Winevasion in store for the region this weekend

The weekend's bill of wine festivals makes it good to be a vino lover.

click to enlarge A slew of food pairings by area eateries will also be showcased at the galas. - Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons
A slew of food pairings by area eateries will also be showcased at the galas.


Those who prefer sipping wines over craft beers have the weekend to look forward to.

Three fine wine gatherings, all in Tampa, plan to please festivalgoers' palates through a variety of wine tastings, local grub and other festivities.

Tampa Theatre's 13th annual film-themed wine festival, which kicks off Friday with a two-tiered sampling, is called Monty Python and the Holy Grape. According to a press release, the theme incorporates some of event chair John Wolfe's favorite things, "namely Game of Thrones, shrubbery and swallow."

Catrinas Cocina Y Galeria, Anise Global Gastrobar, Bern's Steak House and more will serve food samplings, and guests may also participate in a silent auction.

Tickets for the fest's Premium Tasting and Wine Pairing, which is Saturday, are sold out. However, Friday's Grand Tasting from 8 to 10 p.m. is still accepting guests. Tickets are $50 in advance.

On Sunday, WineFest will host a $40 brunch starting at 11:30 a.m. Restaurants' fare will be offered with mimosas, bellinis and a lineup of light wines. 711 N. Franklin St., Tampa, 813-274-8981.

To round of the theater's four-day bash, a new event at The Tampa Club will allow guests to experience a number of wines rated 95 points or higher by leading publications in the industry.

Many of the wines, such as the 2001 Leeuwin Estate Art Series Chardonnay and the 1949 Antonio Ferrari Il Barone, are rare. Tickets cost $200 each, and seating is limited. 101 E. Kennedy Blvd. #4200, Tampa, 813-274-8981.

WineFest's proceeds will benefit the artistic and educational programs, along with the restoration efforts, of the theater.

Another wine gala taking place 8 p.m. Friday is the Tampa Bay Wine & Food Festival at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts.

More than 40 wine and food purveyors will showcase their offerings throughout the event alongside games and entertainment. The nosh featured by area restaurants will be Southern-inflected. VIP ($125) ticket holders may enter the event at 7 p.m., and dressing fancy is optional. General admission tickets are $100.

From 1 to 5 p.m., this wine and food fest will extend into Saturday through a more casual Grand Tasting ($75 tickets) with wines from across the globe and, of course, eats.

The two-night gathering's proceeds will be donated to the American Red Cross, Women's Resource Center of Tampa and other organizations. 1010 N. W.C. MacInnes Place, Tampa, 813-689-6889.

Ybor City's inaugural wine festival is set to take over an upstairs venue of the Centro Ybor complex from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday, with an after party to follow at Ybor City Wine Bar, which is owned by Jayme Kosar.

The Ybor City Wine Fest's founder, Kosar told CL last month that she's holding the event to help the city's wine culture grow.

More than 100 wines will be featured, and the fest will also serve up chow from joints like Hamburger Mary's, Carne ChopHouse and Tampa Bay Brewing Company.

A VIP package ($125) will give guests early access to the event at noon, and additional perks. Tickets for general admission are $75. Interested regionites should read more. 1600 E. Eighth Ave., Ybor City, 813-999-4966.

And just a heads up: The Epcot International Food & Wine Festival will hit Orlando's Epcot theme park at Walt Disney World Friday, Sept. 19. The showcase lasts until Monday, Nov. 10.

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