Sip and sample for a purpose
In its third year, The Wharf Uncorked (September 15-17, 2016) brings new delectable flavors, culinary talent, exotic wines, and, of course, Gulf Coast hospitality to Orange Beach for a worthy cause—to raise funds for the Make-a-Wish Alabama Foundation.
One of my favorite things to do is go to tasting events or as I artlessly refer to them in my mind, the world’s greatest buffets. At tasting events, like The Wharf Uncorked, you stroll amiably along, maybe holding hands with someone special, occasionally stopping to try a new wine and to sample a visually-compelling bite from a restaurant or a chef you may have only ever heard of but never actually tried.
You keep going. There are demonstrations, auctions, and shopping venues. Chefs and restaurants win awards for their concerted efforts. There are cookbook signings. It’s a beautiful day on Main Street at the Wharf in Orange Beach. As the afternoon sun sets lazily over the marina, you can’t help but feel satisfied from both the delectable cuisine you’ve indulged in but also from the knowledge that just by being there, you’ve been part of helping make a wish come true for a sick child.
Giving back never tasted so good
Though eating and drinking are worthy pursuits in their own rights, funds raised during The Wharf Uncorked will go toward the Make-a-Wish Alabama Foundation. The organization grants wishes to children in Alabama with life-threatening conditions, which makes the wining and dining aspects of the experience that much more pleasurable.
Pop the cork, buy the tickets
The Wharf Uncorked is a three-day event that starts on Thursday, September 15 and runs until Saturday, September 17, 2016. Each day has different events. Guests can buy tickets to attend one day, two days, or all three days. With a VIP three-day ticket purchase, admittance is granted to all activities. Each day, there are different activities leading up to the grand tasting on Saturday.
- Thursday, September 15: The VIP Kick Off event will take place between 6:30 and 8:30 at The Palms. Start the weekend with the Chef Showdown between Chris Sherrill of Flora-Bama Yacht Club, Brody Olive of Perdido Beach Resort, and Chris Kelly of Driftwood Bar & Grille and Ronin Sushi Bar. This competition will channel the three chef’s inner Top Chef skills and quick-thinking, as the rules challenge them to cook against the clock and include certain ingredients. Food samplings and an open bar will be available…what’s that? Yeah, you’re right—we should’ve led with the open bar.
- Friday, September 16: Friday will feature the local wine dinner. Check back for details once they’re officially released.
- Saturday, September 17: The Grand Tasting will take place throughout the Wharf’s entertainment district. The lively atmosphere will—in addition to sampling tents—feature chef demonstrations and competitions in addition to live and silent auctions with proceeds benefiting Make-a-Wish Alabama. Wine auctions, wine sales, and luxury yacht walks will also take place during the Grand Tasting.
This line-up of participating chefs and restaurants is impressive; the best-of will truly be on display at The Wharf Uncorked. Anticipate savoring samples from:
- Burger champ Chef Chris Sherrill of The Flora Bama Yacht Club
- Louisiana-trained Bill Briand, chef de cuisine of Fisher’s at Orange Beach Marina
- Culinary innovator Chef Brody Olive, Executive Chef and Food and Beverage Director of Coast at The Beach Club
- Recently featured on Food Network, Chef John Gibson of Bill’s by the Beach
- Chef Chris Kelley of Ronin Sushi & Steak, who won Best Use of Ingredients last year!
Ginny Lane, Master Joe’s, Villaggio Grille, Voyagers, Shipp’s Harbour Grill (and so many more) will also be represented.
Each day of the event offers something unique and distinct to experience, which is what makes The Wharf Uncorked one of the Gulf Coast’s most exciting tasting events (it’s also what makes attending the best way to go). So, plan to spend a September weekend strolling and sampling down Main Street, refilling your commemorative wine glass with any one of the over 150 wine labels represented you like (don’t forget that at the event you can purchase fine wines (both domestic and imported)). It’s an unforgettably delicious weekend that you’ll want to revisit year after year.