Culinaria Festival Week, San Antonio

Despite a few clouds and the threat of a little rain, attending Tacos and Talk at Culinaria, San Antonio was a fun way for two foodies to spend a Saturday. This was our first time and we will definitely be back. The gorgeous La Cantera Resort & Spa was the perfect location to experience freshly prepared tacos, tamales, salsas, and more. In addition to great food from local restaurants prepared onsite by professional chefs, there were a variety of wines and spirits to quench your palette. Let’s just say we were thankful for shuttle service!

In addition to wandering the plaza and gorging our eyes and stomachs, we attended several of the day’s talks. Our first was Tempranillos of Texas where we tasted Tempranillos produced by 7 different Texas wineries presented by the winemakers. The panel included Bending Branch Winery, Spicewood Vineyards, Pedernales Cellars, Becker Vineyards, Fall Creek Vineyards, Bingham Family Vineyards, and Brennan Vineyards. It was a great opportunity to experience some of the Texas wines we haven’t had. Bingham and Spicewood were our favorites of this group.

 After heading back to the plaza to fill up on more tacos, we enjoyed Speak Like a Somm with Joseph Carr from Joseph Carr Wines. I have to say I could have listened to him tell stories all afternoon. Not only was this a lesson in wine tasting, but it was a chance to hear how he went from humble beginnings to becoming a sommelier to creating incredible wines. We had to order a bottle of his 2012 Coombsville Cabernet Sauvignon, and I’m happy to say that I just received the shipping notification so I can’t wait to share it with you here soon!

Back outside for more tacos (and a little Tequila, margaritas, mojitos…you get the picture). One fun find was Austin Cocktails. I love their slogan, “Bring craft cocktails home.” These guys make it easy to look like a master mixologist without going to bartender school. Feel free to practice your cheesy Tom Cruise moves if the mood is right (if you haven’t seen Cocktail, make a date with Netflix…you may or may not regret it). We sampled the Cucumber Vodka Mojito and Fred’s Ruby Red Cocktail and both were excellent. Perfect for a day at the pool or your next party. The approx. $15 price point also makes it a no-brainer home cocktail. Save those wallet-buster drinks for Vegas!

Finally, we attended a Texas Fine Wine tasting. The challenge was to taste 10 different wines, but only 5 were from Texas. For example, we blindly sipped two rose wines – one French and one Texan – and guess what? Most in the room enjoyed the Texas rose better! In this case it was a Mourvedre Rose from Brennan Vineyards and I highly recommend it. The French rose? I don’t recall the name, but who cares! This Texas rose will have you saying “Aurevoir!” to anything else.

All in all it was a great day. My only negative comment was that none of the talks ran on time according to the schedule, which meant that we missed a couple talks we otherwise wanted to see. I guess that’s what next year is for. Regardless, if you’re ever in the San Antonio area during Culinaria’s Festival Week, I recommend spending the day here. It doesn’t get much better than authentic local foods paired with great Texas spirits.

Culinaria Festival Week, San Antonio first appeared on Cathedrals & Cafes.

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