Join the Gulp! Food and Libations Wine Pairing Event This Weekend in West Palm Beach

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Gulp!
A wine pairing event presented by South Florida's Gulp! Club.
There it is, right there in front of you: a restaurant wine menu that's thicker than Tolstoy's War and Peace, and offers about 101 selections and varietals, all at varying price points. You're having fish for dinner and on a date / dining with wine-loving friends / trying to impress your boss, but really you have no idea what to order. You'd like to be able to pick the perfect merlot -- but should it be a pinot noir, instead? Or a cabernet? 

No matter if you're in a seedy bar where wine is two-for-one at happy hour, or out at the hottest new spot downtown. At times like this, wouldn't it help to know a little more about wine?

That's exactly how Gulp! Food and Libations founder Coreen Gottschalk felt when she ordered a glass of pinot grigio at a bar a few years ago. Just one sip and she knew immediately the glass in front of her wasn't the type of wine she had ordered. Gottschalk thought to herself if she knew more about wine -- including how to talk about it -- getting the perfect glass of wine wouldn't be a problem ever again. She asked a few close friends if they would be interested in wine education, too, and Gulp! Club, the area's exclusive food and wine pairing group, was formed.

Gulp! -- which stands for "gathering uvelloids and libation pairings" -- is now in its fifth year since forming in 2007. Uvelloid is a small cluster of ovaloid-shaped spheres, usually resembling a cluster of grapes. The purpose of the club is simple: help others learn about wine so they can enjoy drinking more of it.

Now you can learn everything you ever wanted to know about wine, too -- but without attending a pricey wine pairing dinner, or a boring class at your local Total Wine.


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How to Choose Champagne and Sparkling Wine, With Andrew Lampasone of Wine Watch

Categories: Wine Wine Wine
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Overflowing with options?
Wine is a tough subject. Sparkling wine, even more so. Champagne, Cava, Prosecco, Dry, Sweet, Extra Brut, WTF... the options are endless. The possibility for a hangover: potentially catastrophic.

New Year's is around the corner and whether you like it or not, you and your friends will be celebrating with some sort of sparkling wine. If you are looking to avoid a headache disaster, there are options.

Clean Plate Charlie speaks to Andrew Lampasone of Wine Watch about your guide for buying and enjoying sparkling wine.

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Holiday Wine Buying Guide: AFWC's Shari Gherman Recommends Different Wines for Every Budget

Categories: Wine Wine Wine
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The holidays... ah, the time of year when you are expected to attend at least one party per weekend, and you must bring something -- for your boss, secret santa, your great-aunt Sally, or just a friend of a friend throwing a party. The time of year when you're supposed to pick something out and present it to some random person you barely know. Luckily, there's always wine.

Shari Gherman of the American Fine Wine Competition gives us some recommendations on different wines for different budgets.

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Holiday Wine Buying Tips for the Beginner (Via Master Sommelier Virginia Philip)

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LILA Photo
Virginia Philip knows what's up when it comes to wine.

Clean Plate Charlie isn't above formulating a holiday "wine plan" that consists solely of driving to Naples, pulling up to Trader Joe's, and loading the car with cases of Two Buck Chuck. But in case you want to class it up a bit at your holiday mixers, or when giving vino as a gift, Virginia Philip has a few easy, novice-friendly tips.

As a master sommelier and owner of Virginia Philip Wine Shop & Academy, Philip has made a living of explaining the art of wine consumption to people of all walks of life (and wine tasting experience). Her tips, after the jump.

See Also:
- Virginia Philip Talks Palm Beach Food & Wine Festival and How to Saber a Champagne Bottle Without Hurting Yourself
- Five Holiday Cocktail Recipes to Boost Your Spirit
- Steak 954 Named Wine Spectator's 100 Best Wine Restaurants


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The American Fine Wine Competition: Tickets on Sale Now

Categories: Wine Wine Wine
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Photo Couresy SER Media Group
Think you can tell the difference?
Fun fact: South Florida is second largest wine consumption market in the country. That can mean one of two things; we have a ton of drunks, or a large population of individuals who enjoy the finer things in life. Let's go with the latter.

If you're a wino or just an enthusiast of all things wine, the sixth annual American Fine Wine Competition is back. Many of the events are invite only, but we have the scoop on all of the events, public and private.

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Virginia Philip Talks Palm Beach Food & Wine Festival and How to Saber a Champagne Bottle Without Hurting Yourself

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LILA Photo
Master sommelier Virginia Philip will wield the saber at the Palm Beach Food & Wine Festival grand tasting.

Palm Beach entrepreneur Virginia Philip is an undisputed rockstar in the wine world. It only makes sense that she'd play a part in this weekend's Palm Beach Food and Wine Festival, where she'll lend her skills to three different festival events.

Philip was but the tenth woman in the world to earn the hard-to-come-by title of Master Sommelier. Since then, that number has doubled, but it remains painfully low.

"Ten years ago, it was more of a male dominated world, and you definitely see more women now," Philip said. She said time will tell if those female professionals will be able to "hang in there for the long haul" given that the career's demands and working hours often conflict with raising a family.

See Also:
- New Year's Eve Trick: Saber the Champagne Bottle
- Palm Beach Food & Wine Festival 2012 Starts Friday: What's on the Schedule?
- South Florida's Best Places to Sip Wine


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New Times Pairings: Wines You'll Be Swirling and Sipping on Thursday Night

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Pairings: Killing bottles left and right.

See also: Fifth Annual New Times Pairings: Who's New to the Lineup This Year and Five Reasons You Should Go

On Tuesday, Clean Plate Charlie showed a little love for the craft beer to be offered at Thursday's fifth-annual New Times Pairings. The beer camp makes a very compelling case, but it's not the only cause to consider: Wine, for obvious reasons, is one of the biggest draws for Pairings. So what can oenophiles expect this year?

Andrew Lampasone, proprietor of Fort Lauderdale's Wine Watch (winner of the 2011 New Times Best Wine Shop), is charged with the considerable task of selecting wines for the VIP reception that kicks off at 6 p.m. as well as working with restaurants to develop pairings for the general-admission area.


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Denise Righetti Launches Summer Wine Series in Boca Raton

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Steven DePolo via Flickr CreativeCommons
Lift your glasses to toast 12 weeks of summer wine.
Celebrate the summer Bacchus-style during a 12-week Downtown Summer Wine Series in Boca Raton. From July 17 to October 2, Boca-based foodie event organizer Denise Righetti invites South Florida wine lovers to explore a variety of summer wines from around the globe.

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Steak 954 Will Re-engage the Wine Wars Thursday Night

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Steak 954 is serving a meat-heavy menu -- go figure -- for its wine wars series. 
A bit of healthy competition can be good for a relationship. For those who like engaging in highbrow debate, Steak 954 in Fort Lauderdale will host the second in its series of Wine Wars dinners on Thursday night.

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Steak 954 Named Wine Spectator's 100 Best Wine Restaurants

Categories: Wine Wine Wine
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Steak 954 is the place for wine.
Wine Spectator has come out with their annual listing of the 100 best wine restaurants in the country and Steak 954 has been named of the the top picks.

The Stephen Starr steakhouse at the W Fort Lauderdale hotel joins such notable restaurants as Le Bernadin, The Lambs Club, Per Se, and Minetta Tavern as a top choice for wine enthusiasts.

The only other restaurant in south Florida to make the list was db Bistro Moderne in Miami.

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