Tarpon Lodge is known for its old Florida charm, the lodge dating back to 1926, and its choice waterfront location.

But it now offers a monthly wine dinner as well that features a multicourse meal prepared by the able kitchen team of Albert Keijl, Cindy Arcurio and Christopher Fox. Wines are paired with each course and a winemaker or winery owner is on hand to speak about the wine.

Bottle of wine at Tarpon Lodge's monthly wine dinner.

Tarpon Lodge hosts a monthly wine dinner in its cozy dining room. KAREN FELDMAN / FLORIDA WEEKLY

The dining room is casual and intimate, you are likely to wind up at a table with people you don’t know but who could well be your friends by the end of the evening and you’ll have a chance to speak with the winery folks, too. And the bonus (well, at least it was before the time change): a great view of the sunset.

Food and beverage manager Shohreh Khodadad-Durkin has done a great job putting together these dinners and decided to do something different this season.

“I thought it would be interesting to have all women winemakers this year,” she said. “There are women making some great wines.”

Last month, the lodge welcomed Kathleen Chapman, proprietor of Somerston Estate in St. Helena, Calif. She shared her family’s passion for the land, the grapes and the wine they made. Being able to learn more about the wines I drink and how they are produced always makes me enjoy them more.

The November dinner took place this week and the lodge is taking a break for Christmas, but the series resumes in January. Here’s the lineup:

  • Jan. 23 and 24: Hedges Family Estate Winery, Washington, with Sarah Hedges Goedhart
  • Feb. 6: Ponzi Vineyard, Oregon, with Maria Ponzi
  • April 24 and 25: Gundlach Bundschu, Sonoma, with Katie Bundschu
  • May 22 and 23: Fisher Vineyard, Napa, with Juelle Fisher

For details and reservations, call the lodge at 239-283-3999. It’s at 13771 Waterfront Drive, Bokeelia. Visit online at tarponlodge.com.

This article by Karen Feldman, originally appeared on fortmyers.floridaweekly.com