Sandestin Wine Festival is one of the top events in the Destin area, and it’s easy to see why. Hundreds of wines are available to taste and representatives from vineyards all over the country will be on site to answer questions and help you pair your favorite wines. Combine that with a variety of events, food pairings, and live music for an unforgettable event. It’s a full weekend of fun, and we’ve got 6 ways to help you make the most of all 4 days.
This one seems like a no brainer, but it’s easy to get caught up in the wine and food pairings and forget to drink enough H2O. Bring a water bottle to carry to help remind yourself to stay hydrated in between all your wine samples. “The event is so much fun, and the time passes quickly,” Ashley Ferrel says, owner of Ashley Nichole Photography. “It’s important to remember to mix some water in between your wine tastings!”
It shouldn’t be tough to keep your belly full, as the Culinary Tent always has a variety of food items that pair perfectly with whatever wine you’re drinking. Learn what pairs best with reds, whites, dry wine, etc. If you don’t make the Culinary Tent, be sure to snack throughout the day to get that wine absorbed!
Saturday’s VIP Lounge is a great way to kick off the day. Relax and enjoy exclusive wine samples, various Bourbons by Timber Creek, and hors d’oeuvres by Marlin Grill. Having a VIP pass also allows attendees to bypass the lines and go straight to their favorite wine tents immediately upon entering. Having a place to relax can be key to surviving Saturday, the main day of the event.
The Sandestin Wine Festival takes place outside in Baytowne, and while it’s a perfect excuse to put a fancy outfit on and party with your friends, comfort is of extra importance. There is plenty of walking involved, from tent to tent and standing most of the day. Keep that in mind when choosing your footwear and your outfit. Many of the women wear hats to keep cool under the Florida sun —- “My friends and I always try to wear cute dresses and fun wedges with big floppy hats for the killer sun. There is a lot of walking so being comfy is of high importance unless you are trying to make a statement!” says Brittany Garger, Manager of Operations for Gibson Beach Rentals. “Someone once told me not to wear white, but I braved the storm and came out tye-dye free!”
After a full day of wine samples, the last thing you should worry about is driving home. Destin and our surrounding areas offer a variety of safe ride programs, including Taxi service, Uber, Lyft, and Sunshine Shuttle’s new Rideshare program. Carpooling is another great option, if you’re going with friends. Attendees that aren’t drinking or are under 21 can attend the event for free, a perfect way to include friends of all ages.
The last and biggest tip we have is to pace yourself! With a jam packed 4 days of events, it’s easy to go all out the first night or two and not make it on Saturday or Sunday. The events kick off Thursday with a Bourbon and BBQ Party from 6-8pm. BBQ samples from Village Door and Bourbons from our local distillery Timber Creek will be available. Tickets are required to attend! Jump on the Solaris Cruise ship Friday afternoon for a Champagne and Seafood lunch from 12-3pm. A reception will follow on the docks before the wine tasting opens. The main event happens Friday and Saturday in Baytowne, with hundreds of domestic and international wines to taste. A new event is being offered on Saturday morning: Mind. Body. Beach. The Sandestin Spa is offering yoga, mimosas and the beach at 9am. Sandestin Wine Festival wraps up Sunday morning with Brunch on the Bay from 10am-2pm at the Baytowne Marina. Enjoy live music, mimosas, margaritas, sangrias, and a seasonal assortment of breakfast and lunch items, making it the perfect end to a fun filled weekend. Check out the entire schedule here!
If you’re a new attendee, what’s one thing not to miss through the entire event? “I would say don’t miss the wine selling tent,” says Brittany. “If you find a wine you love, (several of them are only for the festival) mark your favorites and make sure to buy them at the end. I believe if you buy a box you get a little discount, too – so stock up for gifts later in the year and your own fridge!”
It’s also important to note that the party doesn’t have to end when the Sandestin Wine Festival does. Baytowne has plenty of live music and waterfront dining options, so many attendees will make keep partying well into the night. Grab your tickets while you can, as this event sells out quickly — and if you miss out on the tickets, hit up Baytowne that weekend and catch some of the after parties. Cheers!
All images courtesy of www.sandestinwinefestival.com and www.facebook.com/sandestinwinefestival