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The prestigious American Fine Wine Competition,  announced the result for The Invitational, which takes place annually in south Florida.  With the Pandemic wreaking havoc for the past year, the judging was delayed, and took place on Memorial Day Weekend.  More than 550 wines from 125 wineries vied for top honors at this INVITATION-only event. The Judging — conducted by a 28-member blue ribbon panel of wine industry educators, restaurateurs, retailers, journalists, and top sommeliers from across the country — was held at the Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management at Florida International University, Biscayne Bay Campus.

As usual, the results did not disappoint!  There were ties for Best of Show Red wine AND Best of Show Sparkling.  And the Sparkling wines were from the same winery!  Equally exciting, there was also a tie for Best of Class Riesling, which was the case last year as well. 

Co-founder and President Shari Gherman said, “At AFWC, we look for the very best wines the country has to offer, and so they must be vetted before being invited.  This year was challenging since the country was pretty much shut down.  But with some creativity, we persevered, and as one can see by the results, we found stunning wines yet again.”

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The Judges had an incredibly difficult time coming up with the Best of Class results.  Judge Wendy Rosano said, “Of the 11 double gold medal winning Red Bordeaux Blends, it was almost impossible to pick one!”  Judge Patrick Sullivan said, “The 12 Double Gold medal winning Syrah’s were so awesome, we actually finished drinking our glasses!”  In the Cabernet Sauvignon category, there were five flights where ALL the wines were awarded double gold medals.   

Fourteen years of careful scouting and judging means this competition starts where others end.  Four-team judging panels evaluate, describe, debate and assign medals and scores. “Our Judges take their time and really care about getting it right” observed Greg Miseyko, Chief Judge and Judging Coordinator.  Wines earn Gold, Silver or Bronze medals and “Double Gold” honors when every judge agrees the wine deserves a Gold Medal. Points from a 100-point scale are also awarded.  Miseyko added “We want to direct the public to America’s finest wines, to become the most trusted source of information about finding quality wines.” 

Remember, Price doesn’t always dictate the finest. Quality does.

Attached are the complete results.

AFWC 2021 Best Of final 06-09-21

They are also posted at www.AmericanFineWineCompetition.org

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Last Monday May  24th, BACARDI honored Miami’s trailblazers and culture movers with Premium cocktails & delicious food pairings.

An evening to celebrate creatives, philanthropists, tech titans, business and community leaders who are blazing a trail in respective industries and making the world a better place through the work that they are committed to doing.

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Hotel Nacional

Hosted by Master of Rum David Cid and Janet Benitez, guests were welcome with a refreshing “Hotel Nacional” cocktail ( Bacardi Reserva Ocho Rum, Pineapple juice, Lime juice, Simple Syrup, Apricot Liqueur)  and invited to the table for a pairing dinner and the Red Rooster restaurant in Overtown, featuring aged rum Bacardi Reserva 8 and Bacardi Reserva 10 cocktails. The second Cocktail was the “Old Cuban” (Bacardi Reserva Ocho Rum, Martini & Rossi Prosecco, Sugar Syrup, Lime Juice, Dashes bitters) paired with Chef Marcus Samuelson famous dishes such as the devil eggs, Marcus cornbread, fried yardbird, shrimp & grits, grilled Yellowtail Snapper and finished with I’m in love with cocoa, a chocolate feast dessert paired with the “Cane collective Ocho old Fashioned” cocktail. 

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Cane Collective Ocho Old Fashioned

David educated all patrons about aged rums with a tasting of Bacardi Reserva 8 and Bacardi Reserva 10 between meals. As the night ended, the guests were greeted with a beautiful gift that included a wooden box with a bottle of Bacardi Reserva Ocho Rum, a bottle of Cane collective Sweet Potato On Syrup  to make your own Old Fashion and a cigar to pair with.

Images by @Nickjustchill

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FIU students celebrated when they were announced as the winners of the People’s Choice Award at this year’s South Beach Wine & Food Festival Art of Tiki Cocktail Showdown, celebrated at the Kimpton Surfcomber Hotel on South Beach, on Saturday, May 22nd.

Students  participating from the Hospitality School and Bacardi Center of Excellence Bartender’s Guild club, alongside professional mixologists and bartenders took home the top prize for their cocktail, The Sunblazer. The drink was made with six ingredients including: pineapple juice, lemon juice, Bacardi Ocho and even honey syrup cultivated by the FIU Beekeeping Association.

Judges gave their top prize to Landon Nero of Freehold Miami in Wynwood.

100% of the net proceeds from the Festival benefit FIU’s Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management. Each year, over 1,200 students and volunteers gain invaluable real-world experience at the Festival. To date, SOBEWFF® – which serves as an interactive educational platform for future leaders of the hospitality industry – has raised more than $31.8 million for the School.

Video Courtesy of FIU Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management

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National Margarita Day Specials

Margaritas is everything a Cocktail should be. Our love for the number 1 drink to-go in our country only grows bigger and bigger, in fact, we have a National Day to celebrate it, but isn’t it be also a holiday?

Let’s start the week the right way this Monday 22nd while we go and cheer with the best Margaritas in town, here are some activities held by our favorite brands. …

Volcan Tequila volcantequila

Pedal for the Margarita Medal (and drink) at LOLO’s south beach, visit us from 5 pm – 8 pm and enjoy Happy Hour Margarita specials while you blend your own Margarita, choose from  different flavors such as Mango, Strawberry, Pineapple and classic.  Sing along your favorite song while participating in Clevelander’s Karaoke Contest. 1st winner will receive a Volcan Tequila Cristalino bottle, 2nd price a Volcan Tequila Reposado bottle and 3rd price a Volcan Tequila Blanco botlle, there’s no losers! you can as well come for BYOM (blend your own Margaritas) with the Volcan Bike from 6 – 9pm. 
Our Broward friends can come to Barrita from 5 pm – Midnight and enjoy a complementary Volcan Margarita when ordering dinner. ..,

margarita flightsHerradura Tequila

When comes to Margaritas, the more, the merrier, right? Naked Taco will be offering Herradura Margarita Flights Specials all week from February 21st-28th in both locations. In Tequiztlan, you can choose in between Tequila Flight and Margaritas flights as well in specials. if you are looking for an exotic one of-a-kind libation, we recommend you to try 1-800 Lucky Thai Chilli Spicy Margarita available this Monday, February 22nd.
 
  • Sip $5 Margs for this boozy celebration, ALL day serving in every Coyo Taco locations in South Florida, made with freshly squeezed lime juice, agave and Maestro Dobel Tequila

Join us a Shokudo for some El Jimador complimentary Margaritas, until supplies last, starting 5pm  

Enjoy a spicy Margarita at home with this delicious infused Tequila. Dano’s Pineapple and Jalapeño

The Dano-Rita (Dano’s spicy Margarita)danos

  • 2 oz Dano’s Pineapple & Jalapeno Tequila 

  • 1 oz Cointreau.  

  • 1 oz Lime Juice 

  • Shake all ingredients and pour over ice into a highball or rocks glass  

  • Garnish rim of glass with Tajin sugar/salt mix..

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For the first time ever in the US, acclaimed wine critic James Suckling presented The Largest Wine Event, which chose Miami as its host city this past January 24th, at the Moore Building. 

Featuring 120 wine producers from the top wine regions in the world, the event showcased an extraordinary selection of more than 200 top-scoring wines.  Celebrated owners and winemakers representing the world’s most iconic wineries gathered and shared their valuable insights while presenting their two top vintages to attendees.  The mood of the soiree was perfectly set with music by award-winning DJ Surahn Sidhu.

Tickets for the grand tasting were sold out weeks prior to the event, but other opportunities abounded, such as exclusive pre-events, a gala dinner, and the “Happiness is Wine” show and after-party. 

“What I like about the event is the ability to put a face to some of the bottles of wine you are drinking on a daily basis and to interact with and get descriptions from the people who crafted it, helping you to develop a new level of understanding and appreciation.  It really enhances the experience of trying other products as well,” commented one attendee.

We saw it as an amazing initiative for the growing body of Miami wine lovers and a much-needed opportunity for international aficionados to educate the community on this art form.  It also provided an industry-wide networking resource for local sommeliers, restaurant owners, and retailers, which means we can look forward to future Miami stop for James Suckling and his event.  

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The Bolivian Cocktail Experience

The Sylvester Bar invites you to have drinks with Oscar-winning filmmaker Steven Soderbergh as we officially launch his Singani 63 in South Florida, Monday Januar y 13th at 7 PM.

While filming the movie Che, filmmaker Steven Soderbergh discovered and fell in love with Bolivia’s 500-year-old national spirits made from the Muscat of Alexandria grape grown only at an extremely high altitude in the Bolivian Andes.   Before Soderbergh decided to import it to the US, it had never been out of land-locked Bolivia.  Singani 63 is now in over 25 markets across the US, as well as the UK, where it is loved by some of the country’s top mixologists for its versatility and unique taste profile.

Please join us for cocktails & conversation with Steven about the brand and some amazing cocktails created exclusively with Singani63 by the talented bartenders at The Sylvester to complement the flavor profiles of Singani63.

Where: The Sylvester (3456 N. Miami Ave.)

When: January 13th, 7-9 pm

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Erick Lorincz at Le Sirenuse Champagne Bar

 Mixing Star, Disaronno’s ultra-hip, global talent show, has introduced the Bar-Tag program, where celebrity bartenders take turns hosting a foreign colleague for an exploratory session on their distinct techniques, styles, and inspirations. Bar-Tag has recently made waves at the storied Surf Club. Jacopo Rosito and Valentino Longo, the duo behind the club’s Le Sirenuse Champagne Bar were able to host one of the legendary names in mixology—Erik Lorincz of the tiki-by-way-of-Casablanca Kwant Bar in London—for a one-night guest shift showcasing Lorincz’ talents alongside the introduction of Positano-influenced Amore Eterno bar menu.

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Q&A by Matt Hirsh, Disaronno Brand Ambassador

After a Q&A with all three hospitality luminaries, Lorincz offered 2 genre-bending cocktails designed exclusively for the occasion: “Almond of Miracle” (Disaronno, vodka, cardamom, oat milk, honey, lime) and “Reina” (Disaronno, bourbon, peanut butter, chocolate bitters, sherry, smokey ginger ale). The Host offered two cocktails as well “When in Miami” by Valentino Longo (Disaronno, Harmless coconut, Cold brew JoJo Tea, Bourbon) and “The Magic Oak” by Jacopo Rosito (Disaronno, Rutte Old Simon, Vida Mezcal Del Maguey, Bitter Truth Chocolate Bitters).

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Presentation of “Almond of Miracle” by Erick Lorincz
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“When in Miami” by Valentino Longo
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=npue2Qo5xc8
The Mixing Star Bar Tag – Miami

To see Mixing Star’s videos and learn about future BarTag events, go to
www.themixingstar.com or check out IG: @themixingstar FB: @TheMixingStar

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A Taste of Scotland in South Beach

A Taste of Scotland in South Beach…

Photo by Sujhail Cabana

We sent our reporters, Sujhail Cabana and Jose Salcido, to experience Macallan Manor, hosted by the beautiful Bath Club in South Beach. Greeted at the door with light, crisp Macallan-based cocktails designed to ready the palate, they entered a room made to resemble Easter Elchies House (of Macallan’s iconic logo). From there, Sujhail describes how they were ‘spirited away’ on a thousand-mile journey: “The Macallan Manor experience first transported us to the forests of Galicia, Spain to introduce the Macallan 12-year. Next, we visited a Spanish cooperage, where the Macallan barrels are painstakingly crafted. Here, we were treated to the Macallan 15-year, a bold and fruitful spirit, alongside an introduction to nuts and cheeses that enhance this delicious whiskey.

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The end of our journey brought us to a wonderful whiskey den where we got to enjoy the Macallan Rare Cask.” The virtual ambiance helped instruct them on the importance of Spanish oak in achieving Macallan’s distinctive taste. Jose’s favorite takeaway was all the insider knowledge gained on how best to enjoy whiskey: “For example, using sphere-shaped ice allows the ice to melt slowly so that it doesn’t dilute the flavor.” Upon returning, the travelers were treated to a dreamy night under the stars with a live band and outdoor bar providing cocktails made even more enjoyable by the sojourn through space and time…no passport necessary!

 

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Le Voyage is a spectacular production that will stir your senses, excite your imagination and immerse you in the savoir-faire behind the world’s most prestigious Cognac.
Become a cognac connoisseur in this series of exclusive, hands-on Hennessy’s masterclasses, taking place nationwide. Miami edition led by brand ambassador Jacqueline Sanabia at the newly opened Ritz-Carlton residences will teach you the craft and uncover the complexity of their spirits, becoming an expert in making your own classical with the world’s finest cognac. his multi-sensory activation will give vigor to the mastery exuded by the Maison’s Tasting Committee at every stage of the Cognac-making process: the beginning, winemaking, distillation, selection, maturation, and the end. We were delighted with the tasting of Hennessy V.S.O.P and Hennessy X.O. and had a blast learning how to make the French 75 and Sazerac cocktails while admiring the amazing views of the city.

We assure Guests will enter as brand fans and exit as Cognac & cocktail connoisseurs

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The Urbanism Summit held a “Consuming Earth” panel discussion on October 12th at the Center for Subtropical Affairs, in Little Haiti. Panelists offered their insights into how today’s culture of consumerism is depleting the planet’s natural resources, with a view towards influencing more sustainable behavior. 

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Photo by Ritual Miami

The program moderator was Founder/CEO of the Urbanism Summit, Andrew Quarrie, who spoke with an impressive roster of panelists such as the Co-founder of Admari Tea, Adrienne Etkin Nascimento, the Executive Producer of Miami Onsight, Pangea Kali Virga, and the Founder of the Culinary Alchemist, Rodrigo “Drigo” Richardson. 

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Photo by Ritual Miami

Attendees were also treated to various sensory delights. The moonlit evening cast a perfect spell for trying out Chef Drigo’s mouthwatering dishes, the Gung Fu tea supplied by Amari and exquisite craft cocktails wrought by master tea blender, Nascimento, in collaboration with Gem & Bolt, Bacardi’s Havana Club, and St. Germain. Including winning Cocktail of TMC, Miami Masala. The space was beautifully done up with rugs and pillows and the pleasing music played by DJ Kumi of WDNA 88.9FM took this night to another level, closing its doors around 11 pm.

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Photo By Ritual Miami
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Photo By Ritual Miami
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Photo By Ritual Miami
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