Spring has sprung on Amelia Island, and what better way to celebrate the season than with good food and wine! On April 23, the Spring Wine Festival hosted by Amelia Island Wine Company and Bar Zin Restaurant returns to Amelia Island’s south end. This year’s event will be the seventh Wine Festival hosted at Palmetto Walk Shopping Village, located at 4924 First Coast Highway. Over 300 people are expected to attend the event, so purchasing tickets in advance is highly recommended.
Last year, Bar Zin’s owner, Tim Seyda, reorganized his restaurant and his mission statement. “Our re-opening took us back to my original vision that I had 10-years ago,” says Seyda. “We are going back to the basics, creating an extensive wine list to live up to the name as a wine bar, and bringing back the upscale comfort food in a tapas style menu. We moved Amelia Island Wine Company into our library room when we did our renovations, and together we’re able to host Spring and Fall Wine Festivals that celebrate wines from around the globe, along with some of our tapas and other menu items.”
Holly Carlile, manager of Amelia Island Wine Company, is excited for this year’s festival. “This event allows attendees to sample wines they’ve never tried before,” she says. “Whether you’re a new wine drinker or a seasoned oenophile, you’ll find many new and unusual varieties of wines and varietals.”
Carlile explains that a varietal wine is made primarily from a single named grape variety. “You may be familiar with varietals like Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, and Merlot; this is an opportunity to sample lesser-known grape varietals like Gruner Veltliner, Albarino, Cabernet Franc, and Barbera.”
Each guest will be provided with a keepsake wine glass to sample the 50 different wines provided by Amelia Island Wine Company’s distributors. In addition to the tastings, wine experts will provide guests with information about the wines they’re sampling: the region where the grapes are grown, the history of the vineyards, and suggestions on how to pair the wines with various foods.
“We want our Spring Wine Festival to be fun for everyone,” says Carlile. “We know that wine can be intimidating to some, so we’re offering lots of wines at different price points. Some of our wines are extremely economical! This year, we’re also offering tastings of sweeter wines since many people prefer those flavors. Some of the wineries are local, too, like Island Grove Wine Company, a winery located in Hawthorn, Florida.”
Spring Wine Festival will feature Oregon wines, including Pinot Noir from the Willamette Valley, along with Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris. and Chardonnay. Also featured will be wine from the Bordeaux region of France, predominately red blends based from Merlot or Cabernet Sauvignon, along with some of Bordeaux’s white wines, like Graves Blanc and Vouvray.
The Spring Wine Festival will feature a tempting charcuterie board with cheeses, meats, and nibbles, in addition to a multitude of hors d’oeuvres provided by Bar Zin. Music will be provided by local saxophonist Ernest Gonzalez. The festival will be held on the front porches of Palmetto Walk, along with Bar Zin’s terrace, with lots of room for mingling, if you wish, or social distancing, if you prefer. The Nassau County Humane Society will also be at the festival, providing information on adoptions, along with some furry friends to meet and greet.
Tickets are $40 in advance and $50 on the day of the event. To purchase tickets, visit www.eventbrite.com/e/amelia-island-wine-company-spring-wine-festival-tickets-258622596147. Spring Wine Festival will be held on Saturday, April 23, from 1 to 4 p.m. For more information, call Amelia Island Wine Company at (904) 310-9255 or visit their website at www.ameliaislandwinecompany.com.