The 10th anniversary of the Naples Winter Wine Festival, held Jan. 29-31, raised a grand total of more than $8.1 million, which was 60 percent more than was raised at the 2009 festival. The live auction of 60 one-of-a-kind lots totaled $7.1 million; the raffle of a Lexus IS C, the first-ever Lexus IS convertible, brought in $342,000; and Lot No. 50, a fund-a-need lot in which patrons dropped on-the-spot cash donations into buckets for a new children’s behavioral health initiative, amassed the most of any single auction lot: $647,850.

The festival has been ranked the most successful charity wine auction in the nation for the past six years by Wine Spectator. 

Since 2001, the festival has raised $82.6 million for underprivileged and at-risk children in Collier County, Fla., with proceeds distributed through the Naples Children & Education Foundation. Thanks to festival patrons’ generosity, nearly 100,000 children have been helped over 10 years through grants to children’s charities.

An NCEF check presentation and community celebration will be held April 18 to distribute funds raised at the 2010 festival. The 2011 festival will be held Jan. 28-30. For more information about the Naples Winter Wine Festival, go to 

Set against the backdrop of glamorous South Beach the Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival will take place  February 26 – February 28, 2010 with a slew of exciting new happenings as well as the return of such signature events as the Perrier-Jouët Bubble Q  and many more events. For additional information, log on to,  call: 877.762.3933, or go to HOT EVENTS


3postercamarapisaFriday, February 12, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., A Taste of Pisa – Specialty Food & Wine from the Heart of Italy,  is an exclusive invitation free to trade professionals ONLY by The Italy-America Chamber of Commerce in Miami and the Chamber of Commerce of Pisa.
The one-day fair is open only to buyers of the food & wine industries and is reserved to business meetings between exhibiting producers and importers, distributors and restaurateurs.
Event free and exclusive to trade professionals. Westin Colonnade Hotel,  Rotunda Hall, Coral Gables. For further information, contact the Italy-America Chamber of Commerce in Miami at  305-577-9868 or email to Sara D’Anzeo ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ) or Corylie Suarez-Valente ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ).


parmigianoOn Saturday, February 27, at 3 p.m. EST/2 p.m. CST, Whole Foods Market’s cheese mongers in the U.S., Canada and the United Kingdom will demonstrate the traditional method of breaking into 24-month-aged wheels of Parmigiano Reggiano using official tools (five different knives) from Italy’s Consorzio del Formaggio Parmigiano Reggiano. The process of carving into and portioning each 85-pound wheel requires an expert hand and is usually done in about half an hour.

 “We work with a small group of artisan producers in Italy to hand-select the very best Parmigiano Reggiano  wheels,  carefully aged for two years to bring out the best of Parmigiano Reggiano’s nutty and sweet flavors and creamy and crystalline textures.” says Cathy Strange, global cheese buyer for Whole Foods Market.

parmigiano 2In 2008, Guinness World Records confirmed that Whole Foods Market  set a record for “Most Parmigiano Reggiano Wheels Cracked Simultaneously,” with nearly 300 wheels opened at 176 stores. Whole Foods Market hopes to break that record with this year's event.  

Whole Foods Market invites shoppers to participate in an online recipe contest for a chance to win a $500 shopping spree, authentic cheese knife sets and gift baskets.  For one week, from February 3 through 10, submit your original recipes online ( ).  The winning recipes will be featured on the Whole Story blog at .  

Dating back almost 1,000 years, only Parmesan cheese made in one area of northern Italy can bear the name Parmigiano Reggiano.  In the rolling hills of Reggio Emilia, Parma, Modena and portions of Bologna and Mantua, Parmigiano Reggiano is made in small batches, using artisan methods that meet the strict quality standards of the Consorzio del Formaggio Parmigiano Reggiano.   

In addition to the February 27 “cracking events,” Whole Foods Market stores will provide recipes host in-store pairings and tastings in the cheese departments throughout February. For more information, go to: /.



 Buy one bottle of wine and receive a free ticket to Vinitaly US Tour 2010, February 8, at the Fontainbleau Hotel, Miami Beach
As a promotion extraordinaire of  Vinitaly US Tour Miami 2010, the largest selection of Italian wines ever assembled in the U.S, the Grandi Marchi, Institute of Italian Fine Wines , a group of elite Italian vintners who advance worldwide recognition of quality Italian wines   –   and Crown Wines & Spirits are joining forces for a unique offer : Buy one bottle of a Grandi Marchi wine at  any participating Crown Wines & Spirits store and receive a free ticket to Vinitaly US Tour 2010.
The Grandi Marchi wines promoted are from the family-owned wineries:
Michele Chiarlo, Pio Cesare, Masi, Alois Lageder, Jermann, Antinori,Umani Rochi, Tenuta San Guido/ Sassicaia, Mastrobernardino
The participating Crown Wines & Spirits Stores:
1030 N.E. 15th Avenue  Fort Lauderdale,  954-358-9463                                 
1320 N Federal Hwy        Pompano Beach,954-941-2608  
306 S Federal Highway   Deerfield Beach                , 954-427-5274                                                  
3363 Sheridan St               Hollywood, 954-987-9463                                                            
12555 Biscayne Blvd        North Miami, -892-9463
13611 S Dixie Hwy,           Miami , 786-249-9463    
757 S Federal Highway   Boca Raton, 561-394-3828                                           
532 SE 15th Avenue        Boynton Beach, 561-734-9463   
VINITALY US TOUR MIAMI 2010 will take place on Monday, February 8, at The Fontainebleau, 4441 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach. For additional information contact :
I.E.E.M. (International Event and Exhibition Management)tel +1 305 937 2488 


Food & Wine Talk Radio

Achile Sassoli, Director of Gelato World Tour
and Gelato Artisans:
James Coleridge, Vancouver, B.C., Canada
Abdelrahman Al Teneji, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates
Matthew Lee, Austin, Texas
Ahmed Abdullatif, Kingdom of Bahrain
Stefano Versace, Miami, Florida
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The House of Mandela Wines from South Africa


Chef Scott Conant: Scarpetta


Mark Schatzker, author of The Dorito Effect, The Surprising New Truth About Food and Flavor


Elizabeth Minchilli, author of  Eating Rome: Living the Good Life in the Eternal City.  


James Beard Award-winning wine journalist Lyn Farmer on: Garnacha from Carinena; the next great wine


Cindy Hutson,chef/owner, Ortanique and Zest, author of From the Tip of My Tongue


Lidia Batianich, celebrity chef, TV host, author and restaurateur 






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