By Susan Benton
It’s my favorite time of year at the beach, October! That means cooler temps (still waiting), smaller crowds, and lots of festivities!
Following their most successful auction to date, Destin Charity Wine Auction Foundation (DCWAF) has grand plans for the return of Harvest Wine & Food Festival to South Walton October 24-26 at WaterColor!
A three-day affair, Harvest Wine & Food Festival has been recognized as one of the premier fall festivals in the southeast. Patrons are provided the opportunity to sip and savor over 250 world-class wines paired with the best in regional Gulf Coast cuisine, all while enjoying the beautiful beach town of WaterColor. Special lodging packages are at the WaterColor Inn.
Currently ranked number four “Top Charity Wine Auction in the US” by Wine Spectator Magazine, Destin Charity Wine Auction Foundation (DCWAF) is one of the nation’s premier fundraising organizations, raising money for 16 Northwest Florida children’s charities that assist at-risk youth in the local community by tackling a variety of issues including homelessness, food insecurity, mental health, education, medical care, and much more. In April, DCWAF raised a stunning $3.6 million for its benefiting charities.
On Friday, October 25, the Al Fresco Reserve Tasting held on WaterColor’s Marina Park will offer festival-goers a selection of library wines that feature rare vintages not easily accessible in the marketplace. An array of perfectly paired culinary selections prepared by the nation’s most celebrated chefs and live music set to a breathtaking star-filled sky will make for a memorable and elegant evening.
The Grand Tasting, held from 1 to 4 pm Saturday, October 26 in Cerulean Park is the main event and is designed to highlight harvest season at the beach. Large seafood, barbeque, and provisional stations manned by celebrity chefs from throughout the southeast and complimented by the best restaurants along the Emerald Coast are combined with tasting stations featuring over 250 wines from around the world. Craft beer and spirit tents and an exclusive VIP experience will also be available. Amongst a litany of impressive culinary talent, DCWAF is excited to announce the return of Atlanta-based barbecue gurus Johnathan and Justin Fox of Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q.
“Destin Charity Wine Auction Foundation is well known for our wine events, but great wine goes best with wonderful culinary delights,” Russell said. “Along with the expected line up of wines, spirits, and craft beers, festival attendees will be able to taste their way through every staple of coastal cuisine ranging from freshly caught seafood to farm fresh vegetables and cheeses all the way to traditional smoked barbeque prepared by our friends the Fox Brothers. Last year our festival occurred just 17 days after Hurricane Michael made landfall. While the decision to proceed was difficult, we knew we had a duty to support our benefiting charities in their time of need. Jonathan and Justin understood that. They were generous enough to donate their entire talent fee back to those impacted by the storm, and we’re honored to have them back again this October.”
It wouldn’t be a DCWAF event without the opportunity to bid high and bid often. A silent auction featuring a variety of rare wines, staycations and unique experiences will open Friday, October 25 and will run through Sunday, October 27 at noon. The opportunity to purchase merchandise on-site will also be available throughout the duration of the festival. For more information or to purchase tickets, please visit http://www.dcwaf.org