In most of the country it is cold and people are longing for the warm breezes of spring. Why wait until spring? Hit the beach and work on your tan, fans of fine food and stellar vintages can indulge their appetites for both at the 2014 Key West Food and Wine Festival scheduled Wednesday through Sunday, Jan. 22-26.
Now in its fifth year, the edible extravaganza spotlights Key West’s lively culinary scene, talented chefs, indigenous ingredients and multifaceted flavors through gourmet galas and tastings, food and wine seminars and only Key West experiences.
Highlights include Duval Uncorked, a stroll down Key West’s renowned Duval Street from the Gulf of Mexico to the Atlantic Ocean, set for 3:30-7 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 25. The avenue is to become a mile-long culinary showplace, tempting attendees with forays into restaurants, bars, galleries and boutiques.
Also highlighted is the “Save the Turtles” pierside grand tasting in Key West’s Historic Seaport, which during the mid-1900s was the center of the island’s now defunct turtle harvesting industry. Planned for 5-7 p.m. at 231 Margaret St., the event features samples of Sea Turtle Reserve red and white wines produced by California’s Weibel Family Vineyards. A portion of the event’s proceeds is earmarked for the Sea Turtle Conservancy to support protection of the species.
Among other standout events are a barefoot evening beach party, seminars on topics ranging from pinot noir to the origins of Key lime pie, wine strolls in three island neighborhoods, a tour and tasting at Key West’s new rum distillery, an outdoor artisan wine market, a French masquerade dance party and the Master Chef’s Classic tasting and competition.
In addition, offbeat adventures are scheduled that combine food and fun. Among them are a quirky afternoon of coconut bowling in historic Bahama Village, an indulgent “bean to bar” chocolate experience and a traditional Key West shrimp boil beside the working shrimp docks. This sounds good to us! What about you? See you there!
Exclusive VIP passes are available covering admission to multiple festival events, as are tickets for individual events.
Festival information and ticketing: www.keywestfoodandwinefestival.com
Key West visitor information: www.fla-keys.com/keywest or 1-800-LAST-KEY
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