Wine and beer lovers, now is your time.
This weekend, the inaugural Houston Wine Fest kicks off at Sam Houston Park starting on Saturday, September 25, at noon and continues through Sunday evening. A $35 one-day ticket gets you a glass and five tasting tickets, while a $65 two-day pass gets you 10 tickets. However, if you decide to pony up for the $150 VIP tickets, you'll get 10 tasting tickets per day plus access to complimentary wine and food along the way. Additional tickets can be purchased at the event for $15, which nets you 8 more tastings. A list of the vendors that will be pouring can be found at the Wine Fest's website, but beware the auto-play music that PLAYS AT MAXIMUM EARDRUM-BURSTING VOLUME.
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Earlier today, Lauren Marmaduke rounded up all the events that have us excited about Houston Beer Week (which will run from October 11 to 17), including beer dinners at Canopy and Catalan, a ton of tastings and the creamy head of it all: The Monsters of Beer Festival on October 17. Start planning your week accordingly.
The weekend before all this beer brewhaha kicks off, of course, is the 44th annual Greek Festival, which is arguably Houston's favorite food-related festival of the year and the unofficial harbinger of fall. From Thursday, October 7, until Sunday, October 10, stuff yourself silly with ouzo and baklava for only $5 at the gate (children are free). Of course, the food costs additional money, but you can purchase an advance ticket for $18 that gets you a plate full of food or a pastry box. (Gyros extra, as always.)
As mentioned last week, this weekend is Galveston's annual Wild Texas Shrimp Fest. Looking at the lineup of events, the Gumbo Stroll -- a sampling extravaganza of gumbo from 10 of the island's best restaurants -- and wine-tasting along the Strand seem to be sure bets for a beautiful weekend.
And coming up soon are two one-night-only events spotlighting two very particular dishes: risotto and Caesar salad. The 26th annual Caesar Salad Competition, hosted by My Table on Friday, October 1 from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Doubletree in Allen Center, is always a draw for Houston's top chefs. For only $35, come and see who'll take the prize home this year. The 8th annual Risotto Festival will take place from 2 to 6 p.m. on Sunday, October 17, at the Houston Design Center. Tickets are $65 each, and you'll be expected to dress to match that price. Of course, plenty of risotto will be on hand to sample, as will Italian wines and other baubles.