Is there any better place to be this time of year than in the Sunshine State? While most of the country is suffering through another miserable winter, we are basking in our typically beautiful winter season. It’s no wonder that people flock to our little slice of paradise this time of year. Our nearly perfect winter weather provides the best backdrop for all kinds of outdoor festivities.
For those of us in the wine industry, the largest and most anticipated event is the South Beach Wine & Food Festival. This festival is a glitzy showcase of wine, food and spirits. The yearly event is a 4-day indulgence of sumptuous cuisine, world class wine and a chance to rub elbows with some of your favorite Food Network stars. If you are a fan of the Food Network then you will be thrilled to see Rachael Ray, Robert Irvine, Giada De Laurentiis, Bobby Flay and Emeril Lagasse, just to name a few.
As it has since it’s inception, the Festival benefits the Chaplin School of Hospitality and Tourism Management and the Southern Wine & Spirits Beverage Management Center at Florida International University. To date, the festival has raised more than $20 million for the schools.
This year the event kicks off on Thursday, February 19, with a new event, the Ronzoni Pasta’s 100th Anniversary Seaside Spaghetti Soiree. Another new event hosted by Guy Fieri is Meatopia, a celebration of all things grilled, braised and barbecued…sure to be another winner.
The signature event once again will be the Whole Foods Market Grand Tasting Village featuring MasterCard Grand Tasting tents and Kitchen Aid culinary demonstrations. This is where you can enjoy a seemingly endless variety of wine, spirits and local restaurant cuisine. This is also where you can find ABC Fine Wine & Spirits sampling our wines and handing out coupons to our valued guests. Please stop by and say hello this weekend.
See you on the beach!
Paul Quaglini, ABC Fine Wine & Spirits wine supervisor
Follow me on Twitter @abcwinepaulq