Presented by American Express, the United Way Miami Wine & Food Festival, Miami’s first and foremost charity wine and food festival, will take place Wednesday, April 18 through Saturday, April 21, 2012, at Fontainebleau Miami Beach, Mary Brickell Village and Village of Merrick Park. Bravo’s Top Chef Season 7 winner, Chef Kevin Sbraga, and graduate of Johnson & Wales University in North Miami, will headline the Interactive Dinner on Friday, April 20. Fontainebleau’s Executive Chef Thomas Connell, will direct an exclusive dinner during Cellar-bration on Saturday, April 21. All proceeds to benefit United Way of Miami-Dade, supporting more than 120 programs in the areas of education, financial stability and health. For tickets, visit www.miamiwinefestival.org or call1-877-820-3378.
After its wildly successful debut in 2011, Brews & Bites Craft Beer Tasting returns as the opening event of this year’s Festival on Wednesday, April 18, sponsored by CBIZ. Guests will “tap” into 50 craft beers and micro-brews at dozens of tasting stations, with beers provided by Gold Coast Beverage and Brown Distributors, among others. Selections include: Cigar City Brewing, The Native Brewing Company, Palm, Boston Beer Company, Wynwood Brewing Co. and many more. Guests will pair their beers with food samples from 30 local restaurants, including: Baru Urbano, Fado Irish Pub and Timo Restaurant. The VIP tasting begins at 6 pm, tickets are $75 per person. General admission begins at 7 pm, tickets are $55 per person. Brews & Bites takes place at Mary Brickell Village, 901 South Miami Avenue, Miami.
On Thursday, April 19, longtime Festival partner, Village of Merrick Park will host Taste & Toast Fine Wine Tasting, sponsored by Miccosukee Resort & Gaming. This outdoor fine wine tasting brings more than 65 wine producers and importers together for a grand display of more than 200 wines from around the world, with more than 35 area restaurants providing a culinary backdrop. Guests will have the opportunity to speak with wine producers and chefs, and share their experiences on Twitter for a chance to win great prizes. Participating restaurants include: 1500 Degrees, Crave, Miccosukee Resort & Gaming, The Oceanaire Seafood Room, Sawa Restaurant and Lounge and Wynwood Kitchen and Bar, among many others. Bacardi USA, 97.3 The COAST and Crave Restaurant will host a VIP Lounge during the tasting with special treats and surprises. The VIP tasting begins at 6 pm, tickets are $150 per person. General admission begins at 7 pm, tickets are $75 per person. Village of Merrick Park is located at 358 San Lorenzo Avenue, Coral Gables.
Friday, April 20, Food, Friends & Fun – Interactive Dinner, sponsored by Bacardi USA, is the ultimate good time for foodies, where tables will team up to cook their own dinners under Chef Sbraga’s tutelage, with Johnson & Wales culinary students serving as sous chefs. The evening commences with a Bacardi cocktail reception at 6:30 pm featuring Oakheart Spiced Rum. Venue Magazine will host an exclusive lounge. WSVN 7’s Belkys Nerey will serve as the mistress of ceremonies for the Interactive Dinner, which begins at 7:30 pm, and includes a live auction in between courses and a silent auction throughout the evening. Tickets are $400 per person and $3,200 per table of eight. The Interactive Dinner takes place at the Fontainebleau, 4441 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach.
The Festival culminates on Saturday, April 21, with its highlight event, Cellar-bration – Good Food and Award-winning Wines, featuring an exclusive dinner under Chef Connell. This gastronomic experience will be inspired by the hotel’s signature restaurants Gotham Steak, Scarpetta and Hakkasan, featuring delectable and diverse cuisine – from modern steakhouse and refined Italian, to four-star haute Chinese. Throughout the evening, guests will also enjoy stunning auction lots, entertainment and gold medal-winning wines from the Best in Glass Wine Challenge. A cocktail reception and silent auction will begin at 6:30 pm; dinner begins at 7:30 pm. Tickets are $250 per person and $2,500 per table of 10. Cellar-bration also takes place at the Fontainebleau, 4441 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach.
American Express is the presenting sponsor of the 17th annual United Way Miami Wine & Food Festival. Other sponsors include: American Airlines at the Vintner level; Bacardi USA, Bank of America, Carnival Corporation & PLC, Celebrity Cruises, City National Bank, Fontainebleau Miami Beach, Global Resources Registry, Miccosukee Resort & Gaming and Village of Merrick Park at the Sommelier level; Baptist Health South Florida, CBIZ, Cisco and Steiner Leisure Limited at the Connoisseur level; Acqua Panna, BB&T, Ernst & Young, Florida Power & Light, Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau, Greenberg Traurig, Johnson & Wales University North Miami, In the Gables Magazine/Response Publishing, Laurent-Perrier Champagne, Lexus, Miami New Times, Downtown Coral Gables & Miracle Mile, Northern Trust, Ocean Bank, Sabre Travel Network, World Fuel Services, Zuni Transportation and 97.3 The COAST at the Cooper Level. The Miami Herald/el Nuevo Herald, MIAMI Magazine and Venue Magazine are media sponsors of the Festival.