South Walton Beaches Wine & Food Festival April 27 - 30

April 24, 2023 by SoWal Staff

 Named “One of the South’s Standout Food and Beverage Festivals” by USA TODAY and one of the “5 Food and Wine Events Worth Traveling to This Year” by US News & World Report, the 2023 South Walton Beaches Wine & Food Festival will be held April 27 – 30 throughout the Town Center of Grand Boulevard at Sandestin in idyllic South Walton in Northwest Florida.

A dazzling roster of more than a dozen celebrity winemakers, distillers, chefs and entertainers, will gather in Miramar Beach, Florida to wine, dine, educate and entertain guests as part of the four-day celebration of wine and spirits, building upon nearly four decades of long-lasting relationships forged with the industry’s top winemakers, distillers and distributors.

Highlights of the area’s premier signature wine and spirits event center on tasting more than 500 domestic and imported wines and spirits. Plan your festival experience by downloading the 2023 wines, spirits and delicious local fare PDFs from

It’s All About the Wine & Spirits
Stroll the expansive grounds of Grand Boulevard and enjoy 100 tasting tents; you are sure to taste something new and exciting. Attendees can taste from esteemed wineries including Paul Hobbs; Stonestreet; Antinori; Adobe Road; Daou; Banfi; Antica; Gaja; Hall; Penfolds and many more of the best from around the world. And don’t miss the Jackson Family Wines featured tent with a selection of their best wines to taste. Don’t miss a visit to Wine World’ s Savor South Walton Culinary Village to taste the curated wine selection which is designed to pair with Festival Chef Morrison’s outstanding menu. Award-winning spirits will be plentiful, including activations from Whistle Pig Sugar Shack; Monkey Shoulder Mixer; Garrison Brothers; Charleston Bloody Mary Mix with Dixie Vodka and Eterno Verano Blanco; Tequila 512; Edrington for No. 3 Gin; Beam and Sipsmith; and Mount Gay.

Special Guests
The celebrity roster includes winemakers, master distillers, chefs, and other special guests who will be available to meet and discuss their crafts with festival guests. They include: Glenn C. Salva, Antica Napa Valley; Erik Saccomani, Marchesi Antinori Wines; Donnis Todd, Master Distiller, Garrison Brothers; Victoria Eady Butler, Master Blender, Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey; Ryan Eleuteri, Founder & Creator of Charleston Bloody Mary Mix - America's Best-Selling Craft Mix; Mollie Battenhouse, Jackson Family Wines, Master of Wine, National Director of Wine Education; Craig Ellick, Jackson Family Wines, Stonestreet Brand Ambassador; Maurice Lartigau, Jr., French Pool Toy; Darryl McNally, Master Distiller, Limavady Irish Whiskey; Greg Metze, Master Distiller, Old Elk Distillery; Max Morrison, Festival and Wine World Culinary Director; Yoshi Eddings, Master Sushi Chef, Harbor Docks; and more.

VIP Tasting is Now a 3-day Affair
For the most ardent wine lovers, a 3-day VIP Package has been created and it includes entry to all events, except Winemakers & Shakers. The VIP tour starts with extending your XL crystal Riedel glass to an exclusive VIP Tasting of library and    collectable wines on Friday, 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. It also includes entry to Friday Craft Beer & Spirits Jam, 5:30 p.m. – 8 p.m., Saturday and Sunday Grand Tastings, Saturday Early Express Entry at 12:30 p.m. and VIP Swag bag with festival gift.

Craft Beer & Spirits Jam
On Friday night some of the hottest breweries and happening distilleries from across the country will be mixing, mingling and pouring 150 different kinds of specialty spirits and craft beers to sample. The spirits activations will take your Jam to the next level of enjoyment. Along EATS Street, small plates will be prepared by local favorites, including Cantina Laredo Modern Mexican Food, Slick Lips Seafood & Oyster House, Cabana Café, The Perfect Pig, Wine World’s Beach Camp, The Bistro at the Courtyard Marriott Sandestin at Grand Boulevard, Freddie’s Southern Eats food truck and Ernie’s Hot Dog Stand.

Culinary Delights on the Menu
Foodies will delight in the delicious dishes prepared by local celebrity chefs. In the Wine World Savor South Walton Culinary Village, Festival Culinary Director Max Morrison, has artfully created a world-class spread to titillate the palate. Sample bites of fried goat cheese, San Marzano tomato sauce Tabouli salad with braised Spanish octopus; smoked salmon canapes, herb cream cheese, cold smoked wild salmon, pickled red onion; Lemon, feta, spinach, polenta cake with shrimp and citrus glaze; grilled marinated flank steak with Argentinian chimichurri sauce; mini-French lemon tart, with ricotta.

Additional festival food served throughout the event includes award-winning cheeses and charcuterie from Jackie Cox of Wine World, freshly made sushi by Chef Yoshi Eddings of Harbor Docks; fresh Gulf smoked tuna dip by Chef Princeton MacDonald; The Perfect Pig will serve lump crab en croute with mango Chutney and assorted slider bar; Louie Louie will serve shrimp & crawfish pasta and bisque; Antipasto, bruschetta and cannoli by Grimaldi’s Coal Brick-Oven Pizzeria; Working Cows Dairy will present Farmstead, Slocomb tomato and garlic griene tsiis (green cheese!). All of these delectables will be served up in the Nosh Pavilions throughout the festival. The Publix Super Market Pavilion offers a variety of freshly prepared food, including Boar’s Head charcuterie.

Local Restaurant Favorites
For Friday’s VIP Tasting, tantalizing small plates will be prepared by signature restaurants from Grand Boulevard, including Emeril’s Coastal Italian, Cantina Laredo Modern Mexican Food, Tommy Bahama’s Restaurant, P. F. Chang’s China Bistro, Everkrisp, Kilwin’s Chocolates & Ice Cream, The Wine Bar, Vin’tij Food & Wine and Black Bear Bread will serve their most popular dishes.

Wine & Food Tastings & Seminars
On Saturday and Sunday head to the Seminar Tent presented by Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa to take in 45-minute celebrity tasting seminars, starting at 1:30 p.m. both days. Jackson Family Wines, Marchesi Antinori Wines, Charleston Bloody Mary Mix and Garrison Brothers Bourbon will present these popular presentations. Seating is first come, first serve.

Live Music Showcase
During the Grand Wine Tastings, enjoy the Casey Kearny Band on the BankPlus Music Stage. Casey Kearney is a fresh take on the country music scene. Her personal songs effortlessly convey both the sweetness of a Southern belle and the steel backbone of a strong country woman with a little touch of rock and grit. Her music ranges from slow heartfelt ballads to upbeat crowd favorites and playful melodies. Casey is joined on stage by Amy Gibson on fiddle, Don Dirkin, Jr. on guitar, Gregg Shapiro on bass and Richard Proctor on Drums.

Wine Retail Tent
Whether your tasting tour has led you to an old flame or a new love, you can purchase your wine and spirits discoveries in the Wine Retail Tent located next to Culinary Village. It is open Friday, 1 p.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 6 p.m. For each ticket purchased, attendees receive a $7 rebate toward their purchase.

Ticket Prices & Event Times
Winemakers & Shakers takes place Thursday, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Wine World Destin location (not Grand Boulevard) and tickets are $40. Tickets are $450 for the 3-day VIP ticket that includes entry to all events (except Winemakers & Shakers) and includes an exclusive VIP Tasting of collectable and library wines on Friday, 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. The Craft Beer & Spirits Jam kicks off the festival Friday from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tickets are $80. The Grand Tastings are on Saturday and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Tickets are $185 and tickets are all-inclusive for all festival offerings. The event is rain or shine; sorry, children and pets are not allowed in Culinary Village. To purchase tickets and view the full festival schedule visit

Partnership Support
Presented by Grand Boulevard at Sandestin and Visit South Walton, the festival offers the ideal backdrop for a beach getaway. A festival special rate is available courtesy of the Official Loading Partner – the Grand Boulevard hotels – Hyatt Place, Courtyard Marriott Sandestin at Grand Boulevard (click on their linked logo on the festival website for festival rate) and Residence Inn Sandestin at Grand Boulevard. The festival is made possible by the generous support of the additional following sponsors: BankPlus; Silver Sands Premium Outlets; Publix Super Market; Vintage Sign & Light; Emerald Coast Magazine; LoveFL; vacasa; RCI Landscaping; McCaskill & Company; VIP Destin Magazine;; Beach Better Golf Carts; Culligan Water; Waste Management and Coastal Accounting and Johnny on the Spot.

Festival Founding Partners are Destin Charity Wine Auction Foundation, Walton County Tourism Department; Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association and VISIT FLORIDA, Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa, Wine World of Northwest Florida and Grand Boulevard at Sandestin.

About South Walton Beaches Wine & Food Festival
South Walton Beaches Wine & Food Festival is an annual charity event held the last weekend in April. The festival features a stunning showcase of some of the best wines in the world. Celebrity wine producers and chefs present fine wine and food pairings from the world’s most famous appellations. The Culinary Village offers a sumptuous array of foods to taste, wines to pair, as well as wine and food tasting seminars. 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


SoWal Staff's picture

Offering news, features, insider tips & info, photos and video all across the South Walton area.