April 14 – 17 – InterContinental Miami, Miami & Village of Merrick Park, Coral Gables

The 16th annual United Way Miami Wine and Food Festival, Miami’s first and foremost charity wine and food festival, will take place Thursday, April 14 through Sunday, April 17, 2011. Presented by American Express, all proceeds from the festival will benefit United Way of Miami-Dade’s work in the areas of education, income and health.

This annual event brings together food and wine lovers for a now expanded four-day festival featuring notable chefs, sommeliers, prestigious wineries and winemakers, celebrity mixologists, breweries and impressive auction lots. This year, one of the nation’s most prolific apostles of Progressive American cuisine, Chef Dewey LoSasso, executive chef of The Forge Restaurant | Wine Bar will headline the Interactive Dinner on Friday, April 15.

Festivities begin on Thursday, April 14, with the Taste & Toast – Fine Wine Tasting presented by Miccosukee Resort & Gaming, featuring dozens of international wineries and 30 of South Florida-s top restaurants and caterers, including: Acqua at Four Seasons Hotel, AltaMare, Meat Market, Ortanique on the Mile, Season’s 52, Timo Restaurant and Two Chefs among many others. The VIP tasting begins at 6 pm, general admission begins at 7 pm; tickets are $150 per VIP admission; $75 per general admission. Following the tasting, guests can enjoy the Glenfiddich “Music to Drink Whiskey By” afterparty featuring whiskey ambassador and scotch specialist Heather Greene and DJ Adam Williams. Taste & Toast takes place at Village of Merrick Park, 358 San Lorenzo Avenue, Coral Gables.

Friday, April 15, the Food, Friends & Fun – Interactive Dinner, presented by Bacardi USA, belongs to celebrity Chef Dewey LoSasso of The Forge Restaurant | Wine Bar. This interactive experience is the ultimate good time for foodies, where tables will team up to cook their own three-course meal under Chef LoSasso’s tutelage. The evening begins at 6:30 pm with a Bacardi cocktail reception, and Bacardi master mixologist, Gary Hayward, will teach guests a few tricks of the trade during dinner, which begins at 7:30 pm. Tickets are $300 per person and $2,400 per table of eight. Food, Friends & Fun takes place at the InterContinental Miami, 100 Chopin Plaza, Miami.

On Saturday, April 16, the Cellar-bration – Good Food and Award-winning Wines, presented by Cypress Hill Financial, features award-winning wines from the first annual Best in Glass Wine Challenge and a multi-course dinner, exclusive auction lots, and live entertainment and dancing by quintessential American jazz vocalist, Kevin Mahogany. A champagne cocktail reception and silent auction begin at 6:30 pm; dinner begins at 7:30 pm. Tickets are $300 per person and $3,000 per table of 10. Cellar-bration also takes place at the InterContinental Miami, 100 Chopin Plaza, Miami.

The festival culminates on Sunday, April 17, with Brews & Bites – Craft Beer Tasting, presented by CBIZ, featuring bites from area restaurants, live entertainment, craft beers and mirco-brews from around the world including: Narraganssett Brewing, Blue Point Brewing, Shipyard/Sea Dog Brewing, Abita Brewing Company, The Boston Beer Company, Brooklyn Brewery, Sierra Nevada, Stone Brewing and many more. The VIP tasting begins at 1 pm, general admission begins at 2 pm; tickets are $75 per VIP admission and $55 per general admission. Admission to the event includes a commemorative tasting cup. Brews & Bites takes place at Mary Brickell Village, 901 South Miami Avenue, Miami.

American Express is the presenting sponsor of the 16th annual United Way Miami Wine and Food Festival. Other sponsors include: American Airlines at the Vintner level; Bacardi USA, CBIZ, Cypress Hill Financial, Miccosukee Resort & Gaming and Selected Brands at the Sommeliers level; Baptist Health South Florida at the Connoisseur level; Baltic Linen Company, Inc.; Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida; Carnival Cruise Lines; Celebrity Cruises; 97.3 The Coast and Easy 93.1, Cox Media Group Miami; Downtown Coral Gables & Miracle Mile; Ernst & Young; Florida Power & Light; Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau; Inktel Direct; In the Gables Magazine; MCM Corporation; Miami New Times; Nestle Waters, North America; Ryder Charitable Foundation; Steiner Transocean Ltd.; William Grant & Sons; Yelp; World Fuel Services; and Zuni Transportation at the Cooper level. The Miami Herald/el Nuevo Herald and Comcast are the official media sponsors of the festival.