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Archive | November, 2013

Riverwalk Empire: Esquire Celebrates 80th Birthday

Riverwalk Empire: Esquire Celebrates 80th Birthday

The Esquire Tavern

The Esquire Tavern

Celebrate in style — 20s- and 30s-style that is, at the Esquire’s Repeal Day celebration on Wednesday, Dec. 5.

In addition to being the end of Prohibition, the day the Repeal Proclamation was signed was also the beginning of the Esquire Tavern, on the San Antonio River Walk at 155 E. Commerce St.

The oldest and longest bar on the River Walk, the Esquire’s birthday bash is calling for costumes — if you love the look of the 20s and 30s, dress the part and get some special recognition from the bartender.  Houston Eaves will be serving a Repeal Day Punch, plus there will be a retro cocktail menu and a champagne toast at 8 p.m.

Chef Brooke Smith will be putting out complimentary appetizers from 6-10 p.m. and a late-night menu will be available until 11 p.m.

The party starts at 6 p.m. and  Brent Watkins entertains with jazz from 7-11 p.m.

, but the fun goes on until 2 a.m.

Go for it!

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Use Leftovers in This Holiday Turkey Panini

Use Leftovers in This Holiday Turkey Panini

Looking for a new way to use turkey leftovers? Try this easy Holiday Turkey Panini from Conundrum Red, a food-friendly California wine that loves the combination of turkey, bacon and cheese as much as you will.

More turkey leftover recipes from our files:

Turkey and Dressing Casserole
Hot Brown Sandwich
Turkey and Bacon Tacos

panini

 

Holiday Turkey Panini

1 large yellow onion, peeled and thinly sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon cumin
8 slices chewy bread, brown or sourdough
4-5 tablespoons softened butter
2 tablespoons finely minced celery
1 teaspoon fresh oregano leaves, chopped (optional)
12 ounces roast turkey breast, sliced
8 thin slices bacon, browned and crisp
4 ounces pepper jack cheese
Large handfuls arugula, stems removed, and dressed in olive oil, salt and pepper

Fry the sliced onion over medium-high eat in olive oil until soft and medium brown, stirring often; mix in paprika and cumin and set aside to cool.

Butter the bread and lay half of the slices butter side down. Cover with the onions, celery, oregano, turkey, bacon and cheese. Top with remaining bread, buttered side out, and press sandwiches together.

Grill in batches on a panini grill for 2-3 minutes, until outsides are crisp and cheese is completely melted. (If you don’t have a press, use a cast-iron skillet or a griddle and press them down with another heavy skillet or even a foil-covered brick. Cook for 2-3 minutes, turn over and cook another 2-3 minutes.) Serve immediately. Garnish each plate with a small amount of arugula salad. Serve with Conundrum Red.

Add a glass of Conundrum Red, eat, and enjoy!

Makes 4 servings.

From Conundrum Red

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Bye-Bye Bin 555, Hello Umai Mi

Bye-Bye Bin 555, Hello Umai Mi

Chef Jason Dady’s Bin 555 is about to undergo a transformation — a new restaurant will take its place, same location, called Umai Mi.

BIN 555 has served San Antonio on the north side for eight years. As a proper farewell to BIN 555  Dady will roll out a new “BIN Bye, Bye, Bye” menu consisting of some of the most asked-for dishes that have been served out of this San Antonio staple, as well as some brand new ones.

Bin 555

Bin 555

Some of the dishes being served include: creamy Crab Dip Gratin, Seared Diver Scallop with Spinach, Chorizo and Spicy Peppers, Veal and Cinnamon Meatballs with Peach, Cinnamon and Brown Sugar, Crispy Brussels Sprouts, Mojo Glazed Salmon Chorizo, Roasted Peppers and Baby Spinach. Decadent desserts that are reappearing include Banana Fritters and Peanut Butter Mousse as well as classic Spanish Basque Cake.

The BIN Bye Bye Bye menu will be available Dec. 1- 31.

Meanwhile, a Thanksgiving Eve Prix Fixe menu is Wednesday, and Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve dinner menus all will be within the BIN 555 concept.

Also, The Holi-Dady Days of Giving continue with The Jason Dady Restaurant gift card incentives — for every $100 in gift cards purchased patrons will receive a $25 voucher. These gift cards will be available at all Jason Dady Restaurant locations including BIN 555.

BIN 555 opened in 2004, and has been located at Artisan’s Alley in North San Antonio.  BIN 555 offers an extensive wine list with boutique and eclectic New World wine selections. Wine Dinners, wine tastings and exclusive events scheduled monthly. The BIN concept holds a modern American menu and features avant garde techniques with seasonal ingredients purchased from local purveyors. Open for lunch and dinner Monday- Saturday and Brunch on Sundays. For more information can be found at www.bin555.com as well as www.facebook.com/Bin555  @bin555 on twitter or calling 210-496-0555.

 

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Well Seasoned Cuisine Adds Flavor to Your Menu; Makes Great Gifts

Well Seasoned Cuisine Adds Flavor to Your Menu; Makes Great Gifts

Thanksgiving is almost here, but soon after, many of us will be thinking about the holidays season to come and how to make it an especially delicious one. Not to mention thinking about gifts we might find to surprise our foodie friends.

Cynthia and Cathy Well Seasoned cropped

Cynthia Guido, Cathy Tarasovic craft Shrub Drinks and much more.

On the week of Dec. 1, Well Seasoned Cuisine will be stirring up party-perfect spreads and dips along with a soup that is sure to please, no matter the weather.

Best of all, Well Seasoned Cuisine, coming to you from chefs Cathy Tarasovic and Cynthia Guido, will offer a big selection of their Shrub Drinks. These are great mixers for every cocktail and any party menu — and also make a pretty cool give for anyone on your list.

To order, call 210-861-3278. Well Seasoned Cuisine delivers on Saturdays as a courtesy to their neighbors in Alamo Heights, Terrell Hills, Olmos Park and Monte Vista. Other deliveries over $75 come at no charge, inside Loop 410.

You can also pick up menu items and Shrub Drinks at the Quarry Farmers & Ranchers Market in the Quarry near Whole Foods on Sundays, from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Menu for Week of Dec. 1

Souperlative Soup:

Creamy Poblano with Black Bean Confetti Rice: A soup so good it needs two containers! One container if for Cathy’s sublime take on Mexico’s favorite cream soup, the other for the flavor-packed garnish that makes it Well Seasoned: 16 oz. $9; 32 oz. $18

Sumptuous Spreads  

Well Seasoned Tapenade: Olives and spice in a heavenly spread — Take a bite, close your eyes and you’re in the south of France.   8 oz. $9

Cathy’s Famous Poblano Spread: Guaranteed to make you forget every bite of pimento cheese you’ve ever had.  8 oz. $8

Greek Goddess: The fresh herbal flavors of sunny Greece wrapped in a lush yogurt spread with loads of crumbled feta.Spread it on rustic bread with thin slices of cucumber and ripe tomato, be in veggie heaven!    8 oz. $8

Lemon Smoked Salmon Spread:  Lush, luxurious and lemony, with a kiss of dill, divine on dark rye toast points or a breakfast bagel!  It’s a seafood lover’s dream!   8 oz. $10

Shrub drinks from Well SeasonedSensational Shrub Drinks

These fruit-based syrups have a thousand year old pedigree. As delicious now as they were then; these Shrub Drinks are a Well Seasoned labor of love.  Well Seasoned obsesses about new combinations, search for the very best fruits of the season, then tend them with love and uncompromising care for a month. When they’re done, just a spoonful of shrub concentrate takes still or sparkling water or simple cocktails to WOW! And, the bartenders from every quarter are taking notice!

Visit the Well Seasoned website here and learn more.

Here’s a list of what is available today:

All Shrubs 12 oz. $15

Pear & Ginger

Apple Lemon Ginger

Texas Ruby Red Grapefruit

Pineapple     Strawberry

Blueberry    Blackberry

Uniquely San Antonio Loquat

Strawberry Balsamic & Black Pepper

Very Berry

(Our four berry blend)

Summer Peach

Rainier Cherry & Hibiscus Flower

Balsamic Cherry

Tomatillo Lime Serrano

Prickly Pear

(a very limited edition)

 

Just in time for the Holidays

Apple Spice

Concord Grape

and

 

Proudly Introducing

Life-Changing Pineapple

(All profits from this luscious shrub benefit Good Samaritan Community Services.)

Click here to learn more about Good Sam’s wonderful work in our community.

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Culinaria & Sak’s Keep it Classy; Nao’s T-Giving Eve Blast

Culinaria & Sak’s Keep it Classy; Nao’s T-Giving Eve Blast

nao signNao wants you to “Gobble ‘Til You Wobble” with a unique pre-Thanksgiving late night party next Wednesday, Nov. 27  from 10 p.m. to 2 p.m.  Nao is at the Pearl.

After enjoying the lighting of the Pearl tree, listen to music by DJ Steven Lee Moya while you feast on Nao’s Latin-inspired special Thanksgiving menu and indulge in Nao’s Pilgrim’s Punch cocktail special.

Feast on Nao’s Slow-Fried Turkey Leg with duck fat confit, sweet chili-lime and wasabi mustard; In the Flesh made with pumpkin and chorizo risotto, candied yams and spicy marshmallow; Guajolote’s Fat Dream, an open face bolillo, roasted turkey breast, stuffing, provoleta mornay and crispy prosciutto.

Then, there’s the Feast of Fries made with house-cut double-blanched potatoes, turkey gravy, sharp cheddar and crispy bacon; and end your late night on a sweet note with Not Yo Mama’s Fried Pie made with Brazil nut and cranberry with warm dark chocolate dip.

Also, indulge in Nao’s special cocktail, Pilgrim’s Punch, made with sweet potato-infused dark rum, Averna, St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram, lime, sugar and grated nutmeg.

Cashmere & Cocktails — for Culinaria

wine sparkling in glassSaks Fifth Avenue in San Antonio is throwing a posh party to benefit the Culinaria Educational Center & Gardens.

Cashmere & Cocktails is on Thursday, Dec. 12, 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. and features the holiday list of Saks’ favorite things throughout the store.

Designer Rebecca Minkoff will be in the store from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.  signing handbags. Rebecca Minkoff is a handbag designer known for her “downtown romantic” themed designs. Since her beginnings, she has developed into a global lifestyle brand with a wide range of accessories, footwear, apparel, handbags and jewelry.

In addition to mingling with Minkoff, guests will enjoy light fare and cocktails. Areas throughout Saks Fifth Avenue will feature different themes ranging from “Walking in a Wine Wonderland,” to “Beauty & Bubbles” highlighting a specialty cocktail with Solerno (a blood-orange liqueur) and Champagne, just to name a few.  A special treat for the men includes Scotch & Suits featuring Monkey Shoulder Blended Malt Scotch Whisky.

The evening also showcases culinary talent associated with Culinaria to provide light bites as part of the festivities.

Rebecca Minkhoff purseTickets for the event are $50 and with that purchase, guests will receive a $25 gift card to Saks Fifth Avenue, at the Shops at La Cantera, on La Cantera Parkway.

Saks will also donate 10 percent of purchases for the evening back to Culinaria as a fundraiser for the Culinaria Educational Center & Gardens.

Culinaria is an independent, not-for-profit organization committed to promoting San Antonio as a premier wine and food destination while fostering community growth and enrichment and supporting local students in culinary arts and food related aid organizations.  For more information, visit www.culinariasa.org.

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Add a Raw Touch to Your Holiday Table with Cranberry Orange Relish

Add a Raw Touch to Your Holiday Table with Cranberry Orange Relish

The holiday meal can get a little heavy, especially when you coat everything from the meat to the potatoes in gravy. But this raw cranberry dish adds more than color to your plate. It energizes your palate as well.

Cranberry Orange Relish

Cranberry Orange Relish

Cranberry Orange Relish

2 cups frozen cranberries (defrosted and allowed to drain)
2 cups orange segments, chopped
1 cup diced celery
¼ cup chopped sweet onions
2 tablespoons grated ginger root
¾ cup coconut palm sugar
1 tablespoon Psyllium powder
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

To quickly defrost cranberries, place them in a 125 degree Excalibur dehydrator for 30-40 minutes. To make orange segments, peel and section oranges, removing the seeds. Chop each segment into about 4 pieces. Put the defrosted, drained cranberries, oranges, celery, onions, ginger root, coconut, sugar, Psyllium powder and walnuts, if using, in a food processor outfitted with “S” blade and pulse until coarsely chopped. Transfer the mixture in a shallow glass dish and place it in an Excalibur dehydrator for 2-3 hours at 115 degrees. Transfer to a glass quart jar and refrigerate for a day or longer prior to serving. Store in a sealed glass jar in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Makes about 6 1/2 cups relish.

From Excalibur Dehydrators and Omega

 

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They’re Planning an Old-Fashioned Boucherie at South Texas Heritage Pork

They’re Planning an Old-Fashioned Boucherie at South Texas Heritage Pork

A boucherie, according an online Cajun Dictionary, is “a community butchering which involves several families contributing the animal(s) –usually pigs — to be slaughtered. Each family helps to process the different cuts of meat, like sausage, ham, boudin, chaudin, chops, and head cheese. Each family gets to take home their share of the yield. This process was done in late fall to provide meat throughout the cold months.”

boucherie_flyerIt’s a definition that the folks at South Texas Heritage Pork are taking to heart as they plan a boucherie on their farm, 2890 Lucas Road, Floresville, for Dec. 8.

“Hey, y’all, come join us for a traditional Creole boucherie,” a press release about the event says. “Our pigs will be provided from South Texas Heritage Pork, demonstrations from chef John Russ from Lüke San Antonio, chef Pieter Sypesteyn from Where Y’at Food Truck, and beer from Saint Arnold Brewery. We will kick off the day with a traditional grit and grillades brunch. Throughout the day Chef Russ and Chef Syspestyn will be demonstrating how to make classic recipes using the whole pig. Our Sunday afternoon supper begins at 3 p.m. featuring a collection of dishes that our chefs have demonstrated. The boucherie will be taking place outside on a working pig farm, so please plan accordingly.”

The day begins at 10 a.m. and continues until 5 p.m. The cost of a ticket is $150 for the full day, including meals, or $125 for dinner only. Call 210-383-0665 to make reservations for this old-fashioned event that really puts you back in touch with where your food comes from.

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Pumpkin Pie Ho-Hum? Here are 10 Tips to Wake It Up

Pumpkin Pie Ho-Hum? Here are 10 Tips to Wake It Up

Pumpkin pie with a gluten free crust from The Culinary Institute of America.For some of us, pumpkin pie choices are pretty basic:  small slice or large? Whipped cream or ice cream? And of course, now or later — after we have a short walk (or nap) after Thanksgiving dinner.

Most of us stick to tradition — but maybe it’s time to give that pie recipe a tweak or two, and make some new traditions of our own.

We have pumpkin pie recipes in our files and links to them are at the end of this article. But here, we launch a search for some ways to add new taste or topping to this holiday staple. Here are 10 tips to consider.

1. To your regular pumpkin pie recipe, add a half-teaspoon of freshly grated orange zest. The flavors of pumpkin, orange and pumpkin pie spices complement each other nicely.

2. Another easy tip: You can deepen the color and add a little richness to the pie filling by putting in a tablespoon of dark molasses.

Red Kuri Squash

Red Kuri Squash

3. Cooking.com roasted a bunch of pumpkins and squashes, then tested them to see which made the “best” pumpkin pie, in terms of color and taste. The top-rated pie was made with a red kuri squash. We’re going to give that a try.

Or, how about mashed carrots? That suggestion was offered on the Tulsa World website this week. Or substitute part of the pumpkin/squash called for with mashed sweet potatoes.

4. Pumpkin pecan pie? We’ve seen plenty of recipes for that here in South Texas. But, what about a nut-streusel pie topping? This link will take you to the Brown Family’s Favorite Pumpkin Pie, which has a topping of chopped walnuts. If you still want pecan, just substitute. Chopped nuts can also be baked into the pie.

Candied ginger pieces5. Even more easy, cut the amount of powdered ginger in half in the recipe, then chop up candied ginger, a teaspoon (or two, if you love ginger), and stir into the pie.

6. Make a little extra pie crust and make cutouts to put on top. Bake them part way as you’re baking the pie, then put them on top during the last 15 minutes or so of baking. Cut your own shapes or use cookie cutters of leaves, pumpkins and so forth.

7. I add this tip for my sister, since she loves cardamom and will often add a “pinch of cardamom” to just about any kind of recipe, sweet, spicy or savory. Nothing wrong with that — and it would add an exotic touch to the pie.

8. If you don’t want to fool around with filling, think about the whipped cream on top. Add a little orange curaçao to the cream for flavor instead of vanilla extract. If you love pumpkin pie spices, add a liqueur to the whipped cream such as Goldschlager — it has tiny gold flakes in it and the flavor of cinnamon.

9. This is from SavorSA colleague John Griffin. For leftover pumpkin pie, or a pie that that looked less than presentable, make a pumpkin pie milkshake. Cut the pie up into bite-sized pieces. Whirl your homemade vanilla ice cream or eggnog ice cream in the blender, then fold in the cut-up pumpkin pie. (This is not diet food.)

10.  If you’re more interested in decking out the pie in a different look, check out this wild collection of pumpkin pie images.

 

Pumpkin Pie Recipes

Kentucky Bourbon Pumpkin Pie

Mom’s Pumpkin Pie

 

 

 

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Restaurant Notes & Quotes: Italian Holiday Treats, Brooklynite Party, More

Restaurant Notes & Quotes: Italian Holiday Treats, Brooklynite Party, More

Boiler House Texas Grill & Wine Garden invites guests to an evening with gourmet Texas cuisine and craft beer from Austin’s Adelbert’s Brewery on Tuesday, Nov. 26.

Adelbert’s is known for creating high-quality Belgian-style ales. Guests will enjoy a five-course menu created by executive chef Jeff White paired with craft beers from the Austin-based brewery’s portfolio. Both White and a beer master from Adelbert’s Brewery will be on hand to discuss each dish and its beer pairing. Don’t miss it!

Adelberts beersThe five-course menu includes: Baby Barbacoa Puffy Taco with beef heart and cheek with red chile and Achiote aioli on a puffy flour tortilla — paired with Black Rhino. Crab Stuffed Squash Blossoms with milk honey and pecan smoked bacon relish —  paired with Naked Nun. Spanish Black Mussels with red wine onion tomato broth, local Spanish chorizo, cotija cheese and grilled Lavain bread — paired with Gypsy Series.

Plus, Boiler House Surf and Turf: Corned Pork Belly and Cherry Stone Clams with corned beef-style cured pork belly, garlic butter roasted clams — paired with Scratchin’ Hippo. ABC Bread Pudding with apple, maple bacon, cheddar cheese and custard pudding with Tripel B caramel sauce — paired with Tripel B.

Boiler House Texas Grill & Wine Garden is at 312 Pearl Parkway, Building 3. The dinner Tuesday begins at 6 p.m. and costs $65 per person, excluding tax and tip. Call for reservations and ticket availability at 210-354-4644.

You know you love that tacky holiday sweater: time to roll it out!

This isn't the ugliest we've seen. Photo credit to the Ugly Sweater Shop.com where you can shop for more!

Really, this isn’t the ugliest we’ve seen! Photo credit to the Ugly Sweater Shop.com where you can go shopping.

Cooler weather is slowly but surely rolling into San Antonio, and we find ourselves dusting off those old holiday sweaters.

This year, The Brooklynite wants to see the tackiest ones you own.  On Wednesday, November 27, The Brooklynite is hosting a Tacky Holiday Sweater Contest and Party, and the lucky contest winner will receive a gift card to The Brooklynite at midnight.

Imbibers will enjoy specials on cocktails from 5-10 p.m., including the new cocktail, Too Tall for Fall — a concoction of apricot brandy, house ginger beer, apple bitters, cinnamon and lemon, for $6. The Brooklynite is at 516 Brooklyn Ave., 210-444-0707

 

Holiday chocolate and coffee event our favorite present: a discount!               

GauchoGourmet, 935 Isom Road, is having a grand holiday chocolate and coffee event on Nov. 30. This event at their store at 935 Isom Road features 20 percent off  special on their wide selection of French produced chocolates by Valrhona and Cacao Barry as well as 20 percent off all organic and locally roasted Ferra Coffee.

Gaucho Gourmet chocolateCustomers will be able to taste the different types coffees paired with fine chocolate and sample delicious desserts made with the featured products. Take home simple recipes to create desserts for your own holiday feast and watch pastry chef Melissa Beverage demo how to make chocolate mousse at 10.30 a.m..

Also, Gaucho Gourmet’s holiday sweets have arrived. Choose from among artisan panettone, from Albertengo & Maina traditional, cioccolato, moscato, apricot and pandoro. Also, for great gift possibilities, pick up nougats: torrone, turron, panforte, marzipan and almonds. Finally, Italy’s great collection of holiday cookies will be generously represented, plus mantecados and polvorones, chocolate truffles, Perugina Baci and chocolate-covered breadsticks.

Gaucho Gourmet hours are Monday through  Friday, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. For additional info visit www.gauchogourmet.com. Call them at 210-277-7930.

wine whiteTaste a Tuscan Holiday at Luce

Wine is a very important part of an experience at Luce Ristorante e Enoteca, The Super Tuscan Wine Dinner includes the unique opportunity to sample the following World Class Super Tuscan Wines, Ornellaia & Ornellaia Masseto.  See all of the tasty details below.

Call 210-561-9700 for reservations; $100 per person. Luce is at 11255 Huebner Road.

A wine dinner at Luce is the perfect opportunity to make new friends and to have an elegant and relaxing night out with family, says owner Joe Buonincontri.

Menu: Antipasti: Salami Assortiti , or assorted Tuscan meats; Crostone alla Toscana (Toasted Bread topped with Sausage, Pancetta, Mushroom); Crespelle alla Fiorentina (Spinach Filled Crepes with Bechamel Sauce). Zuppa: Zuppa di Lenticche (Puree of Lentils, Carrots, Onions, Potato); Gran Piastre (Entree) Costolette di Vitello (veal chop); Dessert, Pannetone with Vanilla Gelato.

Wines included are:

  • Villa Sandi Prosecco
  • 2011 Frescobaldi: Tenuta Frescobaldi di Castiglioni
  • 2011 Ornellaia Le Volte
  • 2009 Frescobaldi Mormoreto
  • 2010 Ornellaia Le Serre Nuove 6
  • 2011 Coppo Moscato d’ Asti

Choco Patisserie closing

Choco Patisserie, 13523 Nacogdoches Road, is closing Nov. 27. You have a few more days to get some of their wonderful baked goods.

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Hill Country Wineries Support Breast Cancer Awareness

Hill Country Wineries Support Breast Cancer Awareness

Because the Texas Hill Country Wine Month Trail and Breast Cancer Awareness month both fall in October,  Texas Hill Country Wineries membership decided this was a perfect fit to participate in the cause by donating $5 from each Texas Wine Month Trail ticket sold to Susan G. Komen.

Texas Hill Country Wineries Susan KomenWith this disease hitting close to home for many in the wine industry, it was an easy decision.

“As a member winery of THCW, we are so proud of our second annual presentation to the Susan G. Komen Foundation for the amount of $3,700. Being a daughter of a breast cancer survivor, it is meaningful more so to me that our partnership of love – wine and mothers – are joined together to provide research and support monies,” said Sabrina Houser, Dry Comal Creek Vineyards.

Ticket sales for the month-long trail have increased the past few years nearing 800. This made it possible for the donation.

On November 18,  two representatives from Susan G. Komen were presented a check for the total amount from a large portion of the Texas Hill Country Wineries membership.

Kara Hall, events director for Susan G. Komen San Antonio, said “Your support is making an incredible impact for women and men in our community who are in desperate need of breast health services, and we are grateful! We look forward to partnering with Texas Hill Country Wineries next year as we work together to save lives and end breast cancer.”

Texas Hill Country Wineries and Susan G. Komen formed a bond last year at the check presentation and both groups plan to continue to build on the relationship and work together in supporting those affected by breast cancer and finding a cure.

“We are thrilled to be able to support the work of the Susan G. Komen foundation again this year. This foundation makes an important difference in the Texas Hill Country and around the world by funding breast cancer research and community outreach programs” said Carol Millberger, Kerrville Hills Winery.

For additional information on Texas Hill Country Wineries, please visit www.TexasWineTrail.com.

 

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