Swanky Tasting Event Returns To Westchase For Its 10th Anniversary
Wednesday, October 18 is the decade mark for the popular Zest In The West wine showcase, tasting event and food competition. It will be at Château Crystale at 2517 South Gessner from 6 to 10 p.m. and tickets are available online.
This year, there are multiple ticket levels, depending on how “VIP” you want to feel.
- Snag an entry level ticket for $65 to attend the Grand Tasting. Sample unlimited wines and small bites from 7 to 10 p.m.
- For $95, add an hour of “pre-gaming” and attend Bubbles & Brews beforehand from 6 to 7 p.m.
- VIP perks start at $125 with entry to the Grand Tasting and to a special lounge featuring exclusive bites and sips.
- Splurge for $155 per person for the Grand Tasting and also gain access to the VIP lounge and the hour-long Bubbles & Brews event.
- For a $200 ticket, get entry to all of the above plus a commemorative wine glass to take home.
Featured restaurants for the Grand Tasting include Latin Bites, Le Mistral, Rudi Lechner’s, Churrascos, Seasons 52 and Cantina Laredo. Pair small bites with wines from over two dozen vintners, including Riboli Family, Ste. Michelle, Wagner, Alexander Valley and Justin. Beers take a distinctly Texas turn, featuring Houston breweries Buffalo Bayou and Karbach; San Antonio’s Alamo Brewing and Revolver Brewing from Granbury.
There’s a judging component as well. Bites from all participating restaurants will be evaluated by chef Kris Jakob of Brasserie 1895 in Friendswood, Phaedra Cook of Houston Food Finder (that’s me), Sherri Segari, content producer for “Goodtaste with Tanji,” Renia S. Butler, founder of the Houston Food Blogger Collective and chef Michael Gabriel, who has competed on Food Network’s “Cutthroat Kitchen” and Fox’s “Hell’s Kitchen.” Last year’s “best in show” winner was Latin Bites, so that is the competitor others will be looking to dethrone.
Thanks to this video, we already have sneak peek at what Churrascos is serving—crab “fingers” prepared over smoked corn husks and finished with a white wine-butter sauce.
Guests who dress to impress might end up with awards, too. Representatives of fashion retailer Claudia G! will wander the floor during the event to find the best-dressed. If selected, those guests will have some stage time and compete for the Fashion Forward Award.
All in all, the event is three or four hours of indulgence. We recommend your fashion statement includes some comfortable shoes and an outfit with a little give to it.
Phaedra Cook has written about Houston’s restaurant and bar scene since 2010. She was a regular contributor to My Table magazine (now closed) and was the lead restaurant critic for the Houston Press for two years, eventually being promoted to food editor. Cook founded Houston Food Finder in November 2016 and has been its editor and publisher ever since.