By Jen | Feb 8, 2015
Twitter: @TriangleAT | Facebook: Triangle Around Town | Instagram: @trianglearoundtown
“Let us celebrate the occasion with wine and sweet words.” – Plautus
And so we did at the 22nd annual Triangle Wine Experience Gala, held on Feb. 7 to benefit The Frankie Lemmon School. The Grand Gala and auction were the finale to three days of wine events – from wine dinners, trade tastings and tastings with the wine makers at select merchants – which all ended with the Grand Gala. The Gala was held in Research Triangle Park, with proceeds of the weekend to benefit the Frankie Lemmon Foundation.
We were unable to attend any of the wine dinners this year, but hope to in years to come. Several restaurants opened their doors on Thursday, Feb. 5, as wineries and sponsors hosted the evening with the Triangle’s finest chefs for a delectable meal paired with the finest wines.
|Niles Zacherle was having fun at the Triangle Wine Experience's Grand Gala.|
Triangle Around Town made it out to Raleigh Wine Shop on Glenwood Avenue for the wines of Nile Zacherle. Niles was a fantastic host as he talked about each wine he poured – including at $200 bottle of David Arthur 2012 Elevation 1147. Other shops who hosted were Apex Beverage Co., Chapel Hill Wine Company, Great Grapes, Taylor's Wine Shop, Total Wine & More and Triangle Wine Company. There just wasn't enough time in the evening to get to all of them!
Saturday evening, however, is when it all came together for the Grand Gala. The event was held inside an empty warehouse in Research Triangle Park. The room was lined with wine makers and chefs offering samplings of their food. We even found the occasional brewery mixed in offering some beer samples. We perused the silent auction items, many of which were also wine related and so tempting to place that bid.
|Steve Reynolds with Reynolds Family Vineyards is always a popular man at TWE events.|
As we made our way around the room we noticed some familiar faces, from Eliza Kraft Olander, who is the brains behind this event, to NC Attorney General Roy Cooper and restaurateur Ashley Christensen, who is also on the planning committee for this event. It is so nice to see so many out to support and raise money for the Frankie Lemmon Foundation.
|SONO chef Mike Lee, left, and his crew prepared a tasty appetizer for the TWE Gala.|
This event was a collaboration of roughly 49 wineries, with the majority from Napa Valley, 30 restaurants and around 40 sponsors. I look forward to this event every year – as I will again in 2016.