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The Sip Schedule: A Wine Lover’s Quarterly Guide (Q1 2023)

For those who abide by the philosophy that wine is life, look no further than Sweet July’s quarterly guides rounding up all the events you need to know about.

We’re back with our quarterly roundup of curated wine events! Here, you’ll find culinary fests all over the country—and some international events, too—plus bonus resources to assist those interested in professional opportunities or ways to step up their wine knowledge. Dive in below!

JANUARY

WINE + FOOD EVENTS

January 12-15Cayman Cookout (Grand Cayman Island)

  • ATTEND FOR: Top-notch wines, spectacular cuisine, relaxed vibes, and an exceptional line-up of programming that includes celebrity chefs and wine producers all delivered on one of the most luxurious beaches in the Caribbean make this a penultimate destination event. Their unofficial motto of “Eat, Drink & Be Envied!” says it all! Tickets: $100-3,500. 

January 25-29, 2023Key West Food & Wine Festival (Key West, FLA)

  • ATTEND FOR: Five epic days of wine and food programming and dynamically curated experiences centered on the rich culture of Argentina. Here you’ll find a 5-course gourmet wine dinner entitled “From Argentine Marxism to Cuban Revolution,” an all woman-produced event where guests are asked to wear all black. How about a wine presentation on a private beach at sunset? Or maybe you’re interested in an interactive wine tasting where you also learn how to make empanadas yourself. Tickets: $75-1,800.

January 26-28, 2023ZinEx – Zinfandel Experience (San Francisco, The Palace Hotel)

  • ATTEND FOR: A Grand Tasting and a series of intimate dinners around town, plus an experimental Zinfandel flight-sipping experience for a fun comparative tasting. If Zin makes you zen, then you’ve found your fermented Mecca! Tickets: $50-350 (VIP packages also available for $3k+).

January 26-29, 2023Taos Winter Wine Festival (Santa Fe, New Mexico)

  • ATTEND FOR: Winter wine-derland! Temps range from the 20s to 40s, with 2 1/2 to 6 inches of snow. As for festival’s events, think a reserve wine tasting and silent auction, chefs luncheons, lavish wine dinners, wine seminars, and a grand tasting that includes bites from Taos Ski Valley‘s finest restaurants. Tickets start at $125. 

January 27-28, 2023Passion 4 Pinot (Palm Springs, CA)

  • ATTEND FOR: A deep dive into California Pinot Noir regions and a full taste of the terroir. From a luncheon featuring the wines of The Santa Lucia Highlands to a Russian River Valley dinner to a dinner featuring “hidden gems“ of Anderson Valley, Cali PN lovers can totally geek out! Tickets: $125-200.

FEBRUARY

WINE HOLIDAYS

February 1, 2023 — International Furmint Day (February 1 annually)

February 16, 2023 — International Syrah Day (February 16th annually)

February 18, 2023 — National Drink Wine Day (February 18 annually)

February 25, 2023 — Open That Bottle Night (the last Saturday in February annually; started by husband and wife wine journalists Dorothy & John Gaiter)

WINE + FOOD EVENTS

February 10-11, 2023The Garagiste Wine Festival (Solvang, California)

  • ATTEND FOR: Small production, boutique wineries and exclusive wines. This festival gives attendees “a unique chance to taste with 30 ultra-premium under the radar, micro wineries,” most of which don’t have tasting rooms or can’t be found on the typical wine country maps. Note: You must sign-up for the Garagiste newsletter to access tickets.

February 23-26BlendFest on the Coast (Paso Robles, CA)

  • ATTEND FOR: The best of blends! One of the featured seminars allows attendees to actually create their own wine blend, guided by exceptional Paso Robles winemakers. To top it off, attendees can flex their skills by competing to win the title of “Best Blend.” Tickets: $55-145.

February 25, 2023Black Vines (Oakland, CA)

  • ATTEND FOR: All the vibes. With a tagline like “a toast to Black wineries, Black art, and Black culture“ you know this event is going to deliver. If you’ve been seeking out the opportunity to have access to and taste an array of amazing wines made by Black wine brands, wineries, winemakers, and vintners, this is your party—and note that wine novices and enthusiasts alike will feel right at home. Also note that this was voted one of the top wine festivals in the U.S. last year by USA Today! Tickets: $150.

MARCH

WINE HOLIDAYS

March 3, 2023 — National Mulled Wine Day (March 3rd annually)

March 13, 2023 — International Riesling Day (March 13th annually)

WINE + FOOD EVENTS

March 1-5, 2023Charleston Wine + Food Festival (Charleston, South Carolina)

  • ATTEND FOR: Well over a dozen unique signature wine events (“Anything But Champagne,” anyone?). Plus those who love food and wine pairing experiences can totally get into a myriad of wine brunches, lunches, and even a fish fry! To top it off, the head of beverage for the entire festival is a highly regarded sommelier, a Wine Enthusiast “40 Under 40,” and—most fabulously of all—a Black woman, Cha McCoy. The $650 “Weekender Package” allows admission to multiple events. 

March 2-4, 2023Jackson Hole Food & Wine Fest (Jackson Hole, Wyoming)

  • ATTEND FOR: A cozy and luxurious experience. Programming includes a Champagne and caviar tasting, a wine dinner on top of a mountain, and a cooking demonstration. Know someone who prefers spirits to wine? This fest also features an exquisite Macallan scotch tasting. Tickets: $195-625(+).

March 17-19, 2023Lake Oconee Food & Wine Festival (Lake Oconee, Georgia)

  • ATTEND FOR: Three fantastic days worth of food and wine indulgence with a lakeside lifestyle vibe. Hosted at the Ritz Carlton, festival events include a 5-course vintner’s dinner, a jazz brunch, and a grand tasting. Tickets: $100(+).

March 19-26, 2023Hilton Head Wine & Food Festival (Hilton Head, South Carolina)

  • ATTEND FOR: The best of food, wine, music and shopping. Outside of the Grand tasting, there are two additional experiences. The first is “Stay Gold: A Lowcountry Wine, Music and Food Experience,” fabulously held at sunset, where attendees will be treated to live music and wines awarded Double Gold in the event’s international judging competition—with Lowcountry food pairings included. The second is “Sip & Stroll” where you can get your sip on and your shop on at the same time. Tickets: $45-150.

 

EDUCATIONAL & SCHOLARSHIP OPPORTUNITIES

Wine Empowered’s tuition-free wine education program:

Wine Empowered has its applications open for this year’s 2023 class of BIPOC hospitality workers residing in the New York metropolitan area who want to take their careers to the next level. Scholarship awardees will receive wine education to include a “comprehensive introduction to viticulture, verification, and major global wine regions.” Deadline is January 15, 2023. Apply here.

Batonnage Forum Level 1 Mentorship Program: 

This is an invaluable opportunity for prospective professionals in wine. Mentees will be able to choose from the following areas of focus: Cellar/Production, Hospitality, Sales and Distribution, Marketing and Communications, Retail, Viticulture, and Wine Business. Deadline is January 18, 2023. Apply here.

The Veraison Project + Silver Oak Winery “Silver Oak Apprenticeship”: 

This yearlong, paid apprenticeship (with health benefits, too!) will take place in Napa and Sonoma and will rotate through various departments, including vineyard production, marketing, order fulfillment, sales, and customer care. After completion, apprentices will have the skill sets necessary to pursue multiple career avenues in the wine industry. Scholarships will be awarded to two BIPOC applicants. Deadline is February 15, 2023. Apply here.

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