Not that you need a reason to visit Rockport, but the annual Texas Festival of Wines and Culinary Arts is a great reason to travel to this coastal jewel over the Memorial Day weekend...

What makes Rockport-Fulton so special? A long time fishing Mecca on the Texas Coastal Bend, the community has embraced the arts and is known far and wide as a regional center rich in art and culture.

But it could be the warm Gulf breezes, the smell of sea salt in the air, the omnipotent sunny skies and the rather large assortment of water-related activities and, of course, great Texas coastal cuisine that appeals to the larger majority of visitors who flock to this bayside city to enjoy the natural amenities of one of Texas' finest bayside communities.

Or maybe it's just that we're fond of the wine.

The Texas Maritime Museum plays host to the 15th Annual Festival of Wine & Food May 27-28, a celebration that features over 80 domestic and international wines and more great food than one person could consume in a single weekend. Complimented with live music, unique vendors and even a beer tasting booth (this is Texas after all), the event attracts crowds from as far away as Dallas and Houston and offers a unique opportunity to discover the rich maritime history of the Lone Star State.

Imagine wrapping your lips around these mouthwatering dishes:

AransaZu Crab Cakes on Mango Jalapeno
Aioli, served with Jicama Slaw & Lime Ginger Vinaigrette
Whole poached Artichoke with Garlic Mayonnaise
Chicken Apple Basil Skewers
Jalapeno Beef Skewers
Cajun Meat Pies
Fresh Sautéed Gulf fish with a Crab Buttercream sauce
Tiratas de Zihuatanejo

Headlining the entertainment this year is a Texas favorite Joe Ely Band . Other bands include the Scott Taylor Band, Lighter Ray, Westbound and Cody ANgel and Mike Milligan.

Also an important part of the festival and a major draw are a series of cooking demonstrations and seminar planned concurrently with the event.

The Texas Maritime Museum plays host to the event and offers a grand look into the maritime traditions of the Texas coast. Come learn about A Day in the Life of the colonists who followed Robert Cavelier, Sieur de LaSalle on his ill-fated expedition to find the mouth of the Mississippi. Through artifacts excavated from LaSalle's flagship, LaBelle, the Texas Maritime Museum tries to tells the story of the settlers.

The Museum also presents a view of the lives of LaSalle's sailors and the hardships they faced on their journey from France to the New World. Unique objects such as navigational dividers and a seventeenth century nocturnal give us a glimpse of the navigation of the period that landed La Belle and her crew over 400 miles west of her intended destination. Exhibit areas include both indoor and outdoor  sections.

For more information or tickets, visit the official Festival Web site.

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