True to its name, the San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival is San Diego’s largest wine and culinary event. Local, national, and international talents gather at this tribute to all that’s good about wine, food, and yes—this being San Diego—craft beer. Held at a different venue each November, thousands attend, and why wouldn’t they? The weeklong festival is almost guaranteed to have perfect weather, and the outdoor goings-on have the beautiful San Diego skyline and bay as an unbeatable backdrop.
In addition to the gourmet food, wine and beer tastings, celebrity chefs, and guest mixologists, there are James Beard Award–winning authors, cooking demonstrations, wine tasting classes, and auctions. It’s also a great way to have someone do your legwork work for you; festival organizers spend the year doing personal research, and then invite the chefs and staffs of San Diego’s hottest restaurants to their table, providing you with tastes of the region’s latest food trends.
Kick off the weekend with Grand Decant Tasting Experience, a mega-tasting of 200-plus international and domestic wines with the country’s top sommeliers alongside you. An upgraded VIP ticket is available to elevate the experience to include rare and extra-high-end wines. Chefs square off in the Chef of the Fest Competition (previous winners have pulled out all the stops with the likes of duck fat-fried beignets), and the People's Choice Award allows you to render your own decision, which, of course, requires a taste. Other events include panels and classes where you can sharpen your kitchen skills under the watchful eye of experts, culinary expeditions that hit top restaurants around San Diego, and several late-night events and parties with live music and DJs.