Gourmet and specialty markets, wine stores and even Italian restaurants are great places to visit for free wine tastings and gourmet cooking demos which are always followed by samplings of what’s been prepared.
Here, we’ve comprised a list of places to seek out where you’ll find just that:
The Fresh Market
More than just a gourmet grocery store, The Fresh Market is also the host spot for chef-led cooking demos, usually several times a month. While you’re walking through the produce aisle foraging the bounty of cheeses and freshly made hot foods at the deli, you can plan to watch one of their many cooking demos. They’re known for making chili, salsa, jams and a variety of other foods. They also host wine tastings/samplings regularly at most of their Miami stores.
Whole Foods Market
Whole Foods Markets have popped up quite a bit around Miami and just their soup, salad and entrée bar at every store is enviable. The selection is superb filled with a variety of international type foods from Indian-inspired to Latin and Asian. The Downtown Miami location hosts weekly Wine Down Wednesdays where they pour seasonal selections with cheese pairings and on some Wednesdays they’ll host a Meet the Local Beer Expert. Times vary; In Pinecrest, it’s Happy Hour every Friday with beer and wine samplings from 5-7 p.m.
Total Wine & Spirits
The selection at Total Wine & Spirits is mind-boggling and the competitive prices make it a one-stop shop for both wine and spirits. The staff is always willing and eager to help make suggestions and help you navigate the huge store. On weekends, they host wine tastings and spirited cocktail tastings. Depending on the holiday, the store will host themed events including cordial tastings around Christmas and New Year’s as well as sampling events with sparkling wines and champagne.
Laurenzo’s Italian Market
Laurenzo’s has been a fixture in North Miami Beach for decades and still hosts a free weekly wine tasting on Saturday afternoons. Saunter up to the bar between 1 and 4 p.m. and they’ll have several bottles for sampling, both red and white. Chances are you can also grab a few samples at the deli of their cheese that’s on special that day and perhaps their delectable garlic spread.
Macy’s Department Store is more than just a place to buy clothes, accessories, housewares and furniture. It’s also a great place to meet and learn from local chefs who have made their name in Miami’s restaurant scene. They will regularly host demonstrations and cook up delectable samplings from their repertoire. Held in the store’s housewares department, the demos take place sometimes two, even three times a month mainly at Aventura, The Falls and Dadeland Mall locations.