By Kathy Collins

The Tampa Theatre presents its 14th Annual Wine Fest this September. This year’s theme is “Napoleon Wineamite.” This is the Tampa Theatre’s biggest fundraiser event of the year with proceeds benefitting the historic movie palace’s artistic and educational programs as well as its ongoing preservation and restoration.

Wine Fest kicks off on Thursday, September 10 with a special “Movie Under the Stars” showing of the campy 2004 classic Napoleon Dynamite.

On Friday, September 11, a two-tiered Wine Tasting invites guests to “Eat the FOOD” from several of Tampa’s independent restaurants. Guests will have the opportunity to sample dozens of boutique wines and bid on premium silent auction items, while local eateries serve up their favorite fare. Those confirmed so far include Anise Global Gastrobar, Ava, Bavaro’s, Busch Gardens, Catrina’s Cocina y Galeria, Cru Cellars, Ella’s Folk Art Café and Pane Rustica.

The Premium Tasting is from 7-8 p.m. and features exclusive wines for a limited audience. Tickets are $85 in advance and include admission to the Grand Tasting. The Grand Tasting is from 8-10 p.m. and tickets are $50 in advance.

On Saturday, September 12, the Theatre’s historic stage will be expanded to seat 200 for the exclusive Wine Pairing beginning at 6:30 p.m. The multi-course menu, catered by Mise En Place chef Marty Blitz, will feature small plates expertly paired with wines. Seating is limited, and tickets are $250 per person.

A Wine Brunch will be held on Sunday, September 13 at 11:30 a.m. The Wine Brunch mixes breakfast fare catered by SONO Café and Mise en Place with mimosas, bellinis and a selection of light wines. Tickets are $40 per person. Wine Fest wraps up on Thursday, September 17 with the opportunity for wine enthusiasts to enjoy a 95 point plus Wine Tasting. Tickets are $250 per person. Jill Witecki of the Tampa Theatre said, “Patrons are encouraged to dress as their favorite character or come in a Dynamite-inspired costume.” The Tampa Theatre is located at 711 N. Franklin St. in downtown Tampa. For more information and to get tickets to Wine Fest, call 274-8981 or visit

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