BOYS AND BEER: "When I was a kid, my parents had two auto body shops, and I have three older brothers. I am quite comfortable in a male-dominated field," says MetroWines' new beer specialist Anita Riley. Photo courtesy of Riley

Q&A with MetroWines’ womencentr­ic beer program pioneer Anita Riley

In Beer City, USA, even wine stores specialize in brews — at least MetroWines will upon launching into beer territory this month. Pioneered by local home brewer Anita Riley, the expansion will feature an in-store beer section along with an online component entitled Brewing up a Storm — a first-of-its-kind blog “focusing on women 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 […]

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 […]

FLYING BLIND: Sommelier Andy Hale of Metro Wines' Blind Tasting League says participating in blind tastings frees wine aficionados to experience different varieties without the burden of preconceived notions. Photo by Cindy Kunst

Out of sight

Blind Tasting League brings wine appreciation down to earth Currants, bramble and boysenberry are among many of the somewhat inaccessible descriptive terms I’ve heard tossed around at lofty wine tasting events over the years. The world of wine can be a bit pretentious, a trait that often leads would-be connoisseurs to settle for “critter wines” […]