Post-SXSW, It’s Time to Wine and Dine in Austin

Now that SXSW (the South by Southwest music festival) has come and gone for another year, my favorite city in Texas can get back to its “normal” weird self.

I am not insulting Austin by calling it weird. In fact, “Keep Austin weird,” is the official slogan of a group of local businesses. Several “definitions” are imparted for this suggestion, and I embrace the one that’s related to music and the plethora of genres that can be heard within the city limits.

I even own a T-shirt proclaiming, “Wild about music!” on the front, and, “Keep Austin weird!” on the back.

The SXSW crowd also embraces this mantra, but there are just a few too many of them for my personal comfort level. When I go to listen to music, I want to hear the music, not a bunch of people talking. (It might be an age thing, I admit.)

But I experience no sense of dread over what is quickly becoming another Austin institution: the Austin Food & Wine Festival. The 2013 edition begins in exactly 18 days, running April 26-28.

What can one expect at this three-day culinary event? Here’s a snippet from the festival’s website:

“Throughout the weekend, you’ll experience up-close and personal access to culinary, wine and spirit talent at dozens of cooking demos, wine and cocktail seminars. Between sessions, drop by the Taste or Savor Lounges for beer, wine and cocktails. Then sip and nibble your way through The Grand Tasting Pavilion showcasing over 80 wine, spirit and artisanal food exhibitors, along with celebrated local and regional restaurants. Plus, pick up copies of inspiring cookbooks and get them signed by your favorite chefs in the Autograph Tent.”

“From tacos and tequila to grilling and grapes, spoil yourself with the sights, sounds and laid-back flavor only the Live Music Capital of the World can offer.”

Among the “food stars” scheduled to appear are Tyson Cole, Graham Elliot, Susan Feniger, Anthony Giglio, Ray Isle, Tim Love, Tony Mantuano, Marc Murphy, Paul Qui, Marcus Samuelsson, John Shook and Vinny Dotolo, Christina Tosi, Jonathan Waxman and Andrew Zimmern.

I’ve attended twice in recent years, and while the tickets were a bit pricey, I feel like I got my money’s worth.

Of course, it wouldn’t be Austin without music, and this year’s festival will feature socially conscious singer-songwriter Allen Stone, rootsy rock bandDelta Spirit and the genre-defying Whiskey Shivers.

Has your appetite been whetted? If so, click here for ticket information.

Posted in Wine Buzz
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