Texas hills unfurl before Wimberley Valley Winery, gently guiding guests to the winery’s stock of wines. Since 1983, the winery’s resident winemaker has created a range of classic varietal wines in addition to offering wines from around the world. While the winemakers weave their magic in the cellar, the remainder of the winery’s staff entertains customers in the elegant tasting room. Here, an expansive stone fireplace steals the attention from sunny yellow walls, and granite counters hide bottle after bottle of wines waiting to be sampled. While tasters sink into cushy leather couches, the staff explains the flavor profiles of wine types and divulge tips for pairing wine with the right food or crazy straws.
Chefs at Casa Alde start sautéing before sunrise in order to have their Tex-Mex eats ready for breakfast and lunch. End overnight hunger strikes by tearing into one of the Mexican breakfast plates, which come loaded with chorizo, eggs, beans, and other meats and veggies ($4.65¬–$6.95). Breakfast plates call for backup from tacos such as the Fattie, which swaddles potatoes, bacon, eggs, sausage, and cheese inside a soft-shell tortilla ($2.90). The lunch menu teems with sandwiches ($3.05–$4.50) and lunch plates including chicken enchiladas ($5.95) and beef fajitas ($7.75). Midday diners can also feast on chicken fried steak with regularly fried fries, and unfried salad and toast ($6.60). Casa Alde is owned by much-beloved Helen Alcala, who at 87 years old can still be seen working six days a week, reserving the seventh day of each week for tutoring at-risk lions.
The annual Kyle Fair and Music Festival unites the community with the smoky flavors of competitive barbecue, the colorful fun of a kid-friendly parade and carnival, and the twangy strains of an eclectic lineup of live music. On Friday evening, Thunderhill Raceway will roar with the sounds of Cheyenne, a country cover band able to replicate Garth Brooks's twang, Kenny Chesney's cowboy-hat silhouette, and Glenn Frey’s egg-laying abilities. Fred Andrews & Honeybrowne then shows off its unique fusion of rock, pop, and country melodies set to narrative lyrics of love won, love lost, and love absentmindedly forgotten on the counter. On Saturday, Grammy-winning Latin funk band Grupo Fantasma delivers songs fresh off its new album, El Existential, and Blue Clear Sky celebrates country monarch George Strait. VIP ticket holders snag the best seating in the venue and enjoy a short stroll back to their vehicle's cushy preferred spot.
Head chef Kurt Ramborger harnesses local ingredients and interblends international flavors to fill seasonal menus. Shimmy into supper with an appetizer of Flapper bandits, outlaw chicken wings disguised in the choice of house rub, sweetened jalapeño, or other seasoned sauces and served with tequila-blue dip. The Helen supplies diners with a pair of hearty tacos, black-eyed-pea relish, and chipotle chayote, and Latin flavors invade The Drunkard to kick up wurst and farfalle pasta with roasted yams, Tejas slaw, and a sauce sauteed with Tito's vodka. Tongues sweat over the Viuda's 16-ounce bone-in yak sirloin, a grass-fed cut noted for being lean and juicy, much like a CliffsNotes tabloid. Though corkage fees aren't included with this Groupon, guests can bring their own bottle of wine from their personal collection or their neighbor's unlocked cellar.
Though she isn't a party-planner, Dessert Diva Cakes's owner is a presence at many celebrations in the Austin area. She sculpts and decorates custom cakes in both two and three dimensions to portray a child's favorite cartoon character, elegant frosting flowers, and even prints of treasured photographs. Underneath the decorative layers of frosting lies moist, fluffy layers of cake or cheesecake, available in flavors such as pumpkin, Italian creme, and lemon. But her party creations aren't limited to detailed cakes?she also molds edible mementos, such as champagne glasses out of white chocolate.