Seeing Red Wine Festival in Seaside Nov 6-9

October 17, 2014 by SoWal Staff

As the air turns crisp and cool, wine enthusiasts gather in Seaside each year to sample wines from around the globe, as the quaint SoWal town hosts its 24th Annual Seeing Red Wine Festival Nov. 6-9, 2014.

Named by Fodor’s Travel as a Top 10 “Can’t-Miss Fall Wine Festival,” Seeing Red Wine Festival, in partnership with the Destin Charity Wine Auction Foundation (DCWAF), is part of a four-day wine event held at various locations in Seaside. This year’s sponsors include The Merchants of Seaside, Cottage Rental Agency, Visit South Walton, Coastal Living magazine and Costa Del Mar.


The Saturday Grand Tasting event allows a stroll through tasting areas to sample more than 250 different kinds of wines while enjoying music, southern hospitality and cool autumn air at the beach. Each event and tasting area features live music, food samplings from several local restaurants and served wines available for purchase on site at the retail tent.

“The Seeing Red Wine Festival is one of the most highly anticipated events in our area,” said Lori Leath Smith, Seaside Community Development Corp. public relations and marketing director. “Seaside’s featured events on Friday and Saturday allow both the wine novice and the fine wine connoisseur to sample specialty wines while discussing them with the very people who devote their lives to the cultivation of the grapes. And event proceeds benefit Northwest Florida children in need.”

The four days of festivities extend even further to reserve wine tastings, dinners and a brunch with featured guest winemakers. This year the festival will also include spirits and craft beers in the new craft beer garden for the first time from local breweries, including a special collaboration with South Walton’s very own Grayton Beer Company and Idyll Hounds Brewing Company. Several of Seaside’s well-known restaurants feature specially prepared meals for the event, pairing meals with the ideal reds.

“It is a long-standing tradition with many followers,” Leath Smith says. “Tourists and homeowners plan for this weekend many months in advance.”

The festivities kick off Thursday, Nov. 6, at 7 p.m. with the Vintner’s Dinner at Bud & Alley’s restaurant, featuring Seaside’s new wine label, the Seaside Wine Project.

“We look forward to the Vintner’s Dinner each fall. It’s a wonderful opportunity to gather in Seaside and reconnect with friends and family over good food and good wine,” says Bud & Alley’s owner Dave Rauschkolb. Admission is $125 and a limited number of reservations are available.
See photos from the 2013 Vintner's Dinner.

To reserve tickets, call Elijah Shelly at (850) 231-1846 or email


Friday, Nov. 7, brings the Al Fresco Reserve Tasting at 6 to 8 p.m., featuring an elegant evening of delicious hors d’oeuvres and wines paired perfectly by celebrated local chef, Jim Shirley of Great Southern Cafe' and The Bay restaurants, all complimented by jazz music. Admission is $200 and a limited number of reservations are available. Tickets can be purchased online at


The Grand Tasting, from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 8, takes place in Seaside’s Central Square with an extensive array of tasting tents featuring highly sought after wines from around the world, live music, food booths from top local restaurants, and the opportunity to purchase wine on site. Admission is $145. Tickets can be purchased online at

Sunday, Nov. 9, wraps up the weekend at Great Southern Café with a Celebration of Bubbles, as sparkling wine enthusiasts explore Champagne, Cava, Prosecco and more accompanied by great music and perfectly paired eats. Admission is $60. For reservations, please call 850.231.7327 or visit us online at

Shuttle service to Seaside will be available with free parking at Publix at WaterColor Crossings on County Road 395.

The Fall Walkabout & Charity Auction will take place at the Hilton at Sandestin from 2-5 p.m.. This event features wines, cocktails, live music and food stations from top local restaurants, all overlooking the stunning Gulf of Mexico from the Hilton's Sunset Deck. This event is truly a local's favorite. Admission is $35 and tickets can be purchased online at



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