We’re back with our quarterly roundup of curated wine events! Here, you’ll find culinary fests all over the country—and some international events, too—plus bonus resources to assist those interested in professional opportunities or ways to step up their wine knowledge. Dive in below!
October 1-31 — Texas Wine Month
October 5 — World Vranec Day (October 5th annually. Never heard of this Macedonian wine? Learn more here)
October 6 — National Orange Wine Day (October 6th annually)
October 14 — International Pinotage Day (2nd Saturday of October annually)
October 22 — Austrian Sparkling Sekt Day (October 22nd annually)
October 26 — Carignan Day (last Thursday of October annually)
October 26 — International Mavrud Day (October 26th annually; read about this Bulgarian wine here)
October 27 — Global Champagne Day (Celebrated on the 4th Friday in October every year)
WINE + FOOD EVENTS
October 4-8 — Bayhaven Food & Wine Classic (Charlotte, NC)
- ATTEND FOR: A celebration of “Black foodways and the industry members who make them possible.” This 3rd annual diasporic celebration of culinary culture was created to elevate inclusive conversations around food, facilitate education, and showcase excellence in hospitality. With Black-owned wine brands like La Fete du Rose and Mermosa Wines, and the McBride Sisters as sponsors, the BFWC is sure to deliver in spades. Tickets: $150-$225
October 5-7 — Park City Wine Festival (Park City, UT)
- ATTEND FOR: A simple yet customized wine experience. You’ll find over 15 wine-driven events with fantastic options such as the “Wine is Blind” blind wine tasting party (cocktail attire, please) with a deejay and dancing; a new world vs. old world lunch; an all-red wine dinner; and a guided 90-minute hike culminating in a plein-air alfresco lunch with stunning mountain views as the backdrop. Tickets: $85-$275
October 12-15 — NYC Food and Wine Festival (New York City, NY)
- ATTEND FOR: Four jammed-packed days of event categories of all kinds, such as walk-around tastings, demos, masterclasses, and even trade-only events—plus a grand tasting. What makes this festival even more fun is that many of the events will be hosted by some of your favorite chefs, sommeliers, and culinary content creators, held at some of the most popular and iconic restaurants and locations in the Big Apple. Tickets: $95-$315
October 20-21 and October 29-November 5 — Hawaii Food & Wine Festival (Island of Hawaii and Oahu, Hawaii)*
- ATTEND FOR: A culinary focus on indigenous ingredients. The rich heritage of Hawaii’s indigenous communities are in the spotlight—spread out over multiple weekends and multiple islands. Wine on the waterfront is the underlying theme of this beachy affair that showcases a wide variety of food and wine experiences. Major Island of Hawaii events include an “Indigenous World Cuisines” tasting featuring 10 chefs creating dishes using ancestral foods and pairing them with wines, as well as an Indigenous Food Culture panel. Tickets: $25-$1,500.
*Writer’s note: with respect to the devastating fires, it’s with intention that festivals occurring in Hawaii have been included to support continued travel to the island (where safe and possible) at a time when affected hospitality workers need tourism revenue the most. Please note that festival events originally scheduled in Maui have been postponed to spring of 2024.
October 20-22 — Amelia Island Cookout, (Amelia Island, FL)
- ATTEND FOR: An oceanfront autumnal “weekend of epicurean delights” with a punch of Southern flair. This laid-back yet luxe event provides experiences over three days, starting with a Latin-themed alfresco dinner + food and wine pairing workshop on Friday, a cookout on the beach on Saturday, and a culminating brunch hosted by the Ritz Carlton chefs. Sunday’s programming includes a “Master Chefs Dinner” featuring wine pairings by sommelier Michael Kennedy. Tickets: $150-750. Packages from $405 to $1,575+
October 25-28 — La Fete du Champagne, (New York, NY)
- ATTEND FOR: A quintessential event for the Champagne-obsessed. Billed as an “epic party” with “the world’s finest bubbles,” La Fete is a multi-day festival helmed by two renowned wine figures: Champagne writer and expert Peter Liem and sommelier Daniel Johnnes. Plus, to spread the Champagne love, Peter and Daniel are taking the show on the road to host a second smaller fest in Houston, Texas November 3-4. Hurry though—tickets are selling out fast for both cities. Tickets $125-$2,900. Packages: $1,500-$1,700.
October 26-29: Tasting Texas Food + Wine Festival (San Antonio, TX)
- ATTEND FOR: A celebration of under-the-radar Texas wine. To echo what hip-hop artist Andre 3000 once said, this fest wants you to know, “The South’s got something to say!” For those out of the loop: YES, Texas is making some spectacular wines, and it’s high time that more people know. A few events with top billing include the “Becker Luncheon,” a multi-course meal in the vineyard paired with Texas wines, the “HalloWine” 5k run, and a “Champagne Brunch on the San Antonio River” hosted on a decked out barge. Best of all is that a portion of the proceeds will fund scholarships through the James Beard Foundation to benefit Texas culinary students. Tickets: $20-$300. Packages: $240-$520
October 26-29: Ojai Food and Wine Festival (Ojai, CA)
- ATTEND FOR: A 4-day experiential culinary and fermented feast. Check out these highlights to whet your appetite: a “Caviar Masterclass” that includes an exclusive palate preview of the 2015 Louis Roederer Cristal; a Domaine de la Côte vineyard site-specific tasting; and—for the piece de résistance —the “Michelin 3-Star Celebration” private estate dinner. While it may be a somewhat refined affair, it also doesn’t take itself too seriously, as evidenced by a seminar on elevating your grilled cheese sandwich. Important to note: One of the festival events will benefit The Roots Fund and Wine Unify, two nonprofit organizations with a mission of increasing and supporting equity and inclusion in the wine industry. Full packages $3,950 and up.
October 26-29 — The Bahamas Culinary & Arts Festival (Nassau, Bahamas)
- ATTEND FOR: An elite roster of culinary talent, including Marcus Samuelson, Carla Hall, and Simeon Hall Jr. Only in its second year of existence, this culinary and artistic affair will feature over 20 unique culinary events (like the food and wine pairing dinner hosted by Chef Amanda Freitag with wines by Villa Antinori winery–which was recently named “The World’s Most Admired Wine Brand”) and cultural events in celebration of the Bahamas. Another cool factor: guests will have the opportunity to party on the sand while eating, drinking, and listening to Sting play live on a stage built over water. Tickets: $165-$250. Weekend pass, $768.90+
October 29: Two Up, Wine Down (Charlottesville, VA)
- ATTEND FOR: Well-deserved spotlights on divine wines of the East Coast and talented wine professionals from underrepresented communities. Co-hosted by Oenoverse + The Veraison Project in partnership with Blenheim Vineyards, the event bills itself as a “movement”—not just a wine festival. The event will showcase the world-class wines being made in Virginia, foster connection and community, and highlight featured hospitality from communities of color. Don’t forget the fab food trucks and a dope deejay for a day of good vibes. GA Tickets: $40-$50 (VIP is sold out).
November 1 — International Xinomavro Day (November 1st annually)
November 6-12 — International Sherry Week (dates determined annually)
November 7 — International Merlot Day (November 7th annually)
November 9 — International Tempranillo Day (2nd Thursday of November annually)
November 15 — National Zinfandel Day (3rd Wednesday of November annually)
November 16 — Beaujolais Nouveau Day (3rd Thursday of November annually)
November 24 — World Carménère Day (November 24th annually)
WINE + FOOD EVENTS
November 2-4 — Big Sur Food & Wine Festival (Big Sur, CA)
- ATTEND FOR: A spotlight on top sommeliers! You know that this event is designed to seriously cater to wine enthusiasts. But make no mistake: fun is definitely a high priority, too! For instance, while they have an educational panel-tasting hosted by Champagne Laurent Perrier, programming also includes “Bubbles and Brushes,” a bubbly-fueled brunch that includes an art painting class, as well as the a “Wine & Swine” pork feast (vegan options will also be available!). There will also be a live band and plenty of room to get your dance on. Tickets: $150+
November 3-4 – La Fete du Champagne (Houston, TX) See October listing for event description.
November 4 – USA Today Phoenix Food & Wine Experience (Phoenix, AZ)
- ATTEND FOR: A low-key, laid back one-day wine tasting experience. Guests will be provided with “a tasting cup [and] food and beverage samples” as well as access to interactive cooking demonstrations with the opportunity to taste wines from various regions. This casual tasting is an especially good option for wine novices seeking to make a deeper foray into the world of wine drinking. Tickets: $80-$115
November 8-12 — San Diego Bay Wine + Food Festival (San Diego, CA)
- ATTEND FOR: An entire week of victuals, vino, and vibrant frivolity with beaches, boats, and the bay as the backdrop. A superb roster of over 45 hospitality professionals and talent is sure to deliver five days of exceptional festival programming. With events and experiences on deck like a bay-front Argentinian wine dinner, a blind-tasting master class, and a “Grand Decant” event featuring a lengthy line-up of fine wines, it’s no wonder that this festival was named one of the best in the U.S. in 2019. Tickets: $95-$550. Packages: $225-$835
November 9-19 — Cornucopia (Whistler, BC)
- ATTEND FOR: An affordable 10-day international festival that will help you “let your tastebuds run wild.” Featuring over 40 food + drink experiences, a few of the standout wine events include a seminar on how to cellar wine, “Silence of the Lambruscos,” “BC Bubbles—Better Than Champagne?” and a 4-course murder mystery dinner. Tickets: $56-$155 (CAD). Packages (lodging + event tickets) starting at $95 (CAD).
December 1 — International Maratheftiko Day
December 4 — Cabernet Franc Day
December 10 — International Tokaj Aszu Day
December 16 — Pinot Meunier Day
December 20 — Sangria Day
WINE + FOOD EVENTS
December 7-10 — Palm Beach Food & Wine Festival (Palm Beach, FL)
- ATTEND FOR: Escaping the winter cold (Palm Beach average December temps are mid-70s!). Hosted in partnership with Wine Spectator, the PBFWF programming, with over 25 events, will have you asking for event tickets as an early Christmas gift. A few of the cool experiences include a “Rosé Parté” walk-around tasting; a multi-course Shabbat Dinner (not strictly Kosher, however) with wine pairings; and a “Sunsets & Swirls” progressive wine tasting. Be sure to snag tickets quickly though, as a few events are already sold out. Tickets: $50-$350
EDUCATIONAL & SCHOLARSHIP OPPORTUNITIES
Robert D. Merendino Memorial Scholarship Program
This scholarship is named after Robert D. Merendino, a Jacksonville-based fine wine merchant who passed away in 2015 and directed his estate to be utilized to support the study of fine wine and spirits. The foundation’s purpose is to help advance the careers of those actively employed in the sale, service, or production of fine wine, craft beer, and craft distilled spirits by providing financial assistance dedicated towards the costs of eligible educational, experiential, or professional certification programs.
Up to $12,500 is awarded each quarter with award recipients announced by the 15th day of January, April, July, or October, respectively. Requests for application forms can be made by emailing: email@example.com.
Deadline: The last day of the month of November, February, May, or August annually