Soca/Reggae Wine and Food Festival: Caribbean Vintners

Soca/Reggae Wine and Food Festival

[LAUDERHILL] – The initial South Florida staging of the Soca Wine and Food Festival took place on Saturday, May 14 inside of popular South Florida Caribbean Restaurant, (Entertainment Spot) Lallo’s in Lauderhill, Florida.  The event was originally planned for the summer of 2020, however like many events of the past 24 months, its staging was upset by the recent pandemic.

Soca Wine and Food Festival is the brainchild of 2 D.C. based Trinidadians, Otis and Nigel.  The two wanted to put a different spin on Caribbean entertainment from the traditional fete (party) to an environment that lends itself to more social interaction, a speakeasy if you will.

The wine tasting event is an atmosphere that is relatively unique from the typical Car

ibbean entertainment sphere. The focus on interaction is a main tenet of the kind of environment the organizers wish to create, consummate with “Genuine Welcoming Caribbean Hospitality”.  According to Otis, “We are Limers before Feters”.

Soca/Reggae Food and Wine Festival Debut

The debut of what is now known as the Soca/Reggae Food and Wine Festival was in the Washington D.C. metropolitan Maryland area in 2017, at an event called Afro Soca Wine Fest.  At that time, the wines being utilized were wines of other origins. Primarily products of the traditional winemaking process (the pressing of grapes, etc.).  Although the pair was pleased with the turnouts and subsequent responses they received at those initial events, they decided to fully immerse themselves in the wine arena.  They subsequently enrolled in winemaking classes, and are now vintners (professional winemakers).

Their knowledge as professional winemakers, has been buttressed with the inspirations of “back home”.  In the Caribbean, it is very common for wines to be made from a variety of fruits and other foods.  June plum, sorrel, and rice wines (just to name a few) are quite common across the Caribbean.

Soca wine

Soca Wine Flavors

Presently, Soca Wine has 16 flavors of wine, 6 rum punches, and 3 rum creams.  The wines run the gamut of wines from Sangria, Chardonnay, Merlot, to Moscato.  The Soca Wine Sangria, is a grape wine infused with sorrel during fermentation.  Needless to say, sorrel is very popular across the Caribbean Diaspora. Both for its taste, and also for its curative properties.

Two other popular wines are the Soca Wine Mango Wine, and The DMV White.  The DMV white, a Moscato, derives its nominal influence from the surrounding areas of D.C., Maryland, and Virginia.

The guava rum punch sets itself apart from the traditional flavored rum punch, primarily because most of us are not used to drinking Guava every day.

The partnership no longer consists of two persons. It has expanded to include several others, both of Caribbean and American heritage.  Philadelphia, Atlanta, and New York are amongst the other cities where festivals have been held.  The attendance is ever growing, especially as people are longing for a “return to normalcy” prior to the pandemic.

In addition to “festivals”, The Soca Wine Team specializes in event production, brand building, marketing, and wine production.  Events range from private to corporate.  Entertainment at the last event was provided by a DJ, and a quartet of dancers.  Live bands are also sometimes used.  The vibe was so wonderful, that not even the thunderstorm that passed overhead could thwart the fun.  True to its motto, Soca Wine is “Wine for the Soul”.

Soca Wine is “A taste of culture, elegance, and history in every sip”. Those that were in attendance will definitely attest to that fact. Especially, as they eagerly await the return of the event to South Florida, in the early fall of 2022.


South Florida Caribbean News

The SFLCN.com Team provides news and information for the Caribbean-American community in South Florida and beyond.

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