No matter your level of experience, wine dinners can expand and educate your palate. Enjoyable for the curious explorer and the connoisseur alike, these curated dinners help deepen wine knowledge with each sip. Learning to discern flavors and aromas leads to choosing wines with confidence.
The opportunity to taste many glasses of wine without purchasing expensive bottles also is an advantage. For some, it simply is about a good wine enhancing a meal.
Wherever you fall in the wine appreciation spectrum, there are two upcoming wine dinners in Atlanta to mark on the calendar.
Miller Union Champagne dinner
The Westside’s Miller Union was a 2019 James Beard Foundation award winner for outstanding wine program (as well as in 2017, and a semifinalist in 2015, 2016, and 2018). This fall, the restaurant celebrates its 10th anniversary. Nothing toasts a decade like Champagne. General Manager and sommelier Neal McCarthy oversees the expansive and carefully selected list. It includes many small producers that use natural practices, much aligned with chef Steven Satterfield’s locally sourced and seasonally driven menu.
On Oct. 22, Satterfield’s five-course tasting menu will be paired with seven select Champagnes picked by Terry Theise, a writer and importer of boutique wines, and a James Beard award winner for outstanding wine and spirits professional. The paired sparklers are all grower Champagnes (those produced by the same estate that owns the vineyards where the grapes are grown).
Theise gave us some insight into the seven featured Champagnes:
Philippe Glavier Còte des Blancs Grand Cru — “From a tiny family estate, generally wines that lead with muscle and mineral, but the ‘basic’ NV (non vintage) is fresh, crisp and delicate.”
Didier Gimonnet — “An icon estate in the Còte des Blancs, with a crystalline polished style emphasizing freshness and concentration. It’s one of the top five ‘names’ in this region.”
Gaston Chiquet, Vallee de la Marne — “Other than being the nicest man ever, Nicolas Chiquet’s wines are fruit-driven and articulate, defining what ‘classic’ means for Champagne.”
Moussé, Vallee de la Marne — “The most interesting among the young lions of pinot meunier, Cedric Moussé is a rare young producer who pushes the boundaries without ever being merely odd. The classiest meunier you will ever taste.”
A-Margaine, Montagne des Reims — “Unusual chardonnay Champagnes from a terroir otherwise dominated by pinot noir, they are (usually) extremely flowery and chalky.” This one is not.
Mouzon-Leroux, Montagne de Reims — “A no-holds-barred Champagne of electric precision and intensity.”
Vilmart, Montagne de Reims — “These are aristocracy — incomparable fruit, complexity, florals, deft use of casks. This is the outer orbits of finesse and polish.”
All the producers of the wines will be present at the Miller Union dinner.
7 p.m. Oct. 22. $180 per person. Call for reservations. Miller Union. 999 Brady Ave. NW, Atlanta. 678-733-8550, millerunion.com.
8Arm wine dinner
8Arm recently opened 8Arm Wine, a natural wine bar featuring organic, biodynamic wines from small producers. On Oct. 24, chef Maricela Vega promises “a touch of whimsy” with her five-course tasting dinner to complement seven wines from Italian producers Occhipinti and La Stoppa.
Owner, winemaker and viticulturist Arianna Occhipinti founded the Occhipinti estate in 2004 in the Vittoria region on the southeastern coast of Sicily, Italy. The 25 hectares situated between the Mediterranean Sea and inland mountains are certified organic, and the grapes are grown using biodynamic practices. Working in the wine industry since the age of 16, she has become a seminal figure for a new generation of wine drinkers.
Nico Sciackitano is a producer and vintner at La Stoppa, a historic estate nestled in the hills in Emilia-Romagna in northern Italy. The 50-hectare property was founded in the late 19th century. It produces 16 different wine types. All red, orange and dessert wines are produced organically.
Guests will have the chance to interact with both Occhipini and Sciackitano, whose featured wines will include: La Stoppa Ageno, La Stoppa Trebbiolo, La Stoppa Macchiona, Occhipinti SP68 Bianco, Occhipinti SP68 Rosso, Occhipinti Il Frappato and 2013 Occhipinti 10° Decima Vendemmia Il Frappato.
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