To Fredericksburg with Wine

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In recent years, Texas has become the nation’s fifth largest wine-producing state – and even most wine lovers don’t know it. On this full-day tour, we visit five wineries, from Becker to the new offshoot of Messina Hof, tasting some of their newest vintages, plus we sample sauces, marinades, mustards and jellies from Fredericksburg’s most famous food brand, Fischer & Wieser. Along the way, we learn about the area’s strong German heritage, its agricultural fame for peaches and other produce, and, almost needless to say, its locally brewed beer. Yes, some sausage will be harmed in the making of this tour.

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The Barbecue Triangle

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Every nook and cranny of Texas has, and tirelessly boasts about, its own style of barbecue. Yet in one section just east of Austin, there is a “triangle” that turns out some of the very best. On this meat-crazed adventure, we learn the long history of regional (and yes, racial and ethnic) barbecue, the secrets of “low and slow,” and discover the pleasures of Lockhart (declared the state’s barbecue capital by the Legislature), Taylor and Elgin. Landmarks abound, with stops for talks and tastings: from Black’s and Smitty’s to Rudy Mikeska’s – the original of a Czech family dynasty – to Southside Market. Don’t wear any clothes you don’t want to get smoked up.

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DM at Your Place

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Whether a cooking class, a food-centric wine or cocktail party, or a full sit-down dinner scaled for 10-24 people, John DeMers will prepare a Texas feast right in your own kitchen. He’ll also describe each dish, who invented it and why it matters to the world of cuisine. Available as lunch, dinner or brunch, with a variety of four-course menus: appetizer, salad, seafood or meat entrée, and dessert, each course more Texas than the one before. John will also consult with you on cocktails and wines you’d love to pour for your guests. Perfect for charity and other fundraising events.

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Texas Cooks

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A fast-paced, entertaining, often humorous romp through history and calories with veteran food author John DeMers, perfect for any convention, meeting or spouse program. In addition to a profound understanding of what first made Texas happen here, John will lead you through his Top Ten dishes you must taste before anybody will stamp your passport. From barbecue to chili to kolaches, you might be surprised who created them, when and why. 45-60 minutes with PowerPoint visuals if AV available. Fees on request. At your hotel or other venue.

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Custom Marfa/Big Bend

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Over one, two or three days, beginning in Marfa, Alpine or Marathon, enjoy a customized look around one of the Lone Star State’s most remote and exotic locales. There’s the moonscape of Big Bend itself, both the national and the state park, plus hip, art-crazed Marfa with its Chinati Foundation paying homage to the salvation brought by the late Donald Judd and elevated recently by no less than Beyonce. In addition, the River Road offers a winding, climbing, rolling, tumbling narration of why Hollywood has loved the area for more than fifty years (Giant, There Will Be Blood, No Country for Old Men). This is truly a world apart, in which funky towns like Terlingua and Lajitas can die, only to rise again.

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