It’s a great time to drink in Tampa.
Other than Prohibition and the days of rum-running, there has never been a more exciting time here where adult beverages are concerned.
My goal with this new column is to highlight the area’s latest news and trends and showcase the people who are building Tampa into a destination for educated drinkers.
And, when possible, we’ll have a little fun. Because everything tastes better when there’s a story attached.
It was supposed to be an informal, get-to-know-you lunch.
Over Salad Niçoise at The Wine Exchange in Tampa, Pierre schooled me in
The couple joined with
During a recent return visit to Tampa, Monique and I recalled that lunch. A beautiful smile ran across her face over dinner at SideBern’s when I told her how essential our conversation had been and how much I learned at the table that day.
It was remarkable to again be reminded of the versatility of the Lassègue and Vignot labels, which pair with seafood as well as beef and pork. I highly recommend the 2008 Lassègue Les Cadrans ($28) with its blend of 60 percent Merlot, 25 percent Cabernet Franc and 15 percent Cabernet Sauvignon. It’s a lovely wine full of subtle complexity.
Winefest highlights It’s easy to be wowed by the big-dollar wines each year at Bern’s Winefest in South Tampa. Last weekend’s shindig, the 16th annual gathering, did not disappoint.
The 2009 Tenuta San Guido Sassicaia drank like every penny of the $195 a bottle it costs. So did the 2001 Masi Mazzano Amarone, which clocked in at $122.95. And if you held me down and forced me to pay $101 for the 2008 Antinori Guado Al Tasso, you would hear no complaints.
But if you’re living on a more meager salary, allow me to suggest a few lower-price alternatives that still deliver big flavors:
Each of those wines, as well as the dozens of others featured at Winefest, are available at Bern’s Fine Wines & Spirits.
Mouth-watering bar food
Party of the month:
Drinkable words Allow me to recommend the book “Tequila Mockingbird: Cocktails with a Literary Twist,” by
The homage to the world’s greatest stories and storytellers includes recipes for making such drinks as “Love in the Time of Kahlua,” “The Rye in the Catcher,” and “Romeo and Julep.”
It will make you laugh. It will make you thirsty.