Wine and Chocolate Pairing
Nov
9
6:00 AM06:00

Wine and Chocolate Pairing

Chocolaterie Tessa is pleased to host an evening of chocolate and wine pairings benefiting the Wine and Food Foundation of Texas. For the second time, Mark Rashap, Certified Wine Educator, and Tessa Halstead will be joining forces to share four seasonal chocolate and wine pairings. Just in time for the holidays, you'll leave with all the information you need to know to host a perfect pairing soiree at home!

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10 Bordeaux Retrospective
Nov
8
4:00 PM16:00

10 Bordeaux Retrospective

10-year Bordeaux retrospective, what more do you need to know!  We'll be tasting wines from the 2007 vintage, which was a very complicated vintage, but there were certainly gems to be found.  The decade mark is when many of the acclaimed Bordeaux start to take on the maturity that collectors enjoy so much.  Some wines will be ready to drink, and we'll also taste some wines that might even need more time, but that's the fun!

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Texas Wine Class
Oct
18
4:00 PM16:00

Texas Wine Class

Join me at the Wine and Food Foundation office for one of two seatings (4pm and 6pm), where I'll be talking about the latest in the Texas Wine Industry.  Many of you may know I have been critical of many Texas wines, but I have been seeing quality improve leaps and bounds.  This will be a special selection of the best wines I've had over the last 6 months, and many of them can only be sourced at the winery.  Don't miss this incredible opportunity!

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Chocolate and Wine Pairing with Tessa!
Apr
13
6:30 PM18:30

Chocolate and Wine Pairing with Tessa!

We're teaming up with Tessa from Chocolaterie Tessa in this class to dig into the essentials of pairing and having fun with chocolate and wine!  Tessa will be presenting 4 different styles of chocolate confections, and I will be choosing and pairing the wine.  Don't miss out on one of the most decadent of wine tastings!

 

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Wine and Cheese Pairing Class
Mar
22
4:00 PM16:00

Wine and Cheese Pairing Class

I'll be teaching the wine side of this Wine and Cheese class with Maddie Ward illuminating the cheese side.  We'll have 2 wines each with 4 different types of cheese to cover all the basics of this divine pairing: the balance between acid and fat, salt and sweet, and much more in this delicious class.

There are 2 seatings one at 4 pm and the second at 6 pm, each class will be about 1 hour 15 min.

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Napa vs Sonoma, Blind Tasting
Jan
18
4:00 PM16:00

Napa vs Sonoma, Blind Tasting

  • The Wine and Food Foundation of Texas (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

The Napa and Sonoma Valleys, divided by the Mayacamas Mountains, produce wines in that are in some ways similar and in other way very different. They also have very loyal proponents of the merits of each. Whether you prefer the laid back and farmer vibe of Sonoma or the polished state of the art winery feel of Napa, join us for this comparative head-to-head tasting of a cross section of the grapes and styles that are put out by both regions. We’ll be tasting the wines blind so you can see if you can pick out which one is Napa and which is Sonoma. Tensions will be high and a good time will be promised to all!

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Holiday Champagne Class
Dec
14
4:00 PM16:00

Holiday Champagne Class

  • The Wine and Food Foundation of Texas (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Nothing says the holidays like Champagne, the real stuff. This is one of my favorite tastings of the year! We’ll discuss all the ins and outs of the Champagne region, the large house styles, and some of the innovations that are occurring in the bubbly wine heaven.

There will be two seatings, one at 4pm and one at 6pm.  Each class will feature 8 unique Champagnes to illustrate particular characteristics and trends in region.

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Champagne Krug Pairings Dinner and reading from Champagne Uncorked!
Dec
6
6:30 PM18:30

Champagne Krug Pairings Dinner and reading from Champagne Uncorked!

The Driskill Grill invites you to an intimate dining experience with wine and food writer Alan Tardi in celebration of his newly published book Champagne, Uncorked. The book chronicles Alan’s yearlong residence at the iconic Champagne house, Krug. The pages within unveil some of the highly guarded secrets of Krug as well as the history and inner workings of the region of Champagne.

This will be an innovative and interactive evening pairing each course with an exclusively curated selection of Krug Champagne accompanied with readings from the book. These Champagnes are rarely offered publicly, including a vintage comparison as well as a taste of the famous Clos de Mesnil.

Join us for what promises to be a most unforgettable evening featuring some of the best Champagnes in the world beautifully paired to intricate food in an iconic setting.

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Tasting Wine Like an Expert
Feb
11
6:30 PM18:30

Tasting Wine Like an Expert

There is so much mystery behind wine tasting promoted by journalists and experts spouting off colorful descriptions seemingly pulled out of thin air. However, there is method to deciphering the main characteristics of wine which will then allow you to communicate with more clarity. Once you can define these characteristics, you can pinpoint truly what you like and don’t like and in what situation.  We'll also look at some of the major ways to analyze wine whether metaphorical or scientific.

Join J&J, Mark Rashap and Pioneer Wines to taste through some classic and typical wines and discuss various methods to enjoy them.
At the Sustainable Food Center $45 per person or $80 per couple. Please email me to save you a spot vebarba@gmail.com

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Feb
10
6:00 PM18:00

AMERICAN ZINFANDEL: A BLIND TASTING BY APPELLATION

  • Wine and Food Foundation of Texas (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Zinfandel can be considered the most “American” of all the premium grape varieties in the US, despite Croatian origins. Over the past century, it’s had an up and down ride of popularity and might have gone extinct had it not been for the cloyingly sweet White Zinfandel. The noble Cabernet Sauvignon in Napa Valley has eclipsed Zinfandel in recent years; however, there are still examples of old vines producing amazing quality wines and, in some regions, Zinfandel is clearly meant to be the main attraction. Join us for this unique opportunity to blind taste flights of Zinfandel organized by appellation. So much fun!

Tasting includes flight of wines and charcuterie from Salt & Time.

Tickets are $35 for members and $45 for nonmembers.

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Texas Barbecue, Bordeaux, and Other Great Wines
Dec
8
6:30 PM18:30

Texas Barbecue, Bordeaux, and Other Great Wines

Most of Texas thinks that beer is the perfect pairing with slow smoked meats; however, I beg to differ.  I've had transcendental experiences with the simplicity of barbecue and the complexity of wine, I hope to share these experiences with you!

Freedman's has recently taken their quality to new levels and deserve attention.  They have a private room on the second floor on a historic building which is both intimate and fun.  As the weather is getting colder, I'm so excited to showcase rich wines with the rich flavors of barbecue!  There will be 8 wines paired with each of the different famous barbecue cuts: Champagne, Bordeaux, Napa Cab and an a few surprises as we explore the intricacies this exciting pairing.

Save the date: Dec. 8th.  $85 all inclusive, tax and gratuity.  Includes plenty of barbecue and sides plus 4 flights of 2 wines to go with each type of smoked meat!

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Intimate Wine Dinner Featuring Countryside Farms and JBG Organic
Nov
17
6:30 PM18:30

Intimate Wine Dinner Featuring Countryside Farms and JBG Organic

  • Sustainable Food Center Educational Kitchen (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Always on the lookout for incredible sources of food that inspire and invigorate, I recently encountered Countryside Farms (outside of Bastrop) and knew I had to feature their meats along with locally grown vegetables from Johnson's Backyard Garden.  Join me for a four course meal plus hors d'oeurves, prepared by CIA trained chef and friend Danny Fox Baker.  Two wines will accompany each course to illustrate philosophies in pairing and serve as an overall lesson on French wine (what better to go with countryside food).  The menu below is designed to showcase the delicate and delicious flavors of the highest quality ingredients. 

Seating is limited to twelve, and we'll be right in the kitchen to watch chef Danny work his magic. 

$120 All Inclusive!  Don't delay in signing up, this will sell out quickly!

Menu is as follows:

Hors d'oeuvres:
Wild Boar Rillet on Pumpernickle with Pickled Beet
Seared Lamb Merguez Sausage with Arugula Chimichurri

First Course:

Ravioli of Rabbit and Goatmilk Ricotta served in Jus with Fennel 

Second Course:
Pan-Seared Duck Breast with Plum Gastrique and Potato Pavè 

Third Course:
Braised leg of Heritage Pork on Soft Polenta with Market Greens and Fried Leeks

Fourth Course/Dessert:
Classic Vanilla Crème Brulèe
 

*Cancellations require 48 hours for full refund.

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10 year Bordeaux retrospective
Nov
11
4:00 PM16:00

10 year Bordeaux retrospective

  • The Wine and Food Foundation of Texas (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

With only a few months left in 2015, it is time to catch the historic region of Bordeaux at the 10 year mark.  Most people talk about the decade of age as a time that the wines of Bordeaux just start showing their true character.  Join me to taste through some iconic wines from both the right bank and left bank. 


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SUB-APPELLATIONS OF THE NAPA VALLEY
Oct
7
4:00 PM16:00

SUB-APPELLATIONS OF THE NAPA VALLEY

  • Wine and Food Foundation of Texas (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Very few wine collectors will dispute that Napa Valley is the king of California Cabernet Sauvignon. However, the valley, only 5 miles wide by 30 miles long, is truly diverse in soils, climates, and flavors. To date, there are 16 sub-appellations (AVAs), which include the valley floor as well as the surrounding mountains. Join us to taste through a majority of these sub-regions, pontificate over any correlations, and celebrate how good these wines can be.

There will be one seating at 4pm and one seating at 6 pm.  Attendance is limited to 20 wine lovers.

For tickets and more information click here.

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SPARKLING WINES: FROM PROSECCO TO CALIFORNIA, CHAMPAGNE AND BEYOND
Jul
8
4:00 PM16:00

SPARKLING WINES: FROM PROSECCO TO CALIFORNIA, CHAMPAGNE AND BEYOND

So many wine lovers simply categorize ALL sparkling wines as Champagne, but this world is just as varied as the world of Red and White wines. From the grapes involved to the production methods and time sur lie, there are so many diverse flavors and aromas in Sparkling wines. Join us to make sense of Prosecco, Franciacorta, Cremant, Champagne, California Sparkling wines and many more surprises. There won't be any hangovers with these great bubbles!

There are two seatings: 4-5:30 pm and 6-7:30 pm

$35 tasting includes flight of wines and charcuterie from Salt & Time. Due to the popularity of these tastings, we are now offering two seatings.

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The Spanish Wine Revolution
Jun
10
4:00 PM16:00

The Spanish Wine Revolution

  • The Wine and Food Foundation of Texas (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Many wine lovers don't realize that Spain is the 3rd largest wine producing country behind Italy and France, yet they have the most land area under vine. This means that overall there are lower yields, and some would argue higher quality, than the average of the other European wine producing countries. Please join us for a whirlwind trip through Spain's major wine producing regions where we will taste the exciting grapes from the Iberian Garden of Eden. We'll also cover major styles of the old school producers and the more modern wave that is overtaking this country. Personal Note: it was in Spain that I knew I'd be a wine professional! -Mark Rashap

$35 tasting includes flight of wine and charcuterie from Salt & Time. Due to the popularity of these tastings, we are now offering two seatings.

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Malbecs for Dummies
May
30
3:00 PM15:00

Malbecs for Dummies

The Illuminated Bottle does not have a single location but pops up all over Austin in various restaurants and venues that enhance the wine tasting experience.  If you cannot get a group together to enjoy one of our Private in-home classes, we’re sure that one of the public tastings will give you a wonderful chance to learn about the subject being presented as well as meet other wine lovers in Austin.  Of course, all of these events follows Mark’s philosophy of comparative tasting of carefully selected wines that highlight very specific concepts within the world of wine.

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Cab ride across the world
May
22
3:00 PM15:00

Cab ride across the world

The Illuminated Bottle does not have a single location but pops up all over Austin in various restaurants and venues that enhance the wine tasting experience.  If you cannot get a group together to enjoy one of our Private in-home classes, we’re sure that one of the public tastings will give you a wonderful chance to learn about the subject being presented as well as meet other wine lovers in Austin.  Of course, all of these events follows Mark’s philosophy of comparative tasting of carefully selected wines that highlight very specific concepts within the world of wine.

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