One of Austin’s true rites of spring, the UMLAUF Garden Party, takes place this Thursday, April 27th and kicks off the next quarter century of merrymaking for the museum and sculpture park. In advance of this year’s Under a Texas Sky themed soirée, we we took a moment to chat with Sandra Spalding from Twin Liquors to learn what’s new for 2017, what wines are sure to draw crowds and what exactly goes into pairing specific food bites with wine.
Austin Social Planner: Tell us a little bit about how Twin got involved with the Umlauf Sculpture Garden and Museum and how this relationship has grown through the years.
Sandra Spalding: Twin Liquors has been involved in Umlauf since the inception of the Garden Party back in 1999. Board member Linda Butler (now Linda Butler Van Bavel) was having dinner at the home of Twin Liquors’ David and Sylvia Jabour when Linda approached the Jabours about the concept of the Garden Party. David offered to donate the wine, and ever since, Twin Liquors has faithfully and proudly donated the wine for the Garden Party each year. Sylvia has previously served as a board member for 2 years.
ASP: What’s new this year at the Garden Party and is there anything attendees should be seeking out Thursday night?
SS: Be sure to check out the Run for the Rosé Table featuring varied rose varietals like Cabernet, Tempranillo, Granache and more … showcasing how stylistically different Rosé can be! Also worth a return trip will be an Italian Sips Table featuring Cinzia Binda from Italy, serving up Italian hospitality and wonderful food friendly wines! The Under a Texas Sky Table will feature wines from Texas’ Wine country ranging from Becker Viognier to McPherson Tre Coloré Red.
ASP: Can you speak to what makes a truly good wine and food pairing?
SS: I love a DRY RED wine, but when eating spicy food I have been enjoying a little sip of sweet wine… my new favorite pairing is the Dolcelina Sweet Red with Chipotle spiced dishes. Side note: Post-Umlauf-at-home-fun… if you make a SANGRIA out of these sweeter wines, you don’t need to add any extra sugar! Sparkly Variations: Gruet Winery will be on hand serving up their Rosé, Blanc de Noir and Brut… much like we mention with the Rosé varietals, this is a great way to see how sparkling wine can vary in flavor profile depending on the grapes being used!
ASP: Any other special happenings that folks should be on the lookout for at this year’s Garden Party.
SS: Yes! This year, the Umlauf will auction off a chance to take home one bottle of each of the featured wines. That means someone will go home with a mix/match of three cases of wine so they can keep the party going at home!
As Twin Liquors celebrates 80 years of being a family owned and operated local business, we say “Cheers to Umlauf!” — Sandra Spalding
The Umlauf Garden Party, featuring bites from 25 Austin-area restaurants and entertainment from the Nash Hernandez Orchestra, takes place Thursday, April 27th, 2017. Discounted tickets are available online until midnight, April 25th, and will be available at the door for $200.