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The Art of Wine is one of my favorite wine events in Arkansas, and this year it’s celebrating 13 years of success. This Northwest Arkansas gathering draws guests from across the country, with proceeds supporting the Walton Arts Center’s award-winning arts and education programs. What started as a simple affair has grown into one of the largest in the region, featuring hundreds of wines, food from dozens of restaurants and entertainment.

I enjoy all of the events and tastings, but my favorite is the annual Winemaker’s Dinner and silent auction June 13. It always has a touch of exclusiveness, as the dinner is held on stage in Baum Walker Hall at the arts center. This year, Arkansas is honored to have William Hill winemaker Alex Dutzi in attendance. Chef William Lyle of Ella’s Restaurant will prepare the intimate five-course dinner and, as expected, the wines will be sensational. To finish off the dining experience, Ghirardelli’s Chocolatier Steve Genzoli will create a special dessert. Tickets, $200 each, go quickly, so my advice is reserve sooner rather than later.

The warm-up tasting is at 7 p.m. June 14 at the arts center and presents more than 400 wines and nibbles from local restaurants. Tickets are $80 each.

The main event is The Premier Tasting at 6 p.m. June 15 at Baum Walker Hall. There will be heavy hors d’oeuvres prepared by Northwest Arkansas chefs and more silent auction items, ranging from art to entertainment. This grand highlight is a colossal tasting opportunity, with hundreds of wines to sample- many unique to this event. Tickets are $150 each.

For more information call the Walton Arts Center box office at (479) 443-5600 or visit waltonartscenter.org.

These are a few to keep your eye out for. I hope to see you there!


  • 2011 Tuck Beckstoffer Hogwash Rose, California (about $16 retail)
  • 2011 Sean Minor Four Bears Chardonnay, California (about $14 retail)
  • 2011 Charles Smith Eve Chardonnay, California (about $15 retail)


  • 2010 Charles Krug Napa Valley Generations, California (about $50 retail)
  • 2010 Regis Bouvier Marsannay Clos du Roy, France (about $40 retail)
  • 2011 Blackbird Vineyards Arise, California (about $55 retail)