Top Five South Beach Wine and Food Festival Events Worth Going To

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Courtesy of Melissa Horn for New York Magazine
Tickets went on sale Monday for the 2010 South Beach Wine and Food Festival, that annual event that keeps getting bigger, bigger, bigger. This year, there are nearly three-dozen events to attend, from wine seminars to a tribute dinner for chef Daniel Boulud. In the past, we've dissected the most popular event, the Dionysian free-for-all known as the Grand Tasting Village. This year, we're going to give our picks for the top five events that should be worth attending.

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5. Gary V's Wine Lunch -- Wine Library TV guru Gary Vaynerchuck hosts this lunch from Michael Gilligan of the W South Beach. He'll dissect eight wines to find out which pairings work and which don't. For $85, this could be a very educational Saturday morning.

4. Barilla Interactive Lunch Hosted by Scott Conant -- It's not often that you get the chance to cook with a James Beard Award-winning chef, but you can do just that at this Italian-themed lunch hosted by Scarpetta's Conant. The price tag of $150 pairs great wine with a big Italian lunch, but only after playing sous chef for the afternoon. Another little bit of edutainment that sounds promising.  

3. Wine Spectator's Best of the Best -- This wine mag's throwdown will cost you a cool $350, but serious wine fanatics should get a huge return on that during this Friday-night event. Each of the 50-plus wines and a dozen or so Champagnes available have been rated "superior" by Wine Spectator, and many will be complemented by sampling plates from chefs like Michael White, Tim Cushman, David Burke, and (yes) Masaharu Morimoto. Local boys like Chad Ford of Devito's South Beach and Marco Ferraro of Wish will also be on hand.

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Ay, Dios mio.
2. Michelle Bernstein and Hedy Goldsmith's Dolce Brunch -- I think most of us would be happy waking up next to Michelle Bernstein (imagine the breakfast in bed). Brunch at the Blue Door courtesy of the Miami chef herself may be the next best thing. Two hundred dollars gets you a seat at the table, plus glasses of the late harvest Napa wine, Dolce. 

1. Daniel Boulud Tribute Dinner -- If you've got $520 to spend at the fest, you couldn't do better than attending the Daniel Boulud Tribute Dinner at Loews on Saturday night. Granted, that's an absurd price, but check out who's cooking for the honorable French chef: Paul Bartolotta of Bartolotta Ristorante de Mare in Las Vegas, Michael Laiskonis of Le Bernardin in New York, Nobu Matsuhisa of Nobu, Eric Ripert of Le Bernardin, and local boys Gordon Maybury and Claude Troisgros of Loews and Blue Door at the Delano. Zach Bell of Cafe Boulud and as well as two other chefs under Boulud will open the reception, which will include a glass of Cristal.

  

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