Wine Tasting in Malibu…and Santorini

Do it Here, Then Do it There…

For Southern Californians, there is an easy to get to wine region in one of the most beautiful areas of the country: Malibu. Predominately known for its miles of sandy and rugged coastline plus the many celebrities who call it home and frequent its restaurants, Malibu is slowly moving beyond the glitz and glamour of Hollywood and the surf life the waves offer to begin cementing itself as a major wine player. Its close proximity to the ocean and cliffside shorelines may also remind you of another wine region in the Mediterranean…the gorgeous Greek island of Santorini.

But first, let’s discuss wine tasting close to home in Malibu. The Los Angeles enclave has an assortment of wineries tucked into the base of the Santa Monica Mountains. Some Malibu wineries create their wines from vineyards right on their Malibu property, while others predominately use grapes grown elsewhere in California (particularly the Central Coast) and then make their vintages at their winery in Malibu. To try some wine made with homegrown Malibu grapes, head to the aptly named Malibu Wines which also has an outdoor tasting room with a spectacularly scenic backdrop, or head to Rosenthal – The Malibu Estate Wines, a laidback wine bar where you can do tastings on the patio that overlooks the ocean.

You can also get your fix for Malibu wines at the Calabasas Malibu Wine & Food Festival from June 20 – June 21, 2014 at the Calabasas Country Club. You can get tickets here.

After you get your wine tasting fix in Malibu, you may be ready for some more exotic wine tasting experiences overseas and the small island of Santorini, a popular port of call on Mediterranean cruises, is an excellent place to do so. Santorini has a caldera that curves around a partially submerged volcano in the middle of the Aegean Sea. The volcanic rock that makes up a large portion of the island gives the wines from Santorini a unique earthy and acidic taste that is popular with wine enthusiasts.

Many wineries on the island are open to the public for tastings though some require advance reservations. For a list of Santorini wineries, visit Wines from Santorini. To make wine tasting during your day in port in Santorini hassle-free, opt for a Santorini shore excursion that includes a visit to a winery.

From the shores of Malibu to the volcanic terrain of Santorini, you can find some excellent seaside wine tasting both close to home and overseas.

Top Chef at Sea Heads to Alaska

Are you a Top Chef fan? If you wait eagerly each week for a new episode to be on, then you’ll love the opportunity to experience it in person and you can do so on one of Celebrity Cruises’ exclusive Top Chef at Sea sailings.

We’re especially excited for the 7-night Alaska Top Chef at Sea sailing that is departing August 15, 2014. Why? Because the cruise departs from Seattle and you can get amazing flight deals from LAX and other Southern California airports to Seattle. Plus, it’s only two months away so you don’t have to wait long to meet Top Chef celebrities!

Once in Seattle, you’ll board the beautiful and award-winning Celebrity Solstice and start mingling with Top Chef stars that include Paul Qui, Tiffany Faison, Brooke Williamson, and Nina Compton.

While onboard, special Top Chef at Sea activities include demonstrations and private cooking classes from the Top Chef stars plus opportunities to dine alongside the chefs at the specialty restaurants onboard Celebrity Solstice. The main restaurant onboard will also have a Top Chef night during the sailing, which will feature recipes the chefs created on the hit show. You can also have the chance to pretend you’re a celebrity chef for the day at one of the Quickfire Challenges you can participate in onboard.

To learn more about the 7-night Top Chef at Sea Alaska sailing and to book, visit the itinerary page for the sailing.

Celebrity Cruises also has three other Top Chef at Sea sailings this year that sail to Bermuda (July 27), Europe (September 19), and the Caribbean (November 15).

Great Wine Festival 2014: Fun and Photos

The Great Wine Festival this past weekend on May 31 at the Great Park in Irvine, California, was a huge success!

We had such a great time meeting those that came out, including some of our valued Celebrity Cruises Captain’s Club members. After attendees to the festival got their fun wine glass necklace (which made it easy to sample wine and sample food!), they were ready to start a fun afternoon of mingling and talking with representatives from restaurants, breweries, wineries and Celebrity Cruises. The Great Wine Festival benefited the Legal Aid Society of Orange County, a non-profit that provides free legal service to those who would otherwise not have the opportunity to have representation and justice.

Here are some pictures from the Great Wine Festival. Hope to see you there next year!

Grilling up some food at the Great Wine Festival.
Grilling up some food at the Great Wine Festival.
Great Wine Festival: Tables to enjoy wine and food on with tables serving samples of drinks and cuisine on the perimeter -- this was right before the festival attendees were let in.
Tables to enjoy wine and food on with tables serving samples of drinks and cuisine on the perimeter — this was right before the festival attendees were let in.
Great Wine Festival: Another "before" shot of the pavilion right before attendees came in. SoCal restaurants, breweries, and California wineries were serving up their finest.
Another “before” shot of the pavilion right before attendees came in. SoCal restaurants, breweries, and California wineries were serving up their finest.
Local chef students from the Art Institute of California - Orange County teamed up with Celebrity Cruises' Executive Chefs to create samples of the cuisine served onboard Celebrity Cruises.
Local chef students from the Art Institute of California – Orange County teamed up with Celebrity Cruises’ Executive Chefs Rufino Rengifo and  John Suley to create samples of the cuisine served onboard Celebrity Cruises.
Celebrity Cruises sommelier Chanelle Duarte pouring some wine at the Great Wine Festival in Irvine, California.
Celebrity Cruises sommelier Chanelle Duarte pouring some wine at the Great Wine Festival.
Zaca Mesa Winery's Dane Campbell pouring some wine at the Great Wine Festival while chatting with Celebrity Cruises Director of Sales Scott Clifton.
Zaca Mesa Winery’s Dane Campbell pouring some wine at the Great Wine Festival while chatting with Celebrity Cruises Director of Sales Scott Clifton.
One of the fun wine glass necklaces being modeled (second from right) at the Great Wine Festival in Irvine, California.
One of the fun wine glass necklaces being modeled (second from right).

Lavender Fields in Southern California…and France

Do it Here, then Do it There…

Love the smell of lavender? Southern Californians are in luck as there is a lavender farm close by in Valley Center, Keys Creek Lavender Farm. And if you love visiting lavender fields in Southern California, then keep reading, because we’ll share where to do it overseas.

Keys Creek Lavender Farm covers eight acres in north San Diego County, just south of Riverside County. During the months of May and June, the farm is open to the public to walk through to take in the blooming lavender flowers. In addition there is a café on the property serving lavender tea and lavender scones plus a gift shop where you can get lavender-infused products.

Want to take your lavender field walking to the next level? Then it doesn’t get much better than the south of France, especially lovely Provence, which is home to a plethora of vast lavender fields. An exciting, convenient way to spend time in the lavender fields of Provence is to take a Mediterranean cruise to the southern region of France.

The Celebrity Equinox sailing departing September 20, 2014 from Barcelona, Spain, makes a stop at the port town of Toulon, a gateway to Provence. The sailing also stops in Dubrovnik, Croatia; Kotor, Montenegro; Naples, Italy; Rome, Italy; Pisa (with easy access to Florence), Italy; and an overnight stay in Venice, Italy. The sailing ends back in Barcelona.

The Equinox is part of Celebrity Cruises’ Solstice-class of ships and has the beautiful Lawn Club on board, an open air deck that is covered in real grass and is ideal for relaxing on with a fruity drink or playing a game of bocce ball. Also on the Lawn Deck is the Hot Glass Show were you can watch expert glass blowers create marvelous masterpieces made out of glass. In addition, the Celebrity Equinox — like other ships in the Solstice-class — is known for its stellar cuisine and wine offerings.

To book your Celebrity cruise, visit www.CelebrityCruises.com/SoCal.

Say Cheese with Celebrity Cruises Sweepstakes Official Rules

Say Cheese with Celebrity Cruises Sweepstakes

Official Rules

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN PRIZE. A PURCHASE DOES NOT IMPROVE ONE’S CHANCES OF WINNING.

1. ELIGIBILITY: The “Say Cheese with Celebrity Cruises Sweepstakes” (“Sweepstakes”) is sponsored by Celebrity Cruises Inc. (“CCI” or “Sponsor”). Sweepstakes is open only to residents of California, 18 years of age or older at the time of entry. Employees, officers and directors of Sponsor, its affiliates, subsidiaries, advertising and promotion agencies, electronic media firm, and their immediate family members (spouses and parents, children and siblings and their spouses, regardless of where they live) and those living in the same household (whether related or not) of such employees, officers and directors are not eligible. All federal, state, and local laws and regulations apply. Void where prohibited by law.

2. TIMING: Sweepstakes begins at 2:00 p.m. on 5/31/14 and ends at 6:00 p.m. on 5/31/14 (“Sweepstakes Period”). All times are Pacific Standard Time or “PST.”

3. HOW TO ENTER: Sign into your Twitter account at www.Twitter.com (“Sweepstakes Website”). You must have a Twitter account in order to participate; there is no fee to open an account. Your participation on Twitter must comply with the Terms of Service posted on the website. This Sweepstakes is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Twitter. If you choose to enter via a mobile phone, standard message and data rates may apply and entrants should contact their wireless provider for pricing plan details.

STEPS TO ENTER:
a.) Once logged into your Twitter account, follow the links and instructions to become a follower of Celebrity Cruises at www.Twitter.com/celebritysocal.
b.) From your own account, mention @CelebritySoCal and include in the tweet (”Entry”) a.) your guess as to the type of cheese sampled at the Celebrity Great Wine Festival held in California on 5/31/14 in (optional portion of tweet); b.) where in the world you’d most like to be eating cheese (required portion of tweet); and c.) the hashtag #SayCheeseWithCelebrity. Your tweet must contain the specified #hashtag to be eligible for entry in this Sweepstakes. Limit of one (1) Entry per person or email address or Twitter account.
c.) Optional: As part of your Entry you may opt to include a photograph of yourself alone or with others. If the photograph includes other people, you must obtain prior permission to submit the photograph from all other people included and the person’s parent or legal guardian if the person is a minor in his or her state. Also optional, the photograph may include a caption in English, not to exceed the maximum number of characters in compliance with Twitter’s Terms of Service.

Photograph Requirements:
• Photograph must be an original, unpublished picture.
• Photograph must be in a file format and file size that is in compliance with Twitter’s Terms of Service.

Photograph may NOT include: (a) any copyrighted material including but not limited to images, copy, trademarks, logos, or trade dress (such as distinctive building exteriors), look-alikes of celebrities or other public or private figures living or dead, or profanity, nudity or material deemed offensive to the Sponsor; (b) false or defamatory statements about any person or any third party; (c) third party trademarks which suggest affiliation with any trademark owner without permission of such owner or that dilute the value of any trademark; (d) act which is dangerous or harmful to person or property or suggests/depicts any person to undertake a dangerous activity; or (e) obscene, indecent, violent, sexually explicit, abusive, discriminatory, racially inflammatory or other morally or legally objectionable depictions of material, in the opinion of the Sponsor. If an Entry includes any of the prohibited elements listed above, the Entry will be disqualified, along with the entrant who submitted it. Sponsor reserves the right to modify or reject any Entry, in their sole discretion, that does not meet the above criteria. Once submitted, an Entry cannot be modified. BY SUBMITTING AN ENTRY, ENTRANT ACKNOWLEDGES THAT HIS/HER ENTRY MAY BE POSTED ON SPONSOR’S WEBSITE AND EDITED, IN SPONSOR’S DISCRETION.

Entries generated by script, macro or other automated or mechanical means will be void. Any attempt by any participant to submit more than the stated number of entries by using multiple or different email addresses, identities, registrations and logins, or any other methods will void that participant’s entries and that participant may be disqualified. The collection of Entry registration information by Sponsor is subject to its privacy policy found at www.celebritycruises.com. By participating in the Sweepstakes, entrants agree that Sponsor shall have the right to use all personal information provided to Sponsor in accordance with the Privacy Policy posted on the Sweepstakes Website.

4. USE OF ENTRIES: Entries become property of Sponsor and none will be returned or acknowledged except as provided herein. Submission of an Entry grants Sponsor and its agents an unlimited, worldwide, perpetual license and right to publish, use, edit, adapt, modify and/or publicly perform the Entry in any way, in commerce and in any and all media worldwide now known or hereinafter developed, without limitation and without notice or consideration of the entrant.

5. PRIZE and Approximate Retail Value (“ARV”): a $100.00 Visa® Gift Card for use towards a dinner for two (2) people. Terms and conditions on gift card apply. Any expenses not mentioned above are the winner’s responsibility. Odds of winning depend on the number of entries received.

6. WINNER will be selected in a random drawing to be conducted on or about 6/2/14 by Sponsor whose decisions are final on all matters relating to the Sweepstakes. Winner will be notified by Sponsor via Direct Message on Twitter to the account provided at the time of entry within three (3) days following the random drawing. Then the winner will be required to complete a Prize Acceptance/Address Verification Form, which must be returned within five (5) days of the date on the notification or an alternate winner will be selected.

7. GENERAL TERMS: Any prize notification or prize returned as undeliverable will be awarded to an alternate. Prize can be substituted at the sole discretion of the Sponsor. Prize is not transferable. Taxes are the winner’s responsibility. Prize acceptance constitutes permission (except where prohibited) to use winner’s name and likeness, address (city and state), photograph, voice, prize information and/or biographical information and any statements made by entrant regarding the Sweepstakes or the Sponsor for publicity, trade, advertising or promotion purposes at any time or times, worldwide and on the World Wide Web, without additional compensation, notice, review or approval. By participating, entrant agrees (a) to these Official Rules and the decisions of the Sponsor which shall be final in all respects; and (b) to release and hold harmless Sponsor, its affiliates, subsidiaries, advertising and promotion agencies, Twitter, Inc. (“Twitter”), and each of their respective parent companies, subsidiaries, affiliates, representatives, agents, successors, assigns, employees, officers and directors (collectively “Releasees”), from any and all liability, for loss, harm, damage, injury, cost or expense whatsoever including, without limitation, property damage, personal injury and/or death that may occur in connection with, preparation for, or participation in the Sweepstakes, or possession, acceptance and/or use or misuse of prize or participation in any Sweepstakes-related activity, including travel and including, without limitation, personal injury, death and property damage. Releasees are not responsible for lost, late, misdirected, damaged, incomplete, illegible or postage-due entries or Internet technical, hardware, software, telephone, or transmission failures of any kind, which may limit a person’s ability to enter the Sweepstakes. Releasees are not responsible for any injury or damage to entrants’ or any other person’s computer related to or resulting from entering or downloading any materials in the Sweepstakes. Sponsor reserves the right to cancel or suspend advertising the Sweepstakes on the Internet should a computer virus, unauthorized intervention or other cause corrupt the integrity or proper conduct of the Sweepstakes. Sponsor reserves the right to disqualify any entrant found to be disrupting the operation of the Sweepstakes or its web site. If the integrity of the Internet portion of the Sweepstakes is compromised in any manner, Sponsor reserves the right to modify Sweepstakes and randomly select a winner from valid entries received that are unaffected by the problem. In the event of a dispute as to the identity of any online entrant, entrant will be deemed the individual named on the online entry form. Sponsor reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to disqualify any individual it finds, in its sole discretion, to be tampering with the entry process or the operation of the Sweepstakes or website. CAUTION: ANY ATTEMPT BY AN ENTRANT OR ANY OTHER INDIVIDUAL TO DELIBERATELY ALTER OR DAMAGE ANY WEBSITE OR UNDERMINE THE LEGITIMATE OPERATION OF THE SWEEPSTAKES IS A VIOLATION OF CRIMINAL AND CIVIL LAWS AND SHOULD SUCH AN ATTEMPT BE MADE, SPONSOR RESERVES THE RIGHT TO SEEK DAMAGES FROM ANY SUCH ENTRANT TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW AND SHALL NOTIFY THE APPROPRIATE STATE AND/OR FEDERAL AUTHORITIES OF SUCH ATTEMPTS. Submission of any digital computer materials containing malicious computer code, viruses, bugs, worms or any other intentionally destructive or harmful computer materials is also a violation of the law and in addition to automatically disqualifying the entrant, will be subject to any prosecution or claim the Sponsor determines is warranted. By participating, entrant agrees that, in the event of a dispute regarding this Sweepstakes (a) any and all claims, rights or causes of action will be litigated solely in a court of competent jurisdiction in the County of Miami Dade, State of Florida; and (b) these Official Rules shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of the State of Florida, with the exception of Florida conflict-of-law provisions.

8. WINNER LIST: For the winner’s name, send a self-addressed stamped envelope to: Say Cheese with Celebrity Cruises Winner’s Name, 1080 Caribbean Way, Miami, Florida 33132-2096 or email SoCalEvents@celebrity.com.

9. SPONSOR: Celebrity Cruises Inc., 1050 Caribbean Way, Miami, Florida 33132.

SoCal Restaurant: James Republic in Long Beach

Dining at James Republic Restaurant in Orange County

James Republic is a chic, airy restaurant located in Long Beach, California. You’ll find a comfortable dining room with open walls to the outdoors providing a warm SoCal breeze for you to enjoy while you eat the Modern California Coastal cuisine that James Republic serves.

The Menu at James Republic

The cuisine philosophy at James Republic has a focus on farm to table. The kitchen is chef driven, meaning new menu items are constantly being offered depending on what’s in season and what can be found fresh locally. Those who like to know where their food came from before eating it can dine assuredly at James Republic.

The farm to table ingredients make up a menu that is rich in vegetables, including kale, brussel sprouts, and asparagus. You’ll also find grass-fed burgers on the menu alongside steak, chicken, and pork entrées from local farms. Vegetarians will love the plant-based entrée options, such as a grilled cauliflower steak. Seafood options are also available ranging from mussels to octopus to wahoo.

James Republic Location

James Republic is located at 500 East First Street in the Marriott Courtyard Long Beach Downtown hotel. To make reservations, call 562-901-0235.

If you’re interested in sampling some of James Republic’s stellar farm to table cuisine, you’re in luck – this weekend James Republic will be one of the restaurants participating in the Great Wine Festival. The Great Wine Festival is an Orange County-based event presented by Celebrity Cruises and helps to raise money for the Legal Aid Society of Orange County. It will be held on May 31, 2014 at the Orange County Great Park from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets are on sale until Friday for over 50% off via an Amazon local sale. In addition to local restaurants, the Great Wine Festival will have a wide assortment of California wineries and local breweries offering samples.

Orange County Restaurant Review: Maro Wood Grill

Maro Wood Grill is a small family-run eatery in Laguna Beach, California, that packs a big taste. The cuisine served at Maro Wood Grill isn’t just flavorful, it’s also locally sourced and organically produced. The owners of Maro Wood Grill grew up in Argentina and Colorado and wanted to bring the way of dining they remembered – one that was derived from local agriculture and ranching – to Southern California.

Maro Wood Grill Cuisine

The food at Maro Wood Grill comes from local farmer’s markets and nearby ranches that raise free-range livestock and grass-fed cattle. The latter makes for one of the most popular menu items at Maro Wood Grill: a juicy burger from meat that the diner can be assured was ethically raised and produced. Other popular menu items at Maro Wood Grill include the assortment of Empanadas on the appetizer menu. Choose from chicken, mushroom, beef, or spinach and delight in dipping them in the house made aioli they’re served with. You’ll find many other veggie- and meat-based dishes on the menu, several of which are cooked with Mesquite flavors.

Maro Wood Grill Ambiance

The ambiance at Maro Wood Grill is casual while retaining a degree of upscale sophistication. The inside area only has a few tables with the majority of the dining area on an outside patio – when weather is as constantly gorgeous as it is in Laguna Beach, this is where you’ll likely want to sit; however, if you’d prefer inside, be sure to call and make a reservation.

Maro Wood Grill Location

Maro Wood Grill has a small parking lot with a few spots and if those are taken, street parking can be found nearby. Maro Wood Grill is located close to the beach at 1915 South Coast Highway. You can contact Maro Wood Grill at 949-793-4044. The restaurant is open Tuesday through Thursday and on Sundays from 12 p.m. to 9 p.m. and on Friday and Saturday from 12 p.m. to 10 p.m. It is closed on Monday.

To sample some of the organic cuisine Maro Wood Grill serves, head to the Great Wine Festival this Saturday, May 31, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Orange County Great Park. The event is hosted by Celebrity Cruises and benefits a good cause: the Legal Aid Society of Orange County. The event will have a variety of California wineries serving samples of their best wines plus an assortment of local breweries and restaurants, such as Maro Wood Grill. You can save 51% off the ticket price until May 30 through a local Amazon special.

Celebrate National Chardonnay Day with the Great Wine Festival

It’s May 22, which means…it’s National Chardonnay Day! This gives wine lovers everywhere a day to appreciate the fine delicacy and tastes of Chardonnay — and an excuse to pour yourself a glass of the diverse wine.

Chardonnay is a white wine often characterized by oak and citrus fruit flavors, sometimes with buttery undertones. Chardonnay enthusiasts generally have a preference when it comes to how the wine is aged as well; Chardonnay aged in oak barrels tends to have a heavier, almost creamy taste that carries hints of the oak it was aged in, while steel barrel aged Chardonnay is lighter and crisper. When it comes to food, Chardonnay often pairs well with shellfish, chicken and pasta in a non-tomato based sauce. Chardonnay is grown all over the world and is one of the most widely consumed white wines.

For National Chardonnay Day, many winemakers are celebrating the day by hosting special events at their tasting rooms. Here at Celebrity Cruises, we’re also celebrating by offering 25% off tickets to the Great Wine Festival on May 31 in Orange County, California. The Great Wine Festival will have wineries from all over California exhibiting and offering tastings, plus local restaurants and breweries will also be at the festival and have samples available. And yes, Chardonnay will be poured at the Great Wine Festival. Here are the wineries that will be offering tastings of Chardonnay:

Benziger Family Winery
Cholame Vineyards
Frisby Cellars
Gagnon Cellars
Grgich Hills Estate Wines
Jackson Family Wines
Jordan Vineyard and Winery
Malibu Rocky Oaks
PRP Wine International
Wente Vineyards
Zaca Mesa Winery and Vineyards

That’s a lot of Chardonnay to try! Find your favorite when they’re all in one place. The Great Wine Festival is on May 31 from 2pm to 5pm in Irvine. Tickets can be purchased here. For more information on the event, visit www.GreatWine Festival.com

Riptide Sushi and Teppanyaki Restaurant in Orange County

Restaurant Review of Riptide Sushi and Teppanyaki Restaurant

You know you’re in for a good time when dining at Riptide restaurant in Mission Viejo, California, when you look at the eatery’s full name: Riptide Rockin’ Sushi and Teppan Grills. As the name suggests, Riptide focuses on fresh sushi and Teppanyaki.

Riptide Sushi Rolls and Other Menu Items

The sushi at Riptide ranges from sashimi to hand rolls to specialty rolls. For the latter, try the Burrito Roll, which puts an interesting twist on a shrimp tempura roll by adding cilantro and a spicy sauce. The Emperor’s Roll is the sushi to order for a special occasion as it’s made with Alaskan King Crab, Beluga Black Caviar, and  Sicilian white truffle oil among other high end ingredients.

In addition to specialty rolls, Riptide has a section of the menu called Reef Shark Specials, which has delicious seafood appetizers like baked green mussels, spicy tuna tostada, albacore pizza, and crab stuffed mushrooms.

Under the Teppanyaki section of the menu, diners can choose seafood or chicken and steak options. Your meal is then prepared right in front of you as an expert chef puts on an entertaining show as he slices and dices your ingredients and cooks them up on the large griddle right at your table.

Riptide has a couple specials throughout the week. Every Thursday from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. you can take advantage of all you can eat sushi. Happy Hour is Monday through Friday from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Riptide Rockin’ Sushi and Teppan Grills Location

Riptide is located at 27741 Crown Valley Pkwy Suite 325 in Mission Viejo, California. You can reach them at 949-282-0182.

Riptide Sushi and Teppanyaki Restaurant at the Great Wine Festival

Interested in sampling some of Riptide’s cuisine? Head to the Great Wine Festival on May 31 where Riptide is a participant and will be sharing some of its culinary delights alongside other Orange County restaurants and top California wineries plus a few breweries. The event is hosted by Celebrity Cruises and raises money for a local charity organization, the Legal Aid Society of Orange County. Tickets are $100 per person ($60 for Celebrity Cruises Captain’s Club Members) and can be purchased here. The Great Wine Festival will be held at the Orange County Great Park. To stay up to date on information for the event, follow the Great Wine Festival on Facebook and Twitter.

Celebrity Cruises Great Wine Festival

Orange County-based event featuring local craft beer, restaurants and LOTS of wine.

Presented by Celebrity Cruises in Orange County, California, the Great Wine Festival centers around wine, food and beer, though at its heart is a good cause: LegalAid of Orange County, which provides free and low-cost legal services to Southern California individuals who may otherwise be denied access to justice.

In addition to being for a good cause, the Celebrity Cruises Great Wine Festival is also the cruise industry’s first land-based food and wine festival. The event will feature a wide range of local and national brands, including California wineries and breweries plus local Orange County restaurants. You’ll be able to sample wine and beer plus munch on a variety of tasty food samples.

Wineries and Food Vendors at the Great Wine Festival

Some of the companies that will be in attendance include Cakebread, Zaca Mesa, Kendall Jackson, Wente, Pyramid Brewing and Samuel Adam’s for wineries and brewhouses, and Slapfish, Bluewater Grill, Caly Oven, Zimzala, Riptide and James Republic for restaurants. This is only a sample of the wines, beers and foods you’ll find at the festival — you’ll have to attend to experience the rest!

Celebrity Cruises’ will also have one of its sommeliers at the event, teaching attendees about the art of drinking wine, along with Celebrity’s Executive Chef, John Suley, who will be providing samples of the cuisine you can find on board a Celebrity cruise.

In addition, those dreaming of their next exotic vacation can mingle with representatives from Tourism New Zealand and Air New Zealand, two of the sponsors for the Great Wine Festival.

The Celebrity Cruises Great Wine Festival is Saturday, May 31, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. and will be held at Orange County Great Park. Tickets are $75 if purchased by May 12. After then, it will go up to $100 per ticket. If you are a member of Celebrity Cruises’ Captain’s Club, your ticket is just $60. You can purchase tickets here. Hope to see you there!

Special events and cruise deals just for West Coast residents plus cruise and travel tips for everyone!