The Art of Wine


Jill M. Rohrbach
One of my favorite events of the year in Fayetteville will take place this week – The Art of Wine Festival at the Walton Arts Center on June 4-6. I have my tickets (and a babysitter) for Friday night. What’s so great about it? First, hundreds of wines are available for me to sample. Last year, I found an appreciation for Sauvignon Blanc. Second, the arts center is full of chatter and laughter as friends and strangers discuss what everyone there has in common. Third, this is the Walton Arts Center’s biggest fundraising event with proceeds supporting the Center’s award-winning arts learning programs for schools and teachers.


One of the largest tastings in the region, it features a Winemaker’s Dinner, a Wine Lover’s Brunch, a Grand Tasting, and new this year, a Premier Wine Tasting. Here’s some detail:


Winemaker’s Dinner
Thursday, June 4, 2009, 6pm/Tickets $150

Hosted by Gallo Wineries, the Winemaker’s Dinner is an elegant evening of wine and haute cuisine prepared by Chef Miles James of James at the Mill restaurant. Winemaker Eric Cinnamon with Rancho Zabaco will guide diners through food and wine pairings, and share unique winemaking insights. Limited ticket availability.


Grand Tasting
Friday, June 5, 2009, 7pm/Tickets: $85

Choose from more than 400 wines in the largest tasting event of the festival, taking place throughout the Walton Arts Center’s main building, including the main stage. Enjoy live entertainment by the Ben Harris Trio and DJ Soulfree, a unique silent auction featuring signed show posters, special wines and other items, and food from more than a dozen of the region’s best restaurants. A program will be provided to help you track your tastings. A limousine service will also be available.


This year’s restaurant participants include: 1936 Club, Bordinos, Brickhouse Kitchen, Café Rue Orleans, The Common Grounds, Ella’s Restaurant at The Inn at Carnall Hall, The Flying Burrito Company, Hog Haus Brewing Co, James at the Mill, Jammin Java, Nibbles Academy of Cooking, Penguin Ed’s, River Grille, Ruth’s Chris, and Soul.


Wine Lover’s Brunch
Saturday, June 6, 2009, 11am/Tickets: $50

The Wine Lover’s Brunch will be held in Studio Theater at Nadine Baum Studios. Joe Farnan of E & J Gallo Winery will guide guests through a mid-day exploration of food and wine as he shares tips for wine tasting, pairing, storage and serving. Food will be provided by Chef Miles James of James at the Mill.  This event sells out quickly.


Premier Tasting
Saturday, June 6, 2009, 7pm/Tickets: $125

The Premier Tasting offers a greater number of premier wines for our guests on a separate night from the Grand Tasting. This tasting offers patrons a more intimate and exclusive event featuring reserve wines, gourmet food prepared by select local restaurants and live music. Limited ticket availability.


Tickets are available by calling the Walton Arts Center Box Office at 479.443.5600 or online at Patrons must be 21 or older to purchase tickets to the Art of Wine Festival.



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