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Oct 1, 2008 02:03 PM

South Beach Wine & Food Festival 09

I heard that tickets to this years festival go on sale later this month. I just checked out the website ansd there are some great new events. We were going to go to the NYC festival, but things sold out so fast, it seems we were too late! Anyone have any info on good bets for the $$?

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  1. I've never been... I am also curious to hear about anyone's previous experiences or events they are looking forward to... ???

      1. re: Frodnesor

        Did Bubble Q two years ago, was okay. We enjoyed Best of the Best last year, though the representation is very local this year and last years national flavor gave one the opportunity to sample from places outside of South Florida. We did the sushi/wine paring seminar and enjoyed that as well as the wine cheese paring seminar. Grand Tasting is a bit of a cattle call, but we noticed something special for American Express cardholders where they had special seating at seminars though I am not sure if it is for platinum or centurion cardholders and outside of special seating for seminars not sure of the AmEx benefits.

        Some very impressive events lined up for this coming year and also bigger ticket price$.

        Strongly considering:

        Wining and Dining: A World View hosted by Andrea Robinson and Michelle Bernstein
        Dinner in Paradise hosted by Michael Schwartz
        Wolfsonian-FIU Mouton-Rothschild Dinner (same night as Dinner in Paradise - the dilemma)

        and being herded into the Grand Tasting (it is fun)

      2. Don't waste your money! The SOBE Wine & Food Festival has emerged as an over-priced, over-run event. The events are oversold, the lines are long, they routinely run out of food and drink (the BubbleQ was an unmitigated disaster). This is no longer the well-planned event that it once was. And unfortunately event organizers figure that so many people want to come, that their concern for their individual customers has waned.

        It's a great event to go, buy cookbooks and have them signed by your favorite Food Network stars. That part of it is positive as is the numerous cooking demonstrations. The location on the beach is amazing. But the fact is this isn't the quality event that it once was and the folks that run it are really only concerned about their ability to have fun and find their place in the limelight instead of making sure that their non-VIP guests are getting what they've paid for!

        You're better off coming to South Beach for a weekend, taking in the sights, enjoying the best restaurnats and staying in a nice place. There's plenty of great restaurants to enjoy on SOBE without standing in lines and hoping the food and drink is still there when you get to the front of the line.


        5 Replies
        1. re: LargeLife

          Really? When did you go to BubbleQ? My hubby and I went last year and absolutely loved it. It was much better than I expected. I was anticipating huge crowds and long lines but found neither. For the more popular booths we sometimes had to wait a minute or two for the cooks to make up fresh servings to keep up with demand but that's better than food sitting around.

          One aspect that some might not like is that champagne is really the only beverage available other than water. For me that was great, but my hubby got a little tired of it. They did have several different varieties to try though.

          We purposely didn't attend the Grand Tasting because I had heard that it was awful in the past as far as crowds and long lines.

          1. re: paulalovestoeat

            We didn't go last year after attending the previous year. We went to the BubbleQ and they ran out of the champagne an hour and 15 minutes into the event. When that happened, half of the crowd hit the exits! And from there girls walked around handing out bottled water (as if that would suffice!). Funny thing though, when it was time to recognize the celebrity chefs, voila! out came the champagne - for them! I contacted the event organizer, told him what happened and he told me that I was a LIAR and that NEVER happened! Funny thing is, I attended the even with celebrity BBQ chef Ray Lampe (aka "Dr. BBQ" and I guess that made us both liars!! I don't think telling your CUSTOMER he's a liar (after he purchased nearly $5,000 worth of tickets (that year) is necessarily the best thing to do. Do you?

            We won't be back! This SOBE W & FF WAS an incredible event and we attended every year leading up the "BubbleQ Meltdown" and have spent THOU$AND$ on tickets and hotels. But the folks that run it have become BIGGER than the event and they no longer need my money. That's all.

          2. re: LargeLife

            We also went to the Bubble Q this year and had a wonderful time. I thought it was much more organized compared to other years. The food was great!. Its one of my favorite events. The year before they did run out of bubbles around 9pm and the year before that it got rained out just about as soon as it started but last year was great!

            1. re: LargeLife

              While i agree with you LargeLife, to a point, there are less pricey lectures that I found quite informative. last year we did the sushi/wine pairing and wine/cheese pairing class at the Marriott on Ocean Drive. Walked away with a head full of knowledge outside of standing in a line to taste food.

              1. re: jmdhsmiami

                In my first response, I did acknowldedge that attending the Grand Tasting on the beach and getting books signed by the celebrity chefs was a positive and that remains the case. But I didn't think that the head of the event calling me a LIAR was quite the response that I was expecting given the fact they did run out of champagne and given the fact that I've spent THOU$AND$ with them! I am a customer afterall and a pretty good one at that. But when the organizers (or any business) for that fact don't need my business I can think of other good places for it to go given that it's so darned hard to come by these days.


            2. Anybody know how much that spain dinner is going to run?

              4 Replies
              1. re: dmo305

                Thursday night at the Biltmore with the King of Spain- a mere $1000 per ticket...

                  1. re: dmo305

                    We purchased our tickets as we are "Friends" of the festival and got in on the pre-sale. We are doing:
                    THURSDAY NIGHT
                    Burger Bash

                    FRIDAY NIGHT
                    “Best of the Best"

                    SATURDAY DAY
                    Dolce Brunch (hopefully Billy will show up, doubt it.)

                    Wining and Dining: A World View hosted by Andrea Robinson and Michelle Bernstein

                    SATURDAY NIGHT
                    Dinner in Paradise hosted by Michael Schwartz

                    SUNDAY DAY
                    Grand Tasting

                    FYI: 2009 Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival Get tickets and discounts before they go on sale to the public.

                    Miami Beach residents will have the opportunity to purchase select tickets to events at a discounted rate in a two-week pre-sale period in advance of the official public on-sale date. Monday, October 13, 2008 at 9:00 a.m. and continuing until Friday, October 24, 2008 at 5:00 p.m.

                    The pre-sale opportunity will consist of a 15 percent discount applied to the purchase of a maximum of two (2) tickets to one choice of the Burger Bash, BubbleQ, Saturday Grand Tasting Village or Sunday Grand Tasting Village tickets only.
                    why not save some money on something!?!

                    1. re: jmdhsmiami

                      Wow- thanks for the tip about MB residents!
                      I am also planning to go to Burger Bash and looking forward to Best of the Best on Friday night. I picked it over the Bubbleq this year because I think it will be outrageous at the new Fontainbleu. I am a big fan of Indian food, so I can not pass up the dinner at The Setai with Madhur Jeffrey, Floyd Cardoz and Suvir Saran. I am trying to decide between some of the lectures and wine seminars...have to see what I can afford after the other purchases!!!

              2. Tickets are for sale starting today. The Joes Stone Crab event is already sold out.

                5 Replies
                1. re: Suzie

                  Anyone planning on attending Dinner in Paradise?

                  1. re: Blind Mind

                    We are headed there BM.

                    Let us know if you plan on attending, we can do a carpool when the time comes if interested.

                    1. re: jmdhsmiami

                      Sounds good. I gotta get my ticket today or tomorrow. Need to make sure my travel sked doesnt have me out of town first.

                      1. re: Blind Mind

                        Do not wait too long. Burger Bash is sold out and I am sure a few more will become sold out before the day is over.

                        1. re: Suzie

                          Thanks Suzie, just booked. I cant believe stuff sold out so fast... Didnt think so many would have $200 to throw down at a burger tasting either haha.