The Top 10 Wine and Food Events You Should be Attending 3 min read

I consider myself a bona fide, card-carrying wine geek. As part of this hedonistic club, I am expected to show up at every wine event within reasonable geographical distance. Since I am an hour away from Napa, an hour and a half away from Sonoma and four hours away from Central Coast I can offer full coverage on the events that have taken place within those regions.


Over the last decade,  I have attended numerous wine and food festivals, ranging from your basic public walk around tastings to glamorous and ostentatious bacchanalias. I have learned much and enjoyed myself even more. So here is your custom-designed Bucket or “To Drink List” courtesy of PalateXposure.


It was extremely difficult to narrow my list to 10 events due to sheer number of affairs I’ve had the pleasure and privilege of attending. There were some truly wonderful events that did not make this list.


My Top 10 Food and Wine Festivals were selected using the following criteria:


  • Open to the public
  • Quality of the wine and food purveyors
  • Opportunity to learn
  • Events’ intimate, personable nature


Cost was not taken into consideration. In truth, most of these events are “bargains.” They offer an opportunity to sample broad spectrum of world-class wines and Michelin star quality food, that would be unattainable in most restaurant settings.


With that in mind, here are my top ten:


AV-Pinot-FestAnderson Valley Pinotfest


The Anderson Valley’s charm cannot be beat. This festival has grown exponentially. It’s a Pinot lover’s dream.



Big Sur Food and Wine Festivalbigsur


Stellar event benefiting local charities in a breathtaking setting of the most dramatic Pacific Coastline. Extraordinary food & wine opportunities.


Central-Coast-Wine-Classic-Central Coast Wine Classic


The Central Coast Wine Classic is an annual affair offers a great workout for your senses. Eat, drink, mingle. One of the wine world’s most pleasurable experiences.


Occasionally we need to treat ourselves to pure, sensuous pleasure. Benjamin Franklin once said that wine is “a constant proof that God loves us, and loves to see us happy.” Attend any of these events and you’ll revel in that love!


Chardonnay Symposiumtcs-logo


Paging chardonnay lovers! Set in Santa Maria valley, it’s a great opportunity to taste the world’s top-selling variety and to meet the expert growers and vintners who work with this grape every day.


flavor-nv-bw-full-sizeFlavor! Napa Valley


What could be better than top Napa Valley chefs and winemakers competing for your palate? Not much in my book!



Sonoma Harvest Wine Auction


A beautiful, heartfelt affair, that benefits a multitude of worthy causes. It has a wonderful, homespun, grassroots feel. It features an extraordinary combination of top quality wine and food.  A formidable bargain for what you will experience.



Vineyard to Vintner


A small, but highly educational event, will teach you volumes about the grandeur of one of the Napa Valley top appellations: Stag’s Leap District‎.


West of Westdownload


The rugged, soul pinching beauty of the Sonoma coast tugs at your heart-strings as you enjoy some of the best pinots and chardonnays produced in the world. Their seminars are informative and compelling.


wopn1World of Pinot Noir


A must for Pinot aficionados. The event offers an unparalleled opportunity to taste world-class Pinot Noirs showcased by domestic and international producers. Its new home now is the fabulous Bacara Resort.

Ilona Thompson

Ilona Thompson is Editor-in-Chief at PalateXposure, a destination site for oenophiles, gourmands and luxury travelers. She also recently launched #Wine, a site dedicated to wines and spirits reviews, and #Photography, a site devoted to high-quality wine, food, and travel related photography.

No Comments

Post a Comment

Hey you!

Want to stay up-to-date with PalateXposure? Sign up today and get new post notifications delivered right to your inbox!