Food & Wine Road Trips

The 10 Best Food and Wine Festivals in Texas

Sip and savor your way across the Lone Star State.

By Timothy Malcolm September 21, 2018 Published in the October 2018 issue of Houstonia Magazine

Dinner on a bridge at Waco's Rootstock

You’ve sipped a red, a white, a rosé. You’ve sampled the chocolate ganache topped with raspberry sauce. And now you’re swirling your tasting glass while saying something revelatory about the acidic bite of your Riesling—only it’s Sauvignon Blanc. Congratulations, you’re at a Texas food and wine festival! These are our top 10:

Savor Dallas | April 1–7 | Various locations

This weeklong affair, which takes place across the Big D, is for serious foodies. Years past have featured a party at a chef’s house, a 10-course pairing dinner, and barbecue and mixology celebrations. The grand tasting at Fair Park’s Centennial Hall showcases 50-plus restaurants and chefs, and even more wine and spirits producers. $45–$200. 

Fort Worth Food & Wine FestivalApril | Various locations

This year included a tacos-and-tequila tasting, a pitmaster’s picnic with barbecue bigwigs, and a packed headlining party boasting 100-plus wines. Next year’s fest is expected to be even bigger, with new venues and events yet to be announced. $50–$125. 

Lubbock UncorkedApril 12 | American Windmill Museum

In a beautiful setting, surrounded by dozens of windmills, 30 Texas wineries highlight grapes grown in the Lubbock area. Expect live music on two stages, a food-and-wine pairing class, a beer garden, and a “wine valet” with whom you can drop off purchases as you continue tasting. $30–$40. 

Wacos RootstockApril 13 | Indian Spring Park

This family-friendly springtime fest features a dinner prepared by Waco-area chefs with local wine pairings, right on the Waco Suspension Bridge over the Brazos River. As for the main tasting event, more than 15 wineries will be featured, and attendees get to taste 12 wines. From $40. 

Top Chef winner Stephanie Izard at this year's event.

Austin Food & Wine FestivalApril(ish) | Auditorium Shores and Fair Market

The Coachella of the group, this weekend fest is known for its giant parties featuring live music and chef competitions. Though the schedule won’t drop until January, expect big-name chefs and large crowds. From $250. 

Galveston Island Food and Wine FestivalApril 27–29 | Saengerfest Park

Last year’s grand tasting included some of the best-known wineries in America—Robert Mondavi, Blackbird, and Michael David among them—pairing pours with light bites. Want to work for that wine? Compete in the Champagne 5K fun run, complete with post-race bubbly. $72–$115. 

Sipping and strolling at the Sugar Land Wine & Food Affair

Sugar Land Wine & Food AffairApril | Various locations

This year the event grew from four days to five. In 2019, expect special wine-pairing dinners, a Grand Tasting hosting award-winning chefs from Houston and across the nation, and the ever-popular Sip and Stroll, an evening of decadence in Brazos River Park. From $40. 

Culinaria San AntonioMay | Venue TBD

Over four days last spring, the fest impressed foodies with a taco throwdown, sunset party, burger bash, and grand tasting held at luxury resort La Cantera. Stay tuned for details on 2019, but it’s safe to expect restaurant pop-ups, citywide seminars, and plenty of fun. $75–150. 

Dripping Springs Dripping with Taste Wine and Food FestivalSeptember | Mercer Street

This 11-year-old fest celebrates Hill Country life with live Americana music, grape stomping, and, fittingly, live football games on big screens. All wines and food vendors are from Texas. 

The grape toss at Fredericksburg Food & Wine Fest

Image: Robbyn Dodd

Fredericksburg Food & Wine FestOctober 27 | Marktplatz

Dating back to 1991, this O.G. fest is as intensely Texan as it is laidback, showcasing Lone Star State wineries only—more than 20, at that—plus specialty foods, live music, and, oh yeah, a gargantuan grape toss. From $25. 

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