Fans of fine food and vintages can indulge their appetites for both at the 13th annual Key West Food and Wine Festival. The extravaganza is scheduled Wednesday through Sunday, Jan. 26-30, with many events held outdoors to take advantage of Key West’s typically balmy winter weather.
Attendees can expect gourmet galas and tastings, art and wine experiences, wine dinners, seminars and activities that spotlight the Florida Keys’ culinary scene and talented chefs.
The event’s enticing “first course” is a “rooster style” welcome reception planned for 4-6 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 26, at Ocean Sotheby’s International Realty at 1075 Duval St. Celebrating Key West’s colorful free-range rooster population, the reception previews upcoming festival events while presenting gourmet cheeses, wine and music.
Thursday’s attractions include a “food truck” lunch experience pairing brews and local seafood, food and wine tours of elegant Key West homes and the Fiesta on Fitzpatrick featuring Latin cuisine, a rum tasting, music and demonstration tours of Key West’s legendary Rodriguez Cigar Factory.
Attendees Friday can savor the “Bubbles & Bites” art and artisan showcase at Key West Collective, an afternoon with vintner Ian Devereux White, a self-guided tour of the locally owned emporiums along the 500 block of Fleming Street and “A Night in Tuscany” featuring Tuscan wines and a multicourse dinner of artfully prepared regional specialties. Beginning at 5:30 p.m. at Hyatt Centric Resort & Spa, 601 Front St., the waterfront Tuscan gala is to feature Italian wine specialist and storyteller Francesca DeFranchis and the culinary mastery of Executive Chef Pietro Consorti.
The festival’s highlight event, the Rooster Grand Tasting, is set for 5-7 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 29, at the Sunset Green Event Lawn at 3852 N. Roosevelt Blvd. The open-air soiree blends unique wines and spirits, the vivid Key West sunset, casually elegant “light bites” and music and dancing. It’s followed by a VIP tasting featuring smoked cocktails, absinthe fountains and more in the lobby bar of the 24 North Hotel beside the Event Lawn.
Festivities are to conclude Sunday with a “mad rooster” Viva Argentinian brunch and a food and wine edition of the Key West Artisan Market, held overlooking the Atlantic Ocean at 1801 White St.
According to event organizer Mark Certonio, coronavirus health protocols are to be followed during the festival, including social distancing and the requested wearing of facial coverings.
For festival information and ticketing: keywestfoodandwinefestival.com