When Pedro Menéndez and the first 800 European settlers landed on our shore nearly 454 years ago, his ships carried survival provisions. Among his most treasured stores was Spanish wine. Spain has cultivated wine grapes for more than 4,000 years. The Romans fell in love with Spanish wine and exported it throughout the Roman Empire. Spanish wine is the most popular wine in Europe and the fastest-growing segment of the American wine market. The St. Augustine Spanish Wine Festival is an opportunity to promote our city regionally, nationally and internationally, to help local charities, and connect with the city’s founders through products that are as relevant today as they were when the early Spanish explorers came to America. So if you’re intrigued by the culture, history, and the libations, here’s all you need to know about the 2019 Spanish Wine Festival.
The Spanish Wine Festival will take place on February 15-17 at various locations around downtown St. Augustine. It will consist of three separate (and equally delightful) events that will give guests a chance to explore everything from an elegant wine tasting to how to pair Spanish wine with American food trucks.
CAVA RECEPTION & DINNER
February 15, 6-10pm
The St. Augustine Spanish Wine Festival will kick off Friday evening on February 15, the 500th birthday of St. Augustine’s founder, Pedro Menéndez, with the Cava Reception and Dinner at Flagler College’s Solarium from 6-10pm. Guests will experience an elegant evening featuring a Spanish-inspired dinner with each course paired with a fine Spanish wine and live Spanish music. Sample delicate creations like Grilled Squid & Chorizo, Fig & Prosciutto di Parma Bruschetta, and Garnacha Poached Pears with Cinnamon Crème Fraiche (and a whole lot more).
WINE AND DINE
February 16, 4-7pm
On Saturday, February 16, experience Wine and Dine from 4-7pm at the St. Augustine Amphitheatre Front Porch. At this event, American food truck cuisine meets with Spanish wine for quite the pairing. This year’s participating food trucks include Fried Chicken Kitchen, Sporks Food Truck, Streaming the Bullet and Michael’s Tasting Room with a Twist. And serenading the festivities will be RAMONA will be performing onstage!
Admission is free, but online registration is required. At the event, food will be available to purchase from the food trucks, and tickets can be purchased for a glass and/or bottle of Spanish wine. A glass of wine will be $5 and a bottle of wine will be $20.
February 17, 2-5pm
The St. Augustine Spanish Wine Festival concludes with the Grand Tasting from 2-5pm. at the River House. At the Grand Tasting, guests will be able to sample more than 100 authentic Spanish wines from the regions of Rioja, Penedès and Catalonia of the grape varieties Tempranillo, Garnacha, Albariño and many others accompanied by Spanish-inspired hors d’oeuvres. Knowledgeable wine professionals will provide interesting information and answer any questions about the wines. Dennis Fermin of Fermin Spanish Guitar will provide music for the event. Tickets are $75.
A portion of the proceeds from the Spanish Wine Festival will benefit the Flagler College Hospitality and Tourism Management Program, the St. Johns County Council on Aging, HorsePlay Therapy Center, and the SAiRA Foundation.