photo by Cindy Kunst

2014’s greatest hits: The year’s most-viewed stories at Mountainx.­com

While not quite as attention-getting as the impending end of the world would’ve been, the “tube-ocalypse” sucked in a drove of zombie-hungry readers this year: The most-viewed story on Mountainx.com in 2014 was “Asheville Tries for Tubing World Record with ‘Zombie Float.’” Here’s a look at the the top-10 most-viewed stories.

THE SMALL PICTURE: "I'm definitely on a mission to bump up the wine culture around here," says the Asheville Wine Market's new owner, Larry Weaver, of his intentions to bring in more wine by small, independent vignerons. Photo by Jonathan Ammons

Asheville Wine Market has new owner, new focus on independen­t wineries

After 21 years of continuous ownership, the Asheville Wine Market has officially changed hands. Opened in 1993 by Eberhard Heide after he left Weinhaus, the store became Asheville’s second wine shop. But rather than a buyout, this takeover seems more like a passing of the scepter. Larry Weaver moved from the New York/New Jersey area […]

AS SEEN ON TV: Lex 18's new "Downton Abbey" dinner events will allow diners to experience a vintage banquet complete with butlers, footmen and interactions with a few characters from the popular British television show. Photo by Hayley Benton

Small Bites: Downton Abbey in downtown Asheville

The new year will bring a fresh dinner theater experience to Asheville — one that will be of particular interest to fans of the British television series “Downton Abbey.” On Sunday evenings starting Jan. 4, downtown restaurant Lex 18 will offer live viewings of the popular BBC program while re-creating an aristocratic 1920s meal in […]

WHAT TO DRINK: Local wine stores, including Metro Wines on Charlotte Street (pictured) are offering wines for Thanksgiving meal pairings — some priced as low as $10. Photo by Cindy Kunst

Perfect pairings: Asheville wine shops offer Thanksgivi­ng options

Garrison Keillor once said, “Thanksgiving is the closest Americans will ever come to understanding the Middle East conflict.” And while most of our dinner tables might not get quite that explosive, it is always wise to keep some wine on hand as a welcomed social lubricant. But pairing wines on Thanksgiving can be tricky. For […]

TOP TASTING: Larken Egleston, regional brand ambassador for Rémy Cointreau, will visit Top of the Monk on Wednesday, Nov. 19, to host a showcase of Woodford Reserve's finest bourbons. Photo courtesy of Top of the Monk

Top of the Monk event to spotlight bourbon and the Manhattan

No plans for hump day? How about Whiskey Wednesday at Thirsty Monk? On Wednesday, Nov. 19, the regional brand ambassador for Rémy Cointreau, Larken Egleston, will be making his way to Asheville to host a showcase of Woodford Reserve’s finest bourbons at Top of the Monk, the speakeasy above Thirsty Monk. Woodford, based in Versailles, […]

During grape harvest season, Michele D'Aprix is inseparable from her tractor, which she uses to work the soils, tow wagons full of grapes and "drag things around." Photo courtesy of D'Aprix

5 questions with Bordeaux winemaker Michele D’Aprix

Michele D’Aprix fell in love with winemaking in the late ’90s. Now, armed with a University of California-Davis degree in enology and viticulture, years of hands-on winery experience and an attitude that mixes equal parts charisma and quick wit, D’Aprix makes the perfect American ambassador to France. D’Aprix, currently the only female American winemaker in […]

From left to right, French instructor Allison Weems, CSW Andy Hale and Metro Wines co-owners Gina Trippi and John Kerr are the organizers behind Sip and Speak, an educational series for Asheville adults. Photo by Kat McReynolds

Sip and Speak language series pairs wine and words

“This is about the fusion of two passions,” says French instructor and wine enthusiast Allison Weems, explaining the inspiration behind her new continuing education series, Sip and Speak. The Asheville French School founder approached Metro Wines owners Gina Trippi and John Kerr earlier this year with the idea of offering in-store classes exploring basic language […]

purplegrapes

Taste of Our Carolina Foothills wine and food festival

The Our Carolina Foothills campaign will host the inaugural Taste of Our Carolina Foothills wine and food festival on Sunday, Sept. 28, at Overmountain Vineyards in Tryon. The event is a fundraiser for the Our Carolina Foothills public relations campaign to create awareness about and promote tourism in Landrum, Tryon, Saluda and Columbus. Visitors will […]

BEER HUG: From left, Asheville Beer Club members Chris Power, Tommy Green and Don Baker share some conversation — and some brews — at a recent meet-ups at Barley's Taproom. Photo courtesy of Louise Baker

Meet and eat: Asheville food and drink meetups nourish community

Everybody has a thing. And regardless of whether that thing is Boston terriers, hiking with small children, drinking wine or paranormal activity, Meetup.com offers a way for strangers with similar interests to connect with each other and cultivate friendships. Created by Scott Heiferman who was inspired by the camaraderie shown by New Yorkers in the wake of 9/11, the website […]

CHEERS: Downtown farm-to-glass cocktail venture Sovereign Remedies recently opened to the public,  Photo by Jonathan Ammons

A cure for all ills: Sovereign Remedies opens for business

After several months of anticipation, Sovereign Remedies, Asheville’s new farm-to-glass cocktail haven, opened last week. In his typical, community-focused fashion, owner Charlie Hodge first welcomed Asheville bar employees for a Bartenders Brunch on Wednesday, Sept. 3, followed by a family-and-friends event on Friday, Sept. 5, which allowed VIPs and the press to get the first tastes.  The […]

UP IN THE AIR: Scott Thomas, left, and Mike Piroli, right, were hoping to open the Public School bar in the old Standard Paper Sales Co. building on Banks Avenue this fall, but city paperwork has kept the project from getting off the ground as scheduled. Photo by Cindy Kunst

The long hello: Permitting issues drag on for South Slope ventures

Driving by the old Standard Paper Sales building, you can see construction workers carrying equipment in and out and hear the sounds of loud machinery. Vortex had originally planned to open in the space in June, and four other South Slope businesses had their sights on the space for September. As the summer slips away, you can’t help but wonder what’s holding up those projects.