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A Delectable Extravaganza: 12th Annual Sugar Land Wine & Food Affair


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Delight Your Tastebuds At The 12th Annual Sugar Land
Wine & Food Affair, April 8-12

By Judy Latta

Treat your taste buds this month at the 12th annual Sugar Land Wine & Food Affair, the largest, most anticipated food and drink festival in the area. Venture out to various locales in the heart of Sugar Land April 8- 12 for this popular event, where more than 75 local, national and international chefs share secrets as they prepare their signature dishes, sommeliers pour more than 2,600 bottles of wine, and attendees indulge in fantastic fare, sensational spirits, flavorful brews, and fine wines.

This adults-only (age 21 and over) culinary festival will include five days of fabulous, fun-filled events, including an elegant VIP kickoff dinner, bistro brunch, food and drink tastings, auction, and a lively sip and stroll social. In addition, it will offer foodies, wine and spirits enthusiasts, and others the opportunity to mingle with and learn from top chefs, vintners, brew masters, distillers, and other food and drink aficionados.

A Boon For the Area

Last year’s Affair attracted more than 10,000 wine and food lovers from across the country. “The Sugar Land Wine & Food Affair has had such a positive impact on the City of Sugar Land since its inception in 2003,” says Keri Schmidt, president of the Fort Bend Chamber of Commerce and director of the Sugar Land Wine & Food Affair. “The event continues to rise in prestige, attracting renowned chefs from Texas and around the country. It’s become a ‘must-do’ in the culinary world – allowing chefs and attendees to see what this city has to offer.” Holly Beretto of Bayou City Magazine says, “The Sugar Land Wine & Food Affair “is easily one of the hottest events on the region’s social calendar.”

Event Lineup

Eric Sandler of Culture Map says the Sugar Land Wine & Food Affair, has “a something-for-everybody approach designed to appeal to hardcore food enthusiasts and those who just want to try something new.” Here is a preview of the event lineup for this delectable extravaganza. These events will take place rain or shine.

La Dolce Vita

Wednesday, April 8 6:30-9:30 p.m.

The festival kicks off with a chic and elegant VIP dinner with international flair at the Sugar Land Marriott Town Square. Hosted by world-renowned industry veteran Luciano Castiello, national ambassador for Cru Artisan Wines, “La Dolce Vita” will deliver traditional Italian cuisine, including a five-course luxury dinner and Banfi wines.

New Amsterdam Vodka on the Rocks Bartenders Challenge,

Thursday, April 9 6:30-9 p.m.

Attendees at this event will sample vodka concoctions as five of Houston’s most skilled mixologists compete to create the best cocktail using specially crafted New Amsterdam Vodka. The winning recipe will be named the festival’s official cocktail, and will be served at the Grand Tasting, Sip & Stroll and Bistro Brunch.

World Whiskey Tour

Friday, April 10 5:30-6:30 p.m.

Attendees will sample various whiskeys from the United States, Canada, Ireland, Scotland, and Japan, and they will learn how region and history affect the flavor profile and unique qualities of different whiskey brands. Some of the hottest whiskeys on the market will be available for sampling, such as Canadian Club, Maker’s 46, and Knob Creek Rye, as well as some less familiar whiskeys, such as Yamazaki from Japan and Laphroaig from Scotland.

Hidden Gems

Friday, April 10 5:30-6:30 p.m.

In this seminar, wine and spirits expert Jessica Sanders will present the hottest trends in the wine industry for 2015. Jessica is an award-winning bartender, bar and restaurant owner and certified sommelier based in Austin. She and her husband Michael co-own and operate drink.well., a craft cocktail bar and gastropub in Austin’s vibrant North Loop district. She has competed in, won and judged numerous cocktail competitions. This seminar will enlighten wine novices and connoisseurs alike about “hidden gems” in the wine market.

The Grand Tasting,

Friday, April 10 7-9:30 p.m.

The elegant ballroom of the Sugar Land Marriott will host some of the country’s foremost culinary experts as they share their delicious original creations served with fine wines and spirits. One of the many highlights of The Grand Tasting will be the Grand Auction, a silent auction featuring some of the world’s most collectable and sought after wines, romantic weekend getaways, exciting vacations, winery tours, art, one-of-a-kind collectibles and opportunities to dine at premier restaurants.

Sip & Stroll at Imperial

Saturday, April 11 1-4 p.m.

The Sip & Stroll at the historic Imperial Sugar Factory will include a showcase of chefs, restaurants and wines, and a new outdoor beer garden featuring more than 100 beers from 25 different breweries

Bistro Brunch

Sunday, April 12 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.

The festival wraps up at the popular International Bistro Brunch, which will include delicious foods from the U.S. and around the world, including Argentina, France, Spain, Germany, and Italy. Enjoy the fine fare with bloody marys, mimosas, wine, beer and other beverages, and musical entertainment provided by Kelly Dean, local author and renowned jazz musician.

Tickets & Proceeds

Individual tickets range from $40 to $150, and three-day VIP passes to The Grand Tasting on Friday, Sip & Stroll at Imperial on Saturday, and Bistro Brunch on Sunday are available for $225. Event details and ticket purchases are available at sugarlandwineandfoodaffair.com. Each ticket is all-inclusive and there is food and drink at every event.

The Sugar Land Wine & Food Affair is produced by the Fort Bend Chamber of Com­merce in cooperation with the University of Houston Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Man­agement. Proceeds support a permanent scholarship endowment at the College, one of the top-ranked hospitality management programs in the world. The mission of the Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management is to prepare individuals for industry management and leadership by providing a quality hospitality education and ongoing professional development, as well as to be recognized globally as a premier learning en­vi­r­onment through teaching, research and service excellence.

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Sommeliers pour more than 2,600 bottles of wine during the five-day festival

Attendees of the Bistro Brunch enjoy fine fare and cool jazz under the springtime  sun.

Attendees of the Bistro Brunch enjoy fine fare and cool jazz under the springtime sun.

Attendees of the Bistro Brunch enjoy fine fare and cool jazz under the springtime sun.

Some of the country’s foremost culinary experts share their original creations for Bistro Brunch

During the popular Bistro Brunch, attendees roam around beautiful Sugar Land Town Square enjoying culinary delicacies.

During the popular Bistro Brunch, attendees roam around beautiful Sugar Land Town Square enjoying culinary delicacies.

Volunteers from the Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management help make the Sugar Land Wine & Food Affair a success .

Volunteers from the Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management help make the Sugar Land Wine & Food Affair a success .

The lineup of chefs who participated in the 2014 Grand Tasting.

The lineup of chefs who participated in the 2014 Grand Tasting.

The Sip & Stroll at Imperial is a fun afternoon of good food and drinks and live entertainment.

The Sip & Stroll at Imperial is a fun afternoon of good food and drinks and live entertainment.

The 12th Annual Sugar Land  Wine & Food Affair


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