Historic downtown Galveston is the site for the inaugural Galveston Island Food and Wine Festival on April 17. The festival includes a “Tasting in the Park” on Saturday, April 17 from 2:30 – 5:30 p.m. in Saengerfest Park, 23rd and Strand, followed by wine pairing dinners that evening. This year, the festival will feature South American wines as well as American wines complemented by live Latin music and entertainment. Mike Dean, president of Yaga’s Entertainment, Inc. and Yaga’s Café, is coordinating the festival.
 
Saturday’s tasting will offer two levels of wine and ticket prices. A wine tasting ticket is $45 in advance or $60 on the day of the event. A limited number of select wine tasting tickets are available for $65 in advance. Both tickets include a commemorative souvenir glass, live entertainment, wine tastings and opportunity to win door prizes. Local restaurateurs will offer cheese and food bites at an additional fee. Participating wineries include Alamos, Alexander Valley Vineyards, Bonterra Vineyards, Bodega Catena Zapata, Diageo Chateau & Estate Wines, Dry Creek Vineyard, Flora Springs Winery, Geyser Peak Winery and Montes Alpha. Proceeds will benefit local Galveston charities.
 
Following the “Tasting in the Park,” local restaurants are hosting wine pairing dinners on Saturday. Reservations for the dinners can be made on the festival website. Participating restaurants include 901 Postoffice, Luigi’s Ristorante Italiano, M&M Restaurant, Olympia The Grill at Pier 21, Rudy & Paco, Saltwater Grill, Willie G’s, and Yaga’s Café. Menus and paired wineries are posted on the website.
 
“Our hope is that this festival reacquaints people with downtown Galveston so they can see all the progress that we’ve made after Ike,” says Dean. “We want visitors and residents to enjoy all the great food and wine that this event will offer plus dine at our amazing restaurants.”
 
Galveston Bailliage of La Chaîne des Rôtisseurs™ is co-sponsoring the Galveston Island Food and Wine Festival. La Chaîne is an international gastronomic society founded in Paris in 1248 and dedicated to bringing together those who share an interest in cuisine, wine and fine dining. Galveston Chaîne Bailli Jan Pozzi and Grand Eschanson Jim Pozzi are co-chairs for this year’s event and will oversee the selection of wines to be featured.
 
The Galveston Island Food and Wine Festival is coordinated by Yaga’s Entertainment, Inc and sponsored by the Galveston Bailliage of La Chaîne des Rôtisseurs™, Galveston Park Board of Trustees, Galveston.com, Mitchell Historic Properties, The Tremont House, Galveston County Daily News, Del Papa Distributing, Yaga's Café and www.CleverleysNewsletter.com. Proceeds will benefit local Galveston charities.
                                                                                                         
For more information on the Galveston Island Food and Wine Festival, call 409-762-6676. Festival goers can purchase tickets and make reservations at The Tremont House, the preferred hotel for the festival, at www.Galveston.com/FoodAndWine.