“Monty Python and The Holy Grape” Features Local Restaurants, an On-Stage Tasting, a Tipsy Sunday Brunch and – For the First Time – an Exclusive Tasting of Rare Wines

TAMPA, Fla. (May 14, 2014) – Tampa Theatre invites you to join Sir Bedevere the Wise, Sir Lancelot the Brave, Sir Robin the Not-Quite-So-Brave-As-Sir-Lancelot, and Sir Galahad the Pure on their quest for The Holy Grape… er… Grail, which will runneth over this September with temptations from local independent restaurants, the finest wineries and – for the first time this year – a tasting of rare, top-rated wines from one of Tampa’s finest private collections.

This year’s event chair, John Wolfe, is Tampa Bay’s Senior Project Manager for CBRE, and has been a member of the WineFest committee for the past 5 years. “I wanted to pick a theme that incorporated some of my favorite things,” he says, “namely Game of Thrones, shrubbery and swallows.”

But while the theme may be silly, the purpose is most serious: Now in its 13th year, the annual WineFest is Tampa Theatre’s biggest fundraising event of the year, benefitting the historic movie palace’s artistic and educational programs as well as its ongoing preservation and restoration.

  • The event kicks off Friday, Sept. 12 with a two-tiered Wine Tasting featuring many of Tampa’s most famous and flavorsome independent restaurants. Guests will have the opportunity to sample dozens of boutique wines and bid on premium silent auction items, while local eateries like Bern’s Steak House, Catrinas Cocina Y Galeria, and Anise Global Gastrobar serve up their favorite fare – all with John Cleese and Terry Gilliam’s classic 1975 farce providing the perfect backdrop on the big screen. 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, Sept. 13, the Theatre’s historic stage will be expanded to seat 200 for for the exclusive Wine Pairing at 6:30 p.m., sponsored by Bank of America. The five-course menu, created and catered by Mise En Place chef Marty Blitz, will feature delectable small plates expertly paired with wines specific to each dish. Seating is limited, and tickets are $250 per person.


  • And if the dreaded Knights who say Ni haven’t killed you by then, WineFest tops off the weekend of revelry with a Wine Brunch at 11:30 a.m. Sunday. Food stations catered by local independent restaurants will pair breakfast offerings with mimosas, bellinis and a selection of light wines. Tickets are $40 per person.


  • NEW THIS YEAR, WineFest has added a fourth element to this ever-expanding event. On Thursday, Sept. 18, a select number of wine enthusiasts will have the opportunity to experience a 95 pt+ Tasting of eight exquisite wines at The Tampa Club, located just blocks away from the historic movie theatre at 101 E. Kennedy Boulevard. Each selection has been ranked 95 points or higher by leading industry publications, and many are no longer available for sale, including the 2001 Leeuwin Estate Art Series Chardonnay and the 1949 Antonio Ferrari Il Barone. Many of the featured wines have been generously donated from the private collection of local wine enthusiast, Dr. Barry Levine. Legendary film producer, director and screenwriter Francis Ford Coppola and his Inglenook Winery have donated bottles of 1997 Niebaum-Coppola Rubicon, which is also no longer available for sale. Seating is very limited, and tickets are $200 per person.

Tickets will be available starting Monday, June 2 at the Tampa Theatre box office, 711 N. Franklin Street, or at www.TampaTheatreWineFest.org. Tampa Theatre Members save $10 off Premium and Grand tickets for the Friday night Tasting. “There is a reason it sells out every year,” chair Wolfe says, “and if you do not attend, I will taunt you a second time.”

Patrons are encouraged to dress as their favorite character or come in a Monty Python-inspired costume.

MEDIA CONTACT: Jill Revelle Witecki at jill@tampatheatre.org or (813) 274-8287

The historic Tampa Theatre is a passionately protected landmark and one of America’s best-preserved movie palaces. The majestic building is owned by the City of Tampa and operated by the not-for-profit Tampa Theatre Foundation, whose mission is to preserve, protect and program Tampa Theatre as a dynamic film and cultural center for our community. Programming is sponsored in part by the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, Florida Council on Arts and Culture; the City of Tampa; the Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners; and the Theatre’s generous donors, corporate sponsors and members. Tampa Theatre is a proud member of the League of Historic American Theatres and the Art House Convergence.