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Tequila! Big Game to host a celebration of fine tequila, cigars and paired culinary creations

September 10, 2010

Offering something a bit unique to Fort Myers Beach and its surrounding area, Big Game Bar and Grill, an establishment of Salty Sam's Waterfront Adventures, will be hosting a Tequila and Cigar Tasting event Thursday, Sept. 16, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Matt Hanson, co-owner of Salty Sam's Waterfront Adventures, along with his father, Darrell, is excited to begin the unique and cultured evening.

"It's going to be a great time," Matt said. "Our head chef John Venuto is specially preparing entrees to blend with the different types of tequila."

Article Photos

Big Game Bar and Grill will host a Tequila and Cigar Tasting Thursday, Sept. 18, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. For $55, guests of the event will enjoy three different blends of El Mayor tequila – both straight and as mixed drinks – along with specially prepared entrees for each blend, whipped up by award-winning head chef John Venuto, and concluded with a fine, hand-rolled Payne Mason cigar. Above, Chef John and Parrot Key’s Corinne Edelstein are ready for the event! Photo by MELISSA SCHNEIDER

That's right. To accent each of the three blends of El Mayor brand of tequilas (Silver, Reposado and Anejo) Big Game head chef John Venuto has prepared a fabulously paired culinary creation.

"We will prepare chorizo with spicy mustard sauce, plantain-crusted seabass and adobe beef short ribs, each dish accenting the three blends of El Mayor tequila," the award-winning Chef John said.

Head coordinator of the event and president of the Southwest Florida Women's Wine Club Sharon Torregrossa is very eager to kick off the perfectly-paired event at Big Game Bar and Grill on San Carlos Island.

"I think it's the perfect place to host such a wonderful event," she said. "Holding so many women's wine-tasting events, I've been asked to host an event that guys would enjoy as well, so we discussed tequila tasting."

She explains the stereotypes of the Mexican liquor.

"Many people think tequila tastings are just taking back large shots of tequila, and that's not it at all," she said. "It's about learning the different varieties of tequila, learning the different blends, seeing what foods pair well with them. And what goes great with tequila? Cigars."

Speaking of cigars, Sharon summed up the perfect end to a perfect evening of fine tequila tasting. Each guest of the event will receive a fine, hand-rolled Payne Mason cigar to top off the night.

The cost to attend the three-hour event, which includes three tequila tastings, three mixed-tequila-drink tastings and culinary creations that are paired with each, as well as the conclusive hand-rolled Payne Mason cigar, is $55 per person.

"This should be a very fun event for men and women alike," Sharon said.

Reservations to the tasting are highly suggested. To reserve your spot(s) or for more information on the event, future events or joining the Women's Wine Club (with no club fee), call Sharon Torregrossa at 565-7652 or email Sharon Torregrossa at

"We look forward to hosting more tastings here at Salty Sam's in the future," Matt said. "including a wine tasting sometime next month and a champagne tasting aboard the Pieces of Eight Pirate Cruise for a sunset trip."

The Women's Wine Club

Sharon began the local chapter of the Women's Wine Club a little over a year ago, meeting the fourth Tuesday of every month at different locations.

"The locations change throughout Lee County, so the ladies can experience different venues and different foods," she said.

Each month, attendance goes higher and higher with the club outings. Last month, the ladies met at Bayfront Bistro on Fort Myers Beach with 92 guests. The month's prior venues included Cr and Angelina's.

"We have to make some of the events two nights, because it's so popular," Sharon said.

Each event is $55, which is all-inclusive with wines, meals, etc., and Sharon was sure to boast that, although it is called the Women's Wine "Club," there is no annual club fee.

For more information on the Women's Wine Club, or to join on the monthly events, contact Susan at 565-7652.



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