5 Things We are Excited About for the 2015 South Beach Wine and Food Festival

1. Grand Tasting Remixed.
It’s about time that the South Beach Wine and Food Festival’s signature event – the Grand Tasting Village – got a nip and tuck. It’s so Miami, right? Among the highlights: Tasting tents and demo stages all open from noon to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday; more shaded lounges have been added; more room for dancing between the tasting tents; and 52 South Florida restaurants will be featured each day, organized by neighborhood districts.

2. Nashville in Miami.
No, we’re not talking about some Latin-flavored country music. A quartet of Nashville’s best chefs are bringing their southern cuisine to the beachside oasis of the Mandarin Oriental for the Nashville on Fire dinner. From fried chicken to smoked meats, prepare for a southern celebration. Best of all tickets ($225) are still available at sobefest.com/nashville.

3. Blues Traveler.
There’s more than succulent, seared flesh to sink your teeth into at the carnivore’s paradise otherwise known as Meatopia on Saturday night. Grammy-winning blues, jam, soul and folk-rocking band Blues Traveler, led by harmonica-wielding singer John Popper, will take the stage to crank out grooving tunes such as “Run-Around” and “Hook” – and maybe a couple of new tracks. Tickets are $250 for the beachside event at the Delano Hotel (entrance at 1 Lincoln Rd., South Beach) from 7-10 p.m.

4.Yappie Hour.
The Standard Spa plays host to this new cocktail party created exclusively for canines and their companions. Rachael Ray will dish out her new pet food, Nutrish, and humans enjoy cocktails and snacks. BarkBox provides the entertainment for the pooches. Tickets are $95 for the Saturday event that runs from 4-6 p.m.

5. Belvedere Wild Berry Vodka.
At the exclusive Social event at W South Beach, Belvedere will unleash its new Wild Berry vodka in a cocktail showdown of sorts with other brands. Here are two recipes of how it’s being served on Friday. We’ll take one of each, please.

Fruitea
1 1/4  oz Belvedere Wild Berry Vodka
2 oz Cranberry Juice
4 oz Peach Tea
Directions: Build over ice in a highball and garnish with a lemon wheel
 
Pink Berry
1/2 oz Belvedere Wild Berry Vodka
1 oz Raspberry Puree
3 oz Veuve Clicquot Rose Non Vintage
Directions: Belvedere Wild Berry shaken with Raspberry Puree and topped with Veuve Clicquot Rose Non Vintage. Served on the rocks in a wine glass and garnished with a fresh raspberry and lemon wheel.

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