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 […]

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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 […]

The Biltmore Estate was one of the local wineries at the Asheville Wine and Food Festival. Photo by Kat McReynolds

Asheville Wine & Food Festival: The Grand Tasting

Hundreds of flavor enthusiasts gathered at the U.S. Cellular Center for four hours of wine, food, competition and camaraderie at Asheville’s sixth annual Wine and Food Festival Grand Tasting event, and only Southern hospitality could explain the extent of heavy pours that sloshed around inside the event’s beautifully branded keepsake cups.

GOING COMMERCIAL: Thomas Mincarelli samlpes a commercial wine during the recent judging for the Asheville Wine and Food Festival. Mincarelli won the Double Blue Ribbon in this year's amateur wine competition. Photo by Alicia Funderburk

Blood of the grape: Asheville Wine & Food Festival spotlights local vintners

Asheville may be Beer City, but that’s not the only libation local residents enjoy. Consider the continuing success of the Asheville Wine & Food Festival. Now in its sixth year, the annual celebration of the region’s winemakers, wine shop owners, chefs and restaurants is expanding its focus on local wines, adding a competition for commercial […]

Renovations continue at Ben's Penny Mart. Photo courtesy of Ben's Tune-Up

Ben’s Tune-Up brings new convenience store to South Slope

“Everybody needs sodas and cigarettes and snacks,” says Ben’s Tune-Up co-owner Meg Alt. Now, individuals who work and play downtown have an expedient means to get these items. Ben’s Penny Mart, Asheville’s newest convenience store and hangout, is scheduled to open on Friday, Aug. 15, at 195 Hilliard Ave. adjacent to Hi-Wire Brewing. The hours […]

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Pushing the envelope

Running a wine shop isn’t easy. Margins are often surprisingly tight, something’s always breaking, vintages vary in quality, people’s tastes change constantly, and it can often seem impossible to compete with the prices in the big grocery chains that keep popping up all over town. A number of local wine shops have closed in the last few years, but Table Wine in South Asheville seems to be thriving.

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” […]