Agritourism Meets Fun at Forks And Corks Festival

Pouring wine into a glass for tasting

Every year Sarasota, Florida hostsits annual Forks and Corks Food And Wine Festival, featuring wines, vineyards, and wineries from France, New Zealand, Argentina, Italy, California and Washington state, and the city's finest cuisine from Mexican fare to locally sourced farm delights. The  festival features tastings, informative panels, dinner events, and a lavish collection of wine and dining vendors at the beautiful Ringling Museum grounds.

I tasted farm-raised caviar from the local MOTE Marine Laboratory.  Mote Farm-Raised Caviar was well received recently during the Palm Beach Food & Wine Fest During the Fest, celebrity Chef Daniel Boulud, one of the most revered French chefs in New York, had the opportunity to sample Mote Caviar. Boulud is best known for New York’s exquisitely refined DANIEL.

The Ritz-Carlton Sarasota is a beach getaway on the emerald Gulf Coast, known for exemplary service, proximity to shopping and golf, and is home to a restaurant which opened last week, the nautical-themed Jack Dusty. Sarasota, and nearby Charlotte Harbor, were grand getaways.

The region is home to farm raised delights such as strawberries, Sarasota's popular downtown farmer's market, and dining establishments such as Mattison's City Grille, Michael's on East, Nancy's Bar-B-Q, Ophelia's On The Bay in Siesta Key and Placida's Rum Bay.

Whether it's beach time, shopping, fine dining, or star gazing you crave, Sarasota has it all.

About the Author

Bijan C. Bayne is an award-winning Washington-based freelance columnist and critic, and author of Sky Kings: Black Pioneers of Professional Basketball, which was named to the Suggested Reading List of the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2004.   He is also the author of a biography of basketball hero Elgin Baylor.

Bayne also served on the editorial board of Hotel Executive magazine. His travel articles have appeared in AAA HorizonsFamily DigestAtlanta GoodlifeOhio magazine, Arrington’s Inn Traveler, and Hotel Executive.