What I’m Drinking

By Jane Bancroft January 1, 2012

Scenes from last year’s Forks & Corks.There’s lots to look forward to in Sarasota this month, but for food and wine fanciers the Big Wally is most definitely the fifth annual extravaganza known as Forks & Corks, which this year runs Jan. 27-29. The multi-tiered festival is the baby of the Sarasota-Manatee Originals, a consortium of independent local restaurateurs, and is chaired by Michael Klauber, owner of Michael’s On East and Michael’s Wine Cellar. Proceeds benefit the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art and the American Red Cross.

The Ringling courtyard, overlooked by its iconic statue of David, is the scene for the Grand Tasting on Jan. 29, the showboat of Forks & Corks, in which tasty dishes from dozens of top local chefs and wines (and beers) from around the globe will be available for sampling. The 60 winemakers slated to participate this year hail from France, Italy, South America, South Africa, New Zealand, California, Oregon and Washington. Tickets are $75, or $125 for VIP admission.

The fabulous frenzy kicks off on Jan. 27 and 28 with a range of winemaker events at local restaurants. On Jan. 28, Michael’s Wine Cellar hosts Forks & Corks University, a daylong graduate course in wines, winemakers and wine regions led by internationally recognized experts. Tickets are $110 (including a four-course lunch) for the full day or $60 for a half day.

For late-breaking details and to buy tickets, visit the festival website at

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