If you’re an aficionado of fine food and wine, you’ve probably had Jan. 26-28 circled on your calendar for a long time.
But in case you’ve missed it, those are the dates for the 11th annual Forks & Corks Food & Wine Festival. It’s a celebration of all the amazing (and perhaps even surprising, if you don’t dine out often) quality and variety of excellent food and wine available in restaurants around the Bradenton-Sarasota area.
The main event is the Grand Tasting on Sunday at the Ringling, which features everything from gourmet burgers to the most delicate seafood, plus lots of fine wine and live music. Tickets for that event are sold out, so probably the only way you’ll get to go is if you have a friend who has an extra ticket.
But there are many other events that still have space available.
On Friday and Saturday, Forks & Corks winemaker events (mostly wine tastings, although some events also feature food) are scheduled at restaurants around the area. Among the Manatee County events are:
▪ Novelty Hill and Januik Wines, Friday at Blue Marlin Grill, 121 Bridge St, Bradenton Beach. Time and price have not been announced.
▪ Vive La France Wine Dinner, 6:30-9:30 p.m. Saturday at the Beach House, 200 Gulf Drive, Bradenton Beach. $100 per person plus tax and gratuity or $650 (including tax and gratuity) for a table of six.
▪ Willamette Valley Vineyards, 6:30-9 p.m. Saturday at Pier 22, 1200 First Ave. W., Bradenton. $100 per person plus tax and gratuity.
More than a dozen other events are scheduled for those days in Sarasota, and tickets are available for most of them.
Forks & Corks is put on by the Sarasota-Manatee Originals, a group of locally owned restaurants that (according to their website, at least) share a passion for dining excellence and commitment to our community.