Usher in 2018 at the annual Forks & Corks Food & Wine Festival, which runs Jan. 26 through 28. Tickets for the most popular events, The Grand Tasting and Forks & Corks University, go on sale at 7 p.m. Monday and would make a great Christmas present for the wine lovers on your list. But you better be on the ball, because they usually sell out in minutes.
All ticket sales will take place online at EatLikeALocal.com, according to a press release.
Now in its 11th season, the multi-day Forks & Corks epicurean event is presented by the Sarasota-Manatee Originals.
“We’re once again assembling a stellar group of international winery owners and winemakers to showcase alongside our own outstanding collection of culinary masters from the 60 local restaurants that make up the Sarasota-Manatee Originals,” said Sarah Firstenberger, executive director of the organization, in the release. “There are many great events throughout the festival, but the Grand Tasting is by far the most popular, with tickets usually selling out in a matter of minutes.”
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For the Grand Tasting, guests will be able to purchase up to four General Admission tickets ($150 each) or up to two VIP tickets ($350 each) online. VIP tickets include a $150 wine voucher, valet parking, early front courtyard entrance and Champagne reception, as well as covered seating, a private tour of The Ringling Museum and a personal invitation to the VIP festival kick-off party.
The Grand Tasting is noon-4 p.m. Jan. 28 in the Ringling Museum courtyard. Guests will sip from a collection of more than 350 wines from across the globe – all hand-selected and professionally tasted, judged and recognized as medal winners – and savor culinary creations from members of the Sarasota-Manatee Originals. Patrons will also be able to purchase the various wines.
Forks & Corks University features various seminars led by a panel of winemakers and owners from the showcased wineries. Each half- or full-day session includes a gourmet four-course meal with wine pairings. Sessions take place at Michael’s on East Ballroom and Wine Cellar, and tickets (on sale Nov. 6) are required to attend. For a full class schedule, visit EatLikeALocal.com.
In addition to the Grand Tasting and University events, Forks & Corks includes more than 25 tasting experiences, including winemaker dinners, retail tastings and a trade tasting. Tickets for all these events will be available later in November.
The Originals support The Ringling Foundation and All Faiths Food Bank and other local non-profits. To date, Forks & Corks has raised nearly $500,000 to benefit local charities.