Outer Banks Food & Wine Festival

January 26, 2018 4:13 pm

Taste of the Beach

Outer Banks Food & Wine Festival

The Outer Banks Restaurant Association (OBRA) is in the final planning stages of this year’s premier food & wine festival, Taste of the Beach. Held annually for over 25 years and continuing to grow in participation and attendance, the 2018 festival dates are Thursday, March 22nd – Sunday, March 25th. If you consider yourself a connoisseur of food or wine or both, now is the time to get your tickets.

Food & Wine Festival General Tips

  • Wear Comfortable Shoes and Attire – Leave the skinny jeans and high heel shoes at home in the closet. Plan on standing and walking from one food station to another. Closed toed shoes are also a better option than sandals in the event a wine glass is dropped and breaks or someone steps on your feet, which is likely to happen as events can become quite crowded. In some venues, it will be necessary to go up and down stairs. With wine in one hand and a plate of food in another, comfortable clothing and sensible shoes are a must.
  • Pace Yourself – Taste of the Beach is the perfect opportunity to try new foods. However, you don’t have to eat all the foods presented at each event. If you really don’t think you will like an item, don’t put it on your plate. As far as the wine or beer tasting, moderation is key. It is acceptable to “dump” the remainder of your sample after tasting. Keep in mind that alcohol can cause dehydration, so drinking plenty of water will prevent this and aid you in digesting all the wonderful food you will be consuming.
  • Don’t Drink and Drive After One of the Events – Take turns each day being the designated driver. There are also several taxi companies; UBER and Lyft drivers that will be more than happy to take you and pick you up from one or all the events during the festival.

The #1 Reason Why People Attend Food & Wine Festivals

Food and Wine Festival Ramada OBX

One would think the answer is obvious, that it is contained in the name of the festival; to eat good food and drink good wine. However, according to Jeff Fromm from Forbes magazine, the #1 reason why people attend a Food & Wine Festival is to spend time with friends. These types of festivals can have quality musical entertainment from a variety of genres. Professional dance troupes, poetry readings and an area for attendees to dance provides entertainment for festival goers. Often there is a silent auction of local artisan crafts, gift certificates to restaurants and hotels, and for rounds of golf. Generally, all the proceeds from a silent auction are donated to a charitable organization within the community.

Millennials seem to be the generation that has embraced food and wine festivals as the ultimate place to socialize with friends and to meet new people. Fromm states, “it is the sense of community that draws in the millennial crowd”.

Stats to Know About Food & Wine Festivals

Maddie Veal, a writer for Eventbrite, an online ticketing vendor, provides the following statistics about festivals:

  1. 83% of people trust recommendations from family and friends. And since it is so easy to communicate with family and friends on social media, it makes sense to amp up social media efforts.
  2. 84% of festival-goers post pictures of the food on social media while at the food related event.
  3. 80% of festival-goers will opt in to beacon technology while at the food related event so that family and friends know of their location.

Taste of the Beach Kicks Off

Beginning at 10 a.m. on Thursday, March 22nd, Sanctuary Vineyards in Jarvisburg hosts Toast the Coast: A Selection of NC’s Finest Wines & Cheeses! Visit Sanctuary Vineyards daily during the festival as they showcase flavor pairings unique to our coastal region. Learning about wine and cheese is a fascinating experience. Here’s your chance to learn from some of the best “farmers” on the rewards and challenges of producing NC’s finest wines and cheeses.

Festival Locations

The Outer Banks Taste of the Beach is a multiple site festival. Restaurants from Duck to Manteo in Dare County and venues in Corolla, Jarvisburg and Powells Point in Currituck County will be welcoming festival goers to specialty themed events at each location. Times, dates and locations can be found here.

Festival Main Event

The Outer Banks Visitors Bureau sponsors the festival’s main even on Sunday, March 25th beginning at 12:30 pm at the Hilton Garden Inn in Kitty Hawk: Chef’s Grand Tasting and Bartenders Bubbly Bash. There will be an abundance of delicious food, prepared to “WOW” attendees. Specialty drinks, signature brews and a collection of the best wines will be served during the event.

Taste of the Beach Extras

This premier food and wine festival also features the following activities for the enjoyment of attendees:

  • cooking classes
  • behind the scenes brewery tours
  • tapas crawls
  • cook-off competitions
  • brunches – the best of breakfast and lunch events
  • kid-friendly events
  • sweets and desserts events

See You There!

The Taste of the Beach events that include alcohol in the ticket price will be for those 21 years and older. Festival planners go to great lengths to ensure that attendees of all ages can participate in the fun and enjoy good food – after all NC is known for its quality BBQ and the Outer Banks of NC is known for its fresh seafood. Gather up family and friends and come together or plan to meet them at the Outer Banks annual food and wine festival in March 2018. It will truly be a Taste of the Beach.