by Michelle Dempsey
There are those of us who are still relishing in the delight of having attended one of the most delicious and vibrant food and wine festivals of 2016, and those of us are left wishing we bought our tickets fast enough.
If you’re the latter, pay attention.
“It’s like the world’s greatest cocktail hour, but better,” we overheard one guest say. And that is exactly how to describe what went down on the evening of December 14th. Set in an oversized, seaside banquet hall, the fourth annual WIZO Kosher Food and Wine Festival disrupted the gastronomy world, complete with a wine selection that would bring Napa Valley to its knees. At Hallandale Beach’s renowned Diplomat Hotel and Beach Resort, WIZO Florida did what they do best as they brought together hundreds of hungry attendees for the 2016 edition of the sold-out event. Guests strolled through the lavish room in awe, clutching a wine glass and tray – ready to feast and imbibe. Tens of south Florida’s most renowned kosher food restaurants showed up to delight, presenting culinary options that wowed even the pickiest of foodies. Down the very center of the room was the evening’s star standout – a display of wine from over 30 kosher wineries, and the sommeliers who were eager to pour. Set to the creative and energy-fueled beats of DJ Kaisa Kerwin, owner and founder of The Fit Shop, hundreds of revelers stayed energized by the vibrating energy and plush ambiance.
In a few words, the 2016 Kosher Food and Wine Festival was decadence meets elegance, and all for a good cause. All proceeds of the sold out event will benefit WIZO, helping improve the lives of more than 250,000 children and youth in the state of Israel. Maybe that was the reason for the smile on everyone’s faces as they reconnected with old friends, shared laughs with new ones, and refilled their wine glasses to wash down the deliciousness that surrounded them. Whatever it was, we already can’t wait for next year, and we highly suggest you buy your tickets in advance – as this event is sure to sell out again. “I’ll need to buy a bigger dress for next year,” a woman joked with me as she went for seconds (or maybe thirds) at one of the evening’s many kosher sushi displays. And as we’re sitting here thinking of all we indulged in last night, we think she makes a very valid point.