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6 of America’s most scenic food and wine festivals

If you’re looking for a mouthwatering food and wine festival but your mate happens to believe that “man does not live by bread alone” and would rather just relax at a fabulous resort with breathtaking views, then these six scenic food and wine festivals should help keep the marriage intact. They are all held in stunning locations (ranging from sun-drenched beaches to majestic mountain resorts) providing a choice of gorgeous venues for your next bud-tempting getaway. South Beach Wine & Food Festival, South Beach, FL – 19th-22nd February 2015 A food fanatic’s dream come true, grab your shades and join the crowd at the South Beach Wine and Food Festival, one of the largest and most popular food and wine festivals in the country. Sponsored by The Food Network, Cooking Channel and FOOD & WINE, this four-day festival brings together internationally renowned food and drink specialists and the gorgeous beach views all under the Miami sun. Inside tip: don’t miss their incredible kick-off event: an Italian Al Fresco Feast on the Beach the length of two NFL football fields! Hilton Head Island Wine + Food Festival, Hilton Head Island, SC – 9th-15th March 2015 Each year visitors are wowed by Hilton Head Island’s beautiful sights, sultry spring weather and the sweet southern hospitality they encounter. This year, guests will enjoy waterfront events held in The Sea Pines Resort, including the Grand Tasting on the famous 18th green of the Harbour Town Golf Links and the Public Tasting at the Harbour Town Marina under its iconic lighthouse. Hilton Head Island Wine + Food Festival Inside tip: shout-out to golfers: they are offering a new festival golf event this year. Also, just FYI: their signature event, the original Public Tasting, is the largest outdoor tented public wine tasting on the East Coast! Taste of the Beach, Outer Banks, NC – 19th-22nd March 2015 Every year wine-lovers and foodies gather for the fun filled four day festival. Over 60 events are packed into the four day period, ranging from wine tastings, cooking classes, brewery tours, to tapas crawls. The Outer Banks Taste of the Beach Weekend is sure to satisfy the fabulous weather, views, food and drink that everyone expects. Taste of the Beach Inside tip: Outer Banks is known to have some of the best tasting oysters anywhere so sign up for the Oysters at the Creek event Indulge and to sample some tasty NC oyster creations. Taste of Vail, Vail, CO – 8th-11th April 2015 Taste of Vail is the nation’s premier spring food and wine festival held at iconic locations throughout North America’s most popular mountain resort showcasing the finest chefs in Vail and the nation’s top vintners. Taste of Vail Inside tip: for a magical pairing check out the American Lamb Cook-off and Aprés Ski Tasting: Life beyond Chardonnay & Cabernet, offering the ultimate Aprés Ski Party. Aspen Food & Wine Classic, Aspen, CO – 19th-21st June 2015 For the 33rd year food and drink lovers will head up to the mountains to experience the crisp Aspen air, as well as the country’s culinary and wine talent. World renowned experts took the stage for cooking demonstrations, wine tastings, and seminars, as well as to participate in the Celebrity Chef 5K. Aspen Food and Wine Classic Inside tip: this is considered to be the one of the premier culinary events in America so don’t wait to sign up if you want to hobnob with prominent chefs such as Jacques Pépin, Hugh Acheson, Tyler Florence, and Marcus Samuelsson during this dynamic 3-day event. Maine Lobster Festival, Rockland, ME – 29th July – 2nd August 2015 Head out to the coast for five days of feasting and fun! The Maine Lobster Festival consists of 20,000 pounds of lobster, a lobster cook off, a sea goddess coronation, and international crate race. Maine Lobster Festival Inside tip: does your lobster mac & cheese always get rave reviews? Then sign up for the annual Maine Lobster Festival Seafood Cooking Contest offering more than $500 in prize money during this popular event. Selection is based on creativity, suitability of the seafood to the recipe and must contain seafood found in Maine waters. Good luck!

Janice Nieder

Janice Nieder could be the love child of Indiana Jones and Julia Child. Previously a specialty food consultant in NYC, Janice is currently a SF-based culinary tourism writer who has wined & dined her way through 90 countries. To keep things in balance, Janice also enjoys writing about her Girlfriend Getaways which include spa visits, soft-core adventure, cultural events, shopping, boutique hotels, and chef interviews.

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  1. These are great picks! We love traveling for food and wine festivals. I’d add Sonoma Wine Country Weekend to the list. The Sonoma and Napa valley are so beautiful in September and the food and wine are incredible. It’s a really great weekend that we never miss!

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