8 great October wine dinners in Fort Myers, Bonita Springs, Naples
If someone told you they lived on a healthy diet of beer, wine and chocolate, you’d say they were coo coo for coco. Buzz60’s Mercer Morrison has the story.
Looking for great wines and unique menus? Gina Birch has eight fabulous wine dinners worth RSVP-ing to this October.
Last week I attended an organic wine dinner at Trattoria Mia, a lovely little restaurant in south Fort Myers owned by two Italian sisters who grew up in Venezuela. Surrounded by people who shared my passion for food and wine, we admired each dish as chef-owner Lore Bolla presented and described them.
We smelled and tasted organic wines from all over the world; enjoying how they changed in the glass and when consumed with Bolla’s food. I found common ground with strangers and friends as we talked travel, photography and more.
Even if you’re not a wine geek, or a culinary nerd, you can’t help but appreciate these types of elevated dining experiences.
Chefs and staff thoughtfully craft each plate with the wine in mind, or pick a wine to best complement a dish. It’s as fun for them as it is for us to discover the finished product.
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I’ve been to wine dinners that sell out, where every table is not only filled but extra chairs are squeezed in. Then there are those that barely have enough reservations to keep the event on the books, or even worse: a bunch of no shows. That’s when I feel sad, sad for diners who missed out on a unique and extraordinary experience.
This month’s wine picks are perfect for reminiscing and contemplating life with the people you love. (Photo: Getty Images)
Hence the inspiration for this week’s column. You can’t attend an extraordinary wine dinner if you don’t know when or where they are.
Some of these dinners are made even more special by the attendance of a winemaker, vineyard owner or other representative. They have interesting stories to tell while providing insight into what’s in your glass. Dining with some of these people has made me a fan of their wineries for life.
These dinners also give local chefs the opportunity to be creative, to step away from the menus they prepare day in and day out. The things they dream up constantly amaze me.
With season coming back into swing, October’s calendar of wine dinners is packed. But these are eight events that caught my eye.
Bites & Bubbles featuring Charles Heidsieck Champagne
Where: Sea Salt, Naples; 1186 Third St. S., Naples
What: Four wines from this famed Champagne house will be paired with hors d’ouevres
When: Oct. 2 from 7:30-9 p.m.
Price: $125 plus tax and tip
More: Sea Salt hosts wine dinners throughout October; find more at seasaltnaples.com/events
Priest Ranch wine dinner
Where: Other Side Bistro, 24630 S. Tamiami Trail, Bonita Springs
What: Priest Ranch co-founder and winemaker Craig Becker will be in from Napa for this four-course dinner
When: Oct. 15
Priest Ranch Wine Dinner No. 2
Where: Tarpon Lodge, 13771 Waterfront Drive, Bokeelia
What: If Bonita Springs is too far, check out another four-course wine dinner featuring Priest Ranch wines at this charming and historic lodge on Pine Island.
When: 6:30 p.m. Oct. 18 and 19
More: Pine Island and Matlacha: 12 mouthwatering reasons to go to the islands
Welcome Back Wine Dinner
Where: Angelina’s Ristorante, 24041 S. Tamiami Trail, Bonita Springs
What: Angelina’s welcomes back locals, seasonal residents and visitors with a multi-course wine dinner featuring varietals from the restaurant’s favorite producers
When: Oct. 17
Fabulous wine dinners are taking place throughout Southwest Florida in October. (Photo: Sarah Crain/Special to news-press.com)
Dinner with Hendry Ranch Wines
Where: Mad Fresh Bistro, 12995 S. Cleveland Ave., Fort Myers
What: Enjoy wines from this longtime Napa Vallery vineyard, which has been farmed by the same family since 1939.
When: 6 p.m. Oct. 17
Stag’s Leap Wine Dinner
Where: Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, Coconut Point, 23151 Village Shops Way #101, Estero
What: The steakhouse chain is hosting five-course Stag’s Leap dinners at each of its locations nationwide
When: 6:30 p.m. Oct. 19
Italian Wine Dinner
Where: Trattoria Mia, 6631 Orion Drive #107, south Fort Myers
What: Five courses paired with a variety of red and white wines from northern to southern Italy
When: 7 p.m. Oct. 23
Hailstone Vineyard Wine Dinner
Where: Hotel Escalante, 290 Fifth Ave. S., Naples
What: Three courses paired with Hailstone’s wines from the acclaimed Russian River Valley
When: Oct. 26
Gina Birch writes about wine for The News-Press and at thebirchbeat.blogspot.com. Follow her as @ginabirch on Twitter and find her on Facebook.
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