In 2012, is it possible to travel the world in three hours? According to our experience at the 10th Annual Tour de Vin Friday night at the W Austin, the Wine and Food Foundation of Texas has apparently figured out a way to achieve that lofty feat!
With food, wine, sake and spirits from all corners of the earth, the sellout crowd of 300+ made their way from Australia to Japan, then a sweep through European gustatory capitals of France, Italy and Spain before heading back west to the Americas. All in the course of three short hours.
Foundation Executive Director Marshall Jones held court over the masses as they perused the global goods positioned throughout the second floor of the W, spreading into the ballroom and outside to the patio overlooking the Willie Nelson statue below.
The change of venue from outdoors to inside seemed to add a sense of ease to the evening’s proceedings by offering a respite from the late-August heat. More than a couple of people we spoke to commented about how much nicer it was to eat and drink without the fear of sweating on your fellow revelers.
We sampled wines from across the world but decided that what made our taste buds dance the most were the Bocelli Prosecco, the 2009 Chateau Carbonnieux Blanc, and a devilishly delicious sorbet made with Paula’s Texas Lemon.
As for the food, standout dishes included those from Rainey Street trailer Tapas Bravas (Piminetos Rellenos stuffed with goat cheese, honey and nuts), and the Noble Pig (Smoked Beef Tongue with Fruit Compote). Look for newcomer la V to arrive after the first of the year. If Chef Allison Jenkins’ take on the ubiquitous Tuna Nicoise we sampled is any indication, we’ve got another foodie hotspot on the way.
Spotted in the crowd were a trio of food and beverage PR mavens including Sam Davidson, Paula Biehler, and Meredith Vachon … not to mention perennial scene makers such as Kevin Benz, Olga Campos Benz, and Rachel Elsberry.