SARASOTA, Fla. — Florida Winefest & Auction (FloridaWinefest.org), a nonprofit that provides funding to qualified charitable organizations for programs assisting disadvantaged children, recently unveiled its signature event lineup, featuring sought-after wines and exclusive culinary events.
To date, these events have allowed the nonprofit to award $8 million in grants to 84 charities since 1991. The 2015-16 event lineup includes:
November 20, 2015 at 6:30 p.m. – Wild Truffle Wine Dinner
Celebrating its fourth year, this exclusive event features a five-course dinner from two celebrated local chefs – Christopher Covelli and Paul Mattison. Guests will discover the exotic aroma and flavor of the wild truffle – harvested directly from Italy. The chefs will bring Tuscany to the table and discuss the hunting of wild truffles, truffle dogs and the stories surrounding the wildly expensive Ascomycetes, a large fungi-like Peziza delight adored by gourmets. The dinner will also be perfectly paired with superior wines presented by Banfi Vintners. During the cocktail hour, Stoli Vodka will provide the Stoli martini bar. Ticket are $250 per person and space is limited.
February 13, 2016 – Art of the Heart Dinner
Brand new this year, guests can enjoy dinner prepared by Chef Paul Mattison at Mattison’s 41. The meal will be paired with wine from Williamson Wines of Sonoma, Calif.
March 18, 2016 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. – Bayfront Showcase Lunch: Tasting on the Sarasota Bay
Guests will enter a wine-and-food paradise under the elegant Winefest tent adjacent to the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall. Taste fine wines from participating wineries and experience dishes from the best food purveyors in Florida. Meet and mingle with winemakers and winery representatives showing their most sought-after wines. Tickets are $50 per person.
March 18, 2016 at 6:30 p.m. – Banquet on the Block
Back by popular demand, this sell-out event is on Lemon Avenue in front of Mattison’s City Grille in downtown Sarasota. Guests will sample a stellar selection of wines throughout multiple courses at the longest table in Sarasota at this sophisticated street party. Area chefs will create dishes from locally harvested seafood, meats and produce. Tickets are $200 per person.
March 19 from 11 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. – Grand Tasting, Brunch and Charity Auction
The Grand Tasting features wines from more than 50 wineries at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall in the elegant tent adjacent to the Hall. Guests will have the opportunity to meet vintners and knowledgeable winery representatives as they pour their best vintages and most sought-after wines. Select appetizer portions of signature dishes will be served from favorite local restaurants during brunch from 11 a.m. – 1:15 p.m. Following brunch, the afternoon continues with the charity auction beginning at 1:30 p.m. Bid on wines, lavish dinners, adventure travel, jewelry and more. Tickets are $150 per person.
March 20 from 1 – 4 p.m. – Wine on the Water
Guests gather at the bayfront grounds of the Van Wezel Arts Hall to enjoy a casual Sunday afternoon with an alfresco wine tasting on the waterfront under the Winefest tent. This is the last opportunity to taste a huge selection of wines. Guests will hear local musicians and can purchase selections from food vendors. A ticket for inside the tasting tent is $25 per person.
For ticket and event information, visit www.FloridaWineFest.org or call 941-952-1109.
About Florida Winefest & Auction
For 25 years, Florida Winefest & Auction has provided funding to qualified charitable organizations for programs assisting disadvantaged children, youth and families in Sarasota and Manatee counties. The nonprofit has awarded $8 million in grants to 84 charities since 1991.
The 2016 festival will include Wine & Winemakers Dinners; Bayfront Showcase Lunch Tasting; Banquet on the Block; Grand Tasting, Brunch and Charity Auction; and Wine on the Water. For more information, call (941) 952-1109 or visit FloridaWinefest.org.