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.
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.
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.
The German American Friendship Society of Pinellas brings together locals with a connection to Germany whether that connection is being of German descent or having served in Germany in the military. Whatever their background, all society members have one important thing in common: they love German culture. The society runs Saturday-night dances with rotating themes and a live band, and also participates in a number of folk festivals across the state. Members can also look forward to a number of events to celebrate German heritage including the always popular Oktoberfest. The festival showers participants in authentic German food and beer, live Oompah music and dancing, and a beer-mug-holding contest to see who can go the longest without snorkeling in their glass.
John Neighbors and Julia Meyerovich lead students through a variety of dance styles using their three-pronged teaching system. They offer private instruction to allow students to refine their techniques, group classes for students to learn new moves, and social dances during which students test out their moves with a variety of partners.
As a part of its continuing mission to promote the cultural and economic impacts of independent filmmaking, the not-for-profit St. Petersburg–Clearwater Film Society hosts the annual Sunscreen Film Festival. Each day of the four-day festival packs in more than 12 hours of short- and feature-film screenings, as well as workshops on the filmmaking process, such as "Tips for Creating a Talking Picture." Local documentarians and producers of comedic shorts, genre pieces, or feature-length films showcase their work for eager audiences and industry professionals. Myriad workshops cover aspects of screenwriting and acting as well as promotional arts such as how to land an agent or how to use social media as an advertising and networking tool. Many nights also feature concerts and after parties, allowing auteurs, musicians, and audience members to mingle.