South Florida’s top sommeliers swirled, sniffed, sipped and spit their way through 325 wines to find the ones worthy of being named Best in Glass. The competition was part of Veritage Miami, a four-day celebration of food, wine and craft beer next month that benefits United Way of Miami-Dade.
The sommelier judges awarded gold medals to 38 wines, or 12 percent of the field, and each of the somms will pour two of the gold-medal winners at their restaurants from Sunday through April 18.
Those include 2013 Michel Chapoutier Bila-Haute Rose (France) at Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink, selected by Amanda Fraga; 2013 Markus Huber “Hugo” Grüner Veltliner (Austria) at The Dutch, selected by Philip Fuentes; 2012 Ridge “Three Valleys” Zin Blend (Sonoma) at Zuma, selected by Jennifer Wagoner; and 2013 Alias Merlot (California) at Il Mercato, selected by Sean Florence.
Although it was a blind tasting, judges were aware of the wines’ prices.
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“The judges were particularly price-conscious, awarding gold only to those wines that are of exceptional quality and represent great value,” Veritage Miami director Lyn Farmer said. “I look forward to a month of value-driven sipping at some of South Florida’s best restaurants as we get to try the medal-winning wines with food.”
The Best in Glass winners also will be available to taste at Veritage Miami’s Fine Wine Tasting in Coral Gables on April 16, at an Interactive Wine Dinner in downtown Miami on April 17, and at the Auction and Wine Dinner on the Diamond at Marlins Park on April 18. For more information, go to veritagemiami.com.
Chef Amber Antonelli of The Naked Bite hosts an upcoming series of vegetable-based cooking classes and pop-up dinners around South Florida. On Monday, she’ll lead guests through chickpea tacos, tempeh with roasted squash, sweet potatoes with kale and other dishes from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. at La Cuisine Appliances (50 Aragon Ave.) in Coral Gables; $78. On March 21, Antonelli cooks a four-course meal at 7 p.m. at Café Caruba (2626 Ponce De Leon Blvd.) in Coral Gables; $82 vegetarian, $92 fish. For reservations and more information, go to thenakedbite.com. Note: Participants are clothed; BYOB.
New Dadeland food options
Mall dining in Miami just got a little more ethnic, as Dadeland Mall (7535 N. Kendall Dr.) welcomes a Brazilian steakhouse, a fast-casual Thai café and a French pastry shop as tenants. The biggest footprint belongs to Texas de Brazil. The 36th location of the all-you-can-eat meat temple sprawls over 6,000 square feet in Dadeland’s Terrace Dining wing, joining Aoki, Balans, Bobby’s Burger Palace and Earls Kitchen & Bar. Also new to the mall are a Basil Thai concept in the food court and an outpost of Sarasota-based Le Macaron French Pastries on the second floor, near Balans.
Flower Dinner in Paradise
Chefs Jose Luis Flores of Richard Sandoval Restaurants and Eric Do of Toro Toro at the Intercontinental Miami collaborated on Saturday’s Edible Flower Dinner at Paradise Farms (19801 SW 320th St.) in Homestead. Begin with cocktails at 6 p.m. as farm owner Gabriele Marewski leads guests on a walking tour, then settle in for dinner as the chefs incorporate the farm’s 50-some types of edible flowers into their dishes. Call 305-248-4181 for reservations.