Although the 28th annual Hilton Head Island Wine and Food Festival features a food-heavy schedule of dinners crafted by some of the island's brightest culinary minds, cooking demonstrations and cookbook signings, for many who will attend the festivities, the wines will be the stars of the show.
More than 700 varieties of wine, a daunting deluge of vintages even for the most experienced wine drinker, will be available for tasting at this year's festival, which runs from noon to 3 p.m. March 9 at the Coastal Discovery Museum at Honey Horn on Hilton Head. General admission is $50 at the door. Admission includes a souvenir glass and a chance to taste as many wines as you want. Food samples are extra.
The event's finest wines already were chosen during the festival's International Wine Judging and Competition in January -- Bello Family Vineyards, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2009 took home Best in Show honors -- but there are still many more hidden gems worth tasting next week.
We asked a couple of wine experts to give a list of the wines they think shouldn't be missed during next week's festival.
MARGARET GOLSON, CERTIFIED SOMMELIER, CHARLIE'S L'ETOILE VERTE
LAIN BRADFORD, FOUNDER, WINETALK.ORG
The festival's main tasting isn't the only event worth attending next week.
Follow reporter Patrick Donohue at twitter.com/IPBG_Patrick.