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Southern California Spring Wine Festivals

Newport Beach Wine Festival
Newport Beach Wine Festival
Balboa Bay Resort Hosts

Ring in Spring By Tasting Exceptional Wine and Food in Irvine, Newport Beach and Santa Barbara, California

Santa Barbara Food & Wine Weekend at Bacara

By Anne Stephany

With miles of rolling vineyards, dozens of farmers and fishermen, nationally-acclaimed artisans and trendy new restaurants, Santa Barbara County is growing into one of the nation’s top up-and-coming culinary destinations. But much about what makes this region so unique remains a well-kept secret; until now.

In partnership with Edible Santa Barbara and The Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy and the Culinary Arts, Bacara Resort & Spa is pleased to introduce the Santa Barbara Food & Wine Weekend at Bacara from June 6-8, 2014. Set within the luxurious surroundings of Bacara Resort, the three-day event will take guests on a culinary tour of Santa Barbara County from sea to Santa Ynez.

At the heart of the weekend is a special tribute to Julia Child who spent her final years in Santa Barbara, a city she described as a “bit of heaven.” The weekend is inspired by Julia’s lifelong passion for learning, love of eating well and mission to further gastronomy. A portion of event proceeds will benefit The Julia Child Foundation.

“The Foundation is very proud of Julia’s and our connection to Santa Barbara. We can’t think of a better way to honor Julia’s legacy than a weekend celebrating the food and wine bounty around Santa Barbara. We are so pleased that Bacara has partnered with the Foundation to produce this most appetizing event.” – Todd Schulkin, Executive Director, The Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy and the Culinary Arts.

Santa Barbara Food & Wine Weekend ticket prices range from zero to $250. Bacara Resort is offering an overnight package that includes: two-night stay at Bacara Resort & Spa on June 6 and 7; two tickets to the opening night wine reception on June 6; two tickets to the Sunday neighborhood tasting on June 8, and valet parking. Prices start at $515 a night (normally $657 if purchased separately). Advanced reservations are recommended.

For tickets or more information, please visit www.BacaraCulinaryWeekend.com.

Celebrity Cruises First Land-Based Wine and Food Festival

By Karen Gee-McAuley

Celebrity Cruises, which introduced the cruise industry’s first gourmet food truck in 2013, and on the heels of 10 of its restaurants receiving Wine Spectator’s “Award of Excellence,” has made yet another culinary footprint on land with the industry’s first-ever wine and food festival. The Celebrity Cruises Great Wine Festival takes place May 31, from 2 to 5 p.m. at the Great Park in Irvine, Calif.

Proceeds from the festival will benefit LegalAid of Orange County, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that provides free and low-cost legal services to individuals of Southern California who might otherwise be denied access to justice. Since its founding in 1958, LASOC has assisted over 500,000 people.

Early bird tickets are $75 per person if purchased by April 30, 2014, then go up to $100 per person. Celebrity Cruises’ Captain’s Club members are eligible for a 20% discount on tickets ($60) if purchased by April 30, 2014. Discounted tickets are also available for government and non-profit workers, as well as sitting judges. Tickets and can be purchased online at Celebrity Cruises Great Wine Festival.

A sampling of food and beverage participants slated to delight attendees include Cakebread, Kendall Jackson, Samuel Adams, Slapfish, Clay Oven (recipient of the 2013 Golden Foodie Awards for Best Indian Restaurant in Orange County), Maro Wood Grill, Bluewater Grill, Riptide, James Republic (Chef Dean James Max) and more.

Celebrity’s Sommelier Chanelle Duarte and its VP of F&B operations / Executive Chef John Suley, will be in attendance at Celebrity Cruises’ booth, where tastes of Celebrity’s cuisine will be presented.

Scott Clifton, director of sales, states, “Celebrity’s love affair with the culinary arts continues to flourish. We saw this opportunity to introduce food and wine aficionados to culinary experiences they can enjoy while on a Celebrity ship, as well as restaurants and beverages they have yet to try.”

Newport Beach Wine Festival® at Balboa Bay Resort

By Lauren Crowley

This celebration will showcase Balboa Bay Resort and its exceptional food and beverage offerings through creative wine tasting experiences, seminars, a cooking class, a wine maker dinner, a seafood festival and more. Join Balboa Bay Resort’s Executive Chef, Vincent Lesage, along with his exceptional culinary team, and some of the best and most well-known wine makers and chefs in the region for this annual event.

“We are looking forward to this eleventh annual event and welcoming resort guests, Balboa Bay Club members and our local community, to the resort to experience an extraordinary wine and food experience,” said Sam El-Rabaa, general manager of Balboa Bay Resort. “This is a truly unique weekend filled with exceptional wines and culinary talent.”

Newport Beach Wine Festival® begins Friday, May 23 with the intimate Master Sommelier Coasting Through California Wine Dinner. Kick the holiday weekend off in style and embark on an evening of exceptional wine and extraordinaire culinary creations. Guests will enjoy an exquisite six-course dinner that will take them on a food and wine journey throughout California. Each course will represent a specific area in California and will incorporate locally grown ingredients from that region. Fine wines will be selected for each course by Master Sommeliers Ira Harmon M.S. and Ron Mumford M.S.

On Saturday, May 24, guests are invited to attend a cooking class and two wine seminars during the day and the Grand Tasting in the evening.

The majestic Grand Tasting on Saturday evening will transform The Grand Ballroom at Balboa Bay Resort into a beautiful tasting room with over 90 wineries from around the world. Alongside the wines will be endless culinary creations from the chefs at Balboa Bay Resort, including a selection of seafood, caviars, cheeses, meats and decadent desserts. Live music will be played to set the relaxed atmosphere for the evening.

Newport Beach Wine Festival® will close on Sunday, May 25, with a farewell Beer for Breakfast, an afternoon All-American Seafood Festival and Cigar “On the Rocks” to end the evening.

Start the day in European style with scrumptious breakfast faire and renowned beers from around the world at Beer for Breakfast.

Next, take in the gorgeous Southern California outdoors amidst the yachts at the All-American Seafood Festival. Delight in great wine, beer and magnificent cuisine from the sea. Sample and savor wines from over 30 wineries, including winery partner Trinitas Cellars, as you stroll through the waterfront lawn filled with rows of interactive culinary stations.

Finish off the evening with Cigar “On the Rocks”, where you will delight in specialty cocktails, top flight cognacs, scotches, ports, decadent desserts and of course, cigars.

To purchase tickets, please call Balboa Bay Resort at 949.630.4145. For additional information on the Newport Beach Wine Festival®, please visit http://balboabayresort.com/newport-beach-vacations/newport-beach-wine-festival/.