Skip to Content

San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival 2017

The San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival cultivates the best wine, spirits, and food for an epic multi-day event. If you can only attend one wine and food festival, the San Diego Bay Wine and Food Festival is a must!

Want to know what you missed? Thinking of attending next year? Keep reading to see what you missed and find out you need to know about the San Diego Bay Wine and Food Festival.

Disclosure: As is common in the travel industry, I received free admission. All opinions are 100% mine.

San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival 2017

The San Diego Bay Wine and Food Festival cultivates the best wine, spirits, and food. The Grand Tasting features over 700 wines and spirits. | things to do in San Diego | wine and food festival | TravelingWellForLess.com

In its 14th year, the San Diego Bay Wine and Food Festival is the largest wine and food festival on the West Coast. How I missed the previous 13 years escapes me. But this year I attended the Tasting at SommCon and the Grand Tasting Event.

The Tasting at SommCon

The Tasting at SommCon offers first sips on the wines and spirits before the Grand Tasting Event. You get to enjoy the wine in an intimate setting and mingle with Master Sommeliers. | San Diego Bay Wine and Food Festival | things to do in San Diego | wine | TravelingWellForLess.com

So many wines, not enough time. With over 700 wines and spirits showcased at the San Diego Bay Wine and Food Festival, you may want to spread your tasting over two days and get a ticket for the Tasting at SommCon.

The Tasting at SommCon offers first sips on the wines and spirits before the Grand Tasting Event. You get to enjoy the wine in an intimate setting and mingle with Master Sommeliers. I’m too introverted for that so I stuck to drinking. 🙂

Sake One

The Hakutsuru Sayuri Nigori Sake was deliciously smooth with a hint of sweetness. | San Diego Bay Wine and Food Festival | SommCon | sake | TravelingWellForLess.com

My first stop was the Sake One table. Having toured their Tualatin Valley distillery, I was eager to try what they were pouring. The Hakutsuru Sayuri Nigori Sake was deliciously smooth with a hint of sweetness.

The Vault

After sampling the Sayuri sake, the next stop was the Vault. The Vault features premium wines curated by the organizers of the San Diego Bay Wine and Food Festival. Some of these wines cost $125 a bottle.

Reds

Coho Headquarters Cab blend | San Diego Bay Wine and Food Festival | SommCon | Vault | wine | TravelingWellForLess.com

  • 2010 Louis Latour Chateau Corton Grancey Grand Cru Louis Latour
  • 2010 Louis Latour Bourgogne Pinot Noir
  • 2010 Ruston Family La Maestra Cabernet Sauvignon St Helena
  • 2011 Andersons Conn Valley Right Bank Cuvee Conn Valley
  • 2012 Coho Headwaters (Cab Blend)
  • 2012 Keever Inspirado (Cab Blend) Napa Valley
  • 2013 Davis Estates Phase V Petite Sirah – Napa Valley
  • 2013 Meyer Family Cellars Fluffy Billows Cabernet Sauvignon Oakville

Whites

  • 2010 Louis Latour Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru
  • 2015 Domaine Roblin Enclos de Maimbray (sancerre) Sury-en-vaux, FR

Bubbles

Grand Prieur Brut Vertus NV

These wines are not part of the Grand Tasting and entrance requires a separate ticket. Thankfully, my ticket included admission to The Vault.

I spent the majority of my time at the Tasting at SommCon in the Vault. These selections were fantastic. I recommend you buy the Vault add-on option for the Tasting at SommCon next year.

The Vault features premium wines curated by the organizers of the San Diego Bay Wine and Food Festival. Some of these wines cost $125 a bottle. | San Diego Bay Wine and Food Festival | SommCon | Vault | wine | TravelingWellForLess.com

My favorites from the Vault:

  • Grand Prieur Brut Vertus NV
  • 2010 Chateau Corton Grancey Grand Cru Louis Latour
  • 2010 Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru Louis Latour
  • 2010 Ruston Family La Maestra Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 2013 Davis Estates Phase V Petite Sirah

The Grand Tasting

Featuring over 60 bites from talented San Diego chefs and 30 specialty food companies, the chefs bring their "A" game and it shows. You're guaranteed not to leave hungry or thirsty. | San Diego Bay Wine and Food Festival | things to do in San Diego | wine | TravelingWellForLess.com

Souvenir glass and plate to hold nibbles

Even if you aren’t a wine drinker, you’ll want to attend the Grand Tasting. Featuring over 60 bites from talented San Diego chefs and 30 specialty food companies, the chefs bring their “A” game and it shows. You’re guaranteed not to leave hungry or thirsty.

Pro-tip: The long line for the orange porta-potty, it’s not what you think. Behind that orange door is the Monkey Shoulder Speakeasy.

The long line for the orange porta-potty, it's not what you think. Behind that orange door is the Monkey Shoulder Speakeasy. | San Diego Bay Wine and Food Festival | SommCon | Vault | wine | TravelingWellForLess.com

The Wine & Spirits

Just a few of the 700 wines and spirits available for tasting at the San Diego Bay Wine and Food Festival. | San Diego Bay Wine and Food Festival | SommCon | Vault | wine | TravelingWellForLess.com

Just a few of the 700 wines and spirits available for tasting at the San Diego Bay Wine and Food Festival.

The Food

From Duck Benedict, ashed topped fettuccine alfredo, to Belgian Chocolate S'mores, the food at the San Diego Bay Wine and Food Festival satisfied even the pickiest of palates. The bite-sized portions were both inventive and easy to eat while drinking and walking. | San Diego Bay Wine and Food Festival | things to do in San Diego | wine | TravelingWellForLess.com

Ahi tuna roll

From Duck Benedict, ashed topped fettuccine alfredo, to Belgian Chocolate S’mores, the food at the San Diego Bay Wine and Food Festival satisfied even the pickiest of palates. The bite-sized portions were both inventive and easy to eat while drinking and walking.

Wagyu Beef skewer | San Diego Bay Wine and Food Festival | things to do in San Diego | wine | TravelingWellForLess.com

Wagyu beef skewer

Crab cake | San Diego Bay Wine and Food Festival | things to do in San Diego | wine | TravelingWellForLess.com

crab cake

 

Pork, chicken, beef, and fish were all represented at the San Diego Bay Wine and Food Festival. | San Diego Bay Wine and Food Festival | things to do in San Diego | wine | TravelingWellForLess.com

Dessert in a Cup from Seasons 52

Seasons 52 desserts | | San Diego Bay Wine and Food Festival | things to do in San Diego | wine | TravelingWellForLess.com

Carrot Cake, Pumpkin Pie, Raspberry Cannoli, Belgian Chocolate S’mores

Braised Short Rib from Parq

Parq hit it out of the park with their braised short rib on a bed of butternut squash with brussels sprouts. | San Diego Bay Wine and Food Festival | things to do in San Diego | wine | TravelingWellForLess.com

braised short rib

Parq hit it out of the park with their braised short rib on a bed of butternut squash with brussels sprouts.

Risotto from SIMI Winery

Chef Kolin Vazzoler crafted a sumptuous perfectly cooked risotto that was creamy, tender and cheesy. If Chef Vazzoler can prepare this delicious of a risotto under a tent over a gas flame, the food at SIMI Winery Kitchen must be remarkable. | San Diego Bay Wine and Food Festival | things to do in San Diego | wine | TravelingWellForLess.com

a risotto to die for

If I had to pick just one dish, it would be the risotto. Chef Kolin Vazzoler crafted a sumptuous perfectly cooked risotto that was creamy, tender and cheesy. If Chef Vazzoler can prepare this delicious of a risotto under a tent over a gas flame, the food at SIMI Winery Kitchen must be remarkable.

Quinoa Salad from JRDN

Chef Dave Warner's quinoa salad scored him a best award. | San Diego Bay Wine and Food Festival | things to do in San Diego | wine | TravelingWellForLess.com

Chef Dave Warner from JRDN

Chef Dave Warner’s quinoa salad scored him a “best” award.

Cheese from Sartori

What's a wine tasting without a little cheese? Sartori brought their Montamore, Sarvecchio Parmesan, Merlot Bellavitano, and Black Pepper Bellavitano cheeses. | San Diego Bay Wine and Food Festival | things to do in San Diego | wine | TravelingWellForLess.com

What’s a wine tasting without a little cheese? Sartori brought their Montamore, Sarvecchio Parmesan, Merlot Bellavitano, and Black Pepper Bellavitano cheeses.

Fettuccine Alfredo With Ash from Aquavite La Jolla

Freshly prepared for each person, the ash gave the fettuccine alfredo texture. The only negative, my wine glass was empty. | San Diego Bay Wine and Food Festival | things to do in San Diego | wine | TravelingWellForLess.com

Freshly prepared for each person, the ash gave the fettuccine alfredo texture. The only negative, my wine glass was empty.

5 Unusual Finds

Magic Bullet

All hail the Magic Bullet. And I'm not talking about the blender or sex toy. The Magic Bullet drink when taken before drinking, helps prevent a hangover. Made from all natural ingredients, it's gluten-free, and only 40 calories. | San Diego Bay Wine and Food Festival | SommCon | Vault | wine | TravelingWellForLess.com

All hail the Magic Bullet. And I’m not talking about the blender or sex toy. The Magic Bullet drink when taken before drinking, helps prevent a hangover. Made from all natural ingredients, it’s gluten-free, and only 40 calories.

Epic

Say goodbye to old beef sticks. Epic Snack Strips are beef sticks for a new generation. Made from all natural ingredients without unnatural fillers, they're tasty and travel-friendly. | San Diego Bay Wine and Food Festival | things to do in San Diego | wine | TravelingWellForLess.com

Say goodbye to old beef sticks. Epic Snack Strips are beef sticks for a new generation. Made from all natural ingredients without unnatural fillers, they’re tasty and travel-friendly.

‘Merican Mule

Moscow Mule in a can. Yes, please! These premixed Moscow mules are delicious and come in an easy to open can. Perfect for the beach, picnics, and anywhere that glass isn't allowed. | San Diego Bay Wine and Food Festival | SommCon | Vault | wine | TravelingWellForLess.com

Moscow Mule in a can. Yes, please! These premixed Moscow mules are delicious and come in an easy to open can. Perfect for the beach, picnics, and anywhere that glass isn’t allowed.

CHOYA

Who knew that ume fruit could produce such delicious liqueur? Made without artificial ingredients, Umeshu is a sweet liquor that is very drinkable. You won't even realize you're drinking alcohol. But be careful, because it packs a 15% ABV punch. | San Diego Bay Wine and Food Festival | SommCon | Vault | wine | TravelingWellForLess.com

Who knew that ume fruit could produce such delicious liqueur? Made without artificial ingredients, Umeshu is a sweet liquor that is very drinkable. You won’t even realize you’re drinking alcohol. But be careful, because it packs a 15% ABV punch.

Ripple

I've been drinking Ripple since I discovered it at Target last year. So I was so excited to see them at the Grand Tasting. Ripple is a gluten-free and vegan drink made from pea protein. They now have to-go cartons. Great for school lunches, snacks, and travel. | San Diego Bay Wine and Food Festival | SommCon | Vault | wine | TravelingWellForLess.com

I’ve been drinking Ripple since I discovered it at Target last year. So I was so excited to see them at the Grand Tasting. Ripple is a gluten-free and vegan drink made from pea protein. They now have to-go cartons. Great for school lunches, snacks, and travel.

Tips for Attending

Bring a Tote Bag

You’ll need something to carry swag and food samples. Some wineries may have bags but they’ll run out quick.

Wear a Hat, Sunscreen, and/or Sunglasses

November is sunny in San Diego.

Pace Yourself

There are over 700 wines and spirits. That’s a lot of drinking in a few hours.

Study the exhibitor list

The San Diego Bay Wine and Food Festival website lists the exhibitors. Make a list of the wineries you want to visit. Take a few minutes to circle them on the map when you arrive. You won’t be able to try them all.

Buy the Tasting at SommCon with Vault Access Ticket

It includes early access to the Grand Tasting and you get to sample exclusive wines.

Use Uber or Lyft

A DUI is not worth it. Be smart and use a ride-share like Uber or Lyft.

Conclusion

Mark your calendar and make plans to attend the San Diego Bay Wine and Food Festival for next year. The largest wine and food festival on the West Coast features five days of wine, food, and spirits. The day ends with the Grand Tasting showcasing over 700 wines and spirits from 150 wineries.

The San Diego Bay Wine and Food Festival is a great way to spend the day in San Diego. From the ideal location in Embarcadero Marina Park to the countless wineries and delicious bites, three hours won’t seem enough. Be sure to buy an early entry ticket and extend your fun for four hours.

Have you attended the San Diego Bay Wine and Food Festival? What was your favorite wine or dish?

Comment, share this post, tweet, or give me a +1.

Get the best credit card signup bonuses.

Follow us on Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest | Instagram | Google+

Got a question? Or want help, suggestions, travel tips, learn how to travel for free, find out about travel deals, and maximize your miles and points? Use the subscription box below to sign-up and get post updates by email.

Traveling Well For Less has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Traveling Well For Less and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers.


Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

The Chase Sapphire Preferred is the best card for beginning travel hackers. It is the first card you should get to start traveling for free because the welcome offer is 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first three months.  
My favorite perks about this card are earning 5X points on travel when booked through the Chase portal (2X if direct purchase), 3X points on dining , $50 yearly credit on hotels booked through the Chase portal, no foreign transaction fees, and transferring points to 13 airline and hotel partners like Hyatt, United, and Southwest.
 

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

The Chase Freedom Unlimited is one of my favorite cards for earning cash back card and travel rewards. It offers a welcome offer of 3% cash back = an extra 1.5% cash back on up to $20,000 in purchases your first year.
 
My favorite perks about this card are earning 6.5% cash back on travel booked through the Chase Travel Portal , 4.5% cash back at drugstores and restaurants, unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases and no annual fee. When paired with cards like the Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card, you can use your points to travel for free.
 

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Medha

Wednesday 22nd of November 2017

700 wines? Wow that’s quite a collection ! I love wine tasting and I love drinking wine but I really lack knowledge about wines in general. I just know they’re red and white. Haha. But it’s good to read this post, interesting and informative for me!

Nathalie Salcedo

Wednesday 22nd of November 2017

Ooohh. This is such a great event to attend too! I cannot believe how one could drink up to 700 different wines and so you are right to make sure to be ready on this. Wish we had this in our place too, it could be awesome too. Thanks

Ami Bhat

Wednesday 22nd of November 2017

Wow, this is quite a fiesta. Quite unlike the other wine tasting sessions that I have heard of. Besides of course, the drinks, the food looks delectable. I love the tips that you have included below of pacing yourself and carrying a bag etc. It makes the whole experience more enjoyable

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.