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A spread of wines at the Newport Beach Food & Wine Festival

OCTOBER

Newport Beach Wine & Food Festival

Get dressed up to party at the multitude of special events that make up the Newport Beach Wine & Food Festival, in the beautiful beach town of Newport Beach. Special chefs’ dinners at area restaurants, live cooking demonstrations, and other exclusive experiences are among the more than 20 ticketed tasting, imbibing, listening, hob-nobbing, and learning opportunities offered during the four-day early October extravaganza.

What can you expect if you decide to take a break from surfing, sailing, or lying on the beach in this famously pleasurable community to drop by? Before going, check out the schedule of events. Many of the goings-on sell out in advance, so the further out you can plan and reserve a place the better. Midday events typically happen between 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., and include cooking demonstrations, wine tastings featuring off-the-shelf local bottles, and tastings from decades-old vintages with commentary from a panel of in-house and industry experts.

Evening events take things up a notch—these are the experiences the festival has built its reputation on. At the top of the list are the Diamond-level events, followed by the Platinum level; both offer early access to the Grand Tasting Pavilion—the signature hub of the event—which is laden with tastings from 40-plus restaurants and sips from 250-plus varieties of wine, spirits, and beers. Presented throughout the festival are cooking demonstrations from celebrity chefs, meet-and-greets with master sommeliers, and opportunities to chat with dining and winemaking leaders. Diamond Club events add rare reserve wines to the menu, cocktail service, and complimentary Riedel wine glasses.

Whatever events you choose to take in, expect to experience a general sense that you might just be the luckiest people in the world. Feel-good information: All proceeds benefit charity partners.