luli Wines), Cindy Sebek (Founder/Owner - The Gracious Gift Wines), Lisa Mattson (Director of Marketing - Jordan Winery), and Katie Wetzel Murphy (Owner and Brand Ambassador - Alexander Valley Vineyards).
The Wine Rendezvous Grand Tasting and Chef Showcase was held at the Woodlands Waterway Marriott. More 2,500 wine and food lovers participated in the final event, which included hundreds of wines and over 60 restaurants. Kris Jacob, executive chef of Culinary Institute Le Nôtre, won top honors and the coveted Waterford Crystal Chef of Chefs trophy along with $5,000 for his Foie Gras Crème Brûlée with ginger snap cookies. First runner-up was Corner Table executive chef Ja'Nel Will with a Summer Yellow Gazpacho, and second runner-up went to Robard's chef John Brazie with a Candied Bacon French Toast topped with pickled cherries, bourbon syrup, and blue cheese ice cream.
It was hard not to be in sensory overload with so many wonderful wines and delectable bites. My favorite dishes of the night were the Blue Cheese Stuffed Lamb Chops from Bob's Chop House, the Smoked Duck Confit from Jasper's, and the Crawfish and Pork Boudain from Oxlot 9. One of the most unique wines I discovered was The Gracious Gift. Every bottle sold helps feed 3 families in your community. The Gracious Gift Wines are available at most HEB stores.
About the Author
I like eating, traveling, and enjoying liquid libations. I'm all about great wines, signature cocktails, and local brews.