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Culinary and how-to events at Florida Keys Food and Wine Festival Jan. 9-18

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Culinary and "how-to" cooking events pair the flavorful tastes of two Upper Keys areas during Uncorked: the Key Largo and Islamorada Food and Wine Festival, set for Thursday, Jan. 9, through Saturday, Jan. 18.

The 10-day food, wine and spirits celebration features 30-plus savory events to please virtually every palate and budget, spread among several Upper Keys venues with fresh, locally sourced seafood and international-style dishes.

Festival kickoff events on Thursday, Jan. 9, include complimentary happy hour wine tastings with a portfolio of vintages and hors d'oeuvres as well as a return of the popular Lobsterfest, featuring every-which-way lobster paired with wines at Key Largo Fisheries.

Back by popular demand are a reprise of the Keys' version of the popular television cooking show "Chopped," a Beer and Bites craft beer event and a unique dining experience with the "Sauce Boss" Bill Wharton, who offers up a unique blend of Cajun music as he prepares his trademark gumbo.

New events for 2014 festival attendees include a lavish Bubbles on the Beach salute to champagne as well as themed cooking classes and gourmet chocolate-crafting classes for kids.

The signature Grand Tasting Finale event is planned for 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 18, at Islamorada's Postcard Inn Beach Resort & Marina at Holiday Isle, mile marker 84. Attendees can watch as local chefs from numerous area restaurants prepare signature dishes to sample, complemented by a grand selection of wines. Live music, cooking and mixology demonstrations and cocktail tastings round out the afternoon beside the Atlantic Ocean.

For a complete list of events, venues and ticket prices, visit www.floridakeysuncorked.com.

Event information: www.floridakeysuncorked.com
Key Largo visitor information: www.fla-keys.com/keylargo or 800-822-1088
Social: facebook.com/floridakeysandkeywest · twitter.com/thefloridakeys · youtube.com/FloridaKeysTV

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