1. Travel

San Antonio, Texas New World Wine and Food Festival


Becker Vineyards, Texas

Becker Vineyards' Award Winning Texas Wines

Copyright: Elizabeth R. Rose

San Antonio's Wine and Food Festival - Basics:

Events: Spend a long weekend enjoying food and wine events in local restaurants, country ranch settings and, of course, on the River Walk.
Tickets: You can purchase tickets for one event or a package.
Dates: Annually in May. See the NWWFF website for specifics.
Contact: 6338 N. New Braunfels #134, San Antonio, TX 78209
Phone: 210-822-9555
Fax: 210-822-9565

About the New World WIne and Food Festival:

It's a a long week-end of indulgence as San Antonio showcases their finest food, wine, restaurants and attractions. Select from events at wineries, fine restaurants, budget attractions and, of course, the beautiful San Antonio River Walk. To show you the variety, here are some of the events we attended in 2009.

Winemaker's Dinner in a Wine Cellar:

We enjoyed a fabulous winemaker's dinner at the Zinc Cellar, not far from the Riverwalk. The event paired The Brown Estate wines with cuisine from Boudros. Their cellar is available for private parties. A staircase from the street-level leads to the Zinc wine cellar which can hold up to 64 people.

Head to the Hill Country for a Winemaker's Luncheon:

We spent the afternoon at the beautiful Becker Vineyards just outside Fredericksburg. Dr. and Mrs. Becker have recently expanded the facilities at their winery. They have a lovely large tasting room, acres of lavender fields and a great little shop where you can purchase lavender products and, of course, bottles of their fantastic Texas wines.

The winemaker's luncheon was held in their Lavender Haus Reception Hall. The lunch consisted of multiple courses paired with a variety of fine wines... some from the Becker Vineyards and some from other New World vineyards.

A Taste of Mexican Food, Margaritas and More Wine:

One evening we attended an event featuring Mexico and the foods of Mexico... Lo Mejor de Mexico, they called it. The venue was a fun and current space next to the Zinc Wine Bar. Named The Vault, it used to be a bank and the old vault, sans money, was open to guests.

This was a stand up, grazing event. The food was appetizer size and I found that the guests who were hanging out around the tequila tables were having the most fun. The price was right, $35 a ticket, but we had been spoiled by the cuisine at the winemakers' dinner and luncheon so the highlight of the evening for us was listening to live latin music.

Grand Tasting:

The New World Grand Tasting was held, under cover, yet outdoors in the Grotto along the river at San Antonio's Convention Center. Tasters were able to stroll from table to table tasting wines and consuming amazing edible treats cooked on site by some of San Antonio's most noteworthy chefs. The duck carnitas tacos from Boudro's were very tasty. We finished the evening with samples of wedding cakes

Totally Tejas at Rio Cibolo Ranch:

More wine tasting, light food and plenty of fun for the whole family ended our Wine and Food Festival experience. Not far from town, Rio Cibolo Ranch was the setting for a Bar-b-que cook-off, river barge rides, hay rides and more. A highlight for me was seeing and photographing huge Longhorn cattle! It's a great venue and they keep people busy with music, wine, food and country entertainment.

When You Go to San Antonio's New World Wine & Food Festival:

This is a great getaway opportunity for the wine connoisseur as well as a couple or family who just want to have a weekend of indulgence.
  • I'd recommend purchasing your event tickets ahead of time via the website.
  • Don't over-do. One event a day should be sufficient. (We over-did!)
  • Many of the events are in the River Walk area. You might do well to find a hotel in that area so that you can walk to events.
  • If you want good wines and an enjoyable time consider a winemaker's dinner or luncheon. Seated events may cost more but you will have time to enjoy the wine and food and hear comments from the vintners.
  • If you are serious about wine, the Winemaker's dinners and luncheons are for you. At the larger events, you may have your wine poured by a server who knows nothing about the wine or the winery.
  • You get what you pay for. Prices range from $25 per person to sip and stroll the shops at La Cantera to $225 for The Black Tie event at the Omni La Mansion del Rio. My absolute favorites were the Winermaker's dinner at Boudro's, the winemaker's luncheons at Becker Vineyard and The Fig Tree Restaurant. All were superb and featured pairings of delightful courses with great wines. Those ran $50 - $80 per person and were worth every penny.
  • Enjoy the San Antonio River Walk and places like La Villita to walk off some off those newly gained calories.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.