Seeing Red Wine Festival: Come for the wine, stay for the bites
Seaside’s wine weekend marks 30th year
By Michelle Farnham
Nov. 12, 2022
SEASIDE – The 30th annual Seeing Red Wine Festival returned after a two-year hiatus, and this year’s culinary offerings – a lineup of 16 Seaside-area vendors – matched the 21 tables worth of wine in their splendor.
Jim Shirley properties The Meltdown on 30A and The Chicken Shack served brie and bacon grilled cheese, and sweet tea brined fried chicken, respectively; while Airstream Row resident Mr. Gyro Hero offered gyro bites, baklava and hummus. Seaside Farmer’s Market mainstay Derryck’s Pastries plated a six-item taster of South Asian delights and Amavida kept the crowd running with coffee and chocolates.
Ashley Beecher, co-owner of The Dawson Group, had two of her company’s five restaurants represented at the festival. Pickle’s Beachside Grill was offering loaded french fries with all the fixings, while at the Wild Bill’s Beach Dogs tent, Beecher served a Wagyu beef chili queso dog.
“Everyone has been saying it’s the best hot dog they’ve ever had! They want to know where to get it and it’s so easy because I can just point to our Airstream trailer,” Beecher joked. “This is so great to be a part of, and we always love to participate in anything Seaside puts on.”
Of course it wouldn’t be a wine festival without the wine, and with nearly 90 bottles to choose from, taste-testers had plenty to explore.
Brigid Babb was pouring the 2019 Project 18 Cabernet Sauvignon and the 2017 RMS Blend for Lerner Project.
“This is our inaugural appearance at Seeing Red Wine and it’s wonderful,” Babb said. “We’ve had a great response to the wines and a really nice, intimate visit last night through the vintners dinner.”
Other winemakers included Priest Ranch, Arano, Baccio Divino Cellars and Tamber Bey Vineyards, to name just a few.
Friends Karen Peck, Sandy Taylor and Gary Howell came into town for the festival from Houston. Peck is a veteran attendee, but Taylor and Howell were really taken aback by their first Seaside soiree.
“Oh I love this!” Howell exclaimed. “It’s one of the best things I’ve ever done!”
He pointed to The Chicken Shack and Wild Bill’s as his top dining spots, while Taylor was impressed by the wines from Bricoleur Vineyards and Great Southern’s Grits A Ya Ya.
“If you twisted my arm, I may come back!” Taylor added with a laugh.
The Seeing Red Wine Festival is a four-day annual event comprised of a Thursday evening Vintners Dinner at Bud & Alley’s, Friday’s Al Fresco Wine Tasting on the Lyceum Lawn, Saturday’s Grand Tasting and Sunday’s Celebration of Bubbles brunch.