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Friday, November 12, 2010

San Diego Wine & Food Festival 2010

 The San Diego Wine & Food Festival is Southern California's largest wine and culinary event, drawing over 9,000 attendees and showcasing over 70 of San Diego's best chefs alongside 170 wine, beer, and spirit vendors. Celebrating its seventh year, the festival starts this Sunday, November 14th with the invite-only VIP Kickoff Party at Se' Hotel. But don't worry if your invitation didn't come in the mail, this is only the beginning of the week-long festival that includes wine tasting and cooking classes, winemakers dinners, and auctions (check out all the events available here).
The week really starts (well, starts for non-VIPs at least) on Wednesday the 17th when Eden hosts the San Diego Wine Rave. The newly opened Eden Restaurant will close its doors to all but 500 guests for this unique event organized primarily for younger wine drinkers. Over twenty wineries, plus a handful of beer and spirit vendors, will provide plenty of exciting beverages which will be accompanied by some tasty treats provided by chef Scotty Wagner's kitchen (Scotty picture above on right). The Wine Rave runs from 7-10 PM and costs only $45 if you order in advance (use the promotional code JMT10 for a 10% discount!). Make sure and get your tickets early as space is limited and this should be a fun night.
The classes and dinners are all scheduled on Thursday and Friday. The cooking classes (ranging from $45 to $85) feature local and celebrity chefs preparing a series of dishes with instructions and recipes provided. I think the 'Gourmet from a Can? Absolutely' and 'A Taste of South America' classes sound quite intriguing. The wine tasting classes (ranging from $55 to $125) sound pretty interesting as well, particularly the 'Master Sommelier Blind Tasting' class held by Joe Spellman. It will teach attendees how to identify wine varietals and styles following the Court of Master Sommeliers' tasting format.
After a week full of food and wine, everyone's palates will be ready to enjoy the jewel of the festival on Saturday the 20th, the Grand Tasting Event. Embarcadero Marina Park North is an awesome location, giving attendees a great view overlooking the San Diego Harbor. Of course, the view isn't what fills the park to its 3,000-person capacity; 70 of San Diego's best chefs, 30 gourmet food companies, and 170 wine and spirit purveyors provide guests with more than enough to eat and drink from 12-4 PM (11-4 PM for VIPs, trade, and media). The event seems a bit pricey at $125, but I don't think there will be any unhappy customers after enjoying all the goodness on hand. Plus, there will be live music on two different stages. Once I have a better chance to review the long lists of who's pouring and who's exhibiting, I'll post some of my favorites to make sure and visit. (photos shown from last year's festival; provided by Fast Forward Event Productions).


  1. I never heard of this festival, it sounds great! How do I get tickets?

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  3. Tickets can be purchased through the event's website. Just hit the link in the post (sorry, can't put a link in comments).