UPDATE: Conscious party: Befriending the French

MIC CHECK: MetroWines' co-owner John Kerr, left, and sommelier Andy Hale, right, test their Skype abilities in anticipation of a video call with the mayor of Saumur, France Jean-Michel Marchand. The call is scheduled to take place during an upcoming event in the shop. Photo courtesy of Asheville Sister Cities International

UPDATE: This article has been edited to reflect the fact that Asheville Mayor Esther Manheimer is unable to attend the event. 

WHAT: A wine tasting to benefit Asheville Sister Cities International

WHERE: MetroWines

WHEN: Sunday, April 24, from 2-4 p.m.

WHY: President Dwight D. Eisenhower founded Sister Cities International in 1956 as a diplomatic network that would “champion for peace and prosperity by fostering bonds between people from different communities around the world,” according to the nonprofit’s website. And in 1988, a local chapter, ASCI, sprung to action, promoting friendly relations and collaborations among Asheville and its sister cities: Vladikavkaz, Russia; San Cristóbal de las Casas, Mexico; Karpenisi, Greece; Valladolid, Mexico; Osogbo, Nigeria; and Saumur, France.

The last of those will serve as the centerpiece for ASCI’s upcoming wine tasting mixer, with proceeds going to a scholarship fund for Western North Carolina students who study or intern there.

“The town of Saumur graciously sent us a city flag to fly for the event, and we hope to fly Asheville’s flag beside it,” says Allison Weems, founder of Asheville French School and co-chair of ASCI’s Saumur committee. She’ll also lead a call with Saumur’s mayor Jean-Michel Marchand during the gathering. “We hope this event will be a cultural discovery of Saumur and some of its wines, as well as a time to reinforce our cities’ friendship.”

MetroWines sommelier Andy Hale and co-owner John Kerr will lead the casual sampling of two Saumur-made wines over a playlist of French music. Kerr calls these Loire Valley exports a great value because, while the region isn’t yet a household name, its “chalky, limestone-rich soil is ideal for producing wines with high levels of minerality and earth.”

A $15 ticket includes two glasses of wine and hors d’oeuvres. Visit metrowinesasheville.com for more information. 


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About Kat McReynolds
Kat studied entrepreneurship and music business at the University of Miami and earned her MBA at Appalachian State University. Follow me @katmAVL

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