For the second year in a row, Dear Husband and I attended an annual charity wine tasting here in Nashville called Wine in the Winter. The event raises funds to benefit a non-profit community economic development group.
The event was set to start at 4 o’clock on a Saturday afternoon, which meant I couldn’t exactly take my time with blogging and running during the day like I normally do. After finishing up my morning blogging and going on an eight mile run, I realized it was already 2 o’clock and I hadn’t even showered yet. I was also starving and didn’t want to go to a wine festival on a totally empty stomach, so I munched on some Doritos and Diet Mountain Dew (my favorite gaming snack!) while I put on makeup and did my hair.
I realize this is totally not glamourous, but this blog is always meant to reflect real life. And this is my real life!
Next we headed into town and parked for free at my office downtown. We normally would have walked the 20 minutes it would have taken to get to the downtown Nashville Hilton, but my husband was in a suit, I was in a nice dress and heels, and it was raining, so we ordered a cab.
Arriving at the hotel a few minutes before check-in started, we took a seat in the plush chairs of the Hilton’s spacious lobby. I snapped this photo, wishing that there had been someone playing that gorgeous grand piano.
After a few minutes, we headed up to the ballroom to check in. We showed our IDs and collected our wristbands, our commemorative glasses, a program detailing the vendors, and a handy reusable cloth bag to store any goodies.
This photo was snapped while waiting in line, which thankfully moved quickly.
One thing I recalled from last year that I was glad to see they brought back was the use of ice sculptures as decoration. I’ve no clue how one goes about getting into the ice-sculpting business, but I think they are truly gorgeous!
Here is Dear Husband posing next to this melting snowflake and showing off the tie I bought him last year. (No offense baby, but all the ties you had when we met were tacky! 😉 )
What I really love about this event is that, in addition to getting to sample so many local wines, they also had loads of food vendors as well. I was particularly keen on sampling these adorable bundt cakes.
As opposed to last year, when I do not recall any clothing vendors, there were a few local shops represented. This one shop, which has apparently just opened, was giving out free chokers to all the ladies in attendance.
Don’t mind if I do!
Wine in the Winter is classy, but it is by no means a black tie affair. Given the unseasonably warm winter we are having, I chose to wear my favorite lacy black dress by Sandro Paris, paired with my go-to black Tory Burch wedge heels and matching Tory Burch black crossbody.
Of course, my favorite part of the night was getting to sample so many wonderful local wines. Wine is one of those items that is just expensive enough that I am often hesitant to try something new on a whim, because if I dislike it I would hate to pour that money down the drain. So, events like this offer a great chance to try new things. There were some I loved and some I very nearly spit out!
Regrettably, there were not quite as many vegetarian friendly options as I would have liked, and nothing with just chicken in it. My husband enjoyed the short braised ribs (whatever that means) served atop polenta.
He also enjoyed the crab served in corn husks, featured below.
At least I managed to find a bruschetta with goat cheese! I probably could have just eaten these all night.
Finally, I loved that they had the ballroom open to an outdoor rooftop lounge. I can’t recall whether they did last year or not; if they did, we didn’t go out there, but then again last year I believe it actually felt like winter outside.
There was apparently a Jon Bon Jovi concert starting across the street at Bridgestone Arena, which explained the throngs of people below.
Tell me, do you enjoy attending wine festivals, or other such festivals to benefit your community?
Until next time,