Newport Beach Wine & Spirits Fest Returns to Balboa Bay Resort May 27-29

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One of my favorite culinary events every spring has been the Balboa Bay Resort’s Wine Festival. It’s a chance to enjoy fine wines and cuisine in a classy seaside setting.

The event has changed a bit over the years and sadly the pandemic postponed the event in 2020 and 2021.

Now, after a two-year hiatus, Balboa Bay Resort is officially kicking off the summer season with the Newport Beach Wine & Spirits Festival over Memorial Day Weekend, May 27-29.

Note the name change. “Spirits” has been added, and it’s a welcome addition, says Jason Hsieh, Food & Beverage Director at Balboa Bay Resort.

“This year will be different than previous years in terms of the scale,” Hsieh told me. “We used to have maybe 15 to 20 wine vendors, but now we are at about 60, and we have added spirits including tequilas, mezcal, vodka, whiskey. And Executive Chef Prabeen Prathapan will have different food stations so you can enjoy a taste of our property.”

Balboa Bay Resort chef Prabeen Prathapan

The festival begins Friday, May 27 with a dinner and reception with Daou Vineyards, the iconic Paso Robles winery known for its powerful Bordeaux varieties. A specially curated five-course dinner will accompany the wines, courtesy of Chef Prabeen.

Then comes the main event.

On Saturday, May 28 and Sunday, May 29, the Newport Beach Wine & Spirits Festival will welcome over several hundred guests to enjoy wine, spirits, food, and live music.

Saturday’s festivities will be located in the resort’s Commodore Room pouring out onto the boardwalk, overlooking the marina and yachts.

On Sunday, the expansive lawn will also be utilized, and a Cirque du Soleil-style arial act will entertain guests.

Ticket information for each event is available online at

Tickets start at $125 per person (plus tax, gratuity, and fees) for the Saturday or Sunday events, and $175 for the Daou dinner. Combination tickets are available, as are discounted rooms for those attending the festival for the weekend.

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