Nestled within the back bay of Newport Beach, the Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort has held their inaugural Pacific Wine and Food Classic. This two day event features over 100 of Orange County’s tastiest restaurants and the likes of countless exquisite wineries and breweries. Celebrating the long days of summer and sand between your toes, the Pacific Wine and Food Classic culminates all things ‘summer’ within this all-inclusive spirited, culinary celebration.
Fortunate enough to attend the first day of the festival, we were treated to a gorgeous, mildly-warm and breezy day. The skies were as blue as they could be, and the culinary aromas were just as delightful for the nose. Walking into the event, be advised that you will instantly be walking into sand and will ultimately remain in the sand for the majority of the event. This is definitely by choice and makes for a unique food and wine festival experience. Sandals or flip flops are the way to go! While the food and libations were plentiful, we hope additional chairs and tables will be added to future events.
Instantly greeted with your wine glass (plastic, most likely due to being on sand), the wine offerings start right up from a laundry list of wineries from the likes of mega-wineries of Robert Mondavi and Chateau St. Michelle to other perhaps lesser known wineries like San Angelo, Mud House, We Believe and much more. Having the actual wine distributors at the event allowed for more of the popular well-known vineyards to showcase their wide-range of varietals.
If wine isn’t your go to spirit, local brews from The Bruery and Town Park Brew Co. along with other beer choices are available. I was very pleased with Makers Mark and Barcardi having some cocktails available as well. Festival-goers that selected the VIP option were also treated to an interactive Patron lounge, which even included Patron infused ice cream.
As far as food goes, the plethora of outlets cannot all be listed here, but we were quite pleased with easily manageable lines opposed to other food and wine events out there. The American Kobe Wagyu Burgers sported the longest lines for good reason, but even these delectable sliders from The Krave only took a few minutes to get and devour. The large selection of options and layout helped disperse people along the beach and made for an enjoyable ‘eat and drink as you go’ mentality.
The Pacific Wine and Food Classic features restaurants from all over the OC to even a few from the outskirts, like the LBC. To name just a few, this years event featured selections from ADYA, Asian Box (Irvine), Haven Gastropub (Orange), Sadie Rose Baking Co., Legado Bar and Kitchen (Laguna Nigel), Orange Hill, Skyloft (Long Beach). TAPS and The Catch (Brea, Irvine, Anahem), Taco Rosa (Irvine), Bluewater Grill, Urbana (Anaheim), Michael’s on Naples (Long Beach), and so many more.
One highlight for us were some spicy cold noodles from Tru Grits, in the soon to be remodeled Hotel Menage that’s become a Four Points by Sheraton. The dish wasn’t anything to write home about, but like many of this restaurants, the chefs devotion is very evident. Hinson Lau, Executive Chef for Tru Grits, was incredibly welcoming and genuine. We are looking forward to making our way to this corner of Anaheim to check out their new offerings.
The price tag for food and wine festivals, or in this case ‘wine and food’, can come a little steep. However, in most cases, the price is totally justifiable. With the $50 off option with code 50, the Pacific Wine and Food Classic is by far the new stellar OC food and wine exhibition to attend. We look forward to next years.
In case you read this in time, the event concludes August 20th running from 2pm-5pm, with VIP options that allows for 1pm entry.
You can find out more about the event at pacificwineandfood.com.