Texas Wines and Foods Shine at San Antonio's "Set a Course for Texas Wines"

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First-time event benefited The Wine & Food Foundation of Texas.

Chefs, sommeliers, wine retailers, wine distributors and consumers gathered on Monday, March 3 at the St. Anthony Hotel in San Antonio for an inaugural event showcasing the wide array of award-winning wines and artisan foods produced in Texas, kicking off a new program to encourage restaurants and retailers to offer local foods and Texas wines to their customers.

"The growing number of Texas wineries producing award-winning wines combined with the 'eat local' food movement provides a tremendous opportunity for the GO TEXAN program to create more value and benefits to both consumers and producers," says Gene Richards, the Texas Department of Agriculture's assistant commissioner for marketing and promotion. "Our goal is to make it easy for local restaurants and retailers to procure Texas-produced foods and wines, and with the GO TEXAN Restaurant program, make it easy for consumers to find establishments that offer these Texas products."

The San Antonio event, called "Set a Course for Texas Wines," was sponsored by the Texas Department of Agriculture's GO TEXAN wine marketing program (http://www.gotexanwine.org) and GO TEXAN Restaurant program (http://www.gotexan.org). The next "Set a Course for Texas Wines" event is Monday, March 31 in Dallas at The Contemporary. For more details on this event and more, visit http://www.winefoodfoundation.org.

Proceeds from the event benefited The Wine & Food Foundation of Texas, which educates and recognizes culinary and viticulture accomplishments throughout the state.

"The strong turnout at this inaugural event proves that Texans want to eat, sip and learn about Texas wine and food," says Rebecca Robinson, executive director of The Wine & Food Foundation of Texas. "The event was a great way to showcase Texas wines, locally made products like cheeses and chocolates, and beautifully prepared dishes made with Texas-proud commodities including beef, pork and shrimp."

Participants sampled wine from the state's finest wineries including: Alamosa Wine Cellars, Becker Vineyards, Fall Creek Vineyards, Flat Creek Estate, Grape Creek Vineyards, Haak Vineyards & Winery, Inwood Estates Vineyards, Landon Winery, Llano Estacado Winery, Mandola Estate Winery, Maydelle Country Wines, McPherson Cellars, Messina Hof Winery & Resort, Pheasant Ridge Winery, Pleasant Hill Winery, Sabor Azul, Stone House Vineyard, Texas Hills Vineyard, Torre di Pietra, Val Verde Winery and Water 2 Wine.

Specialty dishes were prepared by chef and author Diana Barrios Trevino of La Hacienda de Los Barrios and Chef Cesar Gallegos of the St. Anthony Hotel. Trevino created Churrasco Steak with Chimichurri Sauce on a Toasted Crostini for the Texas Beef Council while Gallegos prepared Horseradish Tomato Shrimp Cocktail Shooters for Texas Shrimp and Herb Encrusted Pork Loin with Creole Mustard for the Texas Pork Producers Association. Additionally, both chefs suggested a number of Texas wine pairings for their respective dishes.

For more information about the Texas Department of Agriculture's GO TEXAN wine marketing program, please visit http://www.gotexanwine.org, and to learn more about GO TEXAN products, visit http://www.gotexan.org.

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Jenny Gregorcyk

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