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San Antonio’s Culinaria—Annual Food and Wine Fest Showcases Fine Wines and Local Flavors

Eva Aivaliotis |
Another delicious series of culinary and wine-centric events are in the works for San Antonio’s 15th annual Culinaria Wine & Food Arts Festival, May 14-18, 2014. Named “most popular food and wine festival” by Vanity Fair, Culinaria will feature internationally renowned vintners, top Texas wine producers and the hottest San Antonio chefs.
 
New for this year is an emphasis on spirits and celebrating the art of the cocktail. The area’s top bartenders will play host at cocktail parties to showcase San Antonio’s growing and nationally recognized craft cocktail movement. At Taste Test Education events, attendees can participate in tasting competitions of spirits as well as wine.
 
There’s much to savor: From winemaker dinners offering stellar pairings at some of the city’s finest restaurants; to events such as the Best of Mexico, celebrating all the treasures of the country; to Burgers & Beer, a salute to some of the most beloved Texas foods and brews. On Saturday morning, Sabado at Casa Hernan, a traditional Mexican Brunch event, is a luscious feast of traditional Mexican barbecues and dishes from various regions. On Thursday night, 20 mobile food trucks offer up a smorgasbord of fare at the mobile food truck competition.
 
Whether your style is picnic-casual or elegantly upscale, Culinaria has an event to suit your taste and budget. Here’s a sampling of festival events:
 
 
  • Winemaker Dinners (Wednesday and Thursday, May 14 and May 15) San Antonio's best chefs create exquisite menus paired with guest winemakers for intimate dinners around the city.
  • Food Truck Competition at Alon (Thursday, May 15) Cruise into Culinaria's food truck round-up where local chefs have created rabid fan bases by featuring Latin, Asian and New American cuisine—and yes, tacos, too—served from rolling roadside kitchens.
  • Becker Vineyards Luncheon (Friday, May 16) Becker Vineyards hosts a multi-course luncheon amid the wildflower-painted landscape of this Hill Country winery where San Antonio and Hill Country stars create amazing dishes and winemakers share their wines’ histories and secrets.
  • Best of Mexico (Friday, May 16) Welcome to the fastest-growing event on the festival schedule!  Passion reigns supreme as rich flavors are infused with colorful culture. Demonstrations celebrate all the treasures of Mexico as chefs explore the depth of this vibrant cuisine.
  • Sabado at Casa Hernan (Saturday, May 17) A Mexican brunch highlighting barbacoas (barbecue) from various regions of Mexico such as Nortena, Poblana and Yucateca. All on fresh corn and flour tortillas, of course. Additional regional dishes will also be offered. specialties include chilaquiles de pollo, birria tatemada (slow roasted, seasoned kid goat with dry chiles) and tamales Oaxaquenos.
  • The Grand Tasting (Saturday, May 17) The festival’s pinnacle event offers entertainment, top chefs and winemakers galore—all along the beautiful San Antonio River Walk. 
  • Burgers, BBQ & Beer (Sunday, May 18) Local hangouts to fine dining establishments offer their best version of this classic backyard fare. All with a Texas twist, of course.
 
There are many more Culinaria events year-round. Discover more at culinariasa.org. To learn more about San Antonio’s flavorful culinary scene, explore visitsanantonio.com.
 
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Culinaria is an independent, not-for-profit organization committed to promoting San Antonio as a premier wine and food destination while fostering community growth and enrichment and supporting local students in culinary arts and education via its capital campaign to raise funds for The Culinaria Educational Center and Gardens.