CHARLOTTE WINE & FOOD WEEKEND 2016
-- Tickets now on sale! --
April 27 - April 30, 2016
Charlotte Wine & Food Weekend
Calling the Charlotte Wine & Food Weekend a "weekend" is a bit of an understatement since the festival runs over four days with more than 30 events, from wine tastings to private in-home dinners. We added a new event to the Weekend, called the Grand Tasting Tent. The Grand Tasting Tent, in Uptown Charlotte’s Romare Bearden Park, will feature two tasting sessions, one on Friday afternoon and one on Saturday, each lasting two hours. The tent sessions are formatted as walk-about tastings and will feature wineries, local craft breweries, chefs and demonstrations. We have a special discounted ticket if you're under 35 years old! Grab a group of friends together to enjoy wine and local craft brews, food pairings, live music and springtime!
2016 Weekend Schedule:
Wednesday, April 27 – In-home Dinners – Dinners at the Weekend’s biggest supporters’ homes with a guest chef and winemaker collaborating on a special tasting menu.
Thursday, April 28 – Charlotte’s Largest Dinner Party – Restaurant dinners at 16 of Charlotte’s top dining venues paired with a winemaker to create a multi-course dinner. Tickets range from $150-$195. Tickets here
Friday, April 29 –
This "Great All-American" tasting will be moderated by renowned wine personality, Fritz Hatton. Joining Hatton will be a panel of some of the highest profile winemakers in the US offering an example of their wines that express what they do best in their vineyards. Friday, April 29 2pm at Ruth's Chris Uptown. Taste one wine from each of the wineries below in this seated tasting:
Anderson's Conn Valley
David Tate Wines
Grand Gala & Auction: Friday, 6-10PM, Romare Bearden Park, Upper Oval - Under the same tent programmed for the Grand Tasting Tent sessions, the gala and auction will take place in an unforgettable night under the stars. The evening will entail a champagne reception; a silent auction; a multi-course dinner prepared by Porcupine Provisions and celebrity guest chefs, paired with the Weekend's best wines; and a live auction where all proceeds are donated directly to the five children's charities. After the wine and auction festivities, we'll head out of the tent to enjoy the Knights Stadium fireworks! $250 Tickets here
Saturday, April 30 –
The best wines we have in our cellar, all for your enjoyment...
2000 Chateau la Mission Haut Brion
2008 Castello Dei Rampolla d'Alceo
2010 M Chapoutier Le Pavillon Ermitage
2010 Sandrone Luciano Le Vigne Barolo
2010 Leonetti Cellar Reserve
2013 Lokoya Mt Veeder Cabernet
2013 Lokoya Howell Mountain Cabernet
2005 Verite La Joie
2005 Verite Le Desir
2010 Turnbull Fortuna Cabernet Sauvignon
Spire Collection Tasting: Saturday, 2-4PM, Ruth's Chris Uptown - Premier tasting, seminar-style, featuring their most sought-after and limited production wines from Lokoya and Cardinale. $195 Tickets here
Here's a preview of the wines you'll taste at this seated tasting:
2013 Mt Brave Merlot
2013 La Jota Cabernet Franc
2007 Lokoya Mt Veeder
2013 Lokoya Howell Mtn (100 points!)
2016 Kickoff Dinner - Celebrating the Life & Wines of Eric Solomon Presented by Wells Fargo
- February 4, 2016 | 6:00 p.m.
- One Wells Fargo Center
- BUY TICKETS - Call the CWFW office at 704-338-9463 to be added to the wait list.
The 2016 Charlotte Wine & Food Kickoff Dinner will be held again at One Wells Fargo Center and our rockstar wine host this year is Eric Solomon. Eric Solomon is a wine importer and founder of European Cellars, a Charlotte-based company celebrating its 25th year in business. He has made discovering the next best wine his life's work. Robert Parker once said, "The name of Eric Solomon on a bottle of wine is synonymous with high quality."
Joining Eric on February 4th will be members of the national wine community whom you'll have the chance to meet. Tickets are now available and will sell out quickly so don't miss your chance to experience an exceptional evening of wine, conversation, food and charitable giving.
The evening will begin with a sparkling wine reception before dinner. The Wells Fargo Executive Dining Room chefs will prepare a multi-course meal with Eric's wine pairings. After dinner, a live auction will occur with all proceeds benefiting our children's charities.
Eric Solomon: From Rock to Rhone (and beyond)
If you would have asked a young Eric Solomon what he wanted to do when he grew up, he would have told you he wanted to be a rock drummer, or a classically-trained percussionist, in earshot of his parents. So at 18 he found himself in London as the understudy to the principal percussionist for the London Symphony Orchestra as well as a rock-drummer in several bands. Neither position paid well, so it was pure luck that walking into his neighborhood wine bar looking for employment, he would discover his true vocation. Starting as a bartender, the lanky yank caught the attention of the proprietor for his aptitude and eagerness to learn and soon he was making selections for the wine list. Eventually he was sponsored to the Institute of Masters of Wine where he excelled in its rigorous course of study. Unfortunately this was cut short when the UK government realized that he had overstayed his student visa.
Washing up on the shores of Manhattan, the young, wine-savy twenty-something immediately found employment as the Director of Fine Wines for a Fortune 100 Wine and Spirits company learning much that would serve him well when he founded European Cellars in 1990. From the start, Eric championed unheralded wine growing regions and promoted young, innovative winemakers. His initial focus was France where he was an early proponent of the the wines of the Rhône Valley as well as the Languedoc and the Roussillon. His growing reputation in Europe as a new, dynamic and successful importer prompted Daphne Glorian to send him, unsolicited, a sample of her wine, Clos Erasmus in 1993. This wine would change Eric's life professionally and personally.
Daphne had a similarly unconventional path to wine. Initially she trained in the law and while working in the Paris office of an English Master of Wine she met Rene Barbier. Moving to the Priorat in 1988 at the urging of Rene, she invested her life's savings in 17 terraces of vines near the village of Gratallops thereby becoming one of the founders of the modern Priorat. Daphne would go on to establish her own cellar, Clos i Terrasses, and become the first winemaker in Spain to achieve back-to-back perfect scores for her wine Clos Erasmus in 2004 & 2005. In the intervening years she not only met her enthusiastic American importer but eventually agreed to marry him. With his allocation of Clos Erasmus secured, Eric began to explore the rest of Spain and has assembled a Spanish portfolio as innovative and distinctive as his imports from France.
For his pioneering efforts, Eric has been recognized by Robert Parker as his Wine Personality of the Year for 2002, remarking, "Solomon has a great talent for ferreting out spectacular wines from France and Spain. The quality of these selections is remarkable." In 2006 he was awarded Best Importer of the Year by Wine and Spirits Magazine and he has been a James Beard semifinalist for Outstanding Wine and Spirits Professional in 2009, 2010 and 2011. Writing in celebration of European Cellars' 25th anniversary, Robert Parker followed on his earlier praise, writing, "I first tasted with Eric in 1991/1992, and I have watched him grow as an importer to the point where he may be the finest in the United States."
Latour Grand Tasting Event & Dinner
On October 20, 2015, Charlotte Wine & Food Weekend welcomed Louis-Fabrice Latour to Charlotte for a guided tasting of 18 Premier Cru and Grand Cru Classé wines, including an exclusive preview of the 2013 vintage. Some of the wines were yet to be released to the public and all were direct from their caves in France. Following the tasting, a sparkling reception and dinner was held featuring additional Latour wines, including some older vintages. Guests enjoyed some of the finest white and red Burgundies in the world with Louis-Fabrice Latour himself while helping us raise money for our children's charities.
Ornellaia Retrospective Tasting and Dinner in New York City
A Tenuta dell'Ornellaia retrospective wine tasting, given by some very generous donors, went for $70,000 at our Wells Fargo kickoff dinner in January and turned into a road trip to NYC on May 19, 2015 at New York Vintners. Attended by Tenuta dell'Ornellaia winemaker, Axel Heinz, and Frescobaldi CEO, Giovanni Geddes, a 20-year retrospective tasting of Ornellaia and dinner was enjoyed by 25 supporters--a historic wine event never performed on this continent. Because of the generosity of the attendees, another $16,700 was raised that night to nourish the kids in Charlotte.
Big Bottle & Blues in Founders Hall
Big Bottles & Blues 2015, held on Charlotte Wine & Food Weekend’s (CWFW) off-year, took place on the evening of May 9, 2015, in Founders Hall in Uptown Charlotte. The wine tasting and auction event, which benefited local children’s charities, featured over 40 wineries, 18 impressive live auction items, dozens of silent auction packages, and live music. Over 300 charitable guests attended, and just under $200,000 was raised for the five benefiting charities.
Wells Fargo Kickoff Event featuring Ornellaia Wine
This special evening kicked off Charlotte Wine & Food Weekend's 26th year of raising money for children's charities. The dinner was held on January 28, 2015, atop One Wells Fargo Center. Wells Fargo sponsored the dinner and their Executive Dining Room chefs developed a four-course menu paired with the fine Italian wine Ornellaia. Ornellaia is Italy's answer to first growth Bordeaux and we were honored they chose this event as their only trip to America this year. Aston Martin/Maserati of Charlotte sponsored the Champagne reception in which the guests enjoyed Pommery Champagne. Over $140,000 was raised in the live auction for our children's charities.