“Wine is sunlight held together by water.” – Galileo Gallilei
We Nashvillians do love our wine, especially if it’s served with good food, good company and good entertainment! There are some fun-sounding events coming up between May 14-17 that would appeal to oenophiles – as well as those who just enjoy the occasional sip of wine.
Some of the funnest events around town are those that are organized as fundraisers. On Thursday, May 14, the Cheatham County Animal Awareness Foundation is hosting a “Wine and Whiskers 2015” fundraiser at the Harpeth Art Center & Gallery in Pegram, TN. This event features art, music and “mediumship” – they’ve booked Grammy-nominated Denny Jiosa to provide contemporary jazz music, and the event will feature The Music City Medium, Cindy Kaza, who is gifted with the entertaining ability to connect with the spirits of loved ones lost. In addition, the event will have both a live and silent auction. Tickets are $40 each ($65 for VIP tickets), and include wine, hors d’oeuvres and desserts. Proceeds benefit the Cheatham County Animal Awareness Foundation’s spay/neuter programs and animal education programs.
If you’re interested in cultivating a few backyard vines of your own, you might want to visit the Urban Gardening Festival on Saturday, May 16 in the Demonstration Garden at Ellington Agricultural Center. Hosted by the Master Gardeners of Davidson County, this free event invites the public to learn about gardening and home horticulture while engaging with local artisans, exhibitors, food trucks, growers, markets, organizations, and producers from throughout the Greater Nashville and Middle Tennessee areas. The event starts at 9 am.
More interested in tasting wine than making wine? Saturday, May 16 is also the date of the Nashville Wine & Food Festival at Riverfront Park downtown. For the price of admission ($79 general admission; $129 VIP), participants can sample an astonishing variety of wines, foods from some of Nashville’s top restaurants, enjoy live musical entertainment, and take in a class on wine tasting or paella making! Each participant takes home a commemorative wine tote bag, a tasting plate and a Riedel wine glass; VIP participants get other swag, too. The proceeds from the Nashville Wine & Food Festival benefit the Nashville Symphony and the Schermerhorn Symphony Center. The festival starts at noon and ends at 4 pm.
I hesitate to even mention this next event, because tickets have long since sold out and don’t seem to be available on reseller sites, but here goes…If you can manage to get invited to the season opener of the Bluebird on the Mountain 2015 concert series at the Dyer Observatory near Radnor Lake, you will experience one of the most magical and authentic musical experiences Nashville has to offer. As a bonus, you can use your recently-honed wine palate to carefully select a favorite bottle, and pack a picnic supper to eat under the stars. And you might even take a close-up look at those stars after the concert, when the observatory opens up to the public to look through the telescope. One $120 ticket admits a carload of up to 8 concertgoers – so if you aren’t a ticket holder, find someone who is! Gates open at 6 pm; the music starts at 7.
If you’ve given up on getting to Bluebird on the Mountain in May, you might opt instead to visit picturesque Arrington Vineyards in Williamson County for Music in the Vines on Saturday evening. Music on May 16 will be The First Fruit Jazz Project. Bring folding chairs or blankets, and a picnic dinner – and either bring your own wine or pick up a bottle at the Vineyard’s Cellar Door. Parking and admission are free; the event runs from 5 – 9 pm. If you’re too exhausted to make it to Arrington on Saturday, Music in the Vines also runs on Sundays from 2 – 6 pm.
Clearly some of the events I’ve listed this week are adults-only. You are strongly encouraged to designate a non-drinking driver, or use a car service, to get you back home – because no one thinks that getting into an accident or getting a DUI Sounds Like Fun!