The Wine & Food Foundation of Texas is gearing up for their annual Cowboys and Gauchos event at the Salt Lick in Driftwood this Sunday, February 24th. It’s bound to be a great party celebrating the overlap between South American and Texan food and wine. Foundation board member Howard Kells was so inspired by Francis Mallmann’s book, The Seven Fires: Grilling the Argentinian Way, he started the event as a way to taste Texas and South American grilling styles and wines side by side, and celebrate their unique cultures. It is the Foundation’s top event for supporting Texas wines.
Chefs from restaurants around the Austin area including Jack Allen’s Kitchen, Fore, Live Oak Barbecue, Estancia Churrascaria, Sentelli’s Sweets, Cafe Josie, El Alma and El Chile, will be cooking local meat using a wide variety of barbeque techniques like iron rig, iron crosses and parrilla. Since it’s difficult to marinate or brine large animals, the Foundation and chefs search for an beast that will bring flavor and sweetness to the table after being cooked on a live fire. This year, under the guidance of Jack Gilmore from Jack Allen’s Kitchen, they chose a Nilgai Antelope from a Hill Country ranch and will be offering samples after its long roast.
Alongside this incredible smorgasbord will be wines from all over South America and Texas. Distributors specializing in South American wines will pour samples from their wineries, and winemakers and representatives from Texas will be on site talking about their bottles. Participating local wineries include Pedernales Cellars, Becker Vineyards, Fall Creek Vineyards, Flat Creek Estate, McPherson Cellars, Spicewood Vineyards, Duchman Family Winery, William Chris Vineyards, and Cap*Rock Winery. It will be an incredible opportunity to compare varietals like Tannat (the national wine of Uruguay and my favorite red varietal in Texas), Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon from the different regions, paired with barbecued game meat and other culinary specialties like homemade chorizo, beef tongue, wild boar tacos and bison chile.
In addition to all this tasting goodness, there will be a dance floor and live band for some twirling, and a raffle with a grand prize tour of the Hill Country valued at $3000.
Tickets are on sale now through The Wine and Food Foundation of Texas site and entry gets you into the best party around this weekend.
We’ll see you there!