Wine & Food Week event let Woodlanders sample the world without leaving the Township

By: Sean K. Thompson
| Published 06/06/2024


THE WOODLANDS, TX – For the twentieth time, Wine & Food Week kicked off to great acclaim in The Woodlands. Wednesday saw some morning yoga, and that evening was devoted to an international wine tasting event at the Waterway Marriott, ‘Wine Around the World.’

‘Wine Around the World Wednesday’ was a global success

Wine & Food Week, created by Food & Vine Time Productions and presented by longtime partner H-E-B, has more events this week, culminating in the Grand Chef Showcase on Saturday. Tickets to most of these events are still available.

Woodlands Online caught up with Constance McDerby, founder and producer of Food & Vine Time Productions, and whose brainchild Wine & Food Week is, at the Wine Around the World event, where half a dozen conference rooms were each set up in the style of a different country, where native wines, foods, history, trivia, and culture were presented. Every half-hour, guests would move on to the next ‘country.’

“I’m so excited. We started this morning with stretch yoga, and it was my first time in 35 years to do that. It was so wonderful,” McDerby said of the morning event. “Now, tonight, we’re surrounded by six countries; Uruguay is new this year, and Spain. We have sake to honor Japan. Thursday is Get Frosted at Rosé Way, with fashions and pop-up shops, white wines and roses, and great eats, making for a wonderful night at Peach Orchard.”

This year for Friday’s Sips, Suds, & Savor event, she is theming it around the Texas Renaissance Festival. “We’ll have the cast of characters there. Wear a costume; I’ll be in mine,” she told Woodlands Online. “We’re encouraging people to dress up in Ren Faire attire; they might be spotted as the best dressed and win a prize. We’ll also have face-painting and caricature artists and photo walls, and of course some great food and beverages. Our partners really bring their A-game; in addition to us doing the organizing, they bring the ‘wow’ element.”

McDerby is particularly proud, at the event’s emerald anniversary, that there have been numerous volunteers who have returned year after year since the beginning. “We also have returning favorites and special guests that we’ve inducted into our Hall of Fame; this year we’re inducting a power couple, the founders of the Southern Smoke Foundation,” she said. “All of this has been with 20 years of H-E-B.”

When asked if she thought way back in the beginning in 2004 if she’d still be presenting the event, she laughed. “People are shocked when I answer, ‘yes, and there’s more to come.’ We are not to where we can be yet, but we’re a lot further than where people thought we could be. It’s been very gratifying to be working across these 20 years with some amazing nonprofits like New Danville and the Montgomery County Food Bank, the Woodlands Waterway Arts Council, and even more.”

The bell rang, signifying the next stop for the world travelers to hit their next destination the next room over, so McDerby excused herself with some final words: “We’re so blessed to have all these incredible partners who are local, regional, and national, and the people who come in for this from all over the world to do business here and have an economic impact and it all comes together.”

Check out the Woodlands Online Events Calendar for information on how to register for the remaining events.

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