The Grand tasting at the Key West food and Wine Festival is always a winner. Why? There are loads of wines and no crowds. This year’s event was held at the Key West Aquarium. There is something really cool about trying a variety of wines while sharks swim a few feet away. Plus, being Key West, there were mermaids, g-strings and more.
It has been an unseasonably warm January, which our out of town guests are loving. However, for a warm day inside a warm aquarium made for a sweaty evening. Entertaining, but a little warm nonetheless. the tasting was set up both indoors and out. You
had to pass the outdoor tables on the way to the (single) restroom, so of course, I indulged. Hey, there was a line for the bathroom anyway.
The wines were good and plentiful. I specifically enjoyed the entire T-Vine lineup, as well as the new Tablas Creek offering, Patelin de Tablas from Paso Robles. I’m pretty sure the guy pouring was not expecting me to have heard of Tablas Creek, let alone know about their other wines (“Well, they also have the Esprit de Beaucastel” “Yes, I know, I have a few vintages in my cellar” “This one is made from syrah, while the others are made from…” “Yup, I’m familiar with them – the Esprit is mourvedre based and the Cotes de Tablas is grenache based. no wonder I like them.”) I will not apologize for my wine geekiness or my good taste.
The tasting tables were set up around the perimeter of the shark tank, where there was sign warning to
keep your hands out, but I saw no sign warning not to dump your wine there. Fortunately, I didn’t see
anyone try to get the sharks drunk.
The meandering mermaids were a treat, but I think the jury is still out on the sailor boy in the g-string.
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In addition to those listed – the following were the standout reds that I recall: