Photo: Michael Troutman/www.dmtimaging.com

Your Favorite Food and Wine Festivals will be Back! It’s Time to Start Planning now for 2021!!

The offerings of food and wine festivals and auctions around the state, around the country, and around the world are plentiful. You will find everything from small intimate gatherings to the grandest of galas in all sorts of themes and flavors set in delicious destinations.

In early March of this year, many of the signature food and wine events and festivals had to make the heartfelt decision to cancel and postpone their annual soirees into 2021. They will be back for our enjoyment; they have not gone away; you can rest assured. In the meantime, we can still enjoy sipping and tasting all of our favorite wines from our favorite vintners because the wineries are still shipping wines and releasing new vintages and varietals.

These wine festivals have grown in attendance and popularity over the years. A few of the original pioneer groundbreakers of these coveted food and wine events have soared to impressive heights in their popularity like the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen. Triumphing, along with them, is the Kapalua Wine and Food Festival celebrating Aloha festivities on the Island of Maui. Both festivals have celebrated almost 40 years of food and wine glory.

These food and wine festivals present a perfect opportunity to reconnect with many of your favorite winemakers and celebrity chefs throughout the year while visiting some of your favorite vacation destinations. Plan your next travel, food and wine excursion around where you want to go next and wrap it around a food and wine festival. You can just about pick any weekend anywhere around the world and find a spectacular culinary/wine enthusiast soiree happening. If you want to revel on Bourbon Street in April and eat and drink the best of the best, plan on heading to the New Orleans Wine and Food Experience. You can also get your Aloha on in Maui in June or hobnob with celebrities in Aspen.

Here are a few fantastic culinary classics coming back in 2021 where you can dish up divine delights of exceptional bites and sips throughout these multi-day culinary extravaganzas. You will also have the opportunity to partake in cooking demonstrations, wine seminars. The guest chefs will be preparing specialty lunches and dinners where you will also enjoy wines from some of your favorite vintners. It’s not just all about the wine, you will also discover regional craft brews and spirits from custom distillers.

January Events

Naples Winter Wine Festival – Naples, Florida

Naples Winter Wine Fest

The Naples Winter Wine Festival is ranked among the top 10 arts and entertainment events for successful philanthropists, wine enthusiasts, and serious foodies. This ranking by the Luxury Institute is based on exclusivity, quality, and prestige. The festival has earned the distinction of being one of the most successful charity wine auctions in the nation. An array of notable Napa Vintners will join an impressive selection of vintners worldwide to share their top wines with guests at this prestigious event. Check out the festival’s website for a full list of vintners and culinary participants. In addition, world-class items will be auctioned off at the event’s signature live auction, including tickets to the Golden Globes, collections of some of the world’s most sought-after wine, a private tour of Gettysburg with legendary filmmaker Ken Burns, and much more. Proceeds from the festival benefit the Naples Children & Education Foundation. Since its inception in 2001, the Naples Winter Wine Festival has raised more than $123 million for children in need. www.napleswinefestival.com

Annual Taos Winter Wine Festival – Taos Ski Valley, New Mexico

Wine Country comes to the historic town of Taos with Tao’s best restaurants serving signature appetizers and owners and winemakers from 36 participating wineries, including Frank Family, Merryvale, and Flora Springs. The Grand Tasting features more than 155 wines and a silent auction of rare wines. All of this while enjoying turns at Taos Ski Valley.

This 4-day wine festival of events features culinary artistry found in Taos, New Mexico. You will have the opportunity to indulge in the varietals of over 40 different national wineries partnering with over 25 of the area’s signature restaurants.

Nothing better than hitting the slopes a few hours during the day, then head off to experience chef’s luncheons, winery, seminars, wine dinner, and reserve tastings. Grab your skis and your palate and head to this winter wonderland. www.taoswinterwinefest.com

February Events

South Beach Wine and Food Festival “SOBEWFF”– Miami Beach, Florida

Presented by the Food Network and Cooking Channel, this is a national, star-studded 5-day destination event showcasing the talents of the world’s most renowned wine and spirits producer, chefs, and culinary personalities. The festival has been taking significant strides over the years to enhance its Whole Foods Market Grand Tasting. The event hosts 200 renowned chefs and 150 wine and spirit producers to create over 50 events, including cooking demos, beer and wine seminars, golf tournaments, dinners, and lunches. A grand selection of vintners from around the US and the world will be among the many participating wineries.

MIAMI, FL – FEBRUARY 25: Andrew Zimmern prepares food during 2016 Food Network & Cooking Channel South Beach Wine & Food Festival Presented By FOOD & WINE at Vagabond Restaurant & Bar (Photo by Dylan Rives/Getty Images for SOBEWFF®)

The festival now attracts over 65,000 guests annually, with over 100 plus events taking place over the 5-day weekend along the silver sand beaches of sunny South Florida in Miami Beach and other venues throughout Miami-Dade and Broward counties. The theme is EAT. DRINK. EDUCATE.

www.sobefest.com

March Events

Florida Winefest and Auction – Sarasota, FL

—Photo by Rod Millington

The Florida Winefest and Auction features a wine tasting, brunch, and charity auction, winemaker dinners, and “Wine on the Water,” an upscale party featuring a vast selection of wines under the Winefest tent on Sarasota Bay. The event has awarded over $7.5 million in charitable grants with proceeds benefiting various children’s charities. This grand event has evolved into one of the signature Florida events over the 30 years they have been hosting this charitable extravaganza.

Visit www.floridawinefest.org or call 941-952-1109

April Events

New Orleans Wine and Food Experience – New Orleans, Louisiana – Celebrated around the first week in April.

PHOTO BY CHRIS GRANGER

Celebrating almost 30 years in the Big Easy, you will be treated to the flavors of hundreds of wineries and restaurants from around the region and around the world.  Indulge in delicious local Cajun cuisine and innovative creations offering deliciously diverse dishes. There will be over 1000 wines showcased during the 4-day event, which attracts over 7,000 gourmands, connoisseurs, and art and music lovers. It kicks off with select dinners around the city of New Orleans. The Grand Tasting event takes in the French Quarter and is a colorful and magical sight to behold where the energy permeates along the spectacularly adorned streets.

If you have never been to New Orleans or are looking for an excellent excuse to go back, this is the ticket. Here are just a few of your favorite Napa Valley Wines you will find during the 4-day festivities: Cakebread, Charles Krug, Domaine Chandon, Hall Wines, Longmeadow Ranch, Peju, Rombauer, St. Supery, Cliff Family, Duckhorn, Napa Wines, Grgich Hills, Robert Mondavi, Rutherford Wine Company, and Trinchero Estates.

PHOTO BY CHRIS GRANGER

In addition to A La Carte Tickets, you can also choose from one of three bundled packages – The Tasting Package, The Connoisseur Package, and the coveted VIP Package.

Put it on your radar for next April. It promises to be a memorable experience. Visit www.nowfe.com for details.

Annual Taste of Vail – Vail, Colorado

The Taste of Vail is the nation’s premier spring food and wine festival, held at several venues throughout the Vail Valley’s world-class resorts. Over 5,000 people are expected to attend this celebrated event experiencing the Vail Valley lifestyle tasting culinary treats from Colorado’s world-class restaurants and wines poured by winemakers and winery owners from around the globe. Activities include interactive cooking seminars, the annual Lamb Cook-Off, après ski tastings, iconic Mountaintop Picnic sensory extravaganza on the top of Vail Mountain, and the famous grand tasting. For information or to reserve tickets call 970-306-1334 or visit www.tasteofvail.com

Annual Pebble Beach Food & Wine – Pebble Beach, California

Guy Fieri at the Pebble Beach Food & Wine Festival

Pebble Beach Food and Wine presented by Food and Wine Magazine is the premier epicurean lifestyle event on the West Coast, showcasing 250 acclaimed wineries and 75 celebrity chefs to create a hedonistic four-day gastronomical event on one of the most picturesque strips of coastline in the world.

Throughout the weekend, you will enjoy intimate access to the pinnacle of culinary and wine talent at wine tastings, cooking demos, and some of the most exclusive, unique dining opportunities available around the world. Various locations throughout Pebble Beach, including Inn at Spanish Bay and Lodge at Pebble Beach. For info call 866-907-3663 or visit www.pebblebeachfoodandwine.com

New York Culinary Experience – New York, NY

Passionate food lovers enjoy an intimate weekend of hands-on masterclasses, cooking, and conversation with more than 30 of the culinary industry’s most celebrated talents. Join in for two days of sensory adventure. You will cook, taste, laugh, and learn from some of the world’s culinary giants making memories that will last a lifetime. Celebrated chefs including David Bouley, Jacques Pepin, Jean Georges Vongerichten, and more. For more information www.nymag.com or call 646-314-4413

May Events

Silicon Valley Wine Auction – Montalvo Arts Center – Saratoga, California

(Photo – Natalie N for Drew Altizer Photography)

SVWA is one of the newer festivals/auctions that launched its inaugural festivities in 2015 along with the Santa Cruz Winegrowers Educations Foundation. Last year they raised over $3.7M to support innovative programs, initiatives, and activities benefiting children in their community. Other sponsors of the event include Alaska Airlines, Wine & Spirits Magazine, Los Gatos Magazine, and edible Silicon Valley.

At this mid-May event, they will roll out the barrels for an evening of celebration and wine at the private estate of John Couch. Then on Sunday from 1-4pm, the Grand Tasting offers over 150 wines from the region’s most recognized wineries. There will also be more than 100 silent auction items, including VIP vineyard tours, unique dining experiences, magnums, rare wine releases, and more. www.siliconvalleywineauction.org

June Events

Annual Monterey Wine Festival – Monterey, California

One of the oldest Wine festivals in California is the Monterey Wine Festival celebrating almost 45 years. This 2-day wine and food fest is set in this charming Northern California coastal town. Prior to the two-day event, the coveted VIP night at the Monterey Conference center offers the best from across the country and beyond. It is truly a luxury food and beverage experience.

On Saturday, you will get to also experience the “Chowdah Challenge and Celebration” where professional chefs from around the western region set the pace in a challenge to be the best in extraordinary chowder creation. There will be plenty of live music and lots of wines as well. The final day, Sunday offers yet another wine extravaganza along with being another seaworthy celebration, with highlights being the Kings of Calamari and the Masters of Mussels competition. And again, more wine, food, beer, spirits, and music. Don’t miss “Cocktail Camp” happening both days.

Call 360-693-6023 or visit www.montereywine.com

 Auction Napa Valley – Napa Valley, California

“The Most Celebrated Charity Wine Event”

Auction Napa Valley is one of the most iconic wine events and auctions in the country and around the world. This Napa Valley event has been hosting guests at their gala weekend-long events for almost 40 years. It is usually held the first weekend of June, with most of the auction festivities being hosted around the grounds at the magnificent Meadowood Resort in the heart of the Napa Valley in Saint Helena. The 1000 plus attendees are mega movers and shakers with deep pockets arriving ready to be one of the big winning bidders of the day. They come to strategically play the bidding wars on signature lots like luxury African Safaris or being hosted at a brilliant Tuscan villa amongst the rolling hills of the Italian countryside along with legendary vintners and their coveted signature vintages. The energy and excitement accelerate as the bidding competition heats up as the afternoon goes on and wine keeps pouring!

Katy Perry Performs at Auction Napa Valley – Photo by Alexander Rubin

Each year the creativity in the competition of creating these impressive lots gets stiffer as the vintner members seek to outdo themselves as well as their fellow vintners. It has become an annual quest on who can come up with the most majestic lot guaranteed to create a bidding frenzy under the buzzing ginormous tent. Many of these lots go well over $100,000. The excitement is intoxicating as the energy and the competition of the bidders seeking to outdo one another soars to new limits like a rocket out of the sky.

For more information contact www.auctionnapavalley.org

Kapalua Wine and Food Festival – Kapalua, Maui, HI

This annual Hawaiian-style food and wine festival returns to the stunning Kapalua Resort on the Island of Maui. The event celebrates 40 years of bringing together a variety of gourmands, oenophiles, and island enthusiasts to congregate under the palm trees, pleasant island trade winds and brilliant sunshine. The participating sponsors and hotels hosting guests at this 4-day tropical soiree include the Ritz Carlton Kapalua, Montage Kapalua Bay, Troon Golf/Kapalua, Maui Visitor Bureau, County of Maui, Hawaii.com, FIJI, Bacardi and Patron.

You will partake in exquisite wines from all over the world, spirits, micro-brews, and tropical libations. These are all paired with regional Hawaiian cuisine and a bounty of fresh seafood fresh from the Pacific and local Hawaiian waters. The event’s setting is breathtaking as you indulge in these delights along the beautiful shores and azure ocean views of Kapalua Bay. A few of the many highlighted events include tastings, cooking demonstrations, specialty dining, grand tastings, and so much more!

A few of your favorite Napa Valley Winemakers have been at the event sharing their signature varietals over the years of the festival. Look out for Freemont Abbey, Crocker Starr, Jackson Family Wines, Hyde Estate, Lloyd Cellars, Miner, Nellcote, Peju, Rombauer, and Tournesol.

www.kapaluawineandfoodfestival.com

FOOD & WINE Classic in Aspen – Aspen, Colorado

Every June in the Colorado mountain village of Aspen, many of the world’s most renowned winemakers, celebrity chefs, and culinary experts gather together in one majestic setting, the FOOD & WINE Classic Aspen, coveted as one of the nation’s premier culinary festivals. FOOD & WINE Magazine celebrate their 37th year hosting this annual fundraiser in the majestic Aspen Mountains along with celebrity chefs, to name a few – Carla Hall, Andrew Zimmern, Gail Simmons, Jacques Pepin, Martha Stewart, Rick Bayless, and our own wine country celeb – Leslie Sbrocco.

There will also be hundreds and hundreds of wine, brews, and spirits from around the world, pouring the best of the best for your indulgence. The presenting sponsoring this year is American Express, along with Lexus, Foods, and Wines from Spain, Peroni – Italia, S. Pellegrino, Tequila Patron, and Kitchen Aid. There are over one hundred events, tastings, cooking demonstrations, vintner’s seminars, and so much more during the 3-day event. Each of the three days offers a magnificent Grand Tasting under the tents.

“Come join the Party in Aspen with Celebrity Chefs, Renowned Winemakers, and Epicurean Insiders!”

www.classic.foodandwine.com

August Events

Los Angeles Food and Wine Festival

In its fifth year, the Los Angeles Food & Wine Festival presented generous support from founding partners FOOD & WINE and Lexus. This four-day epicurean event showcases the finest in food and drink culture throughout Los Angeles, and culinary personalities from throughout the nation. The festival is set along one of the most iconic streets in the country and washed in cultural sophistication due to its thought-leading residents like the Walt Disney Concert Hall, The Colburn School of Music, The Music Center, Grand Park, MOCA, and the much anticipated Broad Museum.

The event spans the city and offers guests the chance to sample the cuisines and products from some of the most prominent epicurean influencers while enjoying the sights and sounds of the entertainment industry’s brightest talents. The talent coming for this weekend is second to none for a food and wine festival including celebrated chefs such as Alex Guarnascehlli, Tyler Florence, Curtis Stone, Michael Chiarello, Michelle Bernstein, Thomas Keller, Elizabeth Falkner and local favorites such as Ray Garcia, Michael Fiorelli, Neal Fraser, and David Lefevre. www.lafw.com

October Events

Hawaii Food and Wine

The Hawai’i Food & Wine Festival, operating as a non-profit organization, is the premier epicurean destination event in the Pacific. Set in the lush island paradise of Hawai’i, the festival will take place over three weekends on multiple islands. It features a roster of over 100 internationally renowned master chefs, culinary personalities, and wine and spirit producers. The Festival in Hawai’i Island, Maui, and Oahu will showcase wine tastings, cooking demonstrations, one-of-a-kind excursions, and exclusive dining opportunities with dishes highlighting the state’s local farmers, fishermen, and ranchers. www.hawaiifoodandwinefestival.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

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