It is Holiday Party Time! Metro Atlanta area wine and spirits enthusiasts are gearing up for a spate of tastings and special dinners scheduled everywhere from North Georgia’s mountains to the south metro area's rolling farmlands. More corks get popped during Thanksgiving-Christmas-New Year’s holiday weeks than at any other time of the year. Grab your datebook. Mark these down!
The Duluth Wine Beer & Spirits Super Store at 2870 Peachtree Industrial Blvd. hosts its Holiday Wine Tasting from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 9, offering guests upwards of 50 vintages in The Crush Tasting Room. Cost is $15 per person. Advance reservations and/or ticket purchase need to be made. This event sells out quickly. Call 678-957-0590.
The Arts Clayton Gallery at 136 South Main St. in downtown Jonesboro kicks off the holiday season with its annual art and wine party “Holiday Reds & Whites“ from 6 to 9 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 10. The well-attended, nicely-run wine tasting, co-hosted by Stockbridge’s Highway 138 Package Store, allows guest to sip upwards of 55+ wines, feast on two tables of desserts and hors d’oeuvres. Cost is $20. Reservations are not required.
At the same time Arts Clayton is underway, the High Museum of Art is hosting a wine tasting from 6 to 9 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 10, to complement its exhibition "Picasso to Warhol: Fourteen Modern Masters." The tickets, priced at between $15 to $25, offer guests three wines to taste and free exhibition admission.
On Friday, Nov. 11, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. the Johns Creek Whole Foods offers “Wines for Thanksgiving: A Tasting.” Chefs from the Salud Cooking School will offer sips of vintages they recommend pair best with a traditional Turkey Day meal.
Antica Posta Tuscan Restaurant in Buckhead is hosting “Wines You Cannot Afford to Miss: A Cabernet Sauvignon Sunday Supper” starting at 5:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 13. Organized by the Atlanta Wine Meetup group, every guest is required to bring one bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon, valued at $50 or more, as price of admission. Then for an additional $29 (taxes and gratuity extra), attendees get a special gourmet meal. The group's website indicates more than 25 different high-end Cabs will be available. Advance reservations are mandatory.
Bloomingdale's in Lenox Square, from 6 to 8 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 17, invited Pura Vida Restaurant Chef Hector Santiago, who was featured on Bravo TV’s “Top Chef,” to take guests on “a guided tasting of artisan wines” while he offers cooking demonstrations focusing on local, organic, sustainable foods. Call 404-495-2800 for reservations.
In Athens, Aromas Wine Bar on South Milledge Avenue hosts a sit-down tasting from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 17, so guests may sample an array of red, white, sparkling and dessert wines recommended for Thanksgiving Dinner. It costs $15 per person. Make reservations on the Aromas Wine Bar website.
C’est la vie! The “25th Annual Beaujolais Nouveau Festival—Beyond Beaujolais” goes from 7 p.m. to midnight, Saturday, Nov. 19, in the Defoor Centre Art Gallery in Atlanta. Admission ranges from $45 to $60. The French-American Chamber of Commerce sponsors the festival. Guests celebrate not only Beaujolais Nouveau wines but “fine French cuisine, music and culture,” along with foie gras, Bordeaux wines, Champagnes, Cognacs and more. www.BeaujolaisNouveau2011-beyond Beaujolais.com
The Marietta Wine Market wants to help cooks figure out the best wines to pair with their turkeys. From 5 to 7 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 23, the market offers “No Turkeys Here.” For a $10 charity donation guests may sample red and white wines that pair well with Thanksgiving meals. There is a drawing for a free turkey.
The “Black Friday Tasting” the day after Thanksgiving at Niko’s Wine Corner in Lawrenceville is perfect for everyone tired of running around on that busiest shopping day of the year! From noon to 6 p.m., Friday, Nov. 25, partner Leslie Maske promises “surprises” at a high-end event with fine wines costing $30 to $50 per bottle — all for a $5 charity donation admission. Find out the day ahead which wines will be featured by checking on the shop's Facebook.
Finally, as this month ends, make reservations for the Dec. 2-4 “2011 Winter Wine Highway” tours of 10 North Georgia vineyards. For $25, you get a map, a free wine glass and grand barrel tastings of all the fine wines produced by member wineries of the Wine Growers Association of Georgia. Hours vary that Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Vineyards like Tiger Mountain, Wolf Mountain, Blackstock Vineyards, Cavendar Creek, Sautee Nacoochee and Yonah Mountain Wineries are among the wineries welcoming guests.