The line up for this year’s Texas Hill Country Wine and Food Festival (it runs March 31-April 3) is exceptional–more modern, more in touch with what’s going on in Texas culinary circles today. And the public is picking up on that fact; first-day ticket sales hit an all-time high, which means a lot of the popular events may sell out. I’m just saying. They’re got some star power this year in actor Kyle Maclachlan (Twin Peaks, Dune, Sex in the City, Portlandia), who now owns a winery named Pursued by Bears. He’s showing off his red wines at a dinner with the chefs of Los Angeles’ Animal Restaurant, on Saturday, April 2. Another cool event is a craft cocktail competition as part of the Stars Across Texas Classic (that’s the big stroll-around tasting showcase); it’s on Thursday, March 31. And, to round out this preview, I love the idea of Cured: A Charcuterie and Wine Tasting, which will be Friday, April 1; it’s a showcase of the best of local artisan cured meats. Visit the website www.texaswineandfood.org for more or call 512-249-6300. The festival is on Facebook, too, and Twitter @txwineandfood.