Columns by John

John Brown has been a wine and food columnist in West Virginia since the 1980’s. His regular columns appear in the Charleston (WV) Gazette-Mail under the title Vines & Vittles and in The State Journal - a statewide business weekly

Wine and food events

Wine friends mark your calendars and start your palates for the following food and wine events around our fair state.


The Tamarack Foundation Gala, “Hats Off to the Arts!” at the Tamarack Conference Center in Beckley on Saturday, Sept. 19, from 6 to 9 p.m. will feature West Virginia foods on its extensive menu.

Tamarack Chef Jamie Henderson and his team of Greenbrier-trained chefs are saluting West Virginia’s protein, produce and food products from hors d’oeuvres at the reception to the dessert bar at the end of the evening.

“We’re always looking for opportunities to showcase West Virginia’s creative small businesses and entrepreneurs,” said Tamarack Foundation Executive Director Sally Barton.  “It’s great for us to give guests at the gala an opportunity to discover some wonderful local foods as well as fine arts and crafts.”

The funds raised from the Gala are used by the nonprofit Tamarack Foundation to support programs focused on building artisan-owned small businesses and preserving West Virginia’s unique cultural heritage.  The Gala features an auction of West Virginia arts and crafts as well and the proceeds from the auction benefit the Foundation’s Teresa Pauley Artisan Relief Fund.

Tickets are available from the Tamarack Foundation.  Call 304-926-3770 to make reservations.  Tickets are $125 each and a portion of the contribution is tax deductible.

 Ashton Place Kroger

This Friday Sept 18, the Wine Shop at Ashton Place Kroger will host a tasting of La Crema Pinot Noir and Guenoc Cabernet Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay. This tasting is free to adults of sipping age.  In addition, wine lovers can usually find an open bottle or two for tasting on Fridays from 3 to 6 p.m. and Saturdays in the afternoon.

Wine Shop at Capitol Market

The Capitol Market Wine Shop will conduct the following tastings this fall:

October 4- Annual Harvest Tasting at the outdoor market; October 18 - tasting of wines from  Moet & Hennessy; November 15 -  Annual Thanksgiving wine tasting;   December 6th - Annual Blind Claret Tasting; December 20th -  Annual Sparkling Wine Holiday Tasting.

All the tastings begin at 2 p.m. and have a fee – usually in the $10 per person range. The Wine Shop will also host a special Spanish Wine Dinner on Monday November 2.  Contact the wine shop at 304-343-9463 for details on where, what time at how much.

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