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2007 Sobe Wine and Food Fest

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Is anyone going to the festival this year? If so, which events will you be attending? Would be great to hear everybody experiences of the events over the next few days.

I personally will be attending the Saturday Grand Tasting event. I've been to the fest consecutively over the past 3 years (this will be my fourth) and have always enjoyed the experience thoroughly. Nothing beats being around renowned chefs, fabulous food, and foodies to your left and right. This love for food vibe is what I most enjoy every time the festival comes around. And with the beautifully warm, sunny weather to embrace us all, who wouldn't be? :o)

Since I've only been to the tasting village, I've always been curious as to what the experiences at the dinners held around town are like. They're somewhat pricey so I haven't dared try to attend one of them yet...unless someone suggests I give it a try. Are the private dinners cooked by those renown chefs worth the price? Would you say they showcase more of their expertise at the festival or can I get the same enjoyment and experience at their namesake restaurants in NY, CA, etc.?

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  1. My niece will be there at Emeril's Kidz Kitchen tomorrow (I was able to secure tickets through the Food Network and a wonderful man there who thought it was cool my niece has been an Emeril fan since age 2.)

    We are missing it this year due to previous plans with family coming here to Tampa from out of town (I'm from Miami, live in Tampa now.) Would love to read about your reviews. I am sorry we are missing it this year, but definitely plan to go next!

    Have a great time.

    1. The BubleQ event in the Delano its very good pricey though at $ 300.00 per ticket. A friend went to the Tribute Brunch she told me the food was great and the event was worth the $ 150.00.

      1. I have gone every year and to many different events over the years. This year we attended the Bubble Q and Sat Grand Tasting. The Bubble Q is always a great time (except when it got rained out last year) but this year they ran out of bubbles around 9 and many of the dishes were also gone. The set up was nice and you couldn't have asked for better weather. It is always worth the big price tag (even running out of food and bubbles so early). The tasting was a mess. They way over sold the tickets this year and it was a mad house in the tents. I wish they would raise those ticket prices and sell less. The worse I have ever seen and I have gone every year. People were pushing and shoving trying to get in lines for food. Some would just butt right in. Some tables were so crazed it was hard to find a line. And I have never seen so many places serving ceviche. Too bad they can't coordinate how many of what dishes are served.

        1. went to grand tasting both days- i thought the same thing about the excess of ceviche on saturday! i liked the 2 champagne center displays better last year, though we spent a long time at the moet hennesy booth drinking delicious champagne mojitos on sunday. also didn't seem to be as much going on in the first tent (11-1) as last year.
          also thought giadas demo on saturday was horrible- she's not so good live, without her camera crew, commercials, etc. seemed like she kept blaming everything on the kitchen, though martha and emeril seemed to do just fine using the same set.
          overall, i thought last year was better than this year. such a fun event though; i don't mind it being crowded when you know you have 5 hours to see everything.

          1. It is a great event but 4 hours to try to do both tents and see any demos that are going on while the tasting tents are open, is tough. I still would love to see the ticket prices raised and fewer tickets sold.

            1. This was my first year going. My fiance and i showed up early for the Saturday Grand Tasting early as we wanted to make the most of the day. I also noted that there were a large number of ceviches as well as gazpachos. I was a little dissapointed in the quantity of food. All the exhibitors offering food had large crowds and there was little organization. There was more wine and spirits than you could possibly take part in during the course of one day. Those Champagne Mojitos were excellent although we somehow totally missed the center display in the first tent completely.

              Interestingly enough my favorite food product was the Kobe Beef Chilidogs that I had at the end of the day. They were delicious after a long day of drinking and enjoying ourselves thoroughly. I must admit that it was extremely crowded.

              We saw Martha Stewart and Paula Dean early (Paula is a hoot) and then Tyler Florence and Anthony Bourdain late (he was hilarious).

              All in all, i plan to go again next year as it was great fun.

              1 Reply
              1. re: sprmario

                We saw Martha walking around on Sat in one of the tents. It was pretty funny.....she was surrounded with security and no one could get near her. We saw several other food stars walking around but none of them had security and all were really cool about talking with anyone who came up to them. Our thrill was we ran into Sam from Top Chef (its a guilty pleasure) and he was really nice and funny. We personally think he shoulda won and I guess he has heard that a lot because he said his next tattoo he is going to get is going to say "shoulda" He is even cuter in person!

              2. i talked to sam too- he was my favorite on the show, should have won- very cute. i thought elan was supposed to be serving food from the michy's booth after winning a quick fire challenge- never saw him. also saw mikey at the delano friday night- very drunk, very much tommy boy. also saw judge gail a few different times at tasting on saturday- each time she was whining to different people about something and looked like she was about to cry. not sure what that was about.
                saw rachael ray in the lobby of the ritz on friday night, walking to the SUV out front. looked very frazzled- she seems to be the most mobbed of all the chefs. so much fun to see all the stars in one place!

                i loved the shoulder of lamb from Town restaurant, mushroom truffle soup from bed, melon ceviche from DiLido, pomegranite haagen daazs bar was great too!

                1. I saw Sam and Mikey too... Mikey got props from Anthony Bourdain at his appearance in Tent A. I guess he really loved that twice baked potato.

                  Agreed the Haagen Daaz bars were amazing.

                  1. Ohh I forgot about the Haagan Daaz bar. That was GOOD! We also saw Vince Neil (Motley Crue) leaving the Ritz as we were walking in. He could barely walk and the girls around him were helping him out. Very very sad. There was a table at Sat tasting for a rum or tequila he has and he wasn't there so we guessed he must have been a littl hung over.

                    1. Only thing we did was the Kidz Kitchen w/ Giada on Sunday, to which we brought our 9 and nearly-7 year olds. She seemed genuinely charmed by and interested in all the kids, so much so that she spent almost the entire time answering questions from them instead of cooking, and only finished one dish. Entirely unimpressive as a cooking demonstration, but she was pretty charming and I think the kids had a decent time. Probably the funniest moment was when she was asking the kids what they liked about Food Network, and one answered "I like Rachel Ray!" (don't get me started on that).

                      Interesting to hear everyone's take on the events. I usually avoid the tasting pavillion type things because they are so crowded, there's so much jockeying to get the good stuff, and it usually pales in comparison to what any good restaurant can do in a normal environment. Sounds like that is pretty much the experience here as well.

                      I saw Tony Bourdain speak at Books & Books a year or 2 ago and he was just fantastic. Funny, opinionated, insightful - a real raconteur. Was he speaking on anything in particular? Somewhat surprised to hear he was there, I sort of got the sense he was excommunicated from anything to do with the Food Network when his show moved.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: Frodnesor

                        Bourdain's topic was Food Network: Good or Evil.

                        He basically ran down the network's current lineup blasting most of the show's. Mario Batalli was one of the few he spared. He actually gave Emeril (who seems like he is sort of a hack) props as well. One great line was that the Food Network is currently about Food the same way MTV is currently about Music.

                        His big problem is that the channel doesn't really have a lot of great chefs cooking any more, which is true. A lot of the beter shows have slowly been cancelled and replaced w/ pretty lame shows that aren't really about cooking anymore. He in particular seems to dislike Sandra Lee, Rachel Ray, etc.

                        1. re: sprmario

                          Interesting - Food Network is a big sponsor of the event so I'm sort of surprised he'd actually get that opportunity to criticize.
                          Bourdain used to really rip Emeril but I think has softened up some b/c he's a genuinely good guy, and it's probably not his fault he's been encouraged to become such a caricature of himself. For me that doesn't excuse repeatedly calling chipotles "chipoltees" and describing a Mexican cheese as "con queso" cheese when your job is to talk about food on national television, but I guess some folks are more forgiving than me. I actually like his restaurant on South Beach despite the TV personality.
                          Completely agree with Bourdain's criticism, especially during the primetime programming the only real cooking (I have trouble counting Emeril) is Alton Brown once a week and Iron Chef America (which is not a "cooking show" so to speak but I love almost as much as the original Japanese one).

                      2. for people who don't like the crowds, jockeying, etc. i can see how the tasting pavillion would be annoying, but i personally love the excitement of it all! the other wine fest we go to regularly is in Nantucket. that one is small and refined with only wine- very little, if any food- very intimate.

                        thats why i love the south beach fest- over the top, great people watching, tons of restaurants and star chefs- my ideal way to spend a beautiful afternoon!

                        giada did the exact same thing at her saturday cooking demo- just wanted to talk instead of cooking! she named 2 pastas, a salad and fried gorgonzola balls as what she would be making; i'm not even sure she finished anything! she kept saying how she couldn't get the water to boil, etc. and saying 'lets just chat instead', to which the crowd was saying no, we are here to watch you cook. also remember how nervous and stressed she was in the iron chef competition with bobby flay, mario and rachael? i'm not saying she can't cook, but its amazing how a pretty face and cleavage can get you 3 shows on the food network, yet she can't even cook a plate of pasta at a live show?

                        1. I have no problem with crowds but compared to years past, this year was not nearly as organized or well run. The crowds were much heavier and I also heard that from many of the people there working the event. There was even cunfusion as to where the entrance to the tasting tent was going to be. There was a large crowd waiting in the front (like the past few years) but they kept letting people in from around the right side of the tent. They seem to tweak this event every year so I am sure it will be tweaked again next year. The line to pick up the goodie bag and glasses went quicker then it ever has so at least they have fixed that.

                          1. Maybe it's the pretty face and cleavage, but I still think she's 10 times as talented as Rachel Ray even if she can't cook pasta in an hour! Funny, she talked some about the Iron Chef experience, said she hadn't been that nervous in a long time.

                            1. yes, that was weird how people were using all different entrances. you would think it would just be getting better and more organized every year, but i guess thats not the case. what a massive event to pull off though! i think part of the reason it was less crowded last year was the threat of rain all weekend.

                              its funny/sad to see people being so greedy and pushy though. at one point i saw several people elbowing each other out of the way to get bread and butter from the kerrygold table. i didn't want to waste my time/ stomach space on kerrygold butter and bread (which anyone can buy at publix), much less be pushy about it! people are funny!

                              1. A few years ago Southern acutally hired a company to put this event on and organize it because the year they did it it was a mess. Several people and I got to talking as we were outside getting some air and all of us had been to the Taste at least one year previously and we came to the conclusion that they are still trying to work out just how many tickets they can sell. This year and last year Sat tasting was sold out before the actual day and this year Sunday sold out as well. It would have to be pretty severe weather for someone who spent 125 + on tickets not to show. The Bubble Q last year was the only thing with a pretty good chance of definite rain and the crowds then were just as big as the years previous and this year.

                                1. when we attend something like this, we plan to make a day of it, while a lot of people are happy to roam around for an hour or two and leave. there is no question they had 5 times as many people right from the start this sunday, as compared to last year which wasn't very crowded for the first couple of hours due to the drizzling rain.

                                  1. We attended the Wine Spectator Best of the Best pricy event at the AA Arena on Friday night. We had mixed emotions. First off, I had kinda hoped that at the price point ($300 per) and fine wine focus we'd draw a classier crowd, but it was still all the typical pushing, rudeness, line-cutting and general lack of class we seem to get at everything in Miami. Too much nuveau riche down here I suppose.

                                    The event was held at the VIP club level in the arena and had a re-creation of the Pure nightclub from Caesers in Vegas that will be opening on South Beach in 2008. The wine was pretty great all around, though the champagne houses were much more welcoming with their pours. What I disliked was some of the wineries were giving very healthy pours to those who hogged their attention spouting oenophile nonsense while 20 people waited in line only to get a finger from their youngest vintage.

                                    Food was hit and miss, as were the attitudes of the chefs. Nobu worked behind his staff, and Delouvier finished way early. Others were ok, Ilan from Top Chef helping Michelle Bernstein (who served a fried mess of a croquette) and Govind Armstrong was polite if distant. Ilan is cooking a private functions in NYC right now and contemplating his future - nice guy BTW.

                                    With all the famous out of town chefs, two of my three favorite experiences were with our own hometown heroes. Mark Mittelo was still there serving his rabbit dish when almost all the rest of the chefs were drinking at the Pure club - major props as when they say it runs to 11 PM, I'd expect to have food and drink available until then. I also enjoyed the short rib dish from Tableau in New York (I think). But best dish AND best attitude was from our own Johnny V - loved his spicy sweet taco and he was nice, conversational and personally involved the whole night. Bravo!

                                    Finally, the most enthusiastic crew had to be the group from the Forge - what a bunch of nuts serving everything duck. Quack quack indeed.

                                    Can't decide yet if I'll return to this event next year.

                                    1. Hey everybody,

                                      Thank you all for your feedbacks and detailed experiences of the different events that you had attended. I've never started a thread before so this is fantastic! :o)

                                      I have to agree with some of the commenters above about the difference in this years' festival compared to last years. The one improvement that I appreciate was the smoother, quicker entry/grab bag turntable. Other than that though, everything was more or less the same and at times, a bit lacking compared to last year.

                                      First off, I must comment on the crowd factor. It was severe. There were certainly more people than last year and they were truly unforgiving in their desires to beat you to the food. Being tiny, I had a hard time getting to the things I wanted to try. It was frustrating that I wanted to just give up and leave the tents. But of course I didn't...What can I say? I'm a masochist at heart. :oD

                                      Certainly, the idea of having the opportunity to taste "gourmet" dishes from many of the reknown restaurants is very glamorous and exciting indeed. But with that anticipation, comes expectations of exceptional dishes. Unfortunately, the range and quality of this years' food was somewhat limited. As much as I do enjoy Ceviche, I agree with the above posters, that it was terribly overdone. Every few booths was a restaurant serving Ceviche, and many were not good, often underseasoned or too acidic (there was one exception...the fellas who had toyed with the Ceviche kept cold in Liquid Nitrogen. That one was really good.). It just seemed that there were less varieties in food compared to last year. I recalled having had the chance to eat Caviar by the spoonful, having sirloin seared perfectly, lamb chops and stews dripping with flavor, desserts of all kinds, and creative nouveau dishes that actually tasted good. And yes, the champagne stages and displays from last year were far better done than this year (though I must say, the hand crushed Strawberry Mojito this year was absolutely fabulous). I have pictures from last year to prove it. This year though, I had to try hard to find food I would actually take pictures of. Not as many dishes were as striking in appearance and in flavor as last years, though there were some that I did like which were the fresh made Vietnamese Rice Rolls, the Seared Tuna with a peppery sauce and a side of Coconut Date smoothie, The Kobe Beef Hotdog with Chilli and Cheese, an airlike Cookie with Lemon Curd and Chocolate Mousse, Pistachio Ganasch covered in Chocolate and Crushed Pistachio served with Pear Vodka, to name a few. I had Govind Armstrong's dish, which was a Crostini smeared with Hummus and topped with a baby Octopus tentacles. Flavor was nice but didn't give the wow factor that I expected. Concept was interesting though.

                                      That said, it was great seeing the Food Network chefs/cooks and meeting some of them as well. I had the opportunity to talk to Alton Brown, who was witty as he is on his show. Cat Cora was a sweetheart yet you can tell she's a fireball of energy. Rocco DiSpirito was a surprise. He was portrayed as such an arrogant person on The Restaurant but he's really a gentleman and very down to earth in life. Really conducted himself well, even though there were tons of drunken women hollerin' cat calls at him while he was doing his demo (he was one of the last presenters of the evening, hence the sloshed audience). Oh, I also ran into Bobby Deen, Paula's son. I know he's not a chef, but my gosh, he's as humble and sincerely friendly as his mom is. And really cute too (:oD). You can't help but love the whole Deen gang, even if they might not have come from a professional chef background.

                                      In terms of the food demos, I've seen many of them over the years. As much as Paula, Giada, and the likes can be entertaining, they don't really cook. It's more about entertaining the folks, which is all good and fun. But because of that, I more or less dove in and out of their demos. The only ones I sat through the whole thing and was totally immersed with was the one with Michael Chiarello. I actually met him earlier at the Paula Deen demo and was talking to him and his publicist for a bit. Very nice folks. Anyhow, this man actually cooked (!) multiple dishes for his demo. I've always enjoyed his philosophy on cooking and have come to respect him more because he really lives it in his own life and encourages it in others. Inspiring man. Not to mention, his food is out of this world... great in idea and taste!!! At the end of the demo, I asked his Sous Chef if I could get a taste of the Polenta with the Bolognese Ragu. My goodness, I've never ever had polenta that tasted that good. It was perfectly balanced in flavor and texture. Hands down, the best dish tasted at the Food Festival. I have been dreaming about his Polenta since then...it was just that incredible.

                                      And the only other that I sat through the whole thing was Anthony Bourdain's. One would be idiotic not to. The man is brash, blunt, and just darn brilliant. I'm sure many of you would agree.

                                      As you can tell, nothing can actually can deter me from enjoying my time at the festival. Just being under the brilliant sun with the lapping sound of the turquoise water against the shore, is enough to make any girl happy. But to be immersed in food culture on the beach under the sunny sky, now that will make a girl feel high on cloud nine. The experience is amazing. To be placed in the same surroundings with so many amazing chefs...You can't help but feel that there is an osmotic process of sorts in absorbing their creative juices and passionate drive into your life, you know? It's enlightening. It's inspiring. Makes me want to go into my humble kitchen and start whipping out dishes I've conceptualized in my mind but have never had the motivation to carry out. My creative juices are flowing again...and now, that's great.

                                      Well that's a (long) recap of my experience. Overall, I enjoyed my experience and I hope y'all did as well. Until next year...

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: santorinii

                                        Beautifully said Santorinii! It is a wonderful event and we too will continue to go every year ( but I think we will always stick with the Bubble Q and the Sat Grand Taste).

                                        To answer your orginal question about the dinners.............We use to go to them but that was when it was really part of the festival. They were on Sat night and there were several places to choose from. Tickets, if I remember correctly were about 300 a piece and it highlighted one Chef, one vineyard and was held at one of the upscale places in town. We thought it was well worth it but we always went with friends so there was about 6 - 8 of us and most of us are in the business (Chefs, restaurant managers, owners etc...). I am not sure a couple, not knowing anyone, would enjoy themselves as much. Most of the people there knew each other so there was always alot of tech talk.

                                        A few years ago we went to the Smith and Wollenski dinner with Gordon Ramsey and Caymus. The food was incredible! The funny thing was this was the year that Gordon left after seeing his hotel room and South Beach. He decided it was all B.S. and not worth his time, lol! They chefs in the kitchen stuck to his menu and it was wonderful! Bobby Flay was also invited to this dinner so he sort of became the celebrity Chef for the evening. It was funny!

                                        I understand that they eliminated that whole Sat dinner thing because the restaurants didn't think it was worth it. Many would close down for the event and felt that they were losing a lot of revenue because it was a Sat night. Plus many of them partcipated in other events in the Festival so they had to draw the line somewhere. Maybe someday they will bring them back.

                                      2. Hubby and I vacationed in South Beach last week--had a wonderful time. We would like to be there the same week next year and buy tickets ahead of time for the Festival, but we are uneducated as to what the different events entail. In general, we are more interested in eating and drinking wine than watching cooking demos. Also, how do we buy the tickets? Thanks for your help!

                                        1. There are many different events and you buy the tickets through the website. They usually go on sale in Oct or Nov ( I forget which). Look through the website and it will give you an idea of what was offered this year. There are even pictures posted of some events. http://www.sobewineandfoodfest.com/20...

                                          1. I would say that if you're interested in just eating and drinking, then the Grand Tasting events are the ones you should go to. They occur during the day time and last most of the day...more bang for your buck I say. But if you're into more night events with food and libations, then the BubbleQ and similar events may be your thing. As Suzie said, definitely check out the website for more information.

                                            BTW, thanks for the kind words Suzie. I did notice the missing list of individualized dinners set at varying restaurants around town. It makes sense as you said that the restaurants are losing revenue when they host those events. I hope that it would come back though...would love to have a meal designed and cooked by my favorite chefs.

                                            So how was the BubbleQ this year? The folks above were complaining about the crowd and the lack of food and drinks by the end of the night. Was it that bad? Hopefully you still were able to enjoy the event though. What goes on during the BubbleQ? Were there any entertainment along with booths with food and champagne? Did you see a lot of the chefs there at that event?

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: santorinii

                                              I loved the Bubble Q but I was one of the people above who mentioned how early they ran out of things. It was still well worth it. Its one of my favorite events. This year they put up a huge tent (because of what happened last year with the rain storm) so while it was still on the beach, I missed not being able to look up and see the stars. Passed years it was just an amazing setting being out in the open.

                                              There was entertainment but to be honest I didn't notice it much. The people watching was much more fun. I didn't think the crowds were bad at all and everyone was very well behaved (no butting in lines etc..).

                                              Basically there are several tables with all types of different BBQ. They are all lined up around the sides of the tent just like the Grand Tasting and the middle of the tent has a few bars set up serving Moet. Think about going next year. Its really a lot of fun. Just get there early.

                                            2. Thanks so much for the info. I checked the website and joined the mailing list. I would love to attend some of the events next year and now I know which ones to look for!

                                              1. This was my third year attending the fest, and I thought I was a little harsh with my complaints, but after reading the opinions here, I guess I was right on. I had only been to the Grand Tasting in years past, but this year I also went to the BubbleQ, Tribute Dinner, and Tribute Brunch.

                                                When I read Suzie's first post, I laughed because I totally could have written it word for word. My complaints were basically the same-- bummer that the BubbleQ ran out of bubbles early, the tasting was TOTALLY oversold, and there was way too much ceviche.

                                                Overall, I still had a great time. The food at the BubbleQ was great, especially the ribs from Mike and Amy Mills of Chicago. I started to get full about half-way through the tent, though, so I didn't get to try everything. The grand tasting days were a lot of fun, and I have to give props to Delta for doing an awesome job on the check-in station. In years past, it was quite lackluster. I didn't even attempt to go into the tasting tents at 1 o'clock, but by the time I did try to fight the crowds, a lot of the restaurants had run out of food. In all three years of going, I have never, ever, been able to get a sample from Tuscan Steak. Also bummed to miss out on Karu & Y and several other new places that I wanted to try. And both days that I went to Conundrum's table, no one was even there. If they're going to sell that many tickets next year, they're gonna need three tents instead of two.

                                                The Tribute dinner was a lot of fun, but after eating non-stop since Friday evening, I had a hard time getting through all the courses. I enjoyed every course except for the Kobe beef cheek, which was just a little too weird for my tastes. All of the wine pairings were excellent, though.

                                                The tribute brunch was also wonderful, especially the pasta from Chef Allen's and the wagyu beef/quail egg dish from Azul. I don't know if it was because Martha Stewart was in the house, but I thought the table settings were exquisite and I really loved the centerpieces.

                                                Anyway, despite some of the snafus, I had a great time and it makes me miss living in Miami (recently moved to the Tampa area). I'm sure I'll be back again next year, and I would love to check out the burger bash too!

                                                1. Another little pet peeve is I love the wine glasses they gave out this year (Redel) but in past years they have always had the name of the event with the date on them. I wish they would have done that this year. We collect wine glasses from all of the different events we have gone to over the years and its just nice to have them to remember what fun we had!

                                                  1. Regardless of any faults I may have found with it, there is no question we will be attending next year! Still such a great weekend, great setting- wouldn't miss it!

                                                    9 Replies
                                                    1. re: gingersnap

                                                      $200 per grand tasting ticket this year... that's a 33% increase over last year... getting pricey.

                                                      1. re: sprmario

                                                        Where did you see that tickets prices went to $200? The website for the festival says tickets will go on sale in Oct and there are no prices yet.

                                                        1. re: Suzie

                                                          The '08 scheduel page has the prices:

                                                          http://www.sobewineandfoodfest.com/co...

                                                          1. re: sprmario

                                                            I had also noticed the steep increase. We were planning on attending the Grand Tasting this year for the first time, but $400 for two of us seems like lots of money. Is it worth that much money, and/or could someone explain to me exactly what the Grand Tasting encompasses? Thanks so much.

                                                            1. re: Mayner

                                                              Last year:

                                                              The grand tasting opens up at 11am in a small area that includes some small tents (probably 15 or so) along w/ 3 large stage tents. The stage tents have live events from various celebrity chefs... Martha Stewart, Paula Dean, Rachel Ray, Tyler Florence, Emiril, etc. along w/ some of the better known local chefs like Norman Van Aiken and Cindy Hudson. There is a reasonable amount of food, drinks and wine at this outer "staging" area.

                                                              Then at 1pm they open up the extremely large tents which are full of food, spirits and wine... I expected more food offerings than there actually were. This led to some fairly long lines at places that offered food, in particular, hot food (there was a lot of gazpacho and ceviche). There is almost zero wait for any alchoholic beverages.

                                                              The big tents closed at 5pm and then the outer staging area closed at 6pm.

                                                              We were there from 11am thru to 6pm to take full advantage of everything. It was definately worth it to my fiance and I last year at $150 per ticket. $200 per is a big increase but i think we'll go back again this year.

                                                              1. re: sprmario

                                                                Thanks for the information. I have to ask: do you leave at 6 pm "full", or do you then have to go to dinner somewhere?

                                                                1. re: Mayner

                                                                  We leave when the tasting tent closes, take a nap and then have a nice late night dinner somewhere.

                                                                  1. re: Mayner

                                                                    I was full but not stuffed... The food portions are small and not very filling. There are not as many food stations as wine/spirits by a wide margin. Near the end there was a place serving Kobe Beef Chilli Dogs... i went back for a 2nd dog to fill up. Most of the food servings are somewhat small... small dixie cup of ceviche... small dixie cup of gazpacho, etc.

                                                                    If you find a station w/ a good food item... get seconds.

                                                              2. re: sprmario

                                                                $200!? Gah, the heck with them.

                                                                I'll stick to my Boca Bacchanal - it's much more reasonable.