Posts Tagged ‘TN’

The 9th Annual Franklin Wine Festival at The Factory : A “Spirited” Event Celebrating A Worthy Cause

 Big Brothers and Big Sisters of  Middle Tennessee and the children they mentor benefit from this annual Wine and Food Event extravaganza!

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The Wannabeatles jamming on Jamison Hall stage!

 Every year for the past 9 years in October, the  Factory in Franklin is transformed from the nationally registered  historical and unique shopping and dining complex into the fabulous Franklin Wine Festival . My husband and I look forward to this event every year! I have attended almost every year (except for the times I lived in Austin,Texas). This is one of the premier events for all foodies and wine enthusiasts and always for a great cause. This elegant event brings out all the fun people in the surrounding areas of Nashville to enjoy the local restaurants gourmet bites and some of the finest wines available in Nashville.


Although we benefit from all of this wonderful food,wine,spirits,desserts and music all it one location, the Big Brothers & Big Sisters of Middle Tennessee benefit the most! The ticket price for this amazing event makes sure that this wonderful organization” provides children facing adversity with strong and enduring supported one to one relationships that change lives for the better, forever.”


When the doors open, everyone pours in and mingles about tasting and sipping throughout the evening. The tables set up are local edibles featuring some of  Nashville’s finest small batch artisan foods and a never-ending variety of wines available in Tennessee. Cool Springs Wines and Spirits located in Franklin,Tennessee is the proud sponsor of this annual event!

*Continue to support Local Tennessee Products! Tennessee has many wonderful artisan products that reflect the unique local flavors that sets us apart from everyone else!*



As I sampled and tasted my way through the table-lined halls of The Factory, I took pictures of just about everything there was to drink or eat. Since this blog can only be so long, I picked out a “few” of my favorite things. I hope you enjoy my tour!


Angelina Nielsen Tennessee District Manager for Francis Coppola Wines featured the ever-popular bubbly Sofia Blanc de Blancs.




Everyone is having a great time proudly wearing their red boas in support of all the Boys and Girls Clubs of Middle Tennessee!


Vicki Yates from Channel 5 on CBS


Ashley Strawn and John White from Nashville having fun this evening!



Skyler D. Jones, Area Sales Manager from DFV Wines , a family vineyard that practicing sustainable farming practices, pouring wine for my hubby!

Noble Vines Wines!



Betsy Ray On Premise Sales Rep for Aleksey’s Imports in Nashville  is pouring up up some of my favorite French wines:  Rosé Commanderie del la Bargemone  and Villa Des Anges Cabernet Sauvignon.



Delicious food is everywhere! Sperry’s juicy Prime Rib with Horseradish is worth a second helping!


Warm and creamy cheese-filled tortellini from the Café Fontanella Italian Kitchen and Wine Bar




Family-owned Papa Boudreaux’s Cajun Cafe & Catering located in Franklin,Tn brings me back to my Cajun roots featuring their mouthwatering jambalaya!

There is nothing better than premium aged Tennessee Whiskey with fresh cream to warm you up! Chilled, it is cool and creamy an full of that great whiskey flavor. Whisper Creek the Original Tennessee Sipping Cream is meant for sipping straight or for making delicious coffee drinks. I LOVE this stuff!  Check out the recipe for Whisper Creek Cream Cheese Brownies!





Voted as one of the top hotspots around, Virago Robata Grill and Sushi Bar’s meticulously handcrafted sushi is always a masterpiece of beauty and flavor.





Local Cool Cafe in Franklin,Tennessee is one of the best fine Southern meat and three’s around. Thanks to Owner/Chef Tim Ness, we all got to sample one of the best Banana Puddings you will ever eat!





You know it’s gonna be a great time when you get to sip 0n Twomey, Silver Oak and Shafer Wines!





My friends from the Franklin Whole Foods were having a great time as well as providing tasty mini cupcakes from the store!





Olive & Sinclair locally handcrafted small batch chocolates make me proud to be from Nashville! Scott Witherow is the founder, owner and maker of these Southern-made artisan chocolates. I get my chocolate fix with the Mexican-Style Chocolate, which just happened to be at the festival!





OK. So yet ANOTHER another locally made dessert by Colts Chocolates lined the table with Salted Caramel Gooey Bar! If you didn’t get to try these, go to and get some NOW!




Randy knows how to serve up decadent cheesecake! Randy’s Famous Cheese Cake can be found at the Nashville Farmer’s Market  in the Food Court Monday throughout Saturday. Great for the holidays!



Local Wine Enthusiasts Barb and Tony Jones volunteer for the Franklin Wine Festival!


Nikki and Robert Sells are enjoying some of their favorite wines at this fun event!





2  wines from Spain – Egeo Verdejo  and Amizade Godello   Some of my favorite wines to pair with paella!



Jason Eskind,Chief Manager of Cumberland Cask Tennessee Straight Whiskey,  100% Distilled, Barreled, Aged, and Bottled in Tennessee!






There is another new and delicious restaurant opening in town,City Fire American Oven & Bar ,which takes the place of Nashville Flats in the Gulch. I hope they are serving their creamy mashed potatoes & grilled chicken because I want more! Good thing this new restaurant is close to my house!






Rodizio’s Grill, the Brazilian Steakhouse located in Nashville, showcased their succulent meats and sausages with a spicy sauce.





There was no shortage of lovely ladies enjoying this evening!




This is what I love about Tennessee, Moonshine! Ole Smoky Tennessee Moonshine is small batch, handcrafted  in a variety of flavors such as Lemonade, Apple Pie, Blackberry,Cherries or White Lightnin! Great idea for cocktails. My favorite is Old Smoky Lemonade with Old Smoky Cherries on ice!



 Check out the recipes on their website.


Everyone is a winner at the Silent Auction! Generous donations of one-of-a-kind items and trips are auctioned off who ever wins these are lucky!














Diano Marino Quartet serenades the guests in Liberty Hall




Next October, the halls of The Factory will be yet again transformed into another successful event. I can’t wait!



10 2013

Music City Eats Festival 2013! Nashville’s Inaugural Food,Wine & Spirits Festival: SIPPING MY WAY THROUGH THE DAY!

Strolling through the tents of Nashville’s first Music City Eats Food & Wine Festival 2013 sampling wines and spirits was outstanding! Two glorious days of perfect weather spent in the beautiful city of Nashville at Public Square Park sipping on some of my favorite wines and cocktails was just about as good as it gets!



Let me share with you some of my favorite wines and spirits that I so happily sipped and contemplated pairings with all of the fabulous foods throughout this two-day event. 

Dark Horse Wines was a proud sponsor of the festival and we were happy to have their great wines in Nashville!  I enjoyed  learning about their wines. The BOLD Dark Horse Cabernet is filled with aromas and flavors of dark berries including juicy blackberries with balanced tannins and a lovely finish of espresso and dark chocolate. Dark Horse Chardonnay was a big hit with medium body and  aromas and clean flavors of baked apples, pears, buttery caramel and a long juicy finish.

Bold wines without the bold price~around $8 per bottle. Currently, you can find Dark Horse Wines at Trader Joe’s.

Dark Horse Wines can be purchased on-line at The Barrel Room.

Dark Horse wines are not quite yet in Nashville’s market but I hope that they will be soon! They work hard to bring forth wines that drink like expensive wines for an affordable price! They are great for sipping and for pairing with your favorite fall recipes!





Marieke Bianchi and Bukky represent Dark Horse well! It was fun talking to them while sipping on the wine!

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Nashville is lucky to one of the largest markets for Silver Oak wines. On my recent trip to Sonoma, I spent an unforgettable day at Silver Oak Winery and Twomey Cellars,from the family of Silver Oak wineries, sampling different vintages of Silver Oak Cab and Twomey’s sensational Sauvignon Blanc.


It was good to meet Director of sales at Silver Oak & Twomey, Charlie Campbell, who was pouring the current release of the distinctive Silver Oak 2009 Alexander Valley Cabernet and the Twomey 2012 Sauvignon Blanc of which are two of my favorite wines!


 Deep Eddy Vodka! Bringing a little bit of Austin to Nashville! After living in Austin for a total of 3 years, I was thrilled to see my favorite vodka here in Nashville.


Whether it’s the refreshing Real Grapefruit Vodka, Sweet Tea Vodka with Real Honey or the smooth unflavored Vodka, you will love these small batch distilled vodkas. Check out their website for recipes. My favorite is the South Bound Greyhound!

Thank you AUSTIN for sharing! LOVE YOU! MISS YOU!


There’s a new brew in town! The Black Abbey Brewing Company is brewing up fantastic artisanal Belgian-Style beer made right here in
Nashville, Tennessee. Run don’t walk to their tasting room and sample these great hand-crafted brews. Head to the website and find out the location and hours of the Tasting Room that JUST opened at the end of September. Meet  John Owen, the founder of The Black Abbey and enjoy sipping on this really well-crafted brew! I am also thrilled to find out that this fine establishment is very close to my neighborhood!


Another great local brewery very close to my neighborhood too, is Yazoo Brewing Company. My personal favorite- Yazoo Pale Ale. Yazoo’s Tap Room is another great way to sample some of the finest local brews in town, again, close to my neighborhood.

Apparently I chose my neighborhood well!




Yet another amazing neighborhood brewery Jackalope Brewing Company! You’ve got to visit this one too! My husband and I recently visited the Tap Room to sample some of their handcrafted brews and yes we loved their brews too! I love the citrusy and hoppy American Pale Ale Thunder Ann and the Bearwalker with its distinctive maple flavor from 100% Vermont Maple would be a perfect accompaniment to our Tennessee fall evenings.



It wouldn’t be Tennessee without moonshine! Ole Smoky Distillery Tennessee Moonshine  is hand-crafted using local Tennessee ingredients in a variety of flavors. Sip on some Apple Pie or Blackberry Moonshine or any other flavor you like. Or, top of your dessert with Moonshine cherries! I love my Tennessee and I’m glad we can now enjoy that “forbidden” homemade corn liquor anytime! By the way, the Ole Smoky Blackberry Moonshine is my personal favorite straight from the jar!





Here’s my friend Nathan pouring a rocking J.P. Wiser Rye Whiskey!  I am learning so much about whiskey and enjoying every drop!



Champagne was flowing at Music City Eats 2013. I was truly sipping in style and luxury!  Perrier Jouët Grand Brut Champagne from the Champagne region is one of my favorite champagnes. We toast to beautiful,crisp fall evenings at our home in Tennessee with Perrier Jouët Champagne!




I thoroughly enjoyed sipping on New Zealand’s most elegant wines of Craggy Range. The amazing story of Craggy Range wines and how they came to be is a testament to New World classics. Two of my favorites are the single vineyard Craggy Range Sauvignon Blanc and single vineyard Craggy Range Pinot Noir and really everything in between. If you don’t know these amazing wines of New Zealand, you should!






Enjoy wines from family-owned winery in Argentina, Alta Vista Winery. These terroir-driven wines represent some of the best Torrontes and Malbec available.  Thank you, Aliza Ray, for representing these amazing wines!






Harmony Overstreet was pouring another favorite of mine, Rodney Strong Vineyard ‘s 2010  newly released  Symmetry Meritage Red Wine of Alexander Valley in Sonoma. This wine is an opulent blend of Bordeaux-style varietals with concentrated dark fruit on the palate and elegance that lingers on the palate.

I love Sonoma wines and this is just one more reason to drink more of them!





Here is my friend, Daryl Gibbs District Manager for Winebow, Inc. pouring their Italian portfolio which is delightful and I especially the always refreshing Zardetto Prosecco Brut, Zenato Pinot Grigio 2012 and the two Italian reds Vitiano Rosso 2011 and Allegrini Palazzo Della Torree 2009.   These wines are especially great for pairing with my rustic Italian dinners for the fall!



I enjoyed the 2011 Siduri Rosella’s Vineyard Pinot Noir to the last drop! Wine Spectator gave this complex Pinot Noir 92 points.


Have you ever had Jameson Irish Whiskey with Ginger Ale and fresh lime  aka Jameson Ginger and Lime?  That was my first but will not be my last. Jameson’s booth was at the end of the tents so I did not know it was there until later in the day and what a cool refreshing drink! I never considered drinking Irish Whiskey-until now….

What a great way to top off a fabulous day of sampling some of the best foods and spirits Nashville has to offer!




Cheers!  I can’t wait until next year!

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10 2013

‘Tis the Season for Celebrating Friendship in Franklin,Tennessee

“Fate chooses your relations, you choose your friends.”
– Jacques Delille  French poet.

Celebration of the Season~Tables lined with
platters of delicious seasonal
Culinary Creations,
Sparkling Decorations, Laughter, Reminiscing ,Friends
Family ,Thankfulness…..This is what comes to my mind during the holiday season.

Reconnecting and cherishing friendships……..Deb and Amy

Deb and Dale hosted a lovely Christmas Season Celebration. Thank you for opening your lovely home to us and sharing such a delicious meal,laughter and music.

You both are so gracious,kind and a whole lotta fun!
We have set the bar for our future dinner parties and I know we are all looking forward
to seeing what we can cook up in 2012!

Denise & Bobby

Looking forward to fun with you two in 2012!

So glad to know you! What a lovely couple!

Amy & Brett

I predict 2012 will be the year of dinner parties! I can’t wait to start planning the
Spring Fling!

Diane,looks like we have many dinner parties ahead and even more True Blood Fans! YAY!

The dining table is set in Holiday Style! How beautiful!

Cocktails are chilling…..

Time for the party to begin……

The highlight of the evening was listening to the awesome music by the The PANCAKE TURNER BLUES BAND. We all enjoyed listening to a mix of traditional blues and classic rock.

And,several of the members are from Louisiana. We are looking forward to our spring party
with these guys.
Dale,THANK YOU SO MUCH, for making the evening extra special with live music!

Buck rocked the harmonica!

Candace and Deb enjoying the evening

Dale is putting the finishing touches on the lovely dinner that is about to be served.

 The main course was Succulent and tender Roasted Pork, full of flavor.  Dale slow cooked the pork
in the cast iron dutch oven and it was simply delicious.

Lovely trays of delicious appetizers provided by Denise….DELICIOUS!

Dinner is served!

Sharing a delicious meal,wine and laughter with close friends during the Holiday Season:
It doesn’t get much better than that!


Delicious Desserts….

How about this! Old Fashioned New Orleans Style Bread Pudding with Bourbon Sauce topped
with Blue Bell Ice Cream! The recipe is in my previous posting.

Thanks to all of my closest and dearest friends and to my new friends for being a
part of our lives. You make it all worth while.

Looking forward to the next year of fun,laughter,dinner parties,wine pairings and a
Spring Fling!

“Fate chooses your relations, you choose your friends.”
– Jacques Delille French poet.




12 2011