In its twelfth outing, the Beaufort Wine & Food Weekend celebrates spring with five days of palate tempting events throughout Carteret County. Planned for April 27 through May 1, the five-day charitable event combines the public’s appreciation for wine and food with its drive to support worthy local organizations.
What started as a small annual festival has now grown to offer special culinary events throughout the year. The official Wine & Food Weekend, however, continues to be the flower in the organization’s cap, allowing it to donate more than $450,000 to local nonprofits.
During this year’s festival, guests will find even more opportunities to break bread with local and guest chefs and rub elbows with visiting wine makers, sommeliers and distributers. Always a highlight, guests will find expanded options for paired wine dinners. In past years, the much-coveted dinners were held on Thursdays at a handful of the county’s restaurants. This year, dinners will be on both Wednesday, April 27 and Thursday, April 28 and see 11 Carteret County restaurants and two private homeowners welcome guest chefs and winemakers for meticulously paired four-course meals. From the Boro Restaurant & Café in Swansboro to the Blue Moon Bistro in Beaufort, the event reaches across the county and includes some of the area’s most popular eateries. Restaurants include Soundside, Circa 81, the Cedars Inn, Island Grille, Bistro by the Sea and others.
“After having years of sold-out dinners, we’re pleased to be able to offer more opportunities for foodies to experience dinners in both area restaurants and private homes,” explained Executive Director Lindsay Parker. “It speaks volumes about the caliber of our local wine and culinary scene when we can grow our festival to spotlight Carteret County’s chefs with visiting talent from all over the world.”
Also returning is the popular Historic District Wine Walkabout, which is held at three of Beaufort’s picture-perfect homes and the equally as interesting Harvey W. Smith Watercraft Center, part of the NC Maritime Museum. Each stop along the walk features a guest chef and a wine and food pairing in a relaxed atmosphere. Trolley transportation is provided for those who prefer.
New this year is the Truck Stops Here Food Truck Rodeo that allows guests to sample fare from food trucks and area restaurants while enjoying live music, beer and wine. Other events include a Fashion Show Luncheon; Wine, Bread, Cheese & More with Chef Lionel Vatinet of La Farm Bakery in Cary; the Grand Reserve Tasting & Auction; and the Celebration Brunch.
Visiting participants include David Santos of Louro, West Village, New York; butcher Steve Goff with Standard Foods, Raleigh; Tom Meyer, The Q Shack, Raleigh; Trey Wilson, Customshop, Charlotte; Cedrick Fichepain, Le Voltaire, Omaha, Neb.; and more. Additional guests include Ryan and Jessica Carr of Carr Winery; Bradley Brown of Big Basin Vineyards; Gabriel Valenzuela of Langtry Vineyards; Larry O’Brien of Jackson Family Estates; and Andrew Miller of Ecosur Importers.
Events culminate on Saturday, April 30, with the grand Vin de Mer Epicurean Village. Held on the picturesque grounds of Front Street Village, the tented event brings together more than 300 wine labels and dozens of local and regional restaurants for what the organization describes as a little bit of “controlled chaos.” It is the see and be seen event of the festival, bringing together the best that the Wine & Food Weekend has to offer for a 3 ½ hour whirlwind taste test. Tip – be sure to keep your phone close at hand so you can note your favorite wines along the way. Of course the selfies will be fun, too.
If you’re looking for the popular Beer, Bubbles & BBQ event on the April line-up and don’t see it, have no fear. The organizers decided to hold the event as a stand-alone beer festival Sept. 23-24.
“We felt with the success we’ve seen with our beer events, from Beer, Bubbles and BBQ to the beer luncheons and seminars, it would be great to bring these events together in the fall for a standalone festival,” said Parker. “North Carolina boasts the largest number of craft breweries in the American South with more than 120 breweries and brewpubs,” she explained. “We are thrilled to have the opportunity to showcase these breweries at a variety of events during the September festival.”
That certainly gives us a reason to await the close of summer.
For a complete list of guest chefs and winemakers or to purchase tickets for this year’s Beaufort Wine & Food Weekend, visit beaufortwineandfood.com or call 252-515-0708.
Schedule of Events
Wednesday, April 27
7pm – Private Home Wine Dinners
Various locations, $125
7pm – Restaurant Wine Dinners
Various locations, $65-$85
Thursday, April 28
2pm – Wine, Bread, Cheese & More
Watercraft Center, $50
7pm – Wine Dinners
Various locations, $125
Friday, April 29
Noon – Fashion Show Lunch
Watercraft Center, $50
4pm – Historic District Wine Walkabout
Various locations, $100
7pm – Food Truck Rodeo
Front Street Village, $65-$90
Saturday, April 30
11:30am – Vin de Mer
Front Street Village, $65
6:30pm – Grand Reserve Tasting & Auction
Front Street Village, $150
Sunday, May 1
Noon – Celebration Brunch
Front Street Village, $100
All events are subject to change due to the varied schedules of the guest chefs and winemakers. Attendees must be 21 or older.