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You'll dig deeper for 2009's South Beach Winefest

Ray_3   

  It'll cost you $200 to eat ground beef with Rachael Ray at the Burger Bash during the 2009 South Beach Wine & Food Festival, Feb. 19-22. That's up from $150 last year. And the sip of the evening isn't even wine -- it's Amstel Light.
  It gets worse.
   The Grand Tasting, which in 2008 went from $137.50 to $187.50, in 2009 goes to $212.50. And Sobefest host Lee Brian Schrager expects to sell it out again. The Perrier Jouët Bubble Q goes from $300 to $350. So does the Best of the Best tasting of top wines.
  "I don't know if even I would be spending that kind of money right now," says
Schrager. "But we feel our audience will pay it. It's good value for the money."
  In a week of presales to prime American Express and Delta customers, ticket purchases were up 90 percent.
   "The only thing I can figure is that people who usually fly to Europe or the Caribbean are staying closer, coming here this year."
  The Saturday night Tribute Dinner, at $550, will honor chef Emeril Lagasse. And there will be four more dinners that night to assuage wine fans who, last year, couldn’t get into the dinner honoring Robert and Peter Mondavi. The new dinners will include one by Mouton-Rothschild at the Wolfsonian Museum, hosted by the Baroness Philippine Rothschild. It’s $66.
   Tix go on sale today. See www.sobewineandfoodfest.com.  877-762-3933.

   

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