Full-bodied, dry, oaky, smooth, fruity and crisp, wines of every style and region will be represented at the South Walton Beaches Wine & Food Festival, April 25 - 28, 2013 in Grand Boulevard at Sandestin.
The charity wine festival will feature more than 800 wines along with culinary delights, spirits and craft beer. Acclaimed vintners, chefs, mixologists, brewmasters and distillers from around the globe will converge in South Walton for a celebration of wine and food. Presented by Visit South Walton, the world-class event will benefit the Destin Charity Wine Auction Foundation, which has impacted the lives of more than 42,000 youth in Northwest Florida since its inception.
"This festival will celebrate diversity. We will have something for everyone," said Chan Cox, festival founder and owner of Wine World. "The best wines, an amazing culinary village, celebrity chefs, and many experts in their field will join us at a stunning location in Grand Boulevard."
Wine Tastings & Seminars
On Friday night, a "Winemakers and Shakers" special meet and greet will allow guests to interact with some of the nation's most respected winemakers and acclaimed chefs. Later that evening, the Vibrant Rioja Gran Reserva Wine & Food Pairing will couple foods with old-world and rare Spanish Rioja wines. Celebrity chefs, including Chef Giorgio Rapicavoli, 2011 winner of Food Network's "Chopped," and Chef Norman Van Aken of James Beard's "Who's Who in American Food & Beverage," will prepare hors d’oeuvres and a special multi-course, family style dinner. Serving as the Director of Restaurants at the Miami Culinary Institute, Van Aken is recognized as “the founding father of "New World Cuisine" and has been credited with introducing "Fusion" into the modern lexicon. He has authored five cookbooks and his newest book, "My Key West Kitchen," was written with his son Justin.
Saturday kicks off with a VIP Tasting at 11 a.m. with top wine celebrities presenting and pouring their rare and collectible wines. A commemorative Riedel glass ensures each wine's full flavor palate is revealed while a full menu of delectable dishes complements each wine's natural characteristics.
The Grand Tastings on Saturday and Sunday begin at 1 p.m. in Grand Park and feature 800 wines from around the world. Among the amazing roster of participating winemakers are Peter Mondavi Jr. of Charles Krug-Peter Mondavi Family Winery; Chuck Wagner, owner of Caymus Vineyards; Joe Davis of Arcadian Winery; Cesar Perrin, of renowned Famille Perrin owners of France's Chateau de Beaucastel and Rhone Valley estates; and Hélène Garcin- Lévêque owner, Chateau Clos L’ Église, Pomerol, and Greg Hay, owner of New Zealand's Peregrine Wines, among many others.
The Destin Charity Wine Auction was just named one of the Top 10 Wine Auctions in the country by Wine Spectator magazine and it takes place on Saturday at 3 p.m. on the festival grounds.
After the Grand Tasting and Destin Charity Wine Auction on Saturday, guests will enjoy an After-Party Party and Concert, featuring live music by South Walton's Dread Clampitt along with a menu of grilled Kobe beef burgers dressed in artisanal cheeses accompanied by craft beers.
The Savor South Walton Culinary Pavilion will feature eight tasting seminars, featuring food that pairs perfectly with wine. Seminar experts range from local favorites, Jennifer and Andy McAlexander, owners of Mac Farms, who will feature dishes made with their hydroponically farmed produce to international favorite Pierre De Agostini, president of Cosmopolitan International and International Dairy Farms who will share insights on pairing wines with cheeses, including Anco Fine Cheese.
Cooking demos will take place under the Vibrant Rioja pavilion on Saturday and Sunday from celebrity chefs Norman Van Aken, Giorgio Rapicovali and Brian Siebenschuh.
Spirits & Craft Beer
Adding to the diversity, the festival will present Spirits Row. Participants who wish to learn more about the art of distilling spirits will have the opportunity to join the Artisan Whiskey seminar, presented by Hudson Whiskey (NY), the Artisan Kentucky Bourbon seminar, featuring classic Kentucky bourbons, and a seminar on classic single malt scotch. Grey Goose Vodka will present a seminar on cocktail trends and how to make three easy-to-make-at-home Grey Goose cocktails incorporating techniques, tools, glassware and garnishes. Attendees will sample the “La Poire Sparkler”, “Walton Beach Punch” and “Berry Lemonade.”
Rounding out the festival experience will be tastings and presentations of craft brews. Brewmaster Wayne Wambles of Cigar City Brewing, Tampa, Fla. and Owner and Brewmaster Bob Sylvester of Saint Somewhere Brewing Co, Tarpon Springs, Fla. will bring insights and samples of their most popular and seasonal beers.
During the Grand Tastings, top songwriters from Nashville will perform their hit songs as part of Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association (FRLA) Endless Summer Concert series. Songwriters who have written hits for nationally recognized artists, including Rascal Flatts, Faith Hill, Vince Gill and many others, will be featured throughout the event. From Dylan Altman, who has had three number one songs, including Tim McGraw’s “Watch The Wind Blow By,” Jake Owen’s “Barefoot Blue Jean Night” and Jason Aldean’s “Take A Little Ride” to Jon Mabe, who has garnered cuts with Miley Cyrus (co-wrote "The Climb"), Little Big Town, Ronnie Milsap, Jason Aldean, Frinkie Ballard and Greg Bates will share their artistry while guests enjoy wine and culinary arts.
Presented by Visit South Walton and created by Chan Cox, owner of Wine World, there will be no shortage of rare and specialty delights along with the highest caliber of talent. For more information or to purchase tickets visit www.SoWalWine.com.