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The 24th Annual Seeing Red Wine Festival celebrates the joy of wine

Posted on Sep 01, 2014 in Seeing Red Wine Festival , September-October 2014

As the air turns crisp and cool, wine enthusiasts gather in Seaside each year to sample wines from around the globe, as the award-winning town will host its 24th Annual Seeing Red Wine Festival Nov. 6-9.

Named by Fodor’s Travel as a Top 10 “Can’t-Miss Fall Wine Festival,” Seeing Red, in partnership with the Destin Charity Wine Auction Foundation (DCWAF), is part of a four-day wine event held at various locations in Seaside. Guests can stroll through tasting areas to sample wines while enjoying music, Southern hospitality and cool autumn air. Each tasting area features live music, and guests may purchase bottles on site. The festivities extend to intimate lectures and tastings with featured guest winemakers, dinners, and reserve wine tastings. Through DCWAF, 100 percent of the event proceeds will benefit Northwest Florida children in need (excluding Vinter’s Dinner and Al Fresco Reserve Tasting).

“The Seeing Red Wine Festival is one of the most highly anticipated events,” says Lori Leath Smith, Seaside Community Development Corp. public relations and marketing director. “Seaside’s highlighted events on Friday and Saturday allow both the wine novice and the fine wine connoisseur to sample specialty wines while speaking with the very people who devote their lives to the cultivation of the grapes.”

Several of Seaside’s well-known restaurants feature specially prepared meals for the event, pairing meals with the ideal reds.

“It is a long-standing tradition with many followers,” Leath Smith says. “Tourists and homeowners plan for this weekend many months in advance. This event not only brings in hundreds from near and far, but it also features more than 250 different kinds of red wine.”

The festivities kick off Thursday, Nov. 6, at 7 p.m. with the Vinter’s Dinner at Bud & Alley’s restaurant, using Seaside’s new wine label, the Wine Project. “We look forward to the Vintner’s Dinner each fall. It’s a wonderful opportunity to gather in Seaside and reconnect with friends and family over good food and good wine,” says Bud & Alley’s owner Dave Rauschkolb. To reserve tickets, call Elijah Shelly at (850) 231-1846 or email elijah@budandalleys.com.

Friday brings the Al Fresco Reserve Tasting at 6 p.m., featuring an elegant evening of delicious hors d’oeuvres and wines paired perfectly by celebrated local chef, Jim Shirley, all complimented by jazz music from Grapevine. The Grand Tasting, from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, takes over the streets of downtown Seaside, with an extensive array of tasting tents featuring highly sought after wines from around the world, live music, food stations from top local restaurants, and the opportunity to purchase wine on site. Sunday wraps up the weekend with a Celebration of Bubbles, as sparkling wine enthusiasts explore Champagne, Cava, Prosecco and more.

Ticket prices range from $145 to $200, and may be purchased online at SeeingRedWineFestival.com. Shuttle service will be available with free parking at Publix at WaterColor Crossings on County Road 395.

Visit Seeing Red Wine online