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Florida Winefest & Auction returns

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fwfest09For its 24th year, Florida Winefest and Auction returns with a new focus that hearkens back more to its earlier years than recent iterations of the popular charity event that has awarded more than $7.8 million to organizations that help children. Expect celebrities like local cookbook author Jaden Hair and a cadre of local chefs, wineries from around the world, and a new home on the Van Wezel grounds.

FLORIDA WINEFEST & AUCTION
(Thursday-Sunday, 952-1109, floridawinefest.org)

WINE DINNERS
6:30 p.m. Thursday
Andrea’s
$125
2085 Siesta Dr., Sarasota
Chef/owner Andrea Bozzolo presents a multi-course dinner featuring his meticulous Italian cuisine, paired with the wines of Illuminati.
Suncoast Porsche
$175
5005 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota
Suncoast Porsche’s showroom is transformed for this dinner featuring wines from Quintessa, Flowers Vineyard & Winery and The Prisoner Wine Company. Chef Paul Mattison will prepare the cuisine, with after-dinner cigars from Maduro’s Cigar & Bar outside in Porsche’s Cigar Court and music by Cover to Cover.

FLORIDA WINEFEST POPS
6:30 p.m. Thursday
Sold Out

BAYFRONT SHOWCASE LUNCH AND TASTING
$55
11 a.m.-2 p.m. Friday, $55
Winefest Tent, Van Wezel, 777 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota
Taste fine wines from participating wineries, sample food from local chefs and meet and mingle with winemakers and winery representatives in the Winefest tent adjacent to the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall.

BANQUET ON THE BLOCK
6:30-10:30 p.m. Friday, $125
Lemon Ave., Sarasota
Winefest is closing down Lemon Ave. for this outdoor dinner presented by five of Sarasota’s best chefs paired with a wide selection of wines drawn from the Winefest’s participating wineries.

GRAND TASTING, BRUNCH, CHARITY AUCTION
11 a.m. Saturday, $150
Winefest Tent, Van Wezel, 777 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota
Saturday begins with appetizer portions of signature dishes from some of the best area restaurants. A grand tasting of wines from more than 40 wineries complement foods available at food stations, presented by winemakers and winery reps. The charity auction begins at 1 p.m., featuring rare wines, lavish dinners, jewelry, travel and more, presided over by Christie’s auctioneer David Elswood, back for his 19th year.

WINE ON THE WATER
1-4 p.m. Sunday, $25
Winefest Tent, Van Wezel, 777 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota
If the price tag for the other events is out of your league, try out this fun tasting under the Winefest tent at Van Wezel. There will be a huge selection of wines to taste (your get six tastes for your entry fee), as well as local artisans and food available for purchase.

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Brian Ries

Brian Ries is the editor of ticketsarasota.com.
Last modified: April 18, 2014
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