One of the most recognized festivals in the city returns for a full week of food, wine and educational events. From Monday, November 16-Sunday November 22, food and wine aficionados will have the opportunity to mix and mingle with industry professionals and fellow foodies while tasting the best San Diego has to offer. This year, a few events standout above the rest; while the Grand Tasting is still the main attraction, a new Opening Feast, SommCon, and Baja Expedition are this year’s highlights.
Celebrity chefs and Baja culinary experts Rick Bayless, Javier Plascencia and Chad White will host an Opening Feast at Plascencia’s Bracero Cocina in Little Italy. On Monday, November 16, from 5:00pm-8:30pm, guests will have the opportunity to arrive early for a private meet and greet session with these renowned chefs, and taste hand crafted cocktails by Bracero’s Christian Siglin. Baja beer from Negro Modelo, specialty Baja wines and tray-passed appetizers will also be available. Afterwards, guests can enjoy the chef’s work from the observation kitchen and take part in a four-course dinner, paired with wines hand selected by the owner of Baja Wine and Food, Fernando Gaxiola. Tickets range from $100-$250 per person, and can be purchased online.
For the first time, San Diego Bay Wine + Food Festival will partner with SomCon, a four-day educational conference for wine, beer, and spirit professionals, as well as hard-core enthusiasts. The first educational event of its kind in Southern California, it will give festival attendees access to over 50 new tasting events, led by leading experts in the beverage business. From November 18-21, the conference will take over the Manchester Grand Hyatt in downtown San Diego, with events like the Emerging Mexico Panel, a Craft Beer Pairing Seminar, and the SommCon Trade Tasting; an exclusive trade-only wine tasting with over 90 wineries and spirit purveyors.
On Thursday, November 19, Expedition: Baja, culinary excursion, will take place in Baja California. This all-day event will run from 8:30am until 9:00pm, and will include stops at several wineries in the Valle de Guadalupe, which will be guided by Fernando Gaxiola, owner of Baja Wine and Food. It will also include lunch at El Jardin de Adobe Guadalupe by Chef Ryan Steyn, and dinner at Mision 19 by Chef Javier Plascencia. This event is exclusive, and will only be open to twenty-five guests. Tickets are $325 per person and will include transportation, wine tastings, lunch and dinner.