Florida’s food and wine festivals that make the A-list
Planning a trip around a food and wine festival adds another dimension to a weekend escape or a welldeserved vacation. Foodie fests are always happening somewhere in Florida. Here are our favorites for the culinary connoisseur in you, plus where to stay for easy access to all the festivals’ happenings.
SEEING RED WINE FESTIVAL, SEASIDE,
NOV. 8-11, 2018 This is one of few wine festivals held steps from the Gulf of Mexico waters in a darling of a beach town. Consider it northwest Florida’s premier event in which guests enjoy swirling and sipping wine, live music, Southern hospitality, and sand and surf. Our Picks: The vintner dinner at Bud & Alley’s beachfront restaurant, complete with sunset, scores for its awesome setting. Another top event is Saturday afternoon’s Seeing Red Grand Tasting in downtown Seaside, where you can stroll from tent to tent and sample some 600 wines, before moseying over to the retail tent for a case of your new favorite wine. Stay: With more vacation rental homes than hotels available, consider booking through Cottage Rental Agency and take advantage of special lodging and ticket packages. Many of the houses are close to the shore on Scenic Highway 30-A, just a short walk from Seaside. seeingredwinefestival.com
PALM BEACH FOOD & WINE FEST,
DEC. 13-16, 2018 Chef Daniel Boulud is the headliner at Palm Beach’s food and wine fest. But there’s no shortage of talent with names such as Duff Goldman, the pastry chef from Food Network’s Ace of Cakes fame, and Palm Beach’s own Clay Conley, a James Beard Award semifinalist for Best Chef of the South. And the venues are just as grand, including the historic hotel The Breakers. Our Picks: Friday night’s Chef Welcome Party is held in a luxe, yet tropical, setting at The Breakers resort. Sunday’s Daniel & Friends brunch at Café Boulud is a chance to meet the renowned chef. And Sunday’s Grand Tasting at the convention center is where you eat, drink and mingle as you visit some 60-plus stations. Stay: The Four Seasons Resort Palm Beach is the official host for the festival. Set on the Atlantic Ocean, it’s the perfect spot to retreat to in between events. pbfoodwinefest.com
KEY WEST FOOD AND WINE FESTIVAL,
JAN. 23-27, 2019 The wildest of all the food and wine fêtes, this festival because of its sheer location attracts a crowd that knows how to sip, savor and party in the most laid-back, anything-goes way. Bring shorts and flip-flops. Our Picks: Book a Neighborhood Stroll and choose the location—Bahama Village, Historic Seaport or Mallory Square; then sample wines as you tour the Key West neighborhood. For something more culinary, reserve a spot at the Stock Island Shrimp Boil at The Perry Hotel for a dinner of pink shrimp, conch fritters, Key lime pie and more. Wrap the weekend with the Master Chef’s Classic on Sunday for an impressive presentation and tasting of premium wines and food. Stay: The Marker Waterfront Resort, near the historic seaport, is walking distance to most events. One of the newer properties built from scratch in 2014, the luxury boutique hotel has a tropical conch vibe, balconies and three pools. keywestfoodandwinefestival.com
Food Network TV personalities from Andrew Zimmern to Robert Ir vine have made appearances at the South Beach W ine & Food Festival.
Chef Daniel Boulud hosts an event at his Café Boulud restaurant during the Palm Beach Food & Wine Fest.