Lyn Farmer is director of the United Way Wine & Food Festival, now in its 18th year. But doesn't the title "imperial imbiber" of the freshly rebranded Veritage Miami sound much better?
"Our new chairman, Richard Fain, wanted to shake things up a little," said Farmer, who is also the food and wine editor for Tropic Magazine. "The rebranding is expected to have an impact on marketing but also give festival attendees and staff alike a sense of renewal."
After 18 years of blazing a trail for other food festivals to scorch the South Florida food scene, UWWF will likely benefit from that renewal. Before we get into what the good folks at United Way have in store, we bet you're wondering what an imbiber is. Is it (A) a Russian spacecraft that makes onlyright turns, (B) the thing doctors use to get the wax out of your ears, or (C) a person who drinks? If you guessed C, get to drinking. Why the unique approach?
"Every festival seems to have 'food and wine' attached to its moniker," continued Farmer, probably clutching a cigar with his feet up on his desk. "Most, however, are put on by a single winery or entity. We are the only ones who open our doors to all, so it was important for us to distinguish ourselves."
Cute titles and bright green business cards aren't the only way festival organizers plan to set Veritage apart. The prices don't limit it to guys who wear cummerbunds and ladies who have a closet full of furs. "There is something for everyone at every price range," says Farmer.
The craft beer tasting kicks off the festivities tonight, Wednesday, and is expected to draw a younger demographic with tickets starting at just $55. For $75, VIP guests gain exclusive entry to Wynwood Walls at 6 p.m. General admission starts at 7 p.m. and includes all 47 varieties on hand. Most of the breweries are of the small, independent kind, but big names like Sam Adams and Heineken will also be on hand.
The fine wine tasting ($75-$150) follows Thursday at Merrick Park in Coral Gables. Booths will be set up featuring wines from a variety of wineries originating from every part of the globe and tasty treats from some of Miami's finest restaurants.
Chef Daniel Boulud and Michelin-rated Chef Davide Brovelli of Italy will be here for sold out exclusive dinners Friday and Saturday.
To buy tickets, get more details or get put on wait lists, visit veritagemiami.com. Be on the lookout for more Short Order coverage.