Wandering Wino: Wonderful Weekend Edition

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This is one of the Wandering Wino’s favorite weekends of the year. Not only is there the 25th annual Greek Festival that Lesley told you about earlier this week, but it’s also time for the Italian Lights Festival. Between the two of them, that’s a lot of great Mediterranean food, beer and wine. Add in the start of the Titans season on Sunday, and it should be a great couple of days.

But that’s not all, there are plenty of other events coming up to entertain you if you're not a fan of Greek or Italian culture or a pro football team with carpet brads on the sides of their helmets.

Midtown Wine and Spirits wants to invite you to the ninth annual Holly Street Rocks! fundraiser on Saturday, Sept. 15, from 6:30-10 p.m. at “The Building” in East Nashville, benefiting Holly Street’s Jamie’s Fund, which for the past nine years, has helped more than 200 families allow their children to enjoy quality care. “The Building” was formerly known as Billups Art and is located at 1008-C Woodland St.

“Holly Street is one of the top-rated daycares in Nashville, but perhaps our greatest asset is our connection to the community,” said Karen Stump, executive director of Holly Street Daycare. “For the past nine years, our neighbors and businesses all across the city have helped support Jamie’s Fund, allowing us to help additional families in the community and care for many children whose parents simply didn’t have the financial means to afford child care.”

This year’s benefit will feature six tables of wine and beer tasting, conducted by the folks at Midtown Wine and Spirits. Each table will represent a different country/region and each region will have five wines, so that’s 30 different wines to choose from. Visit hollystreetrocks.org to purchase tickets and to preview auction items.

If you’re in the mood for some autumnal beer, head down to Big River Grille & Brewing Works downtown on Sept. 18 from 5 to 7 p.m. for their annual Tapping of Oktoberfest. They’ll be handing out samples of seasonal menu items, passed appetizers, door prizes and holding a raffle for Big River merchandise. A portion of the proceeds from the day will benefit the Tennessee Wildlife Federation.

Amerigo on West End would like to see you at their Wednesday Wine tasting on Sept. 12 from 6 to 8 p.m.:

We continue our tour of Northern Italian wineries with a selection of wines from the Veneto, Piedmont and Trentino regions. Enjoy four wines with authentic Italian appetizer pairings for just $15 per person! Come anytime between 6-8pm and stay for dinner to receive 20% off your meal.

Part II of the series features two selections from the Veneto region:
071 Prosecco and and La Chiara Gavi. Located in northeastern Italy, the region is protected from the harsh northern European climate by the Alps. This results in a cooler climate that is more conducive to producing white varietals.

Our next selection is the Prunotto Barbera from the Piedmont region. The Barbera is one of the most popular grapes used for production of red wines in the region. Wines from the Barbera grape are often fruity and delicate.

We finish our tasting with the Lechtaler Teroldego from Trentino. The vast flat area in the province of Trent known as Campo Rotaliano has proved to be a highly favorable habitat for the Teroldego variety.


Woodland Wine Merchant is popping the corks on a few nice wines from the Beaujolais region of France. Here’s what they’ll be opening to taste this Saturday from 3 to 5 p.m.:

Nicole Chanrion Cote-de-Brouilly $20
Cote-de-Brouilly has that perfect, Goldilocks sort of quality to it, and Chanrion is as good as any: supple, fragrant, a dazzling pomegranate color. Nicole took up the mantle passed down through six generations of vignerons despite her family's opposition (winemaking is a man's work!), taking over the domaine officially in 1988.

Marcel Lapierre Morgon $25
Loose granite soils provide terrifically intense minerality from start to finish. A high floral note graces the mid-palate, but it's the delicate red fruits that dominate. The estate practices biodynamic farming and some pretty radical techniques in the cellar. For me, it makes this selection all the sweeter.

Clos de la Roilette Fleurie $20
The 2010 vintage of the Roilette was one of my favorite wines of all time. Considering price, depth of flavors, drinkability, packaging, story — all things considered, it completely overdelivers. The 2011 arrived yesterday and ... actually, if you'll excuse me I have some research to attend to.

Potel Aviron Moulin à Vent $18
Moulin à Vent typically produces the fullest-bodied wines of all the crus. A lot of that has to do with a large seam of manganese that runs through the gravelly soils there. Potel Aviron at this price is a total steal. A textural wonderment, with hints of beef broth stirring around beneath the rich fruit bouquet.

On Thursday, Sept. 13, from 5:30 to 7 p.m., Thomas Morgan of Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant will be visiting Woodland to pour several wines from their illustrious portfolio.

Until then, Opa!, Cin Cin! and Go Titans!

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