Upcoming Katy Festival Features Over 150 Wines, Beer Garden and Restaurant Tastings — Updated
Update, 11/3/18, 1:04 p.m.: According to an email we received, this event is now sold out.
The 16th annual Katy Sip N Stroll returns to Villagio Town Center on November 3 from 6 to 9 p.m. (VIP passes grant early access at 5 p.m.). Tickets are $35 for general admission and $65 for VIP passes. Purchase tickets here. In addition to the early admission time, VIP passes include access to an exclusive area for premium wines and food. Proceeds from the event benefit Ballard House, which offers no-cost housing for patients and their families who are in Houston for treatment for life-threatening illnesses.
“Ballard House was severely damaged in Hurricane Harvey,” said Constance McDerby, founder of Food and Vine Time Productions, which produces Sip N Stroll. “And the shelter is expanding now to add 16 guest suites. The new wing should open in January. It just does my heart so good to be helping this organization.”
As the name suggests, the highlight of the event is wine. Expect more than 150 availabe for tasting representing popular producers including Alexander Valley Vineyards, Bogle, Duckhorn, Llano Estacade, Sonoma-Cutrer, Ste. Michelle and Winebow.
“It’s great sipping,” said McDerby enthusiastically. “What we really want people to understand is that wine is approachable. This is a chance to come out and learn something new. We’ll have Becker. We’ll have The Prisoner. This is the place to jump in and try new things.” She is especially excited about Casillero del Diablo, which is kicking off a U.S. Tour offering Spanish reds and whites. Those less interested in wine might be more enamored with the craft beer garden, with selections from 8th Wonder, Buffalo Bayou Brewing, Eureka Heights, Karbach, No Label Brewing, Platypus, and Sierra Nevada, along with other area top craft breweries.
The “stroll” part of the event features “restaurants galore” — more than 20 of them — serving samples from booths. This year’s lineup icludes BB’s Café, BJ’s Brewhouse,Great Harvest Bread Company, Mama Fu’s, Nirvana Indian Cuisine, Nothing Bundt Cakes, Peli Peli, The Cheese Bar, Whiskey Cake and more.
Upon arrival, guests receive a wine glass and plate. From there, they meander the grounds stopping at the restaurant and wine booths that interest them for bites and sips. The event means guests have a literal world of wine and food options, with flavors from the Americas, Africa, Asia and Europe. There’s also a small marketplace featuring retailers such as LuLa Roe, Cutco and the Texas Hill Country Olive Company. Live music plays throughout the evening and guests can bid on items in the event’s silent auction.
“The Katy dining scene has just exploded,” said McDerby. “And we love that Sip N Stroll is a place where people can check out those new restaurants or revisit favorites to see what they’re doing that might be different. It’s also just a great mix of high-end and more casual spots.”
That something for everybody vibe is what McDerby said she’s wanted for the event from the beginning. “This is a terrific date night, or a girls night out,” she said. “What I really love, though, is how the Katy community comes out to support this. It’s really a party with a purpose.”
About the author: Holly Beretto writes about food, wine, the arts and interesting people for a variety of local publications, including Downtown magazine and Houstonia. Her work has appeared in Arts + Culture Texas, Santa Clara magazine, Maui No Ka Oi, PRIME Living and the Arizona State University and St. Paul’s School alumni magazines. She is the editor of Pierce, the magazine of Franklin Pierce University and the author of Christ as the Cornerstone: Fifty Years of Worship at St. Michael the Archangel Catholic Church, published by Bright Sky Press. Originally from Rhode Island, she lives in Houston with her husband Mark Love.