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

The Saiuce Boss and Lobsterfest are at Key Largo and Islamorada Food and Wine Festival this month.
The Saiuce Boss and Lobsterfest are at Key Largo and Islamorada Food and Wine Festival this month.
Jill Zima Borski

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