LOWFF part 2

Sweet Fifteen
By Lisa Quinn


This year marks the 15th anniversary of the Las Olas Wine and Food Festival presented by Premier Beverage Company and held on May 14th & 15th, 2010, proceeds will benefit the American Lung Association in Florida with proceeds benefitting lung programs, education, patients and research.
The Street Festival features over sixty restaurants and over forty Wine/Spirit tables which includes the Bombay Sapphire Lounge.
Well over a decade ago, the first Las Olas Wine and Food Festival took place. Held originally in the fall, the event was held to commemorate the red wine Beaujolais Nouveau. Then, it moved to early spring and now, it’s held in May.
In the early days, there were no street closings and tastings took place in participant locations.  As the event grew and more vendors got involved, flow over into the street caused the street closing decision.
On Thursday and Friday evenings there were samplings and when they were finished, a number of restaurants held wine dinners with guest vineyards hosting. On Saturday afternoon a grand tasting was held and that evening would host a first-class wine dinner commencing the event with sumptuous wine and gourmet food held in the dining room of the Riverside Hotel.
But now, the event begins with a VIP reception prior to the street festival all taking place in one spectacular evening.
This year, Bonterra Vineyards is hosting the VIP Reception to be held on the Riverside Hotel lawn. All VIP Patrons will receive a complimentary Eisch Glass which is a wine glass that “breathes” manufactured in Germany. The VIP Gift Bag contains a bottle of wine. VIP ticket holders can go into the reception lounge at any time to savor an open bar and appetizers.  A Culinary Couture Fashion Show will be presented by The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale Fashion Design Department and live on stage are a selection of South Florida’s musical greats.
The street festival ticket includes a complimentary glass of wine, trays and unlimited samplings from over sixty of the foremost local restaurants, forty tables of wine, spirits and micro brews. This ticket also includes entrance to the unique Bombay Sapphire lounge.
Great cuisines, fine wine and musical entertainment all mesh to create a sensational evening along Las Olas Boulevard, one of the most charming esplanades in town.
Street Festival Tickets: $75pp
VIP Reception Tickets: $225pp
Kate Dahlen loves to surprise folks. As an apprentice mixologist and special event manager, Kate knows Florida. A native Floridian, she’s lived in seven cities in the Sunshine State. She has a true feel of what folks like to drink and are willing to try. Originally a bartender (many mixologists start out that way) who was once employed by Blue Martini, Kate began an education in mixology while working for the Bacardi label. Now designing drinks for Bombay Sapphire, she truly is passionate about breaking the stereotype that gin cannot be exciting. She explains that gin is great base and is very easy to fuse other flavors into the alcohol. Spices, fruits and citruses are all additives that give the liquor a new twang.
Kate is looking forward to dazzle and amaze the crowds at this years Las Olas Wine and Food Festival. A participant last year as well, she wants to whip up her concoctions and savor the smiles on faces. Her personal favorite, the Sapphire Collins, is becoming wildly popular. With those smiles, comes the personal satisfaction that she is educating the masses about the nectar of juniper berries. I tell her I look forward to her classes.