Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Wine Wednesday: A Toast to Tennessee

Posted By on Wed, May 11, 2011 at 8:37 AM

I know that Tennessee isn't normally high on the list of wine-producing states, but do you have any idea how many wineries there are in our state? Currently there are 29 members of the Tennessee Farm Winegrowers Association. If you're interested in sampling wines from 18 of these wineries in one place at one time, then you should mark your calendar for this Saturday, May 14.

Despite being apparently blissfully unaware that it's also the date of Steeplechase, the Mt. Juliet/West Wilson County Chamber of Commerce are presenting "A Toast to Tennessee" noon to 6 p.m. Saturday at Nashville Shores. If you buy your tasting admission in advance on the festival's website, you will receive a never-ending glass of wine (complimentary souvenir wine glass and unlimited wine sampling), wine and food experience seminars, gourmet specialty food tastings, free lake cruises and express entry to the festival, all for $20. (Admission is $30 at the gate.) There's even an option for a $10 non-tasting designated driver admission if you draw the short straw. (The site says kids are welcome, too, but parents must purchase a non-tasting ticket for each child and there are no specific kids' activities.)

There will be a series of educational seminars throughout the day which will last about 20 minutes and include more samples. The lineup is:

1 p.m. — Screw Caps, Anyone? You’re seeing this method of capping wine more and more. What are the pros and cons of screw caps. Come taste the difference!

2 p.m. — Food and Wine Pairing: Unique cheeses and nuts are paired with different Tennessee wines. This is a great way to entertain inexpensively and easily!

3 p.m. — Fruit Wines: Grapes are the wine making fruit king, but peaches, strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, blueberries and even cranberries are also great wine making fruits! A fun tasting!

4 p.m. - Prosecco: This inexpensive sparkling Italian wine is a nice summer alternative to champagne. It’s great for patio cocktails.

Here's the list of participating wineries as of press time:

Amber Falls

Apple Barn

Arrington Vineyards


Beans Creek

Century Farm

Chateau Ross


Grinder's Switch

Highland Manor


Holly Ridge

Keg Springs


Mountain Valley


Sumner Crest

Tennessee Valley

So if you're not planning to join the teeming masses at Steeplechase, consider learning about and sampling an important growing segment of Tennessee agriculture at A Toast to Tennessee.

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