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One of my favorite events of the year, when wine lovers can explore hundreds of wines under one roof is the American Heart Association’s annual Festival of Wines.

This year’s event is 6 p.m. Thursday at Dickey-Stephens Park, 400 W. Broadway, North Little Rock.

The Festival of Wines is the largest wine festival in central Arkansas, offering several hundred wines from all corners of the wine world.

One of my favorite features is the unique location of the “patio party” — encompassing the entire Dickey-Stephens Park concourse surrounding the stadium. Not only is it a wine-tasting mecca but the festival offers exceptional cuisine from many of our best restaurants in central Arkansas. For more information about the event, visit arkansasonline.com/1003wine.

I was able to get a sneak peek at this year’s wines. This is an opportunity to taste many wines we enjoy and also explore new tastes. Take time at the event to find some of the grape varietals, regions and styles that are not part of your normal buying routine.

Here are some to keep an eye out for as you explore the vast array offered at the festival.


  • 2016 Matchbook Dunnigan Hills Chardonnay, California (about $14 retail)
  • 2017 Picos del Montgo Garnacha, Spain (about $12 retail)
  • 2016 Gnarly Head 1924 Cabernet Sauvignon, California (about $11 retail)
  • 2016 Llama Old Vine Malbec, Argentina (about $14 retail)
  • 2017 St. James Peach, Missouri (about $11 retail)
  • 2016 Abbeycourt Cotes Du Rhone Rouge, France (about $14 retail)
  • 2017 Charles Smith Eve Chardonnay, Washington (about $15 retail)
  • NV Zonin Prosecco, Italy (about $15 retail)


  • 2017 Chamisal Stainless Chardonnay, California (about $19 retail)
  • 2016 Tosalet Priorat, Spain (about $28 retail)
  • 2016 Chateau Smith Cabernet Sauvignon, Washington (about $22 retail)
  • NV Moet and Chandon Imperial, France (about $72 retail)
  • 2017 Saracco Moscato d’ Asti, Italy (about $19 retail)
  • 2017 Left Coast Truffle Hill Chardonnay, Oregon (about $25 retail)
  • 2016 Axel Cabernet Sauvignon, Chile (about $25 retail)
  • 2016 Gran Pasas Monastrell, Spain (about $17 retail)
  • 2017 Zaccagnini Cerasuolo Rose, Italy (about $18 retail)
  • 2016 Maddalena Cabernet Sauvignon, California (about $21 retail)