The Ocean Alexander 36L at MarineMax.

Four spectacularly over-the-top gift ideas

Choose from a yacht, a mobile winery, the entire floor of a luxury hotel, and a portrait like no other.

Meat Market Tampa sommelier Pablo Salinas with wines from the 100-Points Selection. All photos by Tracey Serebin.

Meat Market Tampa launches its exclusive 100-Points Wine Selection

When I dined recently at the Meat Market in Tampa’s Hyde Park Village, sommelier Pablo Salinas was a trusty guide, offering two very interesting red wines to try with my meal — a 2016 Golden Eye Pinot Noir with my appetizer of jumbo shrimp and Dragon’s Tooth from Trefethen with my NY strip. I knew […]

Wine room as private getaway. All photos courtesy Cave A' Vin.

Home Design 2020: Reinventing the wine cellar

According to a recent article in Forbes, wine cellars are becoming more and more integrated into the home —often as showpiece rooms that can double as living and entertaining spaces. Is this trend taking hold in Tampa Bay? According to Paul Wiezorek, co-owner of Cave a’ Vin, the answer is yes. A licensed contractor and custom home builder, Wiezorek says that […]

Olivia sommelier Tyler Wolff. Photos by Tracey Serebin.

A trans-Atlantic wine experience at Olivia

Chef Chris Ponte’s Olivia Restaurant in South Tampa has extraordinary food, which is no surprise considering his culinary pedigree. But it turns out that the wine list is equally interesting. Olivia’s list is a two-sided affair —one side for Italian wines, the other for American. Each is broken down into sparkling, whites and reds. The […]

Photo by David Warner

Q is for Quarantinis: A toast to the purveyors of life-saving libations

For the last several weeks, we’ve been teasing the content of this year’s A to Z Issue, a celebration of people and businesses who have been successfully riding the turbulent waves of change and offering service and hope to the community at large. The print edition is now arriving in local mailboxes, but if you can’t wait for […]

Ready to serve at Whiskey Cake.

Stronger Than Before: These restaurants and bars are re-opening with success

When restaurants first re-opened this spring, it was odd to see their bars devoid of barstools — or of people, since restrictions didn’t yet allow bar seating. But that changed earlier this month when Governor DeSantis gave the go-ahead for bars to open, making bar owners and patrons very happy. On the first Friday night of […]

tampa bay liquor covid19
SAFETY FIRST: A shielded cashier's counter at ABC Fine Wine & Spirits.

The ABC's of Selling Liquor During a Pandemic

It’s not just restaurants that are having to find new ways of serving the public during the current crisis. Wine purveyors and liquor stores are facing challenges, too. But there’s this big difference: Where many restaurants are struggling to stay afloat, wine and liquor stores are seeing a big uptick in business.  With 125 stores […]

An aerial view of the resort.

Wine Country Within Reach: Georgia's Château Élan

A weekend in wine country — sounds idyllic, right? But we’re not talking about California or France. There’s an oenophile’s paradise in Georgia that’s just a 90-minute direct flight from Tampa, no change in time zones required. Welcome to Château Élan Winery & Resort, a multi-dimensional property about an hour northeast of Atlanta’s airport. There’s a full-service 276-room […]

Postcard from Paris: Dining in high style at Le Grand Vefour

Dining at a Michelin-starred restaurant is like going from zero to luxury in 2.8 seconds. You may not be pulling 2Gs, but surely the thrill that NASCAR racers feel when they see the green flag and put pedal to the metal can’t be more exhilarating. My recent lunch at Paris’s Le Grand Vefour, which predates the French Revolution, is a […]

A dining table that converts to a pool table from Elite Home Gamerooms.

Over the Top: Gifts for those who care to spend the very best

Sometimes a gift needs to make a statement. A statement like: “Money is no object.” Or: “I know this is ridiculously extravagant, my love, but you’re worth it.” Or: “You can never spend too much on wine.” If any of the above sound like something you’d say, you may be interested in the following. Classic […]