Ten Can’t-Miss Wine and Cocktail Festivals

Wine Enthusiast editors selected these 10 extraordinary festivals for their high quality, great regional drinks and scenic venues. Each one is sure to leave you in high spirits.

1. SAN DIEGO BAY WINE & FOOD FESTIVAL (SAN DIEGO)
This week-long festival features hundreds of wine and spirit purveyors, classic culinary all-stars, continuous food and wine tastings, cooking and wine classes, auctions and competitions.

2. AUCTION NAPA VALLEY (NAPA)
Four days of Napa’s best wines and food are accompanied by glitzy parties and 250-plus auctions (proceeds benefit nonprofit organizations).

3. HOSPICE DU RHÔNE (PASO ROBLES)
This weekend wine festival held annually celebrates the 22 Rhône grape varieties and French cuisine with a California twist.

4. TOTT (CHICAGO, MIAMI, NEW YORK, SAN FRANCISCO, WASHINGTON, D.C.)
Wine Enthusiast’s signature consumer event features 500 wines and delicious bites from 35 local restaurants in five historic locations throughout the U.S.

5. GREAT AMERICAN BEER FESTIVAL (DENVER)
Beer lovers can sample suds up for gold, silver and bronze medals in categories like American-Style Wheat Beer, Fruit Beer and Coffee Beer. Breweries compete for prizes, and of course, glory.

6. THE HUKILAU (FORT LAUDERDALE)
This annual tiki event celebrates Polynesian cocktail culture, music and food in a festive, retro 1950s fashion. Live entertainment and plenty of tropical shirts round out the experience.

7. SAVOR SONOMA (SONOMA)
On the periphery of San Francisco, Savor Sonoma Valley features the vintage best of more than 20 wineries but also other Sonoma Valley bests including culinary delicacies from local chefs, art from local artists and live music.

8. TALES OF THE COCKTAIL (NEW ORLEANS)
This fun five-day festival in New Orleans celebrates the history and craft of cocktails. Events include themed dinners, cocktail and spirits tastings and mixology competitions.

9. TASTE WASHINGTON (SEATTLE)
More than 200 wineries participate in this classic event held in Seattle. Wines are accompanied by an assortment of gourmet foods from local restaurants and attendees can attend seminars hosted by renowned wine experts.

10. PASSPORT TO DRY CREEK VALLEY
Showcasing more than 45 Dry Creek Valley wineries, this festival offers tasty dishes from gourmet chefs, live music and entertainment that in past years has included circus troupes and belly dancers.


Here are some more wine, beer and spirits festivals not to miss!

Auction of Washington WinesThis wine-centric event features four days of tastings and parties in Seattle, benefitting Seattle Children’s Hospital and the Washington Wine Education Foundation.

The World of Pinot Noir: Pinot Noir lovers head to this weekend-long festival held in Shell Beach, California, dedicated to all things Pinot with tastings from Pinot producers around the globe.

ZAP SF: Up to 300 wineries pour Zinfandel at the world’s largest Zin-focused festival, held in San Francisco, California.

International Pinot Noir Celebration:  Over 70 Pinot Noir producers from around the globe pour sips of Pinot—along with bites from 50 Pacific Northwest chefs—at this lively weekend festival held in Oregon wine country.

Monterey Great Wine Escape: Jazz, silent auctions and wine tastings from over 40 wineries (along with bites from the area’s culinary hotspots) make this a great choice for oenophiles.

Chardonnay Symposium: This weekend celebration is the only of its kind dedicated solely to Chardonnay, focusing on West Coast producers and drawing a mixed crowd of consumers, trade and media near Santa Maria, California.

Lodi Wine & Chocolate: Wine and chocolate lovers tour over 40 wineries in Lodi for a romantic event usually held over Valentine’s Day.

Manhattan Cocktail Classic: With a glamorous opening night gala at the New York Public Library, this weekend festival celebrates all things cocktail-related.

San Francisco Cocktail Week:  Focusing on local farmers, distilleries and wineries, cocktailians try libations from a host of mixologists and dishes from San Francisco’s best chefs at this week-long Bay Area festival.

Savor: Held in the nation’s capital, Savor features a wide variety of American craft beer paired with small plates and hors d’oeuvres.

5 Best Music & Wine Festivals in the Nation
Published on August 24, 2011
Topics: Cocktails, Travel, Wine Trends and News



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