Largest SoCal wine and food festival comes to San Diego

The sixth annual San Diego Bay Wine and Food Festival, a huge five-day celebration with the top names in wine and food, is good to go Nov. 18 through Nov. 22 in downtown San Diego.
Check out these numbers: more than 170 wineries, breweries and spirit brands, 70 of San Diego’s top restaurants, more than 800 wines, celebrity chefs, big bottle auctions, cooking and wine tasting classes and a $50,000 “Chef of the Fest” Competition.
Michelle Metter, the co-producer, promises lots of star-power chefs and winemakers for this best-of-breed event. “We are very excited to have some of the world’s best and most renowned names,” she said. “Our visitors will get up close and personal and meet them, and experience culinary excellence.”
The biggest of the many highly focused events will be the outdoor Grand Tasting, Nov. 21 from noon to 4 p.m. at Embarcadero Marina Park North, behind Seaport Village where more than 700 different wines will be tasted along with 70 chefs from the most popular fine restaurants. The “Chef of the Fest” will be chosen in a showdown judging as the best innovator of fresh, flavorful cuisine, for $50,000 in cash and prizes and some serious bragging rights. Live entertainment and cookbook signings round out the fun. Prices range from $125 to $175. To purchase tickets, visit www.worldofwineevents.com or call (619) 342-7337.
Other must-see and taste events include Reserve and New Release Tasting on Friday from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Nov. 20 at the “Wonderbread” Building at 14th and L streets. It includes 160 wine and spirits producers, 10 gourmet food producers and a benefit auction. The cost is $100 per person in advance. Several cooking and wine classes are planned in various locations on Nov. 19 and Nov. 20. Don’t miss Peter Mondavi Jr. of Napa Valley’s Charles Krug Winery and his Vertical Cabernet Tasting class at the Wine and Culinary Center from noon to 1 p.m. Cost is $60 per person. These and other events are also detailed at www.worldofwineevents. com.
Tasting Room Finder unveiled
A Tasting Room Finder iPhone application was announced by the producers of the San Diego Bay Wine and Food Festival, World of Wine Events LLC. The application is the ultimate wine traveler’s guide to wine tasting rooms around the country.
Ken Loyst, one of the partners, said “Whether you are in the heart of Napa Valley or anywhere in the nation, the Tasting Room Finder brings wine country to you with wine collection features and a highly accurate locator, directly on their iPhones. We have all the wine data, even photos of the labels,” he said.
The program is now available for download on the Apple iPhone and features 3,180 wine tasting rooms on a map, a pop-up menu of name, address and clickable phone numbers for each tasting room, users map position in relation to the tasting room and a rating of favorites. For more, check out the Tasting Room Finder booth at the festival event on Nov. 21, or visit www.worldofwineevents.com.
Wine Bytes
— Café Merlot at the Bernardo Winery in Rancho Bernardo presents a cooking and wine class, “Super Easy Holiday Parties: Soups, Roasts, Cookies and Wine,” from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Nov. 10. The cost is $50 per person. Call (858) 592-7785 to RSVP.
— The Sky Room at the La Valencia Hotel in La Jolla is hosting a Renteria Wine Dinner on from 6:30 to 10 p.m. Nov. 11. Enjoy a four-course dinner paired with Renteria complimentary wines. Cost is $105 each. Call (858) 454-0771 to RSVP.
— Ponte Winery and winemaker Robert Cartwright present the Fall Winemaker’s Dinner on at 7 p.m. Nov. 14. It’s a six-course dinner, with entertainment and wines that match the cuisine. The cost is $130 per person. You can reserve your seats at (951) 694-9444.
— Holiday Wine Cellars of Escondido has a premiere tasting of Vintage Port with three offerings from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Nov. 14. Price is $15. Call (760) 745-1200 for details.
— 3rd Corner Wine Shop and Bistro in Encinitas offers Thanksgiving Wines from 6 to 9 p.m. Nov. 17, with appetizers for $15. At 6 p.m. Nov. 18 it has Minassian Younger Wines in a special dinner. Cost is $45. RSVP (760) 942-2104.

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