Winner of two gold metals and five silver medals at the Indy International Wine Competition, the Florida Winery prepares its Vino Florida wine on-location and often infuses it with tropical fruits, including raspberries, strawberries, kiwis, and melons. Vino Florida's blends and traditional wines are sure to please both vino novices and difficult-to-impress wine connoisseurs alike. A bottle of the Vino Florida ORWI, a species of flavorful fermented Florida orange juice, arrives stuffed with enough fruit to stave off scurvy in malnourished sailors' monkeys ($14.99). Free wine tastings are offered at The Florida Winery store, so you can meet the winemakers and hone in a bottle that best complements your taste buds. The shop also concocts ice cream made from its own wine and stocks a diverse supply of gourmet foods sourced from the Sunshine State, including coconut candies, spices, salsas, and more.
Booth's Brewing outfits customers with quality beer- and wine-making supplies, from Briess dry malts to brew kettles by Blichmann Engineering. Hops-savvy staffers also guide students through the basics of crafting custom beers at home with beer-brewing classes. The sessions familiarize students with standard brewing equipment and ingredients, arming them with the theoretical and practical knowledge to successfully make beer at home without fitting their bathtub with a blowoff hose.
Towering oak trees cast their shade across the 3,600 acres of plantation land that surround Florida Estates Winery, but the precious grapes can be found hanging from trellised vines that sprout in their own sunnier patches of soil. Refreshing and approachable, the wine selection includes the soft-bodied Plantation Red as well as the Plantation Blush, which balances its notes of ripe fruit with a gripping core of zesty acidity.
A towering wine rack spans an entire wall and glimmers with more than 1,000 bottles. Across the room, a lineup of nitrogen-regulated Enomatic machines dispenses samples from 80 wines to be sipped, swirled, and theatrically spit while reclining on a leather sofa, or while sitting at the long wooden bar. Small, shareable plates populate Sarasota Vineyard's menu in the forms of cheeses, roasted olives, and prosciutto-wrapped figs, ideal for pairing with wines or barley pops from a list of 20 beers.
Chef Scott Vogel calls upon fresh, seasonal ingredients to inspire his dynamic dinner menu of European-spun sustenance. Practice your dish-passing skills before Thanksgiving by sharing some tasty tapas with your table, such as lump blue crab cakes, which come paired with spicy aioli and Asian slaw ($12), or pulled-duck quesadillas, which will pull at your stomach's heart strings with a symphony of meat, asiago cheese, and roasted peppers ($10). The bistro specializes in fresh fish dishes; opt for the wild-Norwegian-salmon entree ($16) if you have the appetite of a Viking or if your body's omega-1 and omega-2 fatty acids need a mediator. Diners that prefer a finless feast can savor a citrus-soy- marinated sirloin with chipotle balsamic glaze ($18), and vegetarians can indulge in the creamy wild-mushroom and grilled-vegetable risotto ($17). Complement your meal with something from the bar's ample selection of craft beers, specialty martinis, and wines by the bottle or glass.
Outside the door of The Reef at Redington Shores, fishermen dock their boats after morning voyages in the sparkling Gulf waters and deliver their fresh catches to waiting employees. The staff members display fresh-caught local finds in their glass cases alongside non-local species such as Maine lobster and schools that are flown in daily. Gourmet spices and seasonings fill the store's racks in a rainbow of colors and aromas—standing ready to flavor filets. Ready-to-eat items, however, come pre-seasoned, such as the almond-crusted flounder filets and the crab bisque. In addition to seafood, the store carries 50 different wines and hosts wine tastings weekly, which is as often as a yo-yo dog needs to be walked.