DCWAF Tasting of Champions at Hilton Sandestin Feb 19

January 23, 2016 by SoWal Staff

Destin Charity Wine Auction Foundation (DCWAF) will host the annual Tasting of Champions on Friday, February 19 at Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa in the Coral Ballroom from 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. Guests will have an exclusive “first taste” of the medal winning wines that will be featured in the upcoming South Walton Beaches Wine & Food Festival this spring.

Make plans to come out for a beautiful wine walkabout and sample from the 600+ 2016 SoWal Food & Wine Festival entries, including medal winners in over 60 categories and light appetizers. Tickets are $50 per person and may be purchased at

“Tasting of Champions is one of our most popular events, giving attendees the opportunity to sample more than 600 wines, many of which retail for more than the event ticket price,” said DCWAF Executive Director John Russell. “This event provides a unique opportunity to sample award winning wines first. It is also a great way to advance your wine repertoire by tasting wines ratedby judges with a very sophisticated palate.”

Prior to the event, a panel of wine experts, including Alexander Peartree of Wine Enthusiast Magazine, Mike Haney of Black Dog Cellars, and Bill Whiting at Banfi Vintners, among others, will score the 600 wines entered into the South Walton Beaches Wine and Food Festival private wine judging competition. The judges will then select a gold, silver, and bronze medal winner ineach of the 60 categories.

Tasting of Champions allows the public to taste all the wines entered inthe competition, including “Best in Show Red” and “Best in Show White” winners. The event is structured in a walkabout format with the wines grouped by category, making it an ideal event for wine aficionados and beginners alike.

In addition,the event will feature live music by Austin Jennings and light hors-d'oeuvres. For those who would like to continue the festive evening, Seagar’s Prime Steaks & Seafood will feature a special menu for Tasting of Champion guests and Hilton Sandestin Beach is offering special room rates,starting at $119/night (Promo Code: WCI).  

The event is a prelude to the Northwest Florida Beaches Ultimate Wine Week, April 29 –May 1. Wine, charity and fun converge asthe world’s most preeminent winemakers and wine enthusiasts gather for the Destin Charity Wine Auction and the South Walton Beaches Wine & Food Festival. 
Proceeds from the Tasting of Champions as well as the South Walton Beaches Wine & Food Festival benefit Destin CharityWine Auction Foundation and children in need in Northwest Florida.



Destin Charity Wine Auction Foundation’s mission is to connect wine enthusiasts to raise money to benefit children in need in Northwest Florida.Founded in 2005, Destin Charity Wine Auction Foundation has donated more than $10 Million to Northwest Florida charities through hosting world class wine and culinary events. These funds have impacted the lives of more than 60,000 youth, including those afflicted by health issues and abuse.DCWAF is recognized as one of the nation’s ‘Top 10 Charity Wine Auction in the U.S.’ by Wine Spectator magazine, ranked No 4 in 2014, No. 6 in 2013, and No. 10 in 2012.

The funds raised are distributed to 14 local non-profit organizations for specific projects and programs that benefit children. Charity partners for 2015 include Children in Crisis, Children’s Volunteer Health Network, Emerald Coast Autism Center, the Emerald Coast Children’s Advocacy Center, Food for Thought, Habitat for Humanity of Walton County, Horizons of Okaloosa County, Opportunity Inc., Pathways for Change, Sacred Heart Hospital on the Emerald Coast, Shelter House of Northwest Florida, AMIKids, Boys and Girls Clubs of the Emerald Coast, and Youth Village.


South Walton Beaches Wine & Food Festival is an annual charity event held the last weekend of April. The festival features a stunning showcase of the best wines the world has to offer. Celebrity wine producers and chefs present fine wine and food pairings from the world’s most famous appellations. The Savor South Walton Culinary Village offers a sumptuous array of foods to taste, wines to pair, as well as wine and food seminars, cooking demonstrations and live entertainment. The event is a major fundraiser for Destin Charity Wine Auction Foundation, which benefits children in need in Northwest Florida. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit:


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