Anyone that enjoys being wined and dined at a waterfront venue that boasts some of the best live music in the area, will want to mark their calenders for this upcoming event.
The South Shore Harbour Resort, located at 2500 South Shore Blvd. is hosting the 8th annual "Food and Wine Festival" this Saturday, October 17th, from 11 a.m. til 11 p.m., extending it a full hour longer than in past years.
According to Steve London, the event owner and organizer, there will be in excess of 800 varying wines available to sample, along with a large variety of tents that will offer margaritas, rum concoctions and martini's. There will also be a beer tent for those that like to keep it simple.
To make sure no one drinks on an empty stomach, a myriad of local restaurants and eateries are on the roster as well. For starters theres Clear Lakes own Colloseum Italian restaurant, Seabrooks Classic Cafe, Bailey's American Grille, Kemahs San Lorenzo's mexican restaurant, Gio's Flying Pizza, Merlions for an amazing Thai food experience and lastly, a newcomer that has yet to even open their doors to the public, "Opus Bistro" which is rumored to be a sure hit with those that have a more discriminating palate.
The main event however, for any self respecting vinophile, will of course be the vino. The list of selections are so vast, you could stroll and sip all day and not get through them. Just to give you an idea of how extensive the wine selections will be, think Spec's Liquors. Because that is exactly who is sponsoring this years event. Rest assured that there will be no shortages of variety or quality. Food and wine pairing classes will be given as well throughout the day in between the live music sets.
Musical entertainment will be provided by Luther and the Healers, and Hamilton Loomis, just to name a few. Throw in a slice of local celebrity in the person of Kinky Friedman and now its starting to look like a party! For those of you unfamiliar with the illustrious Mr. Friedman, he is a musician, author, cigar afficianado and aspiring politician. He has written several detective novels with himself in the lead role, a column for Rolling Stone, a guest on the Jay Leno show and these days he is busy preparing to run for governer of the great state of Texas. He is also purported to have an amazing gift for gab and a wicked sense of humor. Rub elbows with him and have him sign one of his signature cigars for you.
Cost of admission for those unfortunate enough to be dubbed the designated driver is $10, which will not include a festival wine glass. Cost for the rest of us is $20 and comes with the emblemed festival wine glass for sipping and tastings. Tasting cards sell for $5 and will buy you one glass of your favorite wine or five one ounce tastings. Mixed drinks are available as well for $7 each. For the beer lovers, there will be multiple bottled beer choices for a scant $3 a bottle.
All the proceeds go to local charities that benefit children with autism, as well as the local Adopt A Pet shelter. Steve London stresses the fact that these are "local" charities. What that means to him is that the funds will eventually make their way back into the community, thereby enriching many of the local businesses and residents as well. With that knowledge, it would be hard for anyone to fault us for wanting to donate our time and tastebuds to this most worthy cause.
As for me, having volunteered for this event whilst putting my bartending and wine steward skills to the test, I will be occupying my tent from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. and then afterwards, I will be enjoying the festivities along with everyone else. If you make it out, be sure to look for me and come say hello! Never one to keep the wine waiting, I'll be the very busy redhead with the high tech, lever corkscrew.