South Beach Wine & Food Festival

This weekend was the South Beach Wine & Food Festival. Unfortunately, it was the hottest day of the year so far… I think a record high of just shy of 90 degrees. However, even with the extreme heat, I had a absolute blast at the Grand Tasting. I’ve been wanting to go for many years, but have always had scheduling conflicts or the events were sold out. This year we planned early, and bought tickets shortly after they went on sale.

Stephan was concerned that there wouldn’t be enough food and wine for all the people, but definitely changed his mind the minute we stepped into the Grand Tasting Village. Being newbies at this event, we didn’t plan too well, and I was completely stuffed after about 15 minutes. Sheesh! I totally should have paced myself! We were passing one fabulous restaurant after another and I kept saying… OMG! I HAVE to try this! From tiny Kobe chili dogs to tuna tartare to oxtail risotto, there was every type of food imaginable. Unfortunately, I didn’t think of writing down which food was offered by what restaurant… but everything I had was fabulous!

Tyler Florence
Padma Lakshmi
Fellow MIA blogger Paula, Mangoandlime
And then the wines… I tried so many wines my head was spinning (literally!) The French wine tent was fantastic, and had dozens of wines from different regions of France (plus it was air conditioned!!!). They even had a yummy Gewurztraminer which is one of my favorite wines from the Alsace region of France. There were more wines that I could even imagine trying. Then came the liquors and mixed drinks. I’m not much of a drinker, but I do love to try new things. I felt like a rap star with my tiny glass of Hpnotiq. Good times, good times!

I’m embarrased to admit I was slightly star struck when I met Tyler Florence! Somehow I changed from a very poised and classy 30-something (ya right!) into a 13 year old… perhaps I even giggled. No, I’m sure I giggled. Whaddaya gonna do? He really is cuter in real life than he is on TV! I also met Bobby Flay and Padma Lakshmi while I was there.

This is a definite must do if you’re in Miami or the vicinity. Even if you live up north, its the perfect time for a vacation from the cold. Although its quite expensive ($187 per ticket) it’s worth every penny. We’re planning on attending next year and hopefully checking out some more events. Check out Stephan’s blog for more photos.