What to know for Wine Weekend St. Pete 2018

Published January 30

Oenophiles, there are still tickets to be had.

Some of the world’s most fabled wines will flow and be auctioned during Wine Weekend St. Pete 2018 on Saturday under the tent on the north lawn of the Museum of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg. This year’s theme is "Be Seduced," reflecting the opulence of the reign of Louis XV of France — a pinnacle of art, architecture and lavish parties.

The annual event is the work of the MFA’s fundraising auxiliary, with Patricia Rossignol returning as chair (she chaired in 2013 and 2015 as well). It starts off Friday evening with a black-tie masked ball for sponsors and VIPs, at which the acclaimed Maison Louis Latour is the guest vintner. This is the first time the winery has been featured at a charity event in the Tampa Bay area. Bernard Retornaz, president of the North American subsidiary, will introduce Grand Cru and Premier Cru burgundies at the Friday night event. (Other sponsor LVMH Moet & Hennessy is donating Dom Perignon for the reception. Not bad.)

Saturday starts with a wine tasting and auction at 2 p.m. on the MFA North Lawn, with once-in-a-lifetime trips and experiences, artistic jewelry and precious objects taking the weekend to a new level. The wine-tasting/auction preview, "Tour de France," is followed by the auction at 4 p.m., emceed by Russell Rhodes, co-anchor of Good Day, Tampa Bay, and overseen by auctioneers Jeffrey Burchard, Tom DuPont and Elizabeth Flower.

The day concludes with a Century of Light Party and dinner at 7:30 p.m., masterminded by chefs Tyson Grant from Parkshore Grill, Jeffrey Hileman of FarmTable Cucina and guest chef Bernard Guillas of the La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club in California. (Louis Latour Grand and Premier Cru wines will be served at that as well.) Individual tickets are $300 and corporate tables are $5,000.

The weekend concludes with "Le Champagne Brunch" on Sunday at 11 a.m. in the MFA’s Marly Room. A variety of champagne, international foods and live music will be featured, and tickets are $100. All proceeds from the weekend benefit The Stuart Society and the MFA. 255 Beach Drive NE, St. Petersburg. wineweekendstpete.org. (727) 619-4631.

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