Wine on Las Olas

The 18th annual Las Olas Wine and Food Festival street fair will feature more than 45 wine and beer vendors on Friday, April 19. (Las Olas Wine and Food/Courtesy)

Before next Friday's open-air tasting along Las Olas Boulevard, the namesake wine and food festival kicks off this Sunday, April 14, with a preview at the Las Olas Wine Cafe, and more events will follow through the week.

From noon to 10 p.m. Sunday, guests can purchase $20 cards from the Cafe, which will serve wines from the street festival's selection. Bottles of the wines sampled will be available for purchase, and live music will play from 2 to 6 p.m.

The Cheese Culture joins the festival from 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, when the lactose bar will pair cheese and wines from the Crimson Wine Group. The event site lists seven wine choices. I recommend the Pine Ridge chenin blanc, especially for sauvignon blanc drinkers. Tickets cost $50, and there are only 30 spots.

For a heartier pairing, head to the Riverside Hotel's Preston's Wine and Martini Bar from 6 to 9 p.m. Wednesday. The five-course tapas menu will be complemented by various wines and a Shellback rum cocktail. Dinner seats cost $50 and there are 35 spots.

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On Thursday, the Tuscan Grill will bring out the big guns: Guests can pay $65 to dance out on the patio and drink unlimited wine, or $85 for a full open bar. The music starts at 7 p.m.

The street festival, between SE 11th and Sixth avenues, starts at 7:30 p.m. the next day, with food from roughly 70 local restaurants and more than 45 tables serving wines and microbrews.

The $100 tickets grant you access to the Naked Grape's entire line of wines up for sample; the Bombay Sapphire Lounge, offering gin cocktails; and the Shellback Caribbean Rum Hut, featuring a photo booth and the new rum's cocktails.

Although the street fair ends at 10 p.m., Vibe will host an after-party starting at that time. Dress code is strictly enforced, but all ticketholders are welcome.

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