JOE NASUTI IS THE PHANTOM
Honoring America’s wine-making prowess, the American Fine Wine Competition, presented by Patriot National Insurance Group, is one of the nation’s most prominent and prestigious wine events. Celebrating its fifth anniversary, the 2012 American Fine Wine Competition will take place Thursday, April 19 and feature a star-studded gala dinner with acclaimed chef Emeril Lagasse and announcer Alan Kalter (of The Late Show With David Letterman) live, onstage.
The AFWC is more than one big night with big, bold wines. It consists of several events, including a VIP kickoff reception, the actual wine competition, a VIP party and an open-to-the-public consumer challenge and fundraiser. Proceeds from the events will benefit the Diabetes Research Institute, the Golden Bell Education Foundation and the Youth Automotive Training Center.
Kicking off this unique array of events was the invitation-only VIP reception held Thursday, Jan. 12 at the Boca Raton Resort & Club and hosted by JM Lexus for corporate sponsors and VIPs, participating charities, wine competition judges and invited media only. The wine competition took place Jan. 15-16 at the Boca Country Club, where 24 wine experts and industry moguls, hand-picked by the AFWC, tasted more than 600 wines invited into the competition and awarded prestigious medals.
After the competition, the AFWC will host an open-to-the-public kickoff Thursday, March 8. The event will take place at Allied Kitchen & Bath’s beautiful showroom, the perfect destination to mix and mingle with fellow wine enthusiasts. Guests will have the opportunity to taste some of the wines from last year’s competition, meet this year’s judges, enjoy a beautifully catered meal and visit the AFWC’s sponsor booths. The party will be held in Allied Kitchen & Bath’s showroom (616 W. Oakland Park Blvd., Fort Lauderdale).
One month prior to the gala dinner, the American Fine Wine Competition will host a consumer challenge and fundraiser on Thursday, March 22 from 7 to 9 p.m. Taking place at Bogart’s restaurant, owned and operated by well-known restaurateur, Burt Rapoport and emceed by Jeff “Defo” Deforrest, the consumer challenge takes an exciting twist on the everyday wine tasting event. Guests will enjoy nine stations of specially chosen wines, an array of delicious dishes, prepared by the Bogart’s culinary team, as well as play games and win prizes at AFWC Sponsors’ booths. At the event, which is open to the public, 12 attendees will have the opportunity to participate in a blind tasting challenge of 10 American wines. The taster who properly identifies the most wines correctly will be awarded two complimentary tickets to the gala dinner. Tickets for this event cost $35 per person and a percentage will benefit the Youth Automotive Training Center. Bogart’s is located inside the Cinemark Palace 20 (3200 Airport Road, Boca Raton).
The highly anticipated gala dinner will take place Thursday, April 19 starting at 6 p.m. The evening begins with the sparkling reception, featuring a vast selection of fine sparkling and white wines along with delicious hors d’oeuvres and exciting entertainment. A silent auction will feature 150 wine baskets, with each bottle personally signed by the winemaker. With a guest list of 550 attendees, the gala dinner will feature all the wines entered into the competition poured by your personal “wine angel,” served along with a four-course dinner, prepared by the culinary team at Boca Raton Resort & Club.
Lagasse will prepare the evening’s main course onstage during his live demonstration. Prior to dinner, a lottery will be held in which eight lucky guests will be selected to sit on stage at “Emeril’s Table” to enjoy the demonstration close-up. Attendees will also have the opportunity to participate in a live auction, presided over by Kalter in which 100 percent of the proceeds benefit the Diabetes Research Institute and the Golden Bell Education Foundation. Tickets for the gala dinner cost $300 per person. The gala dinner will be held at the Boca Raton Resort & Club at Mizner Center (501 E. Camino Real).
For ticket information, call (561) 504-VINE (8463) or visit www.americanfinewinecompetition.com.