"We expect to have more than 60 renowned wineries and winemakers from around the world represented at the event," says Kate Atkin, executive director of SMO, adding that guests will be able to purchase favorite wines after sampling them at the event.
Tickets include free admission to the museum's art galleries on the day of the event.
Tickets, which can only be purchased online at, go on sale November 12, 2012.
Ticket prices will be announced in the fall of 2012.
year's Grand Tasting will again feature a silent auction of fine wines to benefit the American Red Cross
"Raising money for the American Red Cross
is a vital element of this event," says Atkin
The event also raised thousands of dollars for The John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art and The American Red Cross.(Sarasota, Florida) Forks & Corks, the four-day food and wine festival presented by The Sarasota-Manatee Originals, was "a complete success," says Kate Atkin, executive director of The Sarasota-Manatee Originals.
The festival, which ran January 27-30, 2012, featured interactive food and wine seminars, vintner events at area Originals restaurants, a trade tasting for restaurants, retail and hotels, and The Grand Tasting
at The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art
says that the all-day event at the museum, The Grand Tasting
, attracted more than 1,500 attendees.
"We experienced the fastest sell-out ever," she
"The Grand Tasting
was sold out eight days after tickets went on sale!
The Grand Tasting
featured signature dishes from over 40 Originals member restaurants, wines from more than 80 vintners, live entertainment, and a charity wine auction to benefit The American Red Cross
According to Atkin
, the silent auction raised more than $6,000.
says that the event is also an important way for Originals restaurants to market themselves- especially in a tough market.
"Participating restaurants almost always report increased revenues immediately following the event," she
"The Grand Tasting
is an invaluable tool to introduce menus and services to hundreds of people who may never have stepped through their doors.
Next year's festival is January 25-28, 2013.
"We're already getting requests from vintners to be a part of it, and from the public to purchase tickets," Atkin