The end of the summer season signals the start of wine season in Myrtle Beach, where several festivals are held in the early autumn all across the Grand Strand. With wine-related festivals on the schedule from as far north as Little River to as far south as Pawleys Island, the vino parties are, manageable cab rides away from the Caribbean Resort & Villas. Here's a wine list, if you will, of festivals, concerts, dinners and tastings paying tribute the beloved fermented grape:
* Pawleys Island Wine & Food Gala: Tickle your taste buds with great food and wine at this Sept. 29 party in Pawleys Island. Part of the three-week-long Pawleys Island Festival of Music & Art, the Wine & Food Gala features award-winning local chefs serving their favorite Lowcountry dishes with a wide selection of wines to wash it all down. Held at the prestigious Reserve Golf Club of Pawleys Island, about 25 miles south of the Caribbean Resort, the event offers tasting tents, live music, raffles and the crowd-favorite dessert competition. The party starts at 7 p.m.
* Myrtle Beach Wine Festival: In the seven years since its inception, this event has blossomed into one of the most popular among locals and visitors alike, especially those with a nose and palate for fine wines. More than 50 wines from all over the world are on the menu at this one-day (Saturday, Oct. 1) party at Valor Park in The Market Common, where live music, food tents, and arts and crafts vendors are set up in the scenic outdoor setting and the lovely fall weather. Patrons must purchase a $5 wine glass as admission, and tasting tickets are available for 2-ounce sample servings. But you don't have to be a wine snob to have a good time at this shindig. More than 20 craft beer breweries will be on hand to serve some of their best suds, and local musical acts provide a festive mood for enjoying a fun day in the park. The party starts at 11 a.m. and runs to 7 p.m.
* Autumn Big Band Blast: When it comes to celebrating wine, there's nothing like going straight to the source. La Belle Amie Vineyard in Little River, located about 20 miles north of the Caribbean Resort, offers that unique opportunity at the Autumn Big Band Blast on Saturday, Oct. 1. This all-day festival is held on the 38-acre winery that has been in the Bellamy family (as in “La Belle Amie”) for generations. Famous for the muscadine and scuppernong grapes that go into the Twisted Sisters wines, La Belle Amie also knows how to throw a party. Visitors gather around the bonfire and the outdoor stage to hear big-band classics while dancing barefoot on the lawn, and patrons can enjoy wine tastings, vineyard tours, real Carolina barbecue and cold beer. Admission is $10 for adults. If you find yourself in town on another weekend, La Belle Amie hosts several other fall festivals, concerts and bonfires. This year's lineup includes the Rock Back the Clock Music Fest (Oct. 15), the Halloween Saturday Bonfire (Oct. 29), the Island Fever Music Fest (Nov. 5), WineStock (Nov. 19) and the Holiday Spirits Bonfire (Nov. 26).
* Drink Pink Night: Experience the wines of the South's largest vineyard in the heart of North Myrtle Beach at the Duplin Winery at Barefoot Landing. As a fundraiser for Caring in our Lifetime's efforts to find a cure for breast cancer, Duplin Winery offers a special tasting session for a $15 donation. Held from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 6, Drink Pink Night includes two glasses of wine, live music, appetizers and a Tanger Outlet Stores Pink Card for shopping discounts at the nearby retail center. Patrons can also pick up their favorite wines from the Duplin line for a souvenir, gift or nightcap back at your room at the Caribbean Resort.
Now all you need to enjoy a fun-filled fall of fine wines and good times is to book your reservations at the Caribbean Resort & Villas today. For the perfect autumn getaway to Myrtle Beach, the Caribbean Resort is the place to stay.