When it comes to festivals, the long-undisputed king of festivals in Austin, if not Texas as a whole, is the SXSW music conference. And why shouldn’t it be? After all, Austin bills itself as the Live Music Capital of the World. Several days' worth of music, music, and music are to be had for participants, and I usually try to catch a few shows myself. As much fun as South By is, the festival we food lovers eagerly anticipate most each year is the Austin Food & Wine Festival.
Lasting for three days in spring, it may as well be SXSW for food lovers. For those three days festival participants are treated to events featuring presenters from all over the world. Participants can look forward to having their palates tantalized with some of the best food and wine a person could hope for. Wine and charcuterie. I submit that it cannot get better than that, and one year that’s exactly what we got. Wines brought in from all over the world, including some fantastic offerings from local producers at Fall Creek Vineyards and Becker Vineyards, paired with some of the best charcuterie anywhere, and all of it came from fantastic local producers like Dai Due and Salt & Time, who lovingly paired their cured meats with a selection of wines. Wine paired with locally produced meats — it really doesn’t get much better than that. Past event presenters have included major culinary stars. It’s not at all uncommon to see names like Tim Love, Marcus Samuelsson, Jonathan Waxman, and Paul Qui as celebrity presenters. The Austin Food & Wine Festival may not yet have the reputation that the bigger events around the country have, but it is growing, and any self-respecting food fan would do well to make a trip out for this year’s festival.