Food and Wine Let Visitors Savor Dallas

by Rosie Carbo /
Rosie Carbo's picture
Mar 09, 2013 / 0 comments

The 9th Annual Savor Dallas, a celebration of haute cuisine, fine wines, beer, spirits, and the arts, is again on the Dallas horizon. One of the largest food and wine festivals in Texas, the event is expected to attract 5,000 people this year.


Savor Dallas begins Thursday, March 14 and runs through Sunday, March 17.  Wine and food tastings, along with wine seminars, will take place outside Dallas and within the city. Venues include two celebrated hotels and a brand new museum near the sprawling Dallas Arts District.


This is the first year Savor Dallas holds a four-day celebration. Jim White, a co-founder, said the decision to extend the three-day weekend event to four days had to do with a desire to showcase the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Gardens, which Southern Living magazine called the best place to see tulips outside of Holland.


“We’ve wanted to do an event at the beautiful Dallas Arboretum for quite some time. All the elements came together. And it also happens to be “Dallas Blooms” (an annual event) so people attending our private event will have a very intimate look at the gorgeous gardens,” said White, who together with his wife Vicki-Briley-White, founded Savor Dallas in 2004, but the first event was in 2005.


Vicki-Briley-White & Jim White, husband & wife founders of Savor Dallas event. Vicki and Jim White pictured with N.Y. TV personality.

Vicki-Briley-White & Jim White, husband & wife founders of Savor Dallas event. Vicki and Jim White pictured with N.Y. TV personality.   


More than 60 top chefs will serve their unique creations at the food and wine tasting events. Jeffery Hobbs from The Porch, Dan Landsberg from Dragonfly, John Tesar from Spoon, Jason Weaver from Texas Spice, and Graham Dodds from Central 214 are among the long list of participating chefs and restaurants.


“This is my Number 1 “must attend” event of the year.  I can skip any and all other food-related events, but Savor Dallas is on my calendar,” said Ryan in his review on the popular social website, Yelp.


The lengthy list of beverage distributors, wine connoisseurs, wineries, and winemakers will provide more than 400 premium wines, spirits (Casa Sauza and Patron Tequila), and imported beer (Stella Artois) during the four-day event.


Savor Dallas


This year, organizers chose Trinity Groves shopping and dining complex, still-under-construction, as the backdrop for the first event. Here, wine and food aficionados who buy tickets to the Thursday Savor Dallas “Sneak Peek” will indulge in chef-prepared bites and top-notch wines, spirits, and beer.


The new upscale venue will be home to restaurants and posh boutiques. Visitors will be thrilled to stroll across the new Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge to partake in the Trinity Groves party. The spectacular bridge, built by renowned Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, is a new Dallas landmark that has put the city on the international map.


Attendees will be first to see Trinity Groves while feasting on tasty food from 6:30 to 8:30 pm at a dozen yet-to-open restaurants. Food samples will be prepared by some of the most outstanding chefs in Dallas and Fort Worth. The ticket price to this event is $40 and proceeds benefit Hunger Busters, a Dallas area nonprofit. The ticket price includes a choice of beverages, including wine, beer, and spirits.


On Friday, the savoring of fine food, wine, beer and spirits continues at the new Perot Museum of Nature and Science. In years past, the “Wine Stroll” has been held near the Dallas Museum of Art, the Myerson Symphony Center, the Winspear Opera House, and Nasher Sculpture Center. But this year, guests will stroll through the new museum while tasting delicious hors d’ oeuvres and plenty of wine, beer and spirits.


“As Savor Dallas continues to grow, we are thrilled and honored to showcase the new Perot Museum of Nature and Science on Friday with our traditional wine stroll,” said White, a former KRLD radio personality and host of a popular food and wine program at the Dallas radio station.


The Wine Stroll is a benefit for the museum’s “Campaign for Excellence” program, aimed at inspiring children to explore nature and science.  The new museum also has a way of inspiring adults to be more inquisitive. Tickets to this event are $35 each.


Unlike other food and wine festivals held across Texas each year, Savor Dallas always holds wine seminars on Saturday during the weekend event. Both Saturday seminars are $50 in advance and $75 at the door. Again this year, the elegant Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek will be one of two seminar venues.


Titled “Global Wine and Cheese Pairing,” the seminar will be held from 2 to 3 pm and hosted by the Mansion’s Michael Flynn and Richard Rogers of Scardello Artisan Cheese. Meanwhile, also from 2 to 3 pm, the Warwick Melrose Hotel will host a “Modern Lifestyles Wines” seminar.


Wine and Cheese Seminar, Savor Dallas


The seminar features a panel of experienced winemakers. The moderator is Alfonso Cevola, CSW from Glazer’s Food and Wine. Proceeds benefit The American Institute of Wine and Food. Also, AIWF members receive a discounted ticket price.


After wine enthusiasts attend the seminars, they can put their palates to the test from 5 to 6:30 pm at the “Reserve Tasting” set at the Irving Convention Center at Las Colinas. This is a popular event that features ultra-premium wines and spirits. The Convention Center is the new gem in the exclusive Las Colinas community, an upscale enclave a few miles from both Dallas and Fort Worth.


Savor Dallas


For many past attendees, the highlight of Savor Dallas is Saturday evening at the International Grand Tasting.  This event features the crème de la crème in haute cuisine from more than 60 “Top Chefs” who represent Dallas and Fort Worth restaurants. Additionally, guests sample hundreds of the best wines from around the world as well as top-shelf spirits and beer. 


Savor Dallas


This event, also held at the Irving Convention Center from 7 to 10 pm, features a ”Fine-Wine Silent Auction” benefitting the North Texas Food Bank. The International Grand Tasting is so spectacular that tickets are designated this way:


Fast-Track Early Entry tickets are $135, General Admission is $110, and Designated Driver Food-Only tickets are $75 each. This event alone draws more than 2,500 people. Also, Savor Dallas presents the Texas Lone Star Awards at the International Grand Tasting. The awards recognize the contributions of outstanding residents to the culinary arts, restaurants, wine and the like.


The 9th Annual Savor Dallas will close with a festive St. Patrick’s Day Wine Stroll in the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Gardens. From 6 to 8 pm, wine lovers can stroll the magical setting while sipping wine and sampling more extraordinary chef-prepared cuisine.


Members of the DABG may obtain tickets at the discounted price of $59 each. All other ticket prices are $60 dollars. Each guest will receive a crystal tasting glass as a souvenir of this outdoor event. Proceeds from the final Savor Dallas event benefit the Arboretum’s education department.


Savor Dallas


Kroger, where many of the featured wines may be bought, is a Savor Dallas Presenting Sponsor. Founding sponsors include Louis M. Martini Winery, Chandon, Stella Artois, and American Airlines. The main public relations firm is Martha Tiller of the Dallas-based Martha Tiller Company.


Savor Dallas organizers take their social responsibility seriously. So they have arranged for orange Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) buses to ferry folks to and from the event. They also point out that there will be a plethora of Yellow Taxi cabs on hand for those who may over indulge.


Just as they have in the past, Four Seasons Dallas-Las Colinas, Dallas Marriott Las Colinas, Omni Mandalay Hotel at Las Colinas, and Holiday Inn Express Irving Convention Center have partnered with the event organizers to offer discounted packages and accommodations to Savor Dallas attendees.


Tickets may be obtained at: or by calling 1-888-728-6747. For detailed information on event parking and on the individual events go to





Rosie Carbo is the Lifestyles Editor for Wandering Educators, and is a former newspaper reporter whose work has appeared in newspapers and magazines nationwide. Some of those publications include People magazine, The Dallas Morning News, The Houston Chronicle and San Antonio Express-News. Some of her features were redistributed by The Associated Press early in her career as an award-winning Texas journalist.



All photos courtesy of Savor Dallas