The Coast News Group
Taste of Wine

10th Year for San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival

It’s the big top of all wine events in Southern California.

None can top the San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival, coming Nov. 18 through Nov. 24.

This spectacular event is an international showcase of the world’s great wines and spirits, chefs and culinary personalities and gourmet foods. Over 200 beverage companies are pouring, 70 restaurants are serving and 30 gourmet food companies are sampling.

Michele Metter, co-producer of the multi-day event said, “San Diego’s culinary scene is vibrant and rich with talented chefs and artists, and the rest of the nation is catching on to our city’s potential to emerge as one of America’s premier culinary destinations.”

This year’s action-packed lineup features cooking classes, tasting panels, celebrity chef dinners and multiple tasting events showcasing San Diego’s food and wine scene.

Here are my personal can’t miss events during this extravaganza:

You can’t miss the biggest and best Grand Tasting Event, Nov. 23 at the Embarcadero behind Seaport Village, from noon to 3 p.m. This is the grand finale and features 170 wine, beer and spirit purveyors and 70 of San Diego’s most talented chefs. Wine names like Silver Oak, Joseph Phelps, Justin, Chateau Montelena, Ferrari Carano, and regional favorites like Orfila, South Coast, Falkner and Callaway will all be pouring their best. Restaurants offering favorite foods will include Amaya La Jolla, Fleming’s, Jake’s, Marina Kitchen, Seasons 52 and Stone.

The Vault: Reserve & New Release Tasting will be Nov. 22 from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Marriott Marquis and Marina. An elegant evening will feature fine wines for gold medal collectors from over 200 producers. Nov. 22 from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. is set for Pinot Nirvana, also at the Marriott Marquis and Marina. This is a seminar with insider Pinot insights from top California winemakers.

Wine Spectator hosts a Celebrity Chef Dinner and Big Bottle Live Auction Nov. 21 at the Marriott Marquis and Marina at 6 p.m. The hotel also is the location for a Louis Latour Double 9 Year Vertical Tasting Nov. 21 from 1:30 to 3 p.m. This is only a partial list of the over 25 events produced by Fast Forward Events, founders of the San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival. Go to or call (619) 312-1212.

Jazz Great Paul Brown Comes to Tuscany

Looking for a showroom with fine Jazz, wine and gourmet food prepared by Executive Chef Robert Gaffney? Look no further than Tuscany Italian Restaurant and Lounge in Carlsbad.

They have it all with the New York style COPA ROOM which will feature two-time Grammy award winner guitarist and composer Paul Brown, Nov. 17 with a 2 p.m. show. Brown’s long career includes 6 solo albums, the latest being “Funky Joint.”

He has also won awards for Artist of the Year in Jazz. Brown will appear with major supporting acts including Jay Gore, with Brad Rambur and 3 Trac.

Tuscany Music Director Danny DiCarlo, along with business partner Joey Alfano, are planning other exclusive entertainment events including a Jazz and R&B Christmas Songs Showcase Dec. 15. Tickets for both events are on sale now for $30 each in advance. Call (760) 929-8111.

Wine Bytes

Twenty/20 at the Sheraton Carlsbad Resort & Spa presents a Concha Y Toro Wine Dinner, Nov. 13, with a 5:30 p.m. reception and dinner service at 6 p.m. Executive Sous Chef Andre, who has Chilean roots, features Chilean cuisine, with a five-course pairing with six wines. Cost is $65. RSVP at (760) 827-2500.

Firefly Grill and Wine Bar in Encinitas has a Benzinger Wine Dinner Nov. 13. Start time is 6:30 p.m. $65. RSVP at (760) 635-1066.

A Krug Champagne Dinner is celebrated at the Grand Del Mar Nov. 14, starting at 5:30 p.m. at the resort’s Addison. Krug Champagne’s U.S. Ambassador Lara Sailer Long will preside. Five courses prepared by master chef William Bradley. $35. RSVP at (858) 314-1900.

Amuse Bouche is a musical wine pairing dinner with songs from France, Spain and Italy, at Europa Village in Temecula Wine Country, Nov. 14 from 6:30 to 9 p.m., featuring a gourmet dinner with singing waiters. $79. Call (951) 216-3380.