Back to its Roots: Seaside Seeing Red Wine Festival

Back to its Roots: Seaside Seeing Red Wine Festival
Special Promotion
 Words by Emma Harchanko
Photo provided by
Seeing Red Wine Festival

Calling all wine lovers! Seaside is hosting its 29th annual Seeing Red Wine Festival from November 7-10. This year, festival-goers have the opportunity to experience over 150 wines during intimate wine-tasting events led by the winemakers themselves. Festival events will also include optimally-paired food offerings, selected by Seaside’s own chefs as well as live music to add even more sparkle.

As consumer trends continue to indicate that Americans truly care about where our food, clothes, and other consumer products are sourced, the Festival decided 2019 was the perfect year to refocus its approach and go back to its roots. The wine community is particularly keen on knowing everything about a wine– from seed to bottle. An art of its own, every fine detail of winemaking matters. That’s why events director, Kevin Boyle decided it was time to bring in the winemakers themselves.

In addition to decreasing the total number of tickets and re-imagining the wine list, Kevin Boyle, events director, highlights the shifting priority of this year’s Seeing Red Wine Festival– to build connection.  

“As we saw the festival grow, both in quantity of tickets and wines, we felt like the event was getting further and further away from the original spirit when the Davises and Dave Rauschkolb held the first one decades ago,” says Boyle. “This year, the goal is for there to be a genuine connection between the guest, the wine and someone who has a lot of knowledge of that wine.”

The intentionality of the 29th annual festival has caught the eye of Forbes contributor and wine enthusiast travel editor, Lauren Mowery, who named the Seeing Red Wine Festival “One of The Best Under-The-Radar Wine & Food Festivals.”

The schedule of events has something for every wine lover to enjoy. A delicious meal, by reservation, from a Seaside favorite– Bud & Alley's Restaurant– on Thursday night kicks off the robust schedule of events.

Friday night boasts an evening under the stars for guests to enjoy vintage and reserve wines during the sold-out Al Fresco Reserve Wine Tasting in Ruskin Place. Winemakers and other vintner VIPs will be serving up the pours while a select menu of perfectly paired hors d’oeuvres, prepared by Chef Jim Shirley’s culinary team, is passed. Add live music, and you have an experience in Seaside you won’t soon forget! 

On Saturday, Seaside’s Central Square will come alive with quality wines for tasting curated by Seaside’s own restaurants and eateries, hand-selected food offerings chosen by Seaside’s popular and well-known local chefs, as well as live music, and the opportunity to purchase wines on site. It’s VIPs time to shine at 12:30 p.m. when the VIP tent officially opens for the event.

The complete schedule of events and tickets for each tasting opportunity are available through the Seaside Seeing Red Wine Festival website.

The festival concludes with a celebration– a Celebration of Bubbles Brunch that is! Sparkling wine enthusiasts will explore champagne, cava, prosecco and more, alongside a perfectly-paired menu from Chef Jim Shirley. Maybe the wine world will finally reach a consensus on the champagne vs. prosecco debate. We’ll stay tuned. In the meantime, grab your tickets before the events sell out!

The Seeing Red Wine Festival is a Signature Annual Event supported by Visit South Walton.