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Newport Beach Wine & Spirits Fest Returns

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For many years, Balboa Bay Resort held a wine festival over Memorial Day weekend that featured a winemaker dinner and a wine and food tasting event.

After a pandemic-imposed break, the festival has returned, renamed the Newport Beach Wine & Spirits Festival that runs May 27-29.

The festival begins Friday, May 27 with a dinner and reception featuring Daou Vineyards, the iconic Paso Robles winery known for its powerful Bordeaux varieties. A curated five-course dinner will accompany the specially selected Daou wines, courtesy of Balboa Bay Resort’s Executive Chef Prabeen Prathapan.

During the afternoons on Saturday, May 28 and Sunday, May 29, the festival will welcome nearly 60 wine and spirits vendors, with live music, hors d’oeuvres and of course stunning bay views.

The Saturday festival will be in the resort’s Commodore Room pouring out onto the boardwalk, overlooking the marina, yachts, and Lido Island in the distance.

The Sunday event will include tastings on the resort’s lawn with circus/acrobatic performers.

60+ Vendors

“This year will be different than previous years in terms of the scale,” said Jason Hsieh, food and beverage director at Balboa Bay Resort. “Previously we had 15 to 20 wine vendors, this year we have 60 and have added spirits including vodka, tequilas, and mezcal.” He also says that whiskey lovers (like me) will enjoy tastes from Macallan and others.

Hsieh said there will be a variety of food stations offering what he called “tastes of our property.” The décor will be festive and vendors are encouraged to decorate their booths.

“This is more upgraded than previous years,” Hsieh stated. “It’s meant to be a lively celebration so people can get together and have fun.”

Hsieh thinks the Daou dinner will sell out, but tickets are available for the Saturday and Sunday events.

Balboa Bay Resort: 1221 West Coast Highway, Newport Beach, (949) 645-5000, balboabayresort.com

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