The Second Annual Newport Beach Wine & Food Festival with Title Sponsor American & Southern Wine & Spirits releases the final schedule of events, boasting a savory lineup of culinary delights and tasting opportunities. From Friday, October 2, through Sunday, October 4, food and wine lovers will experience a weekend celebrating Orange County’s best cuisine and chefs, while showcasing world-renowned culinary masters, award-winning wines, acclaimed wine experts and more. Starting with the Launch Party on Friday night, journey through a weekend full of tasting, sipping and learning at the weekend’s main event, the Daytime Festival on Saturday and Sunday, and an interactive Riedel wine glass tasting event on Sunday morning.

The weekend kicks off with the Launch Party benefitting Festival charity partner Project Hope Alliance on Friday, October 2, from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. at Island Hotel’s Oak Grill & Aqua Lounge. Celebrity chefs, Festival participants, gourmands and VIP’s will enjoy fine wines, cocktails and live music. Hand-passed hors d’oeuvres will be prepared by Oak Grill Executive Chef Marc Johnson, who is creating a seasonal menu unique to this event. The event will offer once-in-a-lifetime food, wine and travel experiences to bid on during the evening’s silent auction. Net proceeds from the auction items and donations will benefit Project Hope Alliance. Tickets to the Launch Party are priced at $125 and sold separately from Daytime Festival tickets.

On Saturday, October 3, and Sunday, October 4, from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. each day, the Daytime Festival will be held on the outdoor grounds of the stunning, mod-chic Newport Beach Civic Center. One ticket to the Daytime Festival grants guests unlimited access to all event programming and tastings including live cooking demos with Bravo TV “Top Chef Masters” and “Top Chef” stars, tastings from 32 Orange County restaurants, wineries pouring over 200 fine wines, wine tasting panels led by master sommeliers, mixology courses, handcrafted cocktails, imported beers and live jazz. General Admission Daytime Festival Tickets are $150 per day; Weekend Passes for Saturday and Sunday are $250; VIP Daytime Tickets are $225 per day; All-Inclusive VIP Weekend Pass includes Launch Party and priced at $425.

Saturday’s Daytime Festival begins with critically acclaimed wine tasting panels led by some of the country’s most notable master sommeliers. These panels are informative and interactive for both connoisseur and novice wine drinkers as they’re guided through educational tastings. There are only 142 master sommeliers in the country; the Festival is proud to have five of them including, Fred Dame and Michael Jordan (as seen in the hit movie Somm), as well as California Masters Steven Poe, Thomas Price and Sur Lucero. Learn “How to Taste like a Master Sommelier with the Secrets of Blind Tasting” from 1:15 to 2:00 p.m. on Saturday.
During Saturday’s live cooking demonstrations, Bravo TV’s “Top Chef Masters” will once again be duking it out as world-famous chefs Rick Bayless and Hubert Keller showcase their culinary mastery on the grand Sub-Zero Wolf outdoor kitchen stage. Both of these chefs went head-to-head on “Top Chef Masters” Season 1. Rick Bayless ultimately won the season and at this year’s Festival, guests will have the opportunity to see them live on stage. From 2:45 to 3:30 p.m. Hubert Keller will be preparing French cuisine live with local chef Pascal Olhats; from 3:45 to 4:30 p.m. Rick Bayless will show guests how to create upscale Mexican cuisine.
Two Grand Tasting Pavilions will delight all senses as they bring together some of the best restaurants in Orange County with world-renowned, boutique and “cult” wineries pouring unlimited tastings. These white peaked tents adorned with crystal chandeliers, include savory bites prepared and served by 16 restaurants and each of their executive chefs. Saturday’s restaurants include: RED O, Twenty Eight, The Winery, The Loft, Oak Grill, Pelican Grill, Mastro’s Steakhouse, Mastro’s Ocean Club, Canaletto Ristorante Veneto, Driftwood Kitchen, Tamarind of London, Tommy Bahama Island Grille, True Food Kitchen, Filomena’s Italian Kitchen, Honda Center, Waterline and B Candy. Grand Tasting Pavilions are open from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m.
The Festival also entices spirits, beer and jazz aficionados, in addition to food and wine. Guests will enjoy mixology courses led by Southern California Southern Wine & Spirits Director of Mixology, Tricia Carr, as she takes the mixology stage to educate the crowd on how to become the ultimate at-home bartenders. Handcrafted cocktails from Absolut Elyx, Cruzan Rum, Duke Spirits, Laphroaig and Roca Patrón will be served throughout the Festival grounds. Stella Artois is back for year two, offering tastings of a variety of their most popular imported brews. Everything will be enjoyed over sounds of Lauren & The Mike Frost Band playing at the jazz lounge, designed by Z Gallerie. Mixology courses are from 1:30-1:40 p.m., 2:30-2:40 p.m. and 3:45-3:55 p.m.; Stella Artois and cocktails offered all day; jazz music live all day.

Sunday begins with another tasting panel led by Master Sommeliers Michael Jordan, Steven Poe, Thomas Price and Sur Lucero, which takes place on the outdoor Sub-Zero Wolf stage. An all-new panel will guide guests through an educational tasting journey with premier Pinot Noir wines. The “Pinot Noir 101” seminar will teach guests the in’s and out’s of enjoying the most seductive of all red wines, exploring four famous wine regions on the California Coast. Sunday’s tasting panel is from 1:15 to 2:00 p.m.
Sunday’s first cooking demo will feature “Top Chef Masters” Season 1 Alum Chef Rick Moonen joined by long-time friend and local OC chef, Chef Alan Greeley of The Golden Truffle. “Top Chef” Season 11 Finalist Shirley Chung will lead the Festival’s first Top Chef Home Cook Challenge with “Top Chef” star coaches and judges, Brian Huskey, Brooke Williamson and Louis Maldonado. Four guests from the audience will be chosen to be coached by each celebrity chef and then compete on stage. One winner will be crowned as the Festival’s very first “Home Cook Top Chef” while winning up to $1,000 in high-end culinary prizes. Demo with Rick Moonen and Alan Greeley is from 2:45 to 3:30 p.m.; Top Chef Home Cook Challenge is from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m.
The Grand Tasting Pavilions will present an entirely new lineup of 16 restaurants with executive chefs serving gourmet tastings of their signature cuisine. Wineries from Saturday will be returning Sunday, giving weekend guests the chance to taste as many wines as possible. Sunday’s restaurants include: Selanne Steak Tavern, Studio, Fig & Olive, Montage Laguna Beach, Oak Grill, Aqua Lounge, Slapfish, Boathouse Collective, Del Frisco’s Grille, AnQi, Andrea Pelican Hill, Roy’s, Stonehill Tavern, Honda Center, A&O Kitchen + Bar and B Candy. Grand Tasting Pavilions are open from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m.; for VIP ticket holders, they open at 12:00 p.m.
Mixologist Tricia Carr returns on Sunday to showcase her cocktail concocting skills with new mixology courses. Guests will also enjoy handcrafted cocktails from Absolut Elyx, Cruzan Rum, Duke Spirits, Laphroaig and Roca Patrón, as well as Stella’s selection of imported brews. On Sunday, Cooper Phillip will take the jazz lounge stage to delight guests with her smooth, sensual vocals and band. Mixology courses are from 1:30-1:40 p.m., 2:30-2:40 p.m. and 3:45-3:55 p.m.; Stella Artois and cocktails offered all day; jazz music live all day.

Learn how to taste wine the “right” way out of the “right” type of wine glass with Riedel’s very own Chris Dillon. This highly interactive and entertaining course will guide guests through tastings of three different wine varietals including Pinot Noir, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon, while tasting them out of three different Riedel glasses. Guests will not only come away with a whole new outlook on tasting and drinking wine, but will also take home a three-piece Riedel wine glass set, a $125 value. This event takes place on Sunday morning, October 4, from 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Newport Beach Civic Center. Tickets are priced at $75 and sold separately from Daytime Festival tickets.
Proceeds from the weekend of events benefit charity partner, Project Hope Alliance, ending the cycle of homelessness one child at a time. The Orange County nonprofit provides children with the tools and opportunities that they need to learn their way to a better tomorrow. Currently, Project Hope Alliance supports over 300 children attending 39 different schools in 21 cities, throughout Orange County. The Festival has the sponsorship support of local and national corporations, many of which will be having luxurious lounges and special activations during the Daytime Festival.
More information on the Newport Beach Wine & Food Festival is at or call (888) 511-FEST. For ongoing updates, follow the Festival on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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