United Way Wine and Food Festival expands to 4 days

By Yanet Obarrio Sanchez….
The 16th annual United Way Miami Wine and Food Festival, Miami’s first and foremost charity wine and food festival, will take place Thursday, Apr. 14, through Sunday, Apr. 17.

Presented by American Express, all proceeds from the festival will benefit United Way of Miami-Dade’s work in the areas of education, income and health.

This annual event brings together food and wine lovers for a now-expanded four-day festival featuring notable chefs, sommeliers, prestigious wineries and winemakers, celebrity mixologists, breweries and impressive auction lots. This year, one of the nation’s most prolific apostles of Progressive American cuisine, Chef Dewey LoSasso, executive chef of The Forge Restaurant Wine Bar will headline the Interactive Dinner on Friday, Apr. 15.

Festivities begin on Thursday, Apr. 14, with the Taste & Toast — Fine Wine Tasting presented by Miccosukee Resort & Gaming, featuring dozens of international wineries and 30 of South Florida’s top restaurants and caterers, including: Acqua at Four Seasons Hotel, AltaMare, Meat Market, Ortanique on the Mile, Season’s 52, Timo Restaurant and Two Chefs among many others.

The VIP tasting begins at 6 p.m.; general admission begins at 7 p.m. Tickets are $150 for VIP admission and $75, general admission. Following the tasting, guests can enjoy the Glenfiddich “Music to Drink Whiskey By” afterparty featuring whiskey ambassador and scotch specialist Heather Greene and deejay Adam Williams. Taste & Toast takes place at Village of Merrick Park, 358 San Lorenzo Ave. in Coral Gables.

Friday, April 15, the Food, Friends & Fun — Interactive Dinner, presented by Bacardi USA, belongs to celebrity Chef Dewey LoSasso of The Forge Restaurant Wine Bar. This interactive experience is the ultimate good time for foodies, where tables will team up to cook their own three-course meal under Chef LoSasso’s tutelage.

The evening begins at 6:30 p.m. with a Bacardi cocktail reception, and Bacardi master mixologist Gary Hayward will teach guests a few tricks of the trade during dinner, which begins at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $300 per person and $2,400 per table of eight. Food, Friends & Fun takes place at the InterContinental Miami, 100 Chopin Plaza in Downtown Miami.

On Saturday, Apr. 16, the Cellar•bration — Good Food and Award-winning Wines, presented by Cypress Hill Financial, features award-winning wines from the first annual Best in Glass Wine Challenge and a multi-course dinner, exclusive auction lots, and live entertainment and dancing by quintessential American jazz vocalist Kevin Mahogany.

A champagne cocktail reception and silent auction begin at 6:30 p.m. with dinner at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $300 per person and $3,000 per table of 10. Cellar•bration also takes place at the InterContinental Miami, 100 Chopin Plaza in Downtown Miami.

The festival culminates on Sunday, Apr. 17, with Brews & Bites — Craft Beer Tasting, presented by CBIZ, featuring bites from area restaurants, live entertainment, craft beers and mirco-brews from around the world including: Narraganssett Brewing, Blue Point Brewing, Shipyard/Sea Dog Brewing, Abita Brewing Company, The Boston Beer Company, Brooklyn Brewery, Sierra Nevada, Stone Brewing and many more.

The VIP tasting begins at 1 p.m., general admission begins at 2 p.m. Tickets are $75 per VIP admission and $55 for general admission. Admission to the event includes a commemorative tasting cup. Brews & Bites takes place at Mary Brickell Village, 901 S. Miami Ave. in Miami.

For more information and tickets, visit www.miamiwinefestival.org; www.facebook.com/miamiwineandfoodfestival or follow on Twitter@MiamiWineFest. For tickets call 1-877-820-3378.

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