It seems like every major city has dozens of food and wine festivals every year. San Francisco, compared to many urban centers, tends to be more selective in what it puts on, however. And that's a good thing, because I've certainly been to enough crappy food and wine events with lousy food and wine (and too little of either) to last my lifetime.
Honestly, the first time I attended FallFest in San Francisco, I expected it to be yet another mediocre attempt at a gourmet food and wine festival. But I was more than pleasantly surprised that first year, and have continued to be impressed every year since. It is a top notch event worthy of a city of foodies. The organizers (San Francisco Magazine, among others) have consistently produced an event with excellent food, fantastic wine, great logistics, and an excellent atmosphere.
You can see my coverage of 2005's event to get an idea of what I'm talking about. If you enjoy food and wine, and have an afternoon to kill on Saturday, October 11th, FallFest is a nice way to spend a few hours, and certainly worth the $85* ticket, especially if you arrive early and hungry.
The event includes the typical wine and food fair setup -- lots of booths handing out free wine and free food, along with cooking demonstrations. Some of the folks cooking at the event include The Ritz Carlton, Bocadillos, Fifth Floor, RNM, Spruce, and Sent Sovi. Those pouring will include JC Cellars, Fort Ross Vineyards, Medlock Ames, Saddleback Cellars, Yorkville Cellars, and more.
This year the event features the theme of Eat Local, which means that most of the food will be sourced within 3 hours of San Francisco, and that this will also be the theme of the demonstrations and lectures that take place throughout the event.
And like all good events of this type, the proceeds benefit charity. In this case, Meals on Wheels San Francisco.
San Francisco FallFest 2008
Saturday, October 11, 2008
12:00 Noon to 4:00 PM
Justin Herman Plaza, Embarcadero Center
Market Street @ The Embarcadero
San Francisco, CA
Tickets cost $95 in advance, $110 at the door; they can be ordered online at the event web site. The event will likely sell out, as it does every year.
*SPECIAL NOTE: Vinography readers can get $10 off the ticket price by using promotional code VNGRPHY at checkout.
Some advice for those attending: when it's sunny it gets quite hot in the plaza. Bring sunscreen and a hat and drink lots of water. Or, of course, it could be foggy and cold as hell. But that has actually never happened at this event, so if we all cross our collective fingers....
Embarcadero Center can be easily reached by all Bay Area public transportation options, including Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART), Muni bus, underground Muni, ferry, cable car or the F-Line streetcar. For those who want to drive, underground garages are located in One, Two, Three, and Four Embarcadero Center.
A wine book like no other. Photographs, essays, and wine recommendations. Learn more.
What's Holding Wine Back in America Vinography Images: From the Fog The World's First Wine Bar Vinography Unboxed: Week of May 31, 2015 Vinography Images: Sky Drama Secrets of the World's Best Wine Lists Vinography Unboxed: Week of May 24, 2015 Vinography Images: The Happy Canyon Drinking Time Itself: The Champagnes of Anselme Selosse The Great Prosecco Crisis of 2015
Wine Will Never Smell the Same Again: Luca Turin and the Science of Scent Forlorn Hope: The Remarkable Wines of Matthew Rorick Debating Robert Parker At His Invitation Passopisciaro Winery, Etna, Sicily: Current Releases Should We Care What Winemakers Say? The Sweet Taste of Freedom: Austria's Ruster Ausbruch Wines 2009 Burgundy Vintage According to Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Charles Banks: The New Man Behind Mayacamas Wine from the Caldera: The Incredible Viticulture of Santorini Why Community Tasting Notes Sites Will Fail Chateau Rayas and the 2012 Vintage of Chateauneuf-du-Pape A Life Indomitable: The Wines of Casal Santa Maria, Portugal Bay Area Bordeaux: Tasting Santa Cruz Mountain Cabernets Forgotten Jewels: Reviving Chile's Old Vine Carignane The First-Timer's Guide to Les Trois Glorieuses of Hospices de Beaune