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Wednesday July 30th 2014

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Wine Fest with a View

By Jessica Forbes

Plaza de Luna is known as one of the most scenic spots in downtown Pensacola to get a breath of fresh air and an excellent view of the sunset. This weekend, it will also be the most scenic location in town to sample wine, select beer and craft bourbon during the Bayfront Wine Festival.

Previously called the “Spring Fling on the Bayfront,” this year Jaco’s Bayfront Bar & Grille will act as the presenting sponsor of the festival, and the new name serves as a nod to events of the past. “We decided to change the name to help tie it back to its location—some of the original Pensacola Wine Festivals took place at the Bayfront Auditorium—and what it actually was, a wine festival,” explained Jehan Clark, the festival’s director.

The wine tasting will feature over 60 wines, available at wholesale prices in a separate purchasing area to keep activity in the tasting area dedicated to sampling. A Beer Garden will feature selections from New Belgium Brewing Company and Abita Brewing Company, while representatives from Angel’s Envy Kentucky Straight Bourbon and Hudson Whiskey, a craft distillery in New York, will be in a Craft Bourbon tent offering samples. If you need extra motivation to be on time, the first 200 guests will receive a commemorative wine tasting glass.

While Jaco’s had existing relationships with some of the wineries participating in the festival, many of the partnerships are new and some are unique to Pensacola. “There are many things that make this special when it comes to the selections of wines, beers and bourbons, a lot of which someone would not be able to sample anywhere else in town” Clark said.

The festival events take place over two days. However, the Friday night, 4-course dinner with wine pairings prepared by Chef Tricia Horton, the executive chef for both Jaco’s and the soon-to-open V. Paul’s Italian, sold out well in advance. If you were unable to secure a ticket to the Friday dinner, Jaco’s will be open and serving its regular menu on Saturday.

Bayfront Wine Festival
WHEN: 1—5 p.m. Saturday, April 5
WHERE: Plaza de Luna, 997 S. Palafox
COST: $30 per adult
DETAILS: bayfrontwinefestival.com