Now in its sixth year, the Saint Augustine Spanish Wine Festival is more than just an event that gives a great excuse to pick up a glass or two of wine. It gives the opportunity to celebrate the culture of the nation upon which our city is built through one of its most honored traditions – the making of wine. Guests travel from as far away as Washington and California, South America and Europe to share Spanish history and culture with the event’s chefs, musicians, and sommeliers.
As you might expect, there is a lot that goes on during this festival weekend. So before you get drawn in by the romance of Spanish music, the beauty of the history, and the timelessness of the wine, here are the details you should know to get the most out of the Saint Augustine Spanish Wine Festival.
The festival begins on Friday, September 8 at 6pm with the Cava Reception and Dinner and continues through Saturday the 9th and Sunday the 10th with pig roasts, wine fights, and tastings. All of the weekend events will be held at the St. Augustine Shipyard, located at 117 Dockside Drive. 100% of ticket sales benefit local charities.
Cava Reception and Dinner – September 8, 6pm
Each course of this four-course dinner prepared by Michael’s Tasting Room is paired with a Spanish wine. The meal will begin with passed hors d’oeuvres of Marinated Manchego Cheese Skewers, Goat Cheese Stuffed Peppers, and Spanish Mushrooms Skewers with Garlic and Sherry. The seafood station will feature oysters, shrimp, baby octopus, and crab claws. The meal will conclude with a plated dinner of Baked Apple Salad En Croute with Frise, Walnuts and Honey Vinaigrette, Butter Poached Lobster with Gnocchi in Saffron Cream, Peas, and Manchego Cheese, Rioja Braised Beef Short Ribs with Summer Corn Spoon Bread and Roasted Baby Carrots, and a Goat Cheesecake with Spanish Almond Crumble and Dried Cherry-Fig Compote.
Music will be provided by the Don Soledad Band featuring Mireya Nazario on vocals and a special presentation by acclaimed Flamenco dancer Tammy Weber Millar. The evening concludes with an incredible fireworks display over the San Sebastian River. Tickets for this event are $125.
Spanish Pig Roast (Cochinillo Asado) – September 9, 5pm
During this picnic, the chefs at four of St. Augustine’s favorite restaurants – Michael’s Tasting Room, Culinary Outfitters, The Raintree Restaurant and The Reef Restaurant – will serve their own interpretation of a Spanish pig recipe with scrumptious side dishes and an assortment of desserts along with Spanish wine and beer. K-9s United, as well, will present a demonstration, and guests will have the opportunity to meet local law enforcement officers and their K-9s. Music will be provided by the Don Soledad Band. The dress for this event is picnic casual. Tickets for this event are $65.
Batalla de Vino – September 9, 6:30pm
Two wine fights will take place on Saturday after the pig roast. The first is a team fight at 6:30pm – a competition where each team’s goal is to protect the king or queen. Each team of five (men and/or women 21+ years old) will try to get other teams’ kings and queens as red with wine as possible while protecting its royalty. The team with the whitest-clothed king or queen at the end of the competition wins. The cost to participate is $100 for a team of five people.
The second is an individual fight – participants dressed in white decorate friends and strangers with red wine. If you can’t field a team for the Team Batalla, then just come and have fun squirting wine. The Grand Batalla begins at 6:45pm following the Team Batalla. The cost to participate is $10.
This is the only Batalla de Vino in the United States!
Grand Tasting – September 10, 2-5pm
The festival concludes with the Grand Tasting at St. Augustine Shipyard. More than 100 Spanish wines are available to sample accompanied by Spanish-inspired hors d’oeuvres. The ticket cost is $75. View a full list of the wines on offer at www.spanishwinefestival.com/featuredwines.
Don Trousdell passed away in February of 2017, just shy of his 80th birthday, but his artistic endeavours made a lasting impression on the city. One of Don’s contributions was the gift of “The Lady of the Wine Festival” painting to the St. Augustine Spanish Wine Festival auction in 2014. That painting inspired “Ordinary People,” a collection of 33 paintings depicting the people who came to St. Augustine during the first 50 years, which was on display as a 450th Commemoration exhibition. Don came up with the concept for “The Lady of the Wine Festival” painting with only a direction to make it about Spanish wine. Don’s art gave a visual depiction of the St. Augustine Spanish Wine Festival that celebrates community. This year, a toast will be raised to Don, his art, and his legacy.
Tickets can be purchased individually for each of the above-listed events or an all-access pass is offered for $200. The pass includes entry to all of the weekend’s events – Cava Reception and Dinner, Cochinillo Asado, Grand Batalla de Vino, and Grand Tasting. Guests must be 21 years of age or older to purchase tickets and attend the events.