Hank and I had heard and seen plenty of advertising for the Dripping With Taste Wine and Food Festival, and thought it would be a fun way to spend a Saturday afternoon. We hopped in the car on a gorgeous sunny day, ready to imbibe on some good food and drinks. The event was held at the Hill Country Olive Company, only a 30-ish minute drive from our house. It was a nice drive out, and the scenery out there was beautiful.
I'll start by saying we had a lot of fun. There were some great vendors with plenty of tasty food and drink (minus the one wine vendor we tried). We ran into some friends that we hung out with for a bit, and just enjoyed getting to be outside again without sweating profusely. But....(and I hate to say that), but....there will need to be some serious improvements to their operations if we are to go back again next year.
The check-in process was a cluster, the area where the majority of the wine vendors were was way too small, and there were hardly enough places for people to sit down in the outside vendor section. The event has been going for several years, but this was the first time at this location. I believe they are trying to accommodate a growing attendance, but I'm afraid this location might be too small as well. Or, they should have not sold tickets at the door if they had already exceeded attendance numbers online.
Anywho, a few simple changes would really have enhanced the overall experience. But here are a few of my highlights:
The Gardener's Feast Tamales- Gourmet, organic, DELICIOUS tamales. There were tons of options (including plenty of vegetarian), and they really were the most wonderful tamales I've ever had. Moist, fluffy masa with just the right amount of filling. The website did not appear to be working when I wrote this, but I'm hoping that following them on Twitter will tell me where I can find some more of those amazing tamales.
Beer!- Since we had such a difficult time getting inside to where the wine vendors were, we made due with the 4 craft beer tents in the outside section. Jester King, Twisted X, Real Ale and Independence Brewing Co. were all there, and we were happy to taste all their different brews. The guys at Independence gave the heaviest handed pours. Thank you for that- the Pale Ale and Stash IPA were awesome!
Savory Spice Shop- Two really sweet ladies had samples of Vanilla Curry Popcorn, and one of the best cupcakes I think I've ever had- Chinese Five Spice Carrot Cupcakes with Ginger Frosting. Holy goodness, they were so good. The store is in the Arboretum, right around the corner from my office, and I can't wait to go and visit. I can only imagine how great it must smell in there.
|Taking a break, doing my best to keep my face shaded.|
Gourmet Texas Pasta- I think we ended up picking out 4 different flavors of pasta to take home. This company makes gourmet, whole wheat pasta that is so tasty. They were serving samples of a Spinach, Basil and Garlic pasta tossed in a little bit of olive oil. There was so much flavor, you really wouldn't want to cover it up with much sauce. There were lots of great flavor combos, and you could buy 4 packages for $25. It's pricier than the plain old pasta we get at HEB, but I think we'll enjoy having this as a side to many of the dishes we like to cook.
I'm looking forward to making some of the things we found from the event, and looking forward to *hopefully* going back next year and the chance to try more things. Texas isn't necessarily known for their great wine, but I'm sure we missed out on some of the different wineries there. Overall, a fun experience!