KEY WEST, Florida Keys — A subtropical setting and a celebration of cuisine and libations await attendees Wednesday through Sunday, Jan. 25-29, when the Key West Food & Wine Festival is staged in the continental United States’ southernmost island city.
The edible extravaganza spotlights Key West’s multicultural cuisine, talented chefs and culinary creativity through gourmet galas and tastings, classes, parties and only in–Key-West experiences.
Winner of multiple designations as one of the United States’ leading wine and cuisine events, the festival celebrates Argentine flavors and vintages throughout its 2023 schedule.
Attendees can discover the World Cup–winning country’s vibrant spirit at the “Carnival de Buenos Aires” held Wednesday, Jan. 25. The fun begins at 4 p.m. with a welcome reception and preview of upcoming events for VIP ticketholders at Ocean Sotheby’s International Realty, 1075 Duval St., Suite 15 C.
Following a gaucho parade, the evening’s “main course” is slated for 5-7 p.m. with roasted meats, malbec and traditional Argentine music at VIVA Argentinian Steakhouse, 903 Duval St. In accordance with the carnival theme, guests are encouraged to wear their most colorful costumes.
The festival’s scheduled highlight is the SLaM grand tasting, planned for 5-7 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 28, at the historic Key West Lighthouse and Keeper’s Quarters, 938 Whitehead St. In the shadow of the 1848 lighthouse, guests can sample vintages from every wine region in Argentina including San Juan, La Rioja and Mendoza. All are complemented by a stellar menu of Latin-infused specialties.
Among other standout events are two sessions of “The Argentine Experience,” a luncheon class in making and savoring traditional Argentine empanadas; Che Guevara’s Wine Dinner featuring exquisite cuisine paired with expertly curated Piattelli Vineyards vintages; a traditional “asado” barbecue honoring the country’s famed chef Francis Mallmann; and the Last Tango in Cayo Hueso Brunch with dishes including Argentine churrasco (grilled meat) with chimichurri sauce, entertainment by tango dancers, the Yerba Mate Ritual Bar and instruction in making the tea-like South American beverage.
Festival information, prices and ticketing: keywestfoodandwinefestival.
Key West visitor information: fla-keys.com/keywest or 1-800-LAST-KEY