Tampa Bay food, wine and beer events

Friday, April 2: Bern's Fine Wine and Spirits

Rubicon Crush Hour. Eight selections from the revered estate are perfectly paired with artisanal cheeses and housemade breads from Bern's epic Cave du Frommage. $25. 6:30-8:30 p.m., 1002 S. Howard Ave., Tampa (813-250-9463)

Friday, April 2: Publix Apron’s Cooking School

Couples Cooking: Howl at the Moon. What's more romantic than creating a romantic meal together (even if you burn it)? Tonight's menu includes: tomato bisque with crème fraiche; arugula greens with champagne shallot vinaigrette; ginger sockeye salmon; wilted baby spinach; dirty mashed potatoes (how appropriate!) with roasted garlic; and hazelnut tuile with chocolate mousse. $80 per couple. 6 p.m., 7835 Gunn Highway, Tampa (813-926-4465)

Saturday, April 3: The Grapevine

Long Island Wine Tasting. Sample fare from this unexpectedly delicious wine-producing region. Free. 2-5 p.m., 8969 Racetrack Road, Tampa (813-855-9463)

Sunday, April 4: The NoHo Bistro

Eater Brunch. After the egg hunt, head to NoHo for an enormous selection from their menu that includes: scrambled eggs with a choice of cheddar, boursin, chopped bacon, chives, caramelized onions, sautéed mushrooms and chopped sausage;  Quiche Loraine and Quiche Florentine; waffles; grits; traditional and cornmeal waffles with granola, yogurt, fresh fruit, maple syrup, or pecan syrup;  spinach soufflé,;Honey-Baked spiral ham; potato gratin; the signature salad with gorgonzola or strawberry-balsamic vinaigrettes; and a  bakery display that includes biscuits, muffins, coffee cakes, strudels  and canapés. $24.95 adults, $10.95 kids. 10 a.m.-2 p.m., 1714 N. Armenia Ave., Tampa (813-514-0691)

April 16-19: SideBern’s and Bern’s Steakhouse

Bern’s WineFest. Since tickets went on sale a couple of weeks ago, you may be out of luck for this popular and always sold-out event unless you act fast. It’s self-contained in the Bern’s empire, which means no farflung wine dinners at restaurants scattered across the area, but that also means that the schedule is pretty rigid. Up first is the gala dinner at SideBern’s ($300), followed by a cocktail party/ dance the next night ($100). Then comes the star of the show, the massive grand tasting ($125) featuring hundreds of wines from around the world; get in before the hoi polloi with a VIP pass ($200), if you want to avoid the crowds. Bookend your experience with another blow-out wine dinner at Bern’s ($300) the next night. Makes for an expensive, but decadent and tasty, weekend.  Visit bernswinefest.com for more info. –Brian Ries

April 22-25: Sarasota

Florida Winefest & Auction. For a long time, this event down in Sarasota was the biggest thing going on Florida’s Gulf Coast. It’s still a big deal and has an event schedule that makes the most out of the cozy, small-town setting. Start off with dozens of winemaker dinners at local restaurants that range from inexpensive to wallet-draining. The weekend seminars also take advantage of several local venues and cater to a wide range of budgets, and the final outdoor tasting is an absolute bargain at $15. The fest’s main attraction — a dinner at the Ritz-Carlton, including a stripped-down auction — is more of a stretch at $250, but remember that the proceeds are distributed to a grab-bag of local charities. Visit floridawinefest.org for complete schedule. –Brian Ries

May 14-15: Don Cesar Resort

2010 Tampa Bay Food & Wine Festival. This is the third year for the big two-day festival at the Don Cesar on St. Pete Beach. It’s structured like most of these parties, with a giant tasting featuring the produce of dozens of wineries from around the world and food from many local restaurants, followed by wine dinners and seminars starring the fest’s “celebrity” guests. I use the air-quotes mainly because the fame of the presenters is in direct ration with how inside the wine and food world you are. Probably the most recognizable name on the list is JAG (Joshua Adam Garcia), the troublesome dude kicked off of the Next Food Network Star a few years back. The event will benefit Heartbeat International, a charity that provides heart health services to the needy. Visit unleashyourpalate.com for complete schedule of events. –Brian Ries

Tampa Bay Fresh Markets It’s always the perfect season to get fresh, organic local produce at these markets across the Bay:

Corey Sunday Market. The now-annual market returns with more fresh produce, plants and flowers, crafts, foods and live music (9 a.m.-2 p.m., Sundays, Corey Avenue, St. Pete Beach, coreyave.com)

Gulfport Tuesday Fresh Market. This year-round market offers fresh produce and seafood, artwork and live entertainment. (9 a.m. to 3 p.m. every Tuesday on Beach Blvd., in Gulfport’s Florida Waterfront district)

Safety Harbor Farmer’s Market. Florida weather is perfect for getting out of the house and finding fresh, organic produce, plants, flowers, baked and gourmet goodies, along with hand-crafted art and jewelry. Visit cityofsafetyharbor.com for more info. (Thursdays, 9:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Continues through May 27, John Wilson Park, 401 Main St., Safety Harbor)

Pinellas County Market. Farm-fresh produce, natural remedies and home-care products and gardening guides make this weekly market a must-see. (Continues every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. through April 17. Visit pinellascounty.org/heritage for more info. Heritage Village, 11909 125th St. N., Pinewood Cultural Park, Largo)

Harvest Marketplace. Outdoor shopping for specialty foods, green creations by local crafters, live music and, of course, fresh eats and fall flavors. (Runs 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursdays through April 23. Ulmer Park, 301 W. Bay Dr., Largo, largo.com)

Sweetwater Market. The organic farm offers straight-from-the-garden produce, fair trade coffee, chocolate and tea, organic clothes and eco-friendly products, all to the tune of live music and often accompanied by yoga or movement classes. (Runs noon to 4 p.m. most Sundays through May 30. Visit sweetwater-organic.org for more info)

Seminole Heights Sunday Morning Market. The newly-inaugurated fresh fest offers an array of seasonal, locally-farmed produce, jams, salsas, fresh-baked desserts, international cuisine, live music, cooking demonstrations, handmade soaps, jewelry and eco-friendly clothing and more. (9 a.m.-1 p.m. second Sunday of each month, Feb.-May, seminoleheightsmarket.com)

Tuesday, March 30: Datz Deli

VinoVersity: What's Dirt Go to Do with It? Learn all the to-do about terroir with wine columnist (and former CL wine critic) Taylor Eason. Taste six wines (two Chardonnays, two Pinot Noirs and two Cabernet), all paired with palate-pleasing snacks. $29. 6:30-8:30 p.m., 2616 S. MacDille Ave., Tampa (813-831-7000)

Tuesday, March 30: Somme Wine and Martini Bar

10-10 Tuesdays. I know it’s not even the middle of the week yet, but instead of watching Jeopardy or another rerun of Keeping Up with the Kardashians, get outta the house tonight for one of the best bar deals I’ve seen, well, maybe ever: get $10 bottles of bubbly or wine every Tuesday at Somme. You’ll select from a special 10-bottle wine list culled from their impressive line-up, and you can enjoy the finally-warm Florida weather on the newly-opened patio, too.  5:30-11 p.m., 13030 N. Dale Mabry Hwy., Tampa (813-990-0797)

Wednesday, March 31: Bern’s Fine Wines and Spirits

Potluck Wednesday. Beat the mid-week dinner blahs by stopping by for gourmet take-away — and enjoy a complimentary mini-wine tasting while you wait. This week’s one-pot wonder is a Low Country boil, with shrimp, smoked sausage and sweet corn. $19.95. 5-8 p.m., 1002 S. Howard Ave., Tampa (813-250-9463)

Wednesday, March 31: The NoHo Bistro

Wine Wednesdays. The wine and tapas change weekly, so come back regularly and bring your BFFs, blind dates, co-workers, boy/girlfriends or, hell, someone else’s boyfriend. $15 for two glasses of wine paired with two tapas. 1714 N. Armenia Ave., Tampa (813-514-0691)

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