• September 21, 2014

Unique wines, art highlight festival

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Posted: Friday, May 2, 2014 4:30 am

BELTON — The sounds of the Joe Young Jazz Band wafted through the air as onlookers sipped wine and perused pieces of art.

Art and wine took center stage at the historic Bell County Courthouse during the second annual Art and Wine on the Square Festival on Saturday.

Proceeds from the event benefitted Aware Central Texas, a child abuse prevention center.

A tent was dedicated to Texas wineries and featured Nolan Creek, Salado Creek, Dancing Bee, Texas Legato, Pillar Bluff, Alamosa, Pilot Knob wineries and Salado Wine Cellars.

Volunteers Melissa Fasolino and Dana Pratt poured a dozen international wines highlighted at Nolan Creek Winery in another tent.

Since food and wine go hand in hand, Coronas de Oro restaurant offered chips and salsa samples and sold other Mexican fare, while Mee Mee’s Thai of Temple tempted hungry festival-goers with eggrolls, curries and other Thai favorites.

Nolan Creek made wines especially for the festival, like its Texas Moonlight — a sweet blueberry syrah — and its Texas Sunshine — a sweet gewürztraminer.

“We also released our zinfandel, called Zin Tank. The best part is on the picture is our dog Tank, our German shepherd. Everyone loves it,” said Phil Monge, co-owner of Nolan Creek Winery.

Texas native Al Moore’s landscape paintings were on display and for sale during the event.

The 85 year-old is best known as the “Painter of Quiet Places.”

Kate Winchell studied fine art at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, and draws upon her love of vintage cars as inspiration.

“My dad and my brother helped me learn how to build cars and engines, and restore different interiors and that’s where my art comes from,” Winchell said.

Her pieces included a painting framed by a 1930s coupe door window, and sculpted hands atop pistons from an engine block.

Helen Alexander had her paintings and portfolio on display as she took advantage of the comfortable afternoon shade to paint.

“It’s interesting painting outside because when the light changes, the colors change,” Alexander said.

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