My top 10 loves from the Sugar Land Wine & Food Affair Grand Tasting

IMG_5487The Sugar Land Wine & Food Affair Grand Tasting puts most wine tastings in the Houston area to shame.  Not only is there a phenomenal selection of delectable food and wines and cocktails, but the planning and set up flows seamlessly.  Instead of being bogged down in one line or another you can quickly flow from food to wine to spirits to conversation in the striking setting of the ballroom in the Sugar Land Marriot Town Center.   There are hundreds of reasons to enjoy this event but here are my top ten loves from a fantastic night in Sugar Land.

10. The Crowd:

The CrowdYes festivals are supposed to be fun but I have been to more than my fair share of them that had the fun drained out by a grumpy crowd.  The crowd for the Grand Tasting came ready to celebrate food and wine in high spirits.  Mixing drinks and lines can be tricky but everyone was ready to mingle and share their discoveries of what moved them from the festival.

9. Don Julio:

Don JulioThis is an old favorite for me but tasting like this really allow some brands, like Don Julio tequila, to showcase not only the great traditional approach but also shine through in a new light.  Don Julio made some great cocktail creations that hit the spot when circling the Visit Mexico tables.


8. Tullamore Dew:

Tullamore DEW

If you are not careful at a tasting all the new wines you taste can become pretty murky in your memory.  There is nothing like a brief break to wake up your palette and Tullamore Dew provided that for me.  They are the epitome of service with a smile, always willing to share the great legacy and tips to make the whiskey more accessible to drinker’s palettes.

7. Grand Auction:

Grand AuctionSome auctions try to get a little for a lot but the Grand Auction really showcased some heavy hitters in wine, food and travel.  The auction was irresistible as soon as you enter and really got your imagination going on all the possibilities that the night could hold.  I got away with a trip to the JW Marriott San Antonio for a steal and am ready for my getaway.

6. Chef Interactions: For a foodie there are few things that connect more to the food than the getting into the mind of the person who created it.  Being able to talk to the chefs first hand at some of the best restaurants in Houston gives you a glimpse into what is store when you visit their restaurants.

5. Flora Dora:

HendrickI thought Thursday I had explored all I could explore with Hendrick’s gin.  The Flora Dora was a great light and refreshing getaway from the wine selections that abound that night.  The ginger beer was really a great hidden ingredient and offered some of the great ginger flavor while lightening up the gin flavor.

4. Merlot Rosado:

Merlot RosadoHonestly I have never heard of a pink merlot until last night and it was instantly love at first sip with this offering form Dubacano Wines.  The wine was a great match for both red and white lovers as it offered the full bodied favor of a merlot with a smooth balance usually found in a rose.

3. Haak Madeira Blanc Du Bois:

HAAK MadieraOffering a port with undertones of Carmel seemed like a stretch to me but Haak Wines delivered on their Madeira Blanc Du Bois.  It is a great after dinner treat where you can quickly forget pulling out dessert plates as the drink offers dessert in a bottle.


2. Photo Booth:

Photo Booth FunI have a baby obsession with photo booths but I hate when you are limited in space or props.  The photo booth at the Grand Tasting was stocked with easy to use equipment, fun props and pliantly of room to play and a staff to show how it all works.  A review station let everyone get in on the fun to review your pics, find fun pictures from other guests and quickly send the ones you love via SMS or email.

1. Bon Bons!

Frenchs Bon BonsI walked up impressed with dainty display and cookie bon bons, grabbing two and sliding to the next booth.  With every bite of bon bon deliciousness though I was regretting every step away from this delicious treat.  Mister French’s Gourmet Bakery really outdid themselves with the sweet treats in several delicious favors that were truly finger licking good.  It was the one thing at the tasting I wanted to make it back around for round two but atlas, the delicious secret had been exposed and the table wiped clean.

Discover your own favorites at the Sip and Stroll today!

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