Food + Dining Main

Get Your Fill of Wine at These Mid-Season Festivals

BY January 30, 2018

There’s a different festival every day this winter for anything growing under the sun—but a select crop of affairs appeal to discerning oenophiles. A must-do happens to be Lee County’s largest annual fundraiser, the Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest. Packages for the March 2 weekend are available ($1,500), or you can just spring for Saturday’s grand tasting ($750) that includes admission to a live auction that has raised nearly $20 million to date for children’s causes. The daytime extravaganza scores a perfect 100—from elegant canapés supplied by the Gulfshore’s best restaurants to meetings with boutique producers from primarily Napa Valley (such as Williams Selyem and Gamble). For a serene soirée, the Gourmet Vintner Dinner benefiting Neighborhood Health Clinic at The Ritz-Carlton, Naples on Feb. 4 ($375 per ticket) is a great pick. The resort’s sommelier, Lamar Cheatham, hand-selects the dozen winemakers for tastings during cocktail hour and pairings with dinner.

A road trip to Miami may be in order if all alcohol floats your boat. SOBEWFF, one of the country’s most prestigious festivals, has 14 wine seminars along with events on cocktails and spirits (prices vary).


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