Fifth Annual American Fine Wine Competition: This Year's Events

The Fifth Annual American Fine Wine Competition -- a series of vino-centered events spread over a few months -- launched in January with an invite-only reception and the marquee competition to see which of more than 600 wines would walk away with top honors. So while the actual competition portion of the event has passed, there are still a few remaining events that are open to the public.

For instance, on Thursday night, a VIP Connoisseur Reception from 6 to 8 p.m. at Allied Kitchen & Bath, 616 West Oakland Park Blvd. in Fort Lauderdale will give attendees the chance to taste some of the wines included in this year's competition. The judges for the event will be in attendance and "heavy" appetizers will be available to temper the effects of tasting all of that wine. Tickets are $25 per person for Thursday's event. Proceeds benefit the

Dan Marino Foundation Vocational Campus and a silent auction at the

event also will funnel money to the non-profit entity.

Remaining events include a Consumer Challenge and Wine Carnival Fundraiser on Thursday, March 22, at Bogart's of Boca. The event is 7 to 9 p.m. and tickets are $35 with a portion of the money raised going to the Youth Automotive Training Center. There will be wine and food and a competitive element: twelve attendees will participate in a "blind" taste-test of ten wines, with the winner scoring two tickets to the gala dinner.

Speaking of the gala dinner, it's set for Thursday, April 19, at the Boca Raton Resort and Club. At $310 a pop, a spot at the table nets a four-course dinner and tastes of many of the wines featured in the competition. Late Show with David Letterman announcer Alan Kalter will emcee the event and -- Bam! -- celeb-chef Emeril Lagasse will prepare the main course onstage in a live demo. Tickets are available online. 

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