By Natalie Haddock
This weekend is the highly anticipated South Walton Beaches Wine and Food Festival, complete with Grand Tastings, Tasting Seminars, Nashville Songwriter’s Showcase, Champagne Lane, and the esteemed Charity Wine Auction. Festivities will take place among the stores and restaurants and along the manicured greenspaces of Grand Boulevard where attendees can enjoy samplings of over 800 wines, craft beer and spirits, and fine foods while meeting culinary celebrities and top winemakers.
Friday, April 24th –
Kick off the weekend festivities with the second annual Craft Beer & Spirits Jam this Friday evening from 6 to 9 pm. Enjoy live music performed by funk and soul band Boukou Groove as you sample specialty craft beers from some of the hottest breweries and across the nation. Abita Brewing Company is proud to sponsor this event that will feature over 100 craft beers and spirits including South Walton’s local breweries Grayton Beer and Idyll Hounds. Taste a variety of small plate menu items provided courtesy of various local and award winning restaurants like Cabana Café, The Craft Bar, Roux 30A, and Another Broken Egg Café. The evening is sure to perk up your taste buds and get you ready for weekend ahead. Hope to see you there!
Saturday, April 25th –
The 10th Annual Destin Charity Wine Auction events will commence with a Reserve Tasting and Silent Auction from 1:00- 3:00 pm at the North Lawn in Grand Boulevard. This event along with the evening’s live auction will take place within a lavishly decorated air conditioned tent and will feature distinctive wines, fine local cuisine, and exciting auction lots. Silent auction items include everything from weekend retreat packages, to shopping gift certificates, dinner packages, golf memberships, signed football memorabilia, and wine collections from acclaimed vintners. The evening will then ramp up with a live auction beginning at 3:00 that offers rare and distinctive wines, extravagant trips and dinner packages, fine art, and one-of-a-kind keepsakes. A Justin Gaffrey original will even be created live during Saturday’s Reserve Tasting and then auctioned off on stage that evening during the Live Auction.
This event is the largest fundraiser for the Destin Charity Wine Auction Foundation, who’s goal is “to connect wine enthusiasts in order to raise money for children in need in Northwest Florida’’ The funds raised during the auction have impacted the lives of over 50,000 youth and each year brings more support to their cause. For a list of auction items and the associated benefitting charities visit http://dcwaf.org/auction
Sunday, April 26th –
The Grand Tasting of the South Walton Beaches Wine and Food Festival showcases over 800 varieties of domestic and imported wines and actually takes place both Saturday and Sunday from 1:00 to 5:00 PM. Many of the award winning wines from the DCWAF’s blind tasting competition will be featured along with various notable wines from vineyards around the world. There will also be industry celebrity appearances, art demonstrations, and live music. Champagne Lane will feature fine champagnes and sparkling wine to tingle the palate while an array of local cuisine and treats will be offered at the Savor South Walton Culinary Village. Assorted Tasting Seminars will expound upon the back stories of fine and rare wines and interested parties can learn how to pair wines with food. To purchase tickets or to view a list of attending winemakers, visit www.SoWalWine.com.