Seeing Red Wine Festival Celebrates 25 Years Nov 5-8

November 6, 2015 by SoWal Staff

Celebrate in the SoWal town of Seaside during the 25th Annual Seeing Red Wine Festival, Nov. 5-8, 2015, benefiting children in need in Northwest Florida. Aged like a good Bordeaux, the Seeing Red Wine Festival is produced in partnership with the Destin Charity Wine Auction Foundation (DCWAF).

“Our role with the festival continues to grow. Each year, we’ve been able to identify new elements that would make the event an even richer experience,” said John Russell, President of DCWAF. “Building on the festival’s long-standing history coupled with the reputation of DCWAF, we’ve been able to attract some of the world’s pre-eminent vintners. This year, we’re adding a VIP tent to the Grand Tasting, allowing some of these celebrities of the wine world to showcase their exclusive wines and rare varietals.”

Celebrating its silver anniversary, the Seeing Red Wine Festival sells out every year, attracting wine connoisseurs and novices alike. The Seeing Red Wine Festival has been recognized as one of the “Top 10 Can’t-Miss Fall Wine Festivals,” by Fodor’s Travel, and has enjoyed the outstanding support of Coastal Living as a sponsor.

The four days of festivities include reserve wine tastings, dinners and a brunch with featured guest winemakers. Several of Seaside’s well-known restaurants showcase their farm-to-fork and gulf-to-table offerings, which pair beautifully with the featured red wines.

The festivities kick off Thursday, Nov. 5, at 7 p.m. with the Vintner’s Dinner at the famed Bud & Alley’s restaurant. Executive Chef David Bishop will create a special menu in collaboration with the featured vintner. Admission is $125 and a limited number of reservations are available.

On Friday, Nov. 6, the Al Fresco Reserve Tasting, from 6 to 8 p.m., is an elegant evening showcasing an incredible selection of library wines, featuring vintages that have been cellared to be uncorked at just the right time. Celebrated local chef, Jim Shirley, will prepare a delicious array of hors d’oeuvres that pair perfectly with the featured wines.

The evening is complemented by live jazz music under a clear-topped tent and twinkling lights on Seaside’s Lyceum Lawn. Admission is $200 and a limited number of reservations are available.

The Grand Tasting (sold out!), from 1 to 4 p.m., on Saturday, Nov. 7, is the main event and features more than 250 wines for tasting. Guests will spend the afternoon strolling through in Seaside’s Central Square sipping an extensive array of highly sought after wines from around the world, while enjoying live music, light bites from South Walton’s leading local restaurants, and the opportunity to purchase wine on-site. General admission is $150. Available for the first time this year are VIP tickets for $300, which include early admission at 11:30 a.m. as well as access to the VIP amenity tent with a private tasting of rare and premium wines.

On Sunday, Nov. 8, the weekend wraps up with a Celebration of Bubbles, from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. at Great Southern Café in Seaside, followed by the Fall Wine Walkabout & Charity Auction, from 2 – 5 p.m. at the Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa in Miramar Beach. The Celebration of Bubbles features sparkling wines, including Champagne, Cava, and Prosecco, among others, which will be complemented by delectable brunch items. Live music and new friends make for a festival morning on the coast. Admission is $60. From 2-5 p.m., the Fall Walkabout & Charity Auction will feature wines, cocktails, live music and food stations from more of South Walton’s top local restaurants.


The event is enhanced by the gorgeous beachside setting on the Hilton’s Sunset Deck, overlooking the shimmering waters of the Gulf of Mexico and includes a silent auction, featuring wines, vacation packages, and artwork.

“This is a special commemorative year as we celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Seeing Red Wine Festival, and we’re anticipating a great deal of interest and participation,” said Lori Leath Smith, Seaside Community Development Corp. public relations and marketing director. “Seaside is wellsuited for strolling, sipping and socializing – a comforting throwback to simpler times where attendees enjoy not only the wines but Seaside’s intimacy and charm.”

Seeing Red Wine Festival Grand Tasting on Saturday is Sold Out! Visit for Sunday's Fall Walkabout & Charity Wine Auction at the Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa on Sunday Nov. 8 from 2-5pm.


Proceeds from the Seeing Red Wine Festival will be presented to the Destin Charity Wine Auction Foundation, which supports 14 local non-profits, serving children in need in Northwest Florida. The DCWAF’s signature event, the Destin Charity Wine Auction, is held annually the last weekend of April at Grand Boulevard at Sandestin. In 2015, the auction raised $2.3 million for children in need and is ranked among the top 5 charity wine auctions in the country by Wine Spectator.

Presenting sponsors for the 25th Annual Seeing Red Wine Festival include The Merchants of SEASIDE®, The SEASIDE Style, VISIT South Walton, Coastal Living magazine and 45 Central. To learn more or purchase tickets to the 25th Annual Seeing Red Wine Festival, visit Free parking and shuttle service will be provided from the Publix at WaterColor Crossings on County Road 395. Special lodging packages are also available at For information about SEASIDE®, visit

For information about the Destin Charity Wine Auction Foundation, visit


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