I am very happy to tell you about a great change coming for fans of VeritageMiami.
Every wine lover is familiar with change – it’s one of the things many of us like most about wine. The alchemy that permits a winemaker to shepherd sweet and simply flavored grape juice into a dry, complex beverage; the way that beverage evolves over time in the bottle, developing nuances that hint at the animal, vegetable and mineral influences on the roots from which it sprang; the way the wine shimmers in the glass and its aroma evolves as it has its first contact with oxygen since the cork or screw cap was sealed in place. I love the way French winemakers speak of their work because they treat it more as stewardship than craft and refer to the process as elevage, literally, raising the wine as one would a child.
I note this by way of saying that VeritageMiami is evolving as well. Much has changed over the last 21 years, during which time VeritageMiami has had several names, including the Biltmore Wine Festival and the Miami Wine and Food Festival. When the event began, it was pretty much the only wine festival in South Florida, and so the early names spoke to our uniqueness. Today, there are many wine festivals through the region – many charities and other groups have discovered just how popular wine has become and so jumped on the festival bandwagon. What made us unique many years ago makes us one of a crowd, no matter how well we do what we do. A few years ago we dropped the wine festival name and became “Veritage,” vaguely reminiscent (mainly to geeks, I admit) of vendage (a word for harvest in several languages) and veraison, the technical term for the point at which grapes begin to ripen and change color from green to yellow, golden, red or purple. Now, we have another change in store and you are likely hearing it here first!
From our earliest days, VeritageMiami was a spring event. It marked the end of the snowbird season in South Florida and the beginning of the growing season in the vineyards of the Northern Hemisphere. In 2016, we are moving to the much more (to my mind) the autumn when we can (appropriately to my mind) celebrate the harvest, the fulfillment of a grape’s potential and, I hope, the fulfillment of the potential of VeritageMiami as well.
Look forward to having all your favorite VeritageMiami events in October, 2016 including the craft beer and restaurant showcase at Wynwood Walls on October 5, the always dazzling wine tasting at Merrick Park on October 6, the hugely popular interactive dinner on October 7 (I can’t say yet, but if our plans come to fruition we will have a stunning opportunity to cook alongside a culinary superstar) and then another small change: in place of the finale at a Saturday dinner, we’re going to close out Veritage 2016 with an over-the-top Sunday brunch on October 9.
We are repositioning the Best in Glass Wine Challenge as well, with the judging moving from January to May and the “Best in Glass Month” celebration at area restaurants taking place in August and September to give us a great run up to all the VeritageMiami evening events in October.
I hasten to add we are not abandoning Springtime for public events either. We are planning another interactive dinner for mid-March, when we will have a chance to celebrate another group of South Florida’s top chefs by letting them teach us how to cook. I love the interactive dinner concept where every table of eight people has its own cooktop and we cook along with a chef on stage. The past two years, we have highlighted outstanding local chefs and the results have been rewarding on many levels, so we’ll partner with Indulge Magazine again for what promises to be a knockout evening of food and wine on March 11 (are you noting these dates on your calendar? Go ahead – let the anticipation build!)
I look forward to sharing many tasting notes with you on the VeritageMiami blog, along with news of local wine events and ways in which you can be more involved with VeritageMiami and United Way of Miami-Dade. All of us on the Veritage team are very excited about the changes coming our way – we believe the change let us, as well as you, focus on having great events with wine, as we mature together – wine, wine festival and wine lover. It’s going to be a great vintage in 2016 as we bring you more wine, more fun and more opportunities to share in our community spirit. Stay tuned, and I’ll keep you up to date, right here at www.veritagemiami.com/blog