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Ever wish you could travel the world, visiting the best restaurants and tasting the best wines? Then you’ll like living vicariously (or reliving your own culinary journeys) through the words of Jon Palmer Claridge. The restaurant critic at the alt-weekly Creative Loafing (where, full disclosure, I used to work), Claridge (aka JPC) has written a book called Drink More Wine! A Simple Guide to Peak Experiences NOW that pretty much sums up his philosophy of life and dining: Get out there and taste it all! He calls it “a unique gastronomic mashup,” which is quite accurate: the book is rich in travel anecdotes, food reveries, and educational info about fine wines that he imparts sans snobbery or jargon. As an appetizer, check out this excerpt which we published in the new edition of duPont REGISTRY Tampa Bay; if it doesn’t make you want to hop a plane to Paris’s Le Grand Vefour immediately, you have no pulse.

Tonight, JPC visits St. Pete’s Tombolo Books to discuss his book and sign copies, which will be available for purchase at the bookstore or in advance at As one of the few restaurant critics around who still insists on maintaining his anonymity, he’ll be in disguise — but there’ll be no disguising his sheer joy in sharing “peak experiences” and encouraging the rest of us to embark on our own.

This event is free and open to the public. And…. there’s wine (of course)!  City Beautiful Beverage Company and Kelly Lessem of Squeeze Juice Works will be offering wines for tasting.

6:30-8 p.m., Tombolo Books, 2153 1st Ave. S., St. Petersburg,

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