Food and wine festivals are all the rage these days, and for good reason: food and wine are amazing.
Yet sometimes, too many times, these events can be a bit uptight and pretentious. Life is so much better when you don’t have to deal with crazily condescending cheesemongers and ancient sommeliers.
In an effort to reduce lameness and maximize fun, we put together a list of food and wine based fests that really kill it. Behold! 9 celebrations of gustatory greatness that revel in delicious eats, wine, tunes, films and general shenanigans all mixed in. Be there, or be upset you didn’t attend, and square.
October, 15-18 – New York, NY – Get Tickets
October brings the 8th edition of one of the country’s top food and wine fests to one of the country’s top cities. Chefs, celebs and restaurateurs will hold court over the already not too shabby NYC food scene. There’s no shortage of awesomeness to participate in, but we simply would not miss Chrissy Teigen’s Ramen Party or the much anticipated launch of Justin Warner’s sweet new book, The Laws of Cooking and How to Break Them.
August 7-9, 2015 – San Francisco, CA – Get Tickets
In the blink of an eye Outside Lands has become one of the most influential (and straight up fun) festivals that features wine, food and tunes. The event (produced by the folks behind Bonnaroo) features acts like Beck, The Killers and Mumford and Sons. Our highlight? The epic wine tent at the festival is dubbed Wine Lands and features over 40 of our favorite wineries. Life could be a dream…
September 4-6, 2015 – Sonoma County, CA – Get Tickets
We’re huge fans of all the innovation going on in the California wine scene right now, and Sonoma County is the tip of the spear! Wineries like Banshee and Scribe are becoming hang outs for actual cool kids. We already nerded out about all these cool Sonoma spots earlier this year, and this festival prides itself on being up close and personal with wine and food innovators. We suggest checking out the Sunday Winemaker BBQ that’ll pair perfectly with some Sonoma reds!
September 4-6, 2015 – Los Angeles, CA – Get Tickets
The City of Angels is experiencing a food renaissance. The epicenter for this festival is Paramount Studios, but while you’re in town we suggest giving the burgeoning downtown scene a good look. Trendy boutique hotels like Freehand are opening up shop, and good food is coming with them. Our favorite party at this food soirée is the opening night. The party crams all the chefs, bartenders, and restaurateurs into one blissful night of food tastings, unique cocktails and a LOT of wine!
September 4-6, 2015 – Leesburg, VA – Get Tickets
We’re convinced: Virginia wine country is a thing. This festival is all about showing off the great vino that’s starting to make its way to some of the country’s best restaurants. Even better, the event is more intimate and localized compared to many of the national driven food and wine festivals, which makes this one really great way to learn about the tasty things happening in Virginia.
September 17 – 20 – Dallas, TX – Get Tickets
Do the make wine in Texas!?! Absolutely. The Texas wine growing region (or AVA) comprises around 15,000 square miles of land north of San Antonio. Grapefest is one of the largest celebrations of this unheralded wine country. The festival boasts the largest consumer judged wine competition in the United States. To boot, The People’s Choice Wine Tasting Classic shows off more than 150 wines from 40 Texas wineries. Remember, everything’s bigger in Texas.
November 11-15, 2015 – Napa Valley, CA – Get Tickets
Wine pairs well with much more than just food… good juice is the perfect sidekick for great films. This unique gathering of cinephiles and oenophiles spans 4 villages within Napa Valley. Over 100 films will hit the big screen this November and between screenings you’ll find some of the best wine sipping events you can imagine.
March 2-6, 2016 – Charleston, SC – Get Tickets
Did you know that Condé Nast has named Charleston the #1 city in country for the last 5 years? Well, they did. Suffice it to say, it ain’t a bad place to eat and drink your way through. The epicenter of the festival is the Culinary Village in Francis Marion Square. This is the spot to spend a few hours sipping and snacking!
September 17-20 – Portland, OR – Get Tickets
Feast is the premier festival celebrating the thriving Portland (and greater Oregon) food and adult beverage scene. Over the past few decades Oregon Pinot Noir has become a hot commodity, but there is a lot more depth to this part of the country. Our favorite feature at this innovative food and wine fest is the “Drink Tank”, events all about culty beers, margaritas, and Oregon’s famous Pinot Noir.