Drink up

Typography

ANNUAL WINE & FOOD FESTIVAL KICKS OFF WEEK OF EVENTS

Wine Festival

More than 4,000 people are expected to flock to the Lowcountry for the Hilton Head Island Wine & Food Festival, to be held March 11-17. The annual event offers a week of wine education classes, celebrity chef dinners, wine dinners and large-scale wine tastings, as well as the Sip and Stroll on March 14 and the Grand and Public Tastings on March 15-16, where more than 25 wine tents will feature more than 250 wines, cooking demonstrations, a silent auction, delicious food and live music.

Wines featured at the festival come from all over the world, and food vendors and chefs will suggest pairings that will complement their dishes. The weeklong event is the perfect opportunity to explore a wide variety of wines — and if you discover one you love, bottles will be available to purchase.

The Public Tasting is the biggest event of the festival and is lauded as the largest outdoor public wine tasting on the East Coast. Wine representatives from domestic and international vineyards will be on hand to share their expertise. Gates open at 11 a.m., with wine pouring beginning at noon and ending at 3 p.m. The Bartender’s Challenge, always a crowd-pleaser at the event, will start at 11 a.m.

There also will be food for purchase and mixology demonstrations. It's great fun, but a few words to the wise: choose a designated driver or take taxi or Uber, pace yourself and take advantage of the water stations. And all attendees must be 21 or older.

IF YOU GO

The Hilton Head Island Wine & Food Festival will be held March 11-17 in Harbour Town, with the popular Grand and Public Tasting event held March 16 at Harbour Town Yacht Basin in Sea Pines. For more information and tickets, go to www.hiltonheadwineandfood.com.