Week-Long Wine & Food Celebration in The Woodlands Starts On June 3
The biggest celebration of food and drink in The Woodlands is just around the corner. Wine & Food Week kicks off on June 3 and runs through June 8. Food & Vine Time Productions, the same company behind other local tasting events such as Zest in the West and the Brewmasters Craft Beer Festival in Galveston, organizes Wine & Food Week every year. As always, the extensive series provides plenty of opportunities to taste food and drink from restaurants in The Woodlands (as well as across the greater Houston area), attend seminars by experts and try wines from all over the world.
This marks Wine & Food Week’s 15th year and there are some special features to celebrate that fact. Tickets for all of festivities and the full calendar are available online. There’s a lot going on, so to make it easy, the events below are organized by interest.
For Taco & Beer Lovers
June 7, 6 to 9 p.m.: Sips, Suds & Tacos at The Woodlands Waterway Marriott Hotel & Convention Center, 1601 Lake Robbins
Beer and tacos are a match made in foodie heaven and Sips, Suds & Tacos celebrates that fact. However, wine fans shouldn’t stay away, as there will be plenty of that on hand, too. Who’s to say which goes better with a beefy taco: porter or Tempranillo? This is the ideal event for finding out. Margaritas also classic drinks to pair with tacos, so Chamuco’s Tequila Forum is hosting a seminar about the differences among blanco, reposado, and anejo. Then, dance off the calories to live country music and 70s rock by The Robert Hartye Band. Tickets are available online for only $30 plus a $3.07 online ticketing fee.
For Those Who Like to Live Life to the Fullest
June 4, 7 to 10 p.m.: “It’s a Guy Thing” at The Woodlands Country Club The Palmer Course, 100 Grand Fairway
Master Sommelier Guy Stout, corporate director of beverage education at Glazer’s, has participated in Wine & Food Week since it began. Designed as a perfect night for dudes, his showcase event, “It’s a Guy Thing” features “big, bold wines,” craft beer, restaurant tastings, cigars, shoe shines, live music, poker and door prizes. Despite the name and theme, anyone who enjoys these activities is welcome to attend. Tickets are available online for only $30 plus a $3.18 online ticketing fee.
June 6, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.: H-E-B Wine Walk at Market Street, 9595 Six Pines
Imagine 34 acres and 16 tents’ worth of wine, food tastings, beer, live music and dancing. That’s pretty much the H-E-B Wine Walk in a nutshell. The 2019 theme is “A Family Reunion” and the event features chefs, vendors and even volunteers that have supported Wine & Food Week for the past 15 years. There are new things to discover too, though. The Aruba Tourism Culinary Center features Caribbean food from two top chefs while chef Omar Pereney of A La Carte foodservice consulting group (formerly of Peska Seafood Culture) is going to show what he can make with a Big Green Egg smoker provided by Alspaugh’s Ace Hardware.
Every attendee gets a keepsake wine glass. General admission tickets are $40 plus a $3.30 online ticketing fee. Upgrade to VIP for $75 and get in an hour early, access to over 30 VIP-only wine selections and a premium wine glass. Designated drivers save substantially on both classes of tickets.
June 8, 7 to 10 p.m.: The Wine Rendezvous Grand Tasting & Chef Showcase, The Woodlands Waterway Marriott Hotel & Convention Center, 1601 Lake Robbins
The always-popular, end-cap event of Wine & Food Week is one of the biggest tasting opportunities, not just in The Woodlands but in the Greater Houston area. Arrive by 6:45 p.m. to participate in the “Grand Entry,” a toast when the doors open. With it being the 15th anniversary of Wine & Food Week, the theme is reuniting chefs and other notable guests who’ve participated year after year. The “Wizard Reunion” include Tim Hanni, founder of myVinotype; former White House chef John Moeller, who claims the longest tenure of all chefs who have served there; master sommelier Guy Stout; two-time Super Bowl Champion Jarvis Green, Wine & Food Week Chef of Chefs Hall of Fame Inductee 2013 Michael Cordúa and 2014 inductee Carmelo Mauro.
Let’s face it, though: the biggest reason why this is such a well-attended event year after year is because there is lots of fine food to try and just as much wine and beer to go alongside. Over 50 restaurants are competing in the Chef of Chefs competition that’s being judged by a host of local celebrities and media personalities (including this writer) and all attendees get to try bites of the same dishes the judges are having. Goya Foods is presenting the winning chef with $5,000 and a Waterford Crystal trophy.
As if any other reason was needed to attend, part of the proceeds from the Wine Rendezvous benefits New Danville, a master community for adults with intellectual disabilities. (The Charity section of the Wine & Food Week website lists additional charities that also benefit from various activities during the event series.)
Tickets for general admission, as well as reduced-price passes for designated drivers, are available online. Regular tickets are $125 each plus a $6.35 online ticketing fee while the designated driver pass is $75 plus $5.16.
For Those With a Serious Thirst for Wine
June 5, 5:30 p.m.: Dirt-y Talk with Oregon Wine Person of the Year at The Woodlands Waterway Marriott Hotel & Convention Center, 1601 Lake Robbins
Oregon is host to highly regarded wine regions, including the famous Willamette Valley. That’s where Montinore Estates is, which produces Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris. Rudy Marchesi, the winery’s president and chief viticulturist, is leading a seminar on the winery’s biodynamic methodology and how to work with the land to produce the best grapes possible. Will there be wine to taste? You better believe it. Tickets are available online for $45 plus a $3.42 online ticketing fee.
June 7, 5 p.m.: Truth Talk with Michael David Winery at The Woodlands Waterway Marriott Hotel & Convention Center, 1601 Lake Robbins
With wine names such as Rapture, Lust, Rage, Freakshow and Gluttony, it’s fair to say that Michael David Winery’s owners are refreshingly irreverent about an industry that’s often a little too precious. John Michael Phillips, his son Kevin and winemaker Adam Mettler promise an entertaining night of “truth talk” about their wines from Lodi. What does “Lust” taste like? This is the time to find out. Tickets are available online for $45 with a $3.42 online ticketing fee.
June 7, noon to 3 p.m.: Ladies of the Vine Tasting, Panel & Luncheon at The Club at Carlton Woods Main Club House, 1 Carlton Woods Drive, Spring
Winemaking is a male-dominated industry but there are many established and up-and-coming women winemakers and winery owners closing the gap. According to the organizers, the Ladies of the Vine tasting always sells out, so those interested should get tickets ASAP. It starts with a reception with sips of selections by each panelist before the multicourse luncheon gets started in the elegant, Italian-style dining room. Expect some lux door prizes. (Hint: this panel is sponsored by Celebrity Cruises.)
June 8, 4:30 to 10 p.m.: Platinum Wine Vault Collectors Tasting at The Woodlands Waterway Marriott Hotel & Convention Center, Montgomery Ballroom, 1601 Lake Robbins
Hosted just before the big finale event, the Wine Rendezvous Grand Tasting, the Platinum tasting includes not only access to that big event, but also to a lounge featuring expensive and rare wines to taste. The list of wines being poured is updated up to the event date but several are already listed online.
This is the ideal package for serious wine lovers and collectors. Fancy juice is being poured that guests may not be able to find or try again by knowledgable experts. Attendees each receive a collectible upscale wine glass, access to the VIP Luxury Lounge at the Grand Tasting starting at 7 p.m. and unlimited tastings. Note that the Platinum wine room closes at 6:30 p.m. so that guests can attend the pre-opening ceremony at 6:45 p.m. featuring master sommelier Guy Stout and then join the fun of the Grand Tasting. Use your two hours in the Platinum tasting room wisely! Tickets are available online for $250 per person with a $9.33 online ticketing fee.
Those who are members of the Woodlands Country Club or residents of Bentwater, Carlton Woods, Grogan’s Point, Bender’s Landing or Eastshore can also check out this private event with Dr. Madaiah Revana, founder of Revana Family Vineyards. Revana is a local cardiologist and his wines are popular in the Greater Houston area.
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.