Sommelier Sven Vogtland of the Ritz-Carlton Fort Lauderdale Beach is not the kind of wine spectator who hordes his knowledge - he's all about enhancing his guests enjoyment of the wine and spirits through education. He can talk for days on the intricacies of rare Highland Scotch, the resurgence of Argentinean Malbec, or just joyfully run you through the history of sabering a bottle of champagne. He's such a wealth of information, in fact, that the Ritz-Carlton isn't content to have him trapped in the cellar; they're putting him right at your table. Each Wednesday the hotel is hosting Wine Dinners with Sven, a four-course wine and food pairing hosted by the sommelier himself. Interested guests will share a quick interview with Vogtland, who will run down any preferences, aversions, or allergies with them before collaborating with the executive culinary team at Cero to create a personalized four-course pairing. Parties of 2 to 10 are welcome, with the setting ranging from Cero's lux dining room to the Wine Room Bar and Cellar (for 6 or more). Almost everything is off-the-menu, created or poured just for the occasion. "I often include wines that aren't on the list, or personal favorites," says Vogtland. "It's also a chance for the chefs to play with new ingredients and really have fun." Throughout the meal, Vogtland will chat up guests on a number of wine subjects, sharing his insight on oaked vs. unoaked Chardonnay or just running down the basics on Champagne and sparkling wine.
The dinners start at 7 p.m. at 1 N. Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd. Reservations can be made for $100 per guest by calling 954-465-2300.
Wednesdays, 7 p.m., 2009