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The one and only 13th annual San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival is coming Nov. 14 through Nov. 20. Photo by Frank Mangio
CommunityTaste of Wine

Taste of Wine: Premiere San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival is this month

It’s the West Coast’s largest luxury wine and food event, a weeklong extravaganza of wine, food, beer, spirits and numerous classes and demonstrations, planned for many locations in San Diego.

The Grand Tasting with star-studded wines and chef personalities returns Nov. 18 from noon to 3 p.m. at the Embarcadero, behind Seaport Village. It includes 150 wineries, breweries and spirits from around the world.

That’s only one of over 50 events at the San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival.  Included in the festive Saturday event is the “Chef of the Fest” competition, where San Diego’s leading chefs battle head to head in a fierce culinary showdown.

On Nov. 17, you may want to join in a dinner and live auction with culinary greats, from 6 to 10 p.m. at the Marriott.  Gather your friends and reserve a table.  It’s a once in a lifetime dining experience. The auction will benefit tomorrow’s culinary stars with scholarships for deserving students.

On Nov. 18 is the Trade Tasting at SommCon, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Marriott Marquis & Marina on Harbor Drive. Beginners, Master Sommeliers and everyone in between will have something to taste and love at this largest event of the SommCon conference, tasting over  100 wine, brewery and spirit producers, while meeting and greeting wine producers.

Skipping to Nov. 20, join the Battle of the Bartenders combined with a Pizzapalooza —the best pizzas in the world, from New York, Naples, Sicily, SoCal and other pizza capitals. The fun goes from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.  The smartest way to go is to combine the week’s events into prepared packages.  For instance, the Grand Cru VIP is: the Pizzapalooza on Sunday, wine or culinary classes, the Friday tasting at SommCon, the Lexus Grand Tasting on Saturday and a Party after Dark by Stella Artois beer.   All the event details are in front of you, along with pricing, at


Rotary Carlsbad Brewfest draws big crowd

Over a thousand visitors partied with area craft brewers recently at the 3rd annual Carlsbad Brewfest, held at Holiday Park off Interstate 5. There was a wonderful mix of beers to choose from — a testimony to the rage of interest in craft beers. Forget about your father’s favorites like Coors and Bud.

The beer king of the Encinitas Oktoberfest, Edgar Engert, with his wife Renate, admire an Alpine Beer, a German style brew from Alpine, in east San Diego County. Photo by Frank Mangio
The beer king of the Encinitas Oktoberfest, Edgar Engert, with his wife Renate, admire an Alpine Beer, a German style brew from Alpine, in east San Diego County. Photo by Frank Mangio


All the current best selling craft beer sellers were there, including Ballast Point, Stone, Karl Strauss and Green Flash.  There was a lot of interest in New Belgium, Belching Beaver, Firestone, Lost Abbey, Stumblefoot, Booze Brothers. There were 30 breweries in all, with over 70 types of beer to taste. Music and games kept the fun at a high level.

The Carlsbad High-Noon Rotary hosted the event with proceeds to benefit North County teens and Marines through scholarships.


Wine Bytes

Seasalt Seafood Bistro on Del Mar’s Carmel Valley Road has a Seghesio Wine Dinner Nov. 3 at 6 p.m.  Seghesio is Sonoma’s premier winery. Enjoy five wines with five courses of Seasalt cuisine.  Cost is $55.  Call (858) 755-7100.

The Stars of Cabernet will be presented at the Fairmont Grand Del Mar, Nov. 9 at 6 p.m. for VIP and 7 p.m. for Gold Tickets.  VIP price is $300 and includes private dinner, with a Gold at $200.  Details and tickets at

Passionate About Pinot Noir Food & Wine Experience is Nov. 12 from 3 to 5 p.m. in the Meritage Wine Market wine room in Encinitas. Enjoy an exploration of global tastings from six distinctive Pinot Noirs at a shared table with specialty cheeses and fine foods.  It’s a fun, informative experience. Cost is $79 with advance registration and payment.  Call for details at (858) 442-2749.

PAON Wine Store and Lounge in downtown Carlsbad presents “Veni Vidi Vici,” a night of Brunello wines, Nov. 16 at 6 p.m.  Wine Master Gino Campbell serves up classic Brunello wines from Antinori, Gaja and many more.  Cost is $69 and includes a charcuterie board.  Reserve your place at (760) 729-7377.

Frank Mangio is a renowned wine connoisseur certified by Wine Spectator.  He is one of the leading wine commentators on the web. View his columns at and reach him at [email protected].  Follow him on Facebook.