KEY WEST, Florida Keys — Food and wine enthusiasts can enjoy stellar vintages and standout cuisine during the annual Key West Food and Wine Festival, set for Wednesday through Sunday, Jan. 27-31.
Nearly 40 events are planned for culinary explorers, including some staged on beaches and in outdoor locales suited to Key West’s typically balmy January climate.
The festival spotlights local chefs’ flair, indigenous Florida Keys ingredients, premium spirits and “foodie” fun that pairs adventures in flavor with adventures in the continental United State’s southernmost city.
The enticing “first courses” set for Wednesday include an interactive cocktail-creation event at The Saint Hotel Key West, 417 Eaton St., and a “92 Points in the Shade” guided wine tasting at Grand Vin Wine Bar, 1107 Duval St.
Subsequent festival standouts include Henry Flagler’s Welcome Party planned for 5-7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 28, on the Atlantic Ocean beach of Casa Marina, A Waldorf Astoria Resort, at 1500 Reynolds St. Featuring fine wines and hors d’oeuvres, the gala recalls the early 1900s when railroad tycoon Henry Flagler built the Florida Keys Over-Sea Railroad and conceived the luxury hotel.
Friday’s schedule stars the “Sunset on the Harbor” Grand Tasting dockside on the beach at the Hyatt Key West Resort & Spa. Attendees can enjoy a Key West sunset while savoring unique wines and spirits paired with casually sophisticated fusion cuisine from the Hyatt’s SHOR American Seafood Grill.
Key West’s renowned Duval Street is to become an appealing avenue for wine lovers Saturday afternoon during “Duval Uncorked UnDone.” The 3-6 p.m. event combines a tasting stroll featuring vintages from famous wine regions with food sampling and appetizing forays into enticing boutiques, shops and galleries.
Also to be staged Saturday is an off-the-beaten-path “Sip & Stroll, a free pop-up wine tasting at boutiques and galleries on Key West’s Caroline, Greene and Simonton streets.
Other festival attractions include Whiskey Forums’ intriguing “Whiskey Bazaar” events, the popular Key West Kitchen Tour, a tasting spiced by tasty burlesque performances, specialty dinners and brunches, and even a “haunted happy hour” saloon ramble.