The 2nd Annual VinDiego Wine & Food Festival – A Fun Time Especially for New Wine Drinkers

Posted: April 9, 2014 in Events, Food, San Diego, Wine
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Following the huge success of last year’s event, the VinDiego Wine & Food Festival returned for its second year this past weekend down in San Diego. This two-day event allowed wine enthusiasts to immerse themselves in wine culture, whether at a seminar, a small-scale tasting, or at the grand tasting festival on Saturday afternoon. Friday saw smaller events with low limits to keep things intimate with the attendees, while the Saturday event saw thousands of attendees sipping and savoring all afternoon. The Saturday tasting event provided attendees with three hours (four with VIP upgrade) of unlimited wine pours and food samples from the participating businesses. As wine tends to have a larger consumer base than craft beer, this festival covered much more ground than a typical beer fest. Although personally I prefer craft beer, I decided to open my world to wine and give this a try.

The entire festival grounds at NTC Liberty Station spanned the outside courtyard area, plus the interior of the event center. Starting off with the event center, we find a variety of exhibitors set up at the tables inside. The exhibitors included a handful of wineries, plenty of non-hot food samples, a few non-alcoholic drinks, and merchandise vendors.

The majority of the attendees remained outside in the courtyard area, where most of the wineries set up. Along with the few hot food vendors out here serving hot food, all the wineries grouped up by region. Each individual row of wineries came from a different region, most of which derived from the west coast. For example, one row of wineries would come from Napa Valley, while the row at the far back contained wineries from Oregon. Throughout the day, attendees got treated to live local music that they could all dance to.

The VinDiego Festival marketed this event as a wine & food festival. They surely delivered on the wine, but did not appear to have enough food to satiate all the attendees. The hot food vendors saw endless lines of people waiting for food, and many of them ran out of food long before the event ended. I never had to wait for any wine, but I did not obtain much food due to the long lines that moved rather slowly. As a result, I stuck with the food vendors inside the event center, opting to not receive any hot food. Hopefully by next year, VinDiego will invite some more food vendors to the festival.

The wines flowed all day, never appearing to run out. With enough wine to fill a football stadium, VinDiego did not slack off with the wine. This event did not utilize volunteers to pour the drinks – the representatives from the wineries themselves poured the wines. This allowed them to better describe the wines as they poured, a notion that greatly assists those with less knowledge about wine, like me.

While I will likely stick with craft beer over wine, VinDiego helped to expand my scope over wine and expose me to the grand wine world. Craft beer still has yet to curb a large portion of consumer purchases worldwide, while wine already sits up there as one of the most purchased consumer goods annually. Whether you have as much knowledge as a sommelier or would like to get started with wine, VinDiego makes a great event to check out for all your wine resources. Like their Facebook page and Follow them on Twitter for post-event updates and information regarding any future events.


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