Off the Menu: Newport Beach Wine & Food Fest Returns for Sixth Year

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The phrase “highly anticipated” is often overused, but in the case of the Sixth Annual Newport Beach Wine & Food Festival returning to town October 3-6, highly anticipated is highly true.

This classy epicurean ode to boutique wines and creative cuisine is my favorite culinary event of the year, and like fine wine keeps getting better with age.

Officially dubbed the Pacific Sales Newport Beach Wine & Food, presented by Jaguar Land Rover, features top local and celebrity chefs along with renowned names in the wine industry.

This year, Newport Beach Wine & Food will showcase an elevated and expanded wine program as well as a host of new events including the Celebrity Chef Golf Tournament, Opening Night Gala with live auction benefiting Covenant House, and rare vertical library wine tastings from Opus One and JUSTIN Vineyard & Wineries (count me in for those!).

For the first time, guests are able to purchase an exclusive Diamond Club ticket granting them access to the reserve Diamond Club Lounge featuring exceptional tastings from Hundred Acre, The Mascot, and Realm, cocktail service, scheduled meet and greets with master sommeliers and celebrity chefs, early entrance to the Pacific Sales Grand Tasting, and many more one-of-a-kind perks.

The weekend’s largest event, the Pacific Sales Grand Tasting, will take place October 5 and 6 at the Newport Beach Civic Center. Guests will enjoy live culinary demos from acclaimed celebrity chefs and Food Network stars, bites from more than 40 of Orange County’s top restaurants, and exquisite tastings of over 250 world-class wines.

Tickets are now available for purchase at


 Thursday, October 3

·      Golf Tournament at Pelican Hill Resort & Golf Club: Gourmet brunch prepared by former private chef to Oprah Winfrey, chef Art Smith, as well as the “Bear-Naked Chef” Adrian De Berardinis, and renowned chefs Rainer Schwarz (Driftwood Kitchen), Jean-Pierre Dubray (Pelican Hill Resort) and Yvon Goetz (The Winery). This exquisite meal will be followed by a golf tournament at Pelican Hill Golf Club.

·      Opening Night Gala and Dinner at Newport Beach Country Club benefitting Covenant House: Cocktail reception with signature cocktails, Cristal Champagne, and hand-passed canapés followed by a five-course dinner prepared by Bravo’s Top Chef All-Stars Richard Blais, Kelsey Barnard Clark, Antonia Lofaso and John Tesar.

 Friday, October 4

·      Luxury Estate Tour & Progressive Lunch: Hosted by celebrity chef and Food Network star Richard Blais. Includes private tours of luxurious Newport Beach estates and a progressive lunch inspired by Blais.

·      Fire It Up! at Balboa Bay Resort: The ultimate waterfront barbecue featuring Bravo’s Top Chef All-Stars’ Brooke Williamson, Shirley Chung, Casey Thompson, John Tesar, Vic Casanova, Katsuji Tanabe, Philippe Haddad, Jean Alberti and Brian Huskey grilling over open flames.

·      Interactive Dinner with Chef Antonia Lofaso: Learn to prepare a classic Italian meal from Bravo’s Top Chef fan-favorite. Guests will be guided through each step of the cooking process and enjoy a lively, highly-interactive demo.

Chef Ross of Mix Mix

Saturday, October 5

·      Riedel Master Glass Education and Wine Tasting: Learn how the shape and quality of a wine glass can amplify a wine’s bouquet, flavor, balance and finish, as demonstrated with wines from Crimson Wine Group.

·      Opus One Vertical Library Tasting: Six tastings of a varietal from 1981, 1984, 1991, 2005, 2009 and 2016.

·      Pacific Sales Grand Tasting at Newport Beach Civic Center: Includes seven dynamic cooking demonstrations on the Pacific Sales stage by numerous Food Network and Bravo’s Top Chef stars, as well as tastings from over 40 of OC’s top restaurants, 250 varieties of wine, spirits, and brews, live music, and more.

·      Napa Confidential VIP After Party at private luxury estate.

Sunday, October 6

 ·      Nobu Cooking Demonstration and Lunch prepared by Chef Nobu Matsuhisa at Nobu Newport Beach.

·      Cristal & Petrossian Caviar Tasting featuring five cuvées of Louis Roederer Cristal champagne expertly paired with spoons of Petrossian Caviar. Hosted by renowned chef Alan Greeley, of the former Golden Truffle.

·      Cult Wines of Napa Seminar featuring six cutting-edge Cabernets made by the “cult” winemakers of Napa including Hundred Acre, Schrader, Morlet, Ovid, Melka, and Fairchild.

·      JUSTIN Isosceles Vertical Library Tasting: Taste six vintages of JUSTIN Vineyard & Winery’s most sought-after varietals, ISOSCELES. Learn about the evolution of this iconic wine from founder Justin Baldwin and his master sommelier Joe Spellman.

·      Pacific Sales Grand Tasting at Newport Beach Civic Center: Includes six dynamic cooking demonstrations on the Pacific Sales stage by Food Network and Bravo Top Chef stars, as well as tastings from over 40 of OC’s top restaurants, 250 varieties of wine, spirits, and brews, live music, and more.

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