Our Top 7 Event Picks For The 15th Annual San Diego Bay Wine + Food Festival This November 11-18 | Check Out THE List & Enter To Win Tickets

November 5, 2018

The fifteenth edition of the weeklong San Diego Bay Wine + Food Festival is coming up fast! We've covered Southern California's largest epicurean event for the past seven incarnations, and although the schedule varies year after year, we have a good idea of what to expect. We've looked over the lineup of nearly 40 meals, demos, classes and festivals taking place from November 11-18 and have narrowed them down to our top 7 event picks. Because we adore our readers so much, we are also raffling off 2 general admission tickets to the San Diego Wine & Food Festival's Grand Tasting on Saturday, November 19, as well as passes to various other events, so read on for our picks and be sure to enter our giveaway for a chance to win!

The San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival spotlights the ever thriving and evolving culinary scene of America's Finest City. There are packages offered that will give participants an overall discount, as well as saving on hotel accommodations at the Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina, but a la carte could be the best option for attendees looking to truly customize their SDBWFF experience. We have scoured the many events being offered, and although it was not easy, below we run through our top 7 choices from the lengthy list of options:

7) SMOKED: A Live Fire Experience - ($95, Friday, Nov 16, 7-10pm, Quartyard East Village ) - Chefs Tommy Fraioli and Ivan Munoz will take over East Village urban park Quartyard and curate a four-course, family style BBQ dinner in campfire fashion. Get ready for a night of open flame cooking, meat smoking, beer and whiskey pairings. To compliment the evening, enjoy a bluegrass concert performance under the San Diego stars.  
6) Cucina Enoteca Signature Dinner: "Femme de la Fork" - ($175, Friday, Nov 16, 7pm, Cucina Enoteca Del Mar) - San Diego's most prolific female restaurateur, Tracy Borkum, and the team at Cucina Enoteca Del Mar will host an incredible night featuring three powerhouse woman chefs making waves on the national food scene. Chefs Domenica Catelli of Catelli’s in Sonoma; James Beard Award Winning Author, Television Personality and Celebrated Chef Duskie Estes of Zazu Kitchen + Farm; and James Beard Award Winner, Author and Television Personality, Chef Gale Gand have teamed up for an unforgettable dinner with inspired dishes paired with wines crafted by domestic and international female winemakers. The evening’s wine pairings will be moderated by Master Sommelier Laura Williamson. Empowering women is our future!

5) The Grand Decant - ($75, Friday, Nov 16, 5pm, Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina) - Get ready for the Grand Tasting with up-close access to the country’s top sommeliers, wineries and winemakers for a walk around tasting event to expand the palate and taste from over 200 domestic and international wineries representing over 500 wines from around the world. This exclusive pre-Grand Tasting epicurean event takes place at the beautiful Marriott Marquis in downtown San Diego. This is the ultimate event for the true wine lover!

4. Ocean-to-Table Provence Rosé Wine Lunch - ($125, Wednesday, Nov 14, 12pm, The Marine Room) - A midweek wine lunch at one of San Diego's most elegant restaurants? Yes, please! This multi-course, wine-paired luncheon will feature dishes from some of San Diego's top chefs, including Master French Chefs Bernard Guillas & Patrick Ponsaty, Andrew Spurgin, Michelin-star-winning Jason McCleod, Flor Franco, Evan Cruz, Amy DiBiase, Dean James Max, Javier Plascencia, and Michele Coulon.

3) Taco TKO ($55, Sunday, Nov 18, 12-3pm, South Promenade at Liberty Station) - Get ready for the ultimate taco party! The Taco TKO is back for its seventh annual competition to see who serves up the best taco in San Diego. Featuring som of the city's top competitors facing off head-to-head for your vote, this event takes place in Point Loma's Liberty Station and also includes unique beer and tequila stations, as well as live music. We have attended this event for the past five years, and it's a steal at $55 a ticket.

2) Pitmaster's Veterans Day Barbecue ($65+, Sunday, Nov 11, 11:30am, Coronado Island Marriott Resort & Spa) - What better way to kick-off the weeklong San Diego Bay Wine + Food Festival than with a waterfront barbecue hosted by celebrity chef Graham Elliot? Grill, chill and grab the entire family for this fun holiday weekend barbecue at the Coronado Island Marriott Resort & Spa! As boats sail beneath the Coronado Bridge, take in the unbelievable skyline views while San Diego’s hottest pitmasters fire up their grills.

1) San Diego Bay Wine + Food Fest Grand Tasting ($135+, Saturday, Nov 17, 11am-3pm) - If you are only going to one event at this year's San Diego Bay Wine & Food Fest, make it the Grand Tasting. This is the biggest party of the festival, featuring more vendors than you can count, dishing out everything from jelly beans to jambalaya. Held at the Embarcadero Marina Park North behind Seaport Village, this lavish seaside affair features live entertainment, cookbook signings, celebrity chefs, cooking demos, 170 wine and spirit purveyors, 60 of San Diego's top chefs, over 30 gourmet food vendors, and a riveting "Chef of the Fest" competition, making for the premier tasting opportunity. Come very, very hungry, and if you can, get early entry to avoid the crowds, at least for the start.

For more information on the 15th Annual San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival, including packages, hotel discounts and to purchase tickets, visit sandiegowineclassic.com.