Clearwater Beach Uncorked to feature local food, wine with laid-back luxury

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Clearwater Beach will provide the some of the area’s finest cuisine this weekend, in what organizers bill the “hippest” pre-Valentine’s Day foodie events in the Tampa Bay area.

The Third Annual Clearwater Beach Uncorked food and wine festival is from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, February 8 through Sunday Feb. 9 beach-side in front of the Hyatt Regency Clearwater Beach Resort and Spa.

South Gulfview Boulevard will convert into two luxury venues — Uncorked Spirits Beach Bar and the Grand Tasting Village — where attendees will meet and mingle with wine specialists, vintners and brew masters as well as some of Florida’s best and most talented chefs.

The Grand Tasting Village highlights samplings from local restaurants, paired with wine from over 100 wineries, micro-brews and craft beers.

Tastemakers can satisfy their palates at the Uncorked Spirits Beach Club for a breathtaking view of the Gulf of Mexico while sampling exceptional spirits.

Another festive presentation will offer both Decadent Desserts and Bubbles on the Beach to get visitors eager for a romantic — and decadent — Valentine’s Day.

Uncorked is as much a social media event as it is food and wine, and can be followed in all major platforms: 

  • #CBUCheers
  • Facebook – @ClearwaterBeachUncorked
  • Twitter – @CLBeachUncorked
  • Instagram – @CLBeachUncorked

Visit St. Petersburg Clearwater, with support from BP Petroleum through the Deepwater Horizon Settlement, provided the financial backing for Uncorked as a way to promote efforts to rebuild tourism at Gulf beaches, hoping to attract foodies, wine connoisseurs, beach lovers and travelers to experience the laid-back extravagance unique to Clearwater Beach.

This year the sponsors of Uncorked include Bright House Networks, Hyatt Regency Clearwater Beach Resort & Spa, Publix, the City of Clearwater, Visit St. Pete Clearwater, Gulf Seafood, Clearwater Beach Chamber, Clearwater Regional Chamber, and the Tampa Bay Beaches Chamber.

Clearwater Beach Uncorked general admission tickets are $85, with a VIP experience available on Saturday for $125 per person. VIP access provides exclusive restaurant exhibitions and reserve wines, single-malt whiskeys and rare scotches.

Guests with an upgraded ticket to will receive a swag bag with the latest in food, fashion and beauty.

Part of the proceeds from ticket sales will go to the University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee College of Hospitality and Technology Leadership to develop educational programs, scholarships, research grants and campus infrastructure.

Clearwater Beach Uncorked also collaborates with the USFSM College of Hospitality and Technology Leadership, using Uncorked as part of the fall curriculum. Students will compete to develop unique marketing initiatives; winning ideas will be incorporated into this year’s event.

Tickets are on sale at www.clearwaterbeachuncorked.com.

Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding HRNewsDaily.com. His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for Patch.com, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at phil@floridapolitics.com and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.