A Spirited Decade of Wining and Dining
SoWal Beaches Wine & Food Festival has paired, shared and cared for 10 years
A dazzling roster of celebrity winemakers, mixologists and chefs will converge April 21-24, 2022 in idyllic South Walton’s Grand Boulevard Town Center to wine, dine, educate and entertain guests as part of the four-day celebration of wine, spirits, food, music, fun and goodwill.
Celebrating 10 years in 2022, the South Walton Beaches Wine & Food Festival — an award-winning, nationally ranked event — draws wine and food industry icons such as Peter Mondavi, Jr., Marc Perrin, Don Hartford, Cristina Mariani-May, Jean-Charles Boissett, Norman Van Aken and South Walton’s own Chef Emeril Lagasse and many more. Given the caliber of A-list participants, it’s no wonder USA Today touted it as “one of the South’s standout food and beverage festivals.”
Here, we provide a personal “tour” of the highly anticipated highlights planned for the ninth year of this popular charity event.
The Festival kicks off in fine wine fashion in the Culinary Village with a VIP Wine Tasting on Friday from 4 to 6 p.m. Delivering the ultimate wine experience, limited tickets are sold to this exclusive event which gathers you with fellow wine lovers and top wine celebrities. Whether an aficionado or novice, you will sip rare and collectible wines from your commemorative XL Riedel glass and savor high-end food tastings created by the chefs of Grand Boulevard and South Walton’s rave restaurants. Relax; your VIP status gives you express entry into Friday’s Craft Beer & Spirits Jam as well as Saturday’s and Sunday’s Grand Tastings.
Keep the party going at the best block party of the year in the Town Center and Grand Park with Friday night’s Craft Beer & Spirits Jam from 6 to 9 p.m. Taste and enjoy specialty craft beers and spirits from the hottest breweries and distilleries in the country. Meet the makers of these lively libations, and chat up master mixologists as they craft creative cocktails. Nosh on fantastic food all along EATS Street, and jam to live music.
Before, you swirl a single wine at the Grand Tastings (Saturday and Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m.), take a moment to download the Festival wine list from the newly refreshed Sowalwine.com website. Create your own custom wine tour by mapping out the tent locations of favorite “friends” and a few you’d like to “meet.” Having a plan is wise when there are more than 600 domestic and imported wines to discover. But wine isn’t all there is to drink in. Included in your ticket price are Savor South Walton Culinary Village, Tasting Seminars, Rosé All Day Garden, Spirits Row, chef demos and the Nashville Songwriters Showcase. Cheers to that!
Each year, wine A-listers come to showcase trending wines, which infuse the event with fresh excitement. A must-not-miss this year is Château Minuty, the global leader in luxury Cotes de Provence Rosé, which will be making a special appearance. Château Minuty abounds in leading beach clubs, restaurants and luxury retailers from Saint-Tropez to Monaco and beyond. Join in the celebration of the French Riviera lifestyle, personified by these luxury rosé wines. Sample the Château Minuty wines with pairings by top local proprietor/chefs along with the VINTUS wine team. Master Sommelier Craig Collins will be presenting exciting educational seminars in Grand Park.
Wine is best shared and paired. Food is in the name of this Festival for good reason. Top chefs from near and far gather at the Festival to present their artfully curated creations designed to pair with the wines being poured. Foodies will delight in the delicious dishes artfully orchestrated by local Festival Culinary Director Scott Plumley throughout the Savor South Walton Culinary Village and peppered along EATS Street — the feast of flavors will satisfy and surprise.
What pairs with good food and wine? Great music! Amplifying the atmosphere is the Great Florida Event’s Nashville Songwriters Showcase, creating a sensational live “soundtrack” of the Music City’s top talent.
The toast of the event is surely Destin Charity Wine Auction Foundation (DCWAF), the beneficiary of this charity event. The Festival works in concert with DCWAF — of the nation’s Top Charity Wine Auctions in the U.S. — to raise funds for children in need in Northwest Florida.
Whether your tasting tour has led you to an old flame or a new love, you can purchase your favorite wine discovery in the Retail Wine Tent located on-site.