My 10 Favorite Flavors from 2016 Clearwater Beach Uncorked

Chef Joseph Dipaolo with Duncan Hines Gives a Sweet Treat Cooking Demo during Clearwater Beach Uncorked, Feb. 6, 2016.

Chef Joseph Dipaolo with Duncan Hines Gives a Sweet Treat Cooking Demo during Clearwater Beach Uncorked, Feb. 6, 2016.

Food and wine festivals are a delicious way to find a new flavor for your palate and tummy. Saturday I ventured to Clearwater Beach Uncorked (Feb. 6 & 7, 2016), the hippest food and wine festival on the beach. I’ll admit, Mother Nature blew in rain and a chill (it was in the 50s!) but the big, white tents provided a lovely shelter from the elements. Plus, the body heat from other foodies jammed under the tents ensured hypothermia didn’t set in.

There were many delicious flavors to sample and here are my 10 favorite flavors from opens in a new window2016 Clearwater Beach Uncorked:

opens in a new windowCooper’s Hawk Rhubarb wine reminds me of summers growing up in Western New York. #cbuncorked

A photo posted by Jennifer Huber (@jenniferhuber) on

Cooper’s Hawk: Rhubarb Wine
Rhubarb defined summer when I was a kid growing up in Western New York and I love anything rhubarb. When I saw opens in a new windowCooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants was serving Rhubarb Wine, I had to sample it. It was like drinking a summer of my childhood. It was refreshingly light was a light taste of rhubarb pie.

Duncan Hines: Strawberry Cheesecake Cake Truffles
I’m not a big dessert person but these little gems by Duncan Hines were divine! It was a flavorful bite of strawberry with a slightly chewy texture. Made from the new Duncan Hines Strawberry Cheesecake Cupcake mix, it’s prepared into a dough with the cream cheese frosting (which is included in the box), and rolled in shredded coconut. I was so impressed with them that I’ll be making them for the Big Game. Here’s the opens in a new windowrecipe for Strawberry Cheesecake Cake Truffles.

Eat Well, Embrace Life: Zesty Sriracha Carrot Hummus

Eat Well, Embrace Life: Zesty Sriracha Carrot Hummus

Eat Well, Embrace Life: Zesty Sriracha Carrot Hummus
I’m a fan of hummus and could eat it daily. opens in a new windowEat Well, Embrace Life makes some tasty, other-bean hummus such as Beet, Wasabi Edamame, and Cucumber but my fave during the event was Zesty Sriracha Carrot Hummus because it has a nice kick.

Island Flavors and Tings, a Jamaican Restaurant, Caterer and Grocer: Slider
Mmm, mmm.  I waited in a lengthy line for this, unsure what I was in line for but well worth the wait. I was served a delicious beef slider topped with crunchy, slightly sweet coleslaw and a spicy sauce on a soft bun from opens in a new windowIsland Flavors and Tings. I may need to head to Gulfport, Fla., for lunch someday soon to have another one of these delicious treats.

Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale: Honey Barrel Brown Ale
Beer had a nice presence and I had a chance to taste a few brews. My top pick from Clearwater Beach Uncorked is the Honey Barrel Brown Ale by opens in a new windowKentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale. It’s the beer of Bourbon Country and the Honey Barrel Brown Ale is brewed with honey and ginger and aged in a bourbon barrel.

2016 Clearwater Beach Uncorked, Fla., Feb. 6 & 7, 2016

2016 Clearwater Beach Uncorked, Fla., Feb. 6 & 7, 2016

mü: Slide
“I’ll be at the mü booth,” the opens in a new windowretro-rad celebrity chef Emily Ellyn said to me earlier in the day.

“Moo?” I thought, thinking it was somehow connected with the Dairy Council.

opens in a new windowis a creamy, coffeehouse-inspired cocktail with a wine base. Flavors include Creamy Chocolate Chai, Creamy Espresso Macchiato and Creamy Coco Cappuccino. The mü booth was serving up a variety of treats including shots of frozen, creamy mud slides.

Shrimp and Grits from Shephard’s Ocean Flame Interactive Buffet.

Shrimp and Grits from Shephard’s Ocean Flame Interactive Buffet.

 

Shephard’s Ocean Flame Interactive Buffet: Shrimp and Grits
Really, do I need to explain how wonderful shrimp and grits can be? S opens in a new windowhephard’s was a winner with this cup of goodness, officially labeled a Cajun sauté of shrimp with Tasso ham and Creole spices over Southern-style three cheese grits.

Silver Spring: (Virgin) Bloody Mary with Prepared Horseradish.

Silver Spring: (Virgin) Bloody Mary with Prepared Horseradish.

Silver Spring: (Virgin) Bloody Mary with Prepared Horseradish
What’s the best way to let foodies taste horseradish? Well, you’re not going to hand out spoonfuls of it so the (virgin) Bloody Mary with opens in a new windowSilver Spring Prepared Horseradish was perfect. I like heat and appreciate pulp and this horseradish is the real deal with a powerful giddy up and go.

Social Enjoyments: Toasted Coconut Almond Sake Wine.

Social Enjoyments: Toasted Coconut Almond Sake Wine.

Social Enjoyments: Toasted Coconut Almond Sake Wine
U.S.-made sake? Yup, it’s becoming more common, but opens in a new windowToasted Coconut Almond Sake Wine by Social Enjoyments doesn’t taste like traditional sake, I found it more refreshing without an aftertaste. This sake is made with organic brown rice; each 10oz can is 88 calories; it’s certified organic, gluten, sulfite and GMO-free; contains 1g of sugar and 4g of cards; and 1 percent of sales given to charity.

Tom + Chee: Grilled Cheese
Y’all, I stood in line and let people invade my personal space for a grilled cheese sandwich about the size of my big toe, but it was pretty dang tasty. opens in a new windowTom + Chee are experts when it comes to perfecting grilled cheese. The bread’s grilled crust was buttery and crunchy yet soft inside. The cheese was warm, creamy, gooey and perfect for the day.

Did you attend Clearwater Beach Uncorked? What was your favorite flavor?

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Author: Jenn

Jennifer A. Huber is an award-winning travel and outdoor blogger and writer in Southwest Florida. Originally from Buffalo, N.Y., a hiking trail led her to a career path in the tourism industry for more than 30 years. She spent a decade with a park management company in Yellowstone, Death Valley, and Everglades National Parks. She founded the travel blog, SoloTravelGirl.com with the goal of inspiring others to travel alone, not lonely. The unexpected death of her former husband in 2008 reminded her how short life is. His passing was a catalyst for sharing her experiences with the goal of inspiring and empowering others to travel solo. Jennifer holds a Travel Marketing Professional certification from the Southeast Tourism Society, is a certified food judge, member of the NASA Social community, and alum of the FBI Citizens Academy. When not traveling, she is either in the kitchen, practicing her photography skills, or road tripping with her dog, Radcliff.

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