Tampa Bay food, wine and beer events

Saturday, March 27: Publix Apron’s Cooking School


French Bistro Classics. Francophiles, rejoice: today's culinary course celebrates the idyllic French cuisine that inspired amour around the world (and is all but guaranteed to do the same in your kitchen). The menu includes: warm lentil salad with smoked sausage; filet ofsSole with brown butter; sirloin steak with maitre d' hotel sauce and fries; creamy parmesan swiss chard gratin; and dark chocolate mousse. $45. 6 p.m., 7835 Gunn Highway, Tampa (813-926-4465)


Sunday, March 28: The Wine Shop


Wine Tasting. Dozens of different wines, poured by wine enthusiasts, sommeliers and distrubuters, all accompanied by taste-tempting appetizers provided by local eateries and the smooth sounds of Skyway Jazz. $20 or $35 couples. 2-5 p.m., 401 Corey Ave., St. Pete Beach (727-363-9463)


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 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)


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 23: 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 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 24: 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 rosemary meatloaf with crushed potatoes and a mushroom gravy. $19.95. 5-8 p.m., 1002 S. Howard Ave., Tampa (813-250-9463)

Friday, March 26: Uncorked Fine Wine and Spirits

Lusitania Wine Tasting. Nope, it's not the near-century old preserved vino of a sunken battle ship, but a foray into the little-known world of Lusitania wine. Prepare your palate: this one's a doozie. $10. 6:30-8:30 p.m., 2706 Fourth St. N., St. Petersburg (727-892-9463)

Friday, March 26: Cafe Ponte

Wine Tasting. Tonight's taste-tempting menu, specially created by chef extraordinaire Christopher Ponte, might just be in danger of outshining the four decadent and delectable wines on pour. $20. 5:30-7:30 p.m., 13505 Icot Blvd., Ste. 214, Clearwater (727-538-5768)

Friday, March 26: Vintage Wine Cellars

The Rating Game. You don't have to wait any more to taste test several of the 90-plus point winner of such esteemed vino voices as the Wine Spectator, Wine Enthusiast, Wine Advocate and Wine & Spirits — and see if your bracket beats out the experts. $20. 7:30-9 p.m., 3629 Henderson Blvd., Tampa  (813-879-2931)

Friday, March 26: World of Wines

Spring Fling. Birds are singing, the breeze is warm, and it's time to do some deep cleaning and wear only flip-flops for the next six months: Spring is here, and to celebrate, today's tasting  includes paired appetizers to accompany warm-weather wines from William Hill, Martin Codax, The Flying Winemaker, Las Rocas and Ca'De' Medici. $10. 6-8 p.m., 3431 S. West Shore Blvd., Tampa (813-835-9463)

Many more events after the break:

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