It’s hard to believe that the Sugar Land Wine & Food Affair is already in its tenth year. Today it’s close to three times its original size. “It’s grown every year,” says Keri Schmidt, president of the Fort Bend Chamber of Commerce and founder of the event. 2013 could see 7,500 people over five days, if the weather holds up.

Last night’s kick-off dinner, A Family Affair, was sold out, as are two wine seminars taking place tomorrow. There are still some tickets left for the On the Rocks Bartender Challenge tonight, the Grand Tasting tomorrow night, the Sip and Stroll on Saturday, and the Bistro Brunch Sunday, but these could sell out as well. “It’s probably going to be pretty close,” says Schmidt. “One of the things we want to be careful of is not overselling and creating an unpleasant situation. We want to make sure everyone has plenty of wine and food.”

Houstonia is giving away passes to tonight’s bartending battle, plus eight VIP passes that allow special access to the other events. Send an email to marketing manager Sabrina Skiles at sskiles@houstoniamag.com and tell her why you want to go, and they could be yours.

The cocktail shaken up by tonight’s winning bartender at Post Oak Grill Sugar Land will be available at the rest of the events over the weekend. The Grand Tasting Friday night at the Sugar Land Marriot will feature an all-star lineup of chefs including Ronnie Killen (Killen’s Steakhouse), Randy Evans (Haven), Anita Jaisinghani (Indika and Pondicheri), and many more offering samples of their cuisine, plus what Schmidt says is about 300 wines on hand for tasting. The Sunday brunch at Sugar Land Town Square brings international cuisine with pairings, plus live music and Bollywood dancers.

But the biggest event is the Sip and Stroll Saturday, with food from 40 restaurants, wine, beer, and spirits pairings, live music, and cooking demonstrations by big-time Houston chefs Robert del Grande (RDG + Bar Annie), Philippe Schmit (Philippe Restaurant), Efisio Farris (Arcodoro), and David Cordúa (Cordúa Restaurants). And the coolest part is the location—an abandoned warehouse and the surrounding grounds at the Imperial Sugar factory.

Our passes should go fast, so get to it! 

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