Whiskey Wine & Wildlife Announces Final Schedule and Best Taste Award Winners

  • by 904 Newsroom
  • October 19, 2022

ST. AUGUSTINE, Florida (October 17, 2022) – The final schedule for Whiskey, Wine & Wildlife, presented by Publix + GreenWise Market has been announced along with the BEST TASTE award-winning restaurant dishes, which will be showcased at Whiskey, Wine & Wildlife’s – W3 Main Event Block Party, on Saturday, November 5, 2022, from 2 – 5 pm, located on Vivian Browning Avenue in Vilano Beach.

The award competition participating restaurants were recently judged and awarded the following medals for their dishes: BEST OVERALL Gold: Silkie’s Chicken & Champagne Bar, Jacksonville, FL; BEST SAVORY Gold: Amici’s Italian Restaurant, St. Augustine, FL;  BEST SAVORY Silver: Lotus Noodle Bar, St. Augustine, FL; BEST SAVORY Bronze: Beaches at Vilano; BEST SWEET Gold: Vilano Main Street Diner, St. Augustine, FL; BEST SWEET Silver: Blacksheep Restaurant Group; BEST SEAFOOD - Gold (Tie): Catch 27, St. Augustine, FL and Costa Brava, St. Augustine, FL; BEST SEAFOOD Silver (Tie): Pesca by Michael’s, St. Augustine, FL and Cap’s on the Water, St. Augustine, FL; BEST SEAFOOD Bronze: The Reef Restaurant, St. Augustine, FL; BEST PRESENTATION: Odd Birds Kitchen & Cocktail Lounge, St. Augustine, FL.

In addition, attendees will vote for their favorite bites and sips during the event on Saturday, November 5 the PEOPLE’S CHOICE Awards, presented by Publix + GreenWise Market. One People’s Choice Medal Award Winner in seven categories, including beverage tastings will be announced on the Music Stage at 4:45 pm.

The following is a final schedule of events for Whiskey, Wine & Wildlife, with limited tickets left available for some events. Visit the festival website here for additional information and tickets.

Friday, November 4

W3 Master Classes, presented by Publix + GreenWise Market

These interactive and intimate learning experiences showcase local and celebrity guest chefs and beverage experts. Each class includes tasting bites with a paired wine or a signature cocktail. $60 per person, *Limited tickets available

11:30 am – 12:30 pm: “Luxe Brunch at Home: Easy Braised Pork Belly & Garlic Confit Potatoes” with Chef Ellie Schultze, Main Street Diner and a brunch cocktail with Kelley Fitzsimonds, Little Blue Cooler Productions, featuring Mijenta Tequila, Official Festival Tequila

1:00 pm – 2:00 pm: “Pasta Alla Norma”
Enjoy learning how to prepare a light Italian dish – perfect for holiday entertaining with Chef Iain McWilliam, Italian Specialist, Sysco, Official Festival Food Service. Zac Cole, with The Swig Spirit Tastings, will be pairing a signature cocktail with Strega, Italian Liqueur.

2:30 pm – 3:30 pm: “Best of Bardstown Bourbon” with Brandon Smith, Brand Ambassador

A select tasting of premium bourbons with some perfectly paired tasting bites

Guided Tours through the GTM Research Reserve/Wine & Cheese Paired Reception

Guana Tolomato Matanzas (GTM) Research Reserve

505 Guana River Rd #6527, Ponte Vedra Beach, FL 32082, $45 for person, *Limited tickets available

  • Friday, November 4, 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm

  • Saturday, November 5, 10:30 am – 12:00 pm

  • Sunday, November 6, 11:30 am – 1:00 pm

Enjoy exploring the great coastal outdoors and the natural beauty of the GTM Research Reserve with a private guided tour. The tour concludes with tasting some fantastic wines, paired with specialty cheeses from Cabot Cheese. Teeming with life, the Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve (GTM Research Reserve) is a dynamic, ever-changing place with many interconnected habitats from the ocean to the forests. One of 29 National Estuarine Research Reserves in the country, this landscape protects and provides for a great diversity of plants and animals. Guests will get to experience wildlife (and wine) up close.

Friday, November 4

Whiskey Inspired “Pig Pickin” on the Pier, 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm, Vilano Beach Pier, presented by the Florida Times-Union/jacksonville.com and the St. Augustine Record/staugustine.com

260 Vilano Road, St. Augustine, FL 32084, $79 per person 

The happiest of happy hours shared with the Bluebird of Happiness, on Vilano Beach’s famous Pier. Guests will enjoy a variety of unlimited whiskies, wines and beers, along with tasting whiskey inspired classic cocktails and more with a souvenir glass. Culinary bites and a showcase “Pig Pickin’ on the Pier” with whole hog barbecue, sides from Peculiar Pig Farm & Heart & SoulFood Truck and live music from Yael & Gabriel – all taking place on the Vilano Beach Pier overlooking the Matanzas Inlet. 

Saturday, November 5

W3 Main Event – Whiskey, Wine & Wildlife, 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm, presented by Sysco, Vivian Browning Avenue Block Party, Vilano Beach, St. Augustine, FL 32084, $119 per person 

The main event combines all three of the W’s and much more for the perfect Vilano Beach afternoon. Guests will enjoy tasting all the award-winning Best Taste dishes from some of northeast Florida’s best restaurants and hundreds of unlimited varieties of beverage tastings (spirits, wines and beers) with a souvenir glass at this private Vilano Beach block party. It’s a full afternoon of live music from Laiken Love & The Fellowship of Love, celebrity guest chefs on the Publix Cooking Demonstration Stage, artisan market and the GTM Reserve Stage with wildlife demonstrations and more. Tickets are ALL-INCLUSIVE with food and drink tastings included, from some of northeast Florida’s best restaurants and world-renowned spirits, wines and beers.

Publix + GreenWise Market Cooking Demo Stage at W3 Main Event with some great recipes for the holidays and free tasting bites for the first 50 people seated in each session.

  • 2:15 pm – 2:45 pm: Iain McWilliam & Billy Devlin, Sysco, Jacksonville, FL

“Pressed Veal Cheek, Camenzola Polenta, Pine Nut Tuille Gremolata with Fresh Herbs” Learn some professional hacks from Chefs Billy and Iain on making this delicious fall dish. 

  • 3:00 pm – 3:30 pm: Kenny Gilbert, Silkie’s Chicken and Champagne Bar, Jacksonville, FL, “One of Oprah’s Favorite Holiday Dishes” Field Peas with Smoked Turkey Potlicker, Root Vegetables, Savory Herbs, Spices & Cornbread Crumble

  • 3:45 pm – 4:15 pm: Rebecca Reed, Blacksheep Restaurant Group, Jacksonville, FL “Faux-rerero Rochers” with Executive Pastry Chef, Rebecca Reed

  • 4:30 pm – 5:00 pm: Michael Lugo, Michael’s St. Augustine & Pesca by Michael’s, Vilano Beach “Crispy Yellowtail Snapper with Tostones and Pineapple Nuoc Cham” Guests will get a preview of what’s to come from Chef Michael Lugo early next year from Pesca by Michael’s in Vilano Beach

The Vilano Beach Main Street Silent Auction on Saturday will feature steals on some great items, including art, travel, and food and drink packages, with 100% of the proceeds benefiting Vilano Beach Main Street. A Wine & Whiskey Pull will benefit the GTM Research Reserve.

Sunday, November 6

“W3 Sunday Jazz Brunch” Casa Monica Resort & Spa – 11 am – 1 pm, 95 Cordova Street, St. Augustine, FL. The grand finale brunch at the Casa Monica Resort & Spa will be a great way to end the weekend – an all-inclusive culinary and drink ticket for a fantastic Brunch Buffet with gourmet stations for breakfast and lunch lovers alike. Beverage tasting stations will include sparkling wine, Mimosas, Bloody Mary’s, spirts, wine and beer – all while enjoying some great jazz guitar from Jim Johnston, $119 per person.


SATELLITE PARKING LOTS & OLD TOWN TROLLEY STOPS & WATER SHUTTLE SERVICES Parking is very limited on Vilano Beach – an Old Town Trolley shuttle will be running a continuous shuttle loop and will provide the best and most hassle-free way to attend Friday night and Saturday’s Main Event. The satellite parking shuttle service is FREE of charge for festival guests, with the schedule available on the festival website.

Special event Water Shuttle Service schedules are available on the festival website, to and from the historic downtown St. Augustine Marina to and from the Vilano Beach Pier for Whiskey Inspired on the Pier Friday evening and for Saturday’s W3 Main Event. Water Shuttle tickets and information are available at St. Augustine Water Shuttle. The festival also highly encourages utilizing UBER/Lyft ride services, taxi service and/or designating drivers for guest drop-off/pick-up.

There are still some great volunteer opportunities left available with the festival. Volunteers have an opportunity to earn free festival tickets with only eight or more volunteer hours, visit Volunteer on the festival website for more information.

The weekend’s events will raise funds and awareness for programs for the festival Official Charity Partner, Vilano Beach Main Street, with 100% of the proceeds from the Silent Auction on Saturday, November 5, designated for Vilano Beach Main Street. The GTM Research Reserve is also a charity partner and will be the recipient of the proceeds from the Whiskey & Wine Pull on Saturday, November 5, 2022. Whiskey, Wine & Wildlife, presented by Publix + GreenWise Market is supported by St. Johns County Tourism Development Council, St. Johns Cultural Council, St. Augustine/Ponte Vedra, Florida’s Historic Coast, Vilano Beach Main Street and Sysco.


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