The five-day long South Beach Wine and Food Festival (SOBEWFF), is considered one of the nation’s premiere culinary events. Sponsored by the Food Network and Cooking Channel, the 15th annual foodie fest was held February 22-26. On a sunny Saturday, this thirsty writer flip-flopped through the sandy beach that housed SOBEWFF’s Goya Foods’ Grand Tasting Village for copious samplings.
The Grand Tasting Village featured KitchenAid Culinary demonstrations by chefs and culinary personalities plus tasting tents with offerings from more than 50 restaurants. Plus, an exciting assortment of wines and libations for tasting from Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits. Here are the best sips enjoyed at the SOBEWFF Tasting Village:
Zignum Mezcal Reposado, cucumber puree, Ripe® Bar fresh lime sour, vanilla cordial, and Chile Piquin salt rim.
Second Avenue Sling
Ingredients: Zignum Mezcal Silver, Ripe® Craft grapefruit juice, elderflower liqueur, lemon, Ripe® Bar lemon sour, ginger beer, Peychaud Bitters, and Black Ant salt rimAN
Zignum Mezcal Añejo, garnished with orange slice, and worm salt rim.
Made from 100% Original Green Agave in Oaxaca, Zignum’s offered visiting festival-goers a smooth Silver mezcal and intense Resposado cocktail, plus, an elegant shot of Anejo. Zignum Mezcal, zignummezcal.com, @ Zignum
These cocktails paired nicely with the tasty Oaxaca Mole tostadas, topped with tender beef chuck steak Mole Coloradito, from Talavera Cocina Mexicana. 2299 Ponce De Leon Blvd, Coral Gables, FL, talaveraspot.jaguarhg.com, @TalaveraCocina
Ingredients: Tanqueray No. TEN gin, apples, lemons and ginger
Legendary rap artist Snoop Dogg, who immortalized “GIN & JUICE” on his debut album, Doggystyle, is making gin cool, once again, as the Tanqueray No. TEN’s Brand Ambassador. After a cocktail mixing session, Snoop Dogg continued to entertain the SOBEWFF crowd as took to the spinning deck.
Made for cocktail mixing, Tanqueray No. TEN gin is distilled with whole fresh citrus fruit, – white grapefruit, lime, and orange, for a brighter taste. Tanqueray No. TEN Gin, tanqueray.com, @ tanqueray
Silk & Spice Red Blend
The luscious full-bodied, ruby red colored blend had strong notes of vanilla and spices, and silky tannins; followed by a long-lasting finish. This unique blend consists of two different grape varietals from Portugal, Touriga Nacional (40%) and Baga (20%) as well as 20% each of Syrah and Alicante Bouschet.
Bonus: The 2014 Silk & Spice red blend vintage has 90 points on Wine Enthusiast. Evaton Wines, evaton.com/brand/silk-spice, @evaton1
Made with a blend of Riesling and Pinot Blanc grapes, Snappy White has definite stone fruit flavors, yet, is not sweet.
Made with a blend of Pinot Blanc and Sangiovese grapes, Cheeky Rose has a perfumey aroma, and, on the palate, was a little tart with a touch of citrus. Not at all your typical saccharine “wine” in a can. Made for Miami’s hot outdoor living, these chilled wines, in the perfect serving size, are flavorful and refreshing. As wines are already produced in stainless steel vats, the metal can doesn’t change the taste. Backpack Wine, backpack.wine, @backpackwineco
Ready to Drink Cappuccino & Caffe Latte
These two great versions of Illy’s delish chilled coffees, in ready-to-drink cans, had the perfect amount of sweetness, and no tinny aftertaste. Made with Illy’s rich 100% Arabica coffee, (made with 10 different beans), milk and sugar, but no added preservatives, flavorings or food colorings.
This coffee-based dessert is commonly found in neighborhood trattorias in Italy. As a special treat for visiting festival foodies, Illy’s baristas prepared Affogatto’s. Fresh brewed espresso was poured over a scoop of authentic vanilla gelato in a cup. Illy Espresso Coffee, illy.com,@ illyusa
This coffee treat paired excellently with the decadently delicious Figgy Candy – fig jam and maple syrup coated fried pig’s ears from Ian’s Tropical Grill. 2875 SE Ocean Blvd. Stuart, FL, ianstropicalgrill.com, @ianstropical