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:
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.