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Festival of Wines was a big hit with tasters

Festival of Wines was a big hit with tasters

It’s time to share another excerpt from the memoirs of a tired, teeth-stained wine taster.

This year’s Festival of Wines was a big hit with tasters. Held Thursday in North Little Rock, benefited the American Heart Association and offered an exciting tasting experience. Being a foodie as well as a wine geek, I must say this year’s event had an exceptional group of restaurants and incredible foods to taste as well as outstanding wines.

Dickey-Stephens Park was filled with an extensive variety of wines ranging from $5 merlots to $100 one-of-a-kind cult wines. If you are looking to expand your tasting knowledge, explore hundreds of wines and also explore creations of local chefs, there are many such events in our area throughout the year.

Here are some of my favorites from the Festival of Wines.


  • 2013 Sawbuck Chardonnay, California (about $10 retail)
  • 2013 Sawbuck Cabernet, California (about $10 retail)
  • 2013 St. James Velvet Red, Missouri (about $8 retail)
  • 2013 Matchbook Chardonnay, California (about $12 retail)
  • 2013 Gnarly Head Authentic Black, California (about $10 retail)
  • 2013 Noble Vines 446 Chardonnay, California (about $10 retail)
  • 2013 HandCraft Petite Sirah, California (about $9 retail)
  • 2014 New Harbor Sauvignon Blanc, New Zealand (about $12 retail)
  • 2014 Lindeman’s Bin 45 Cabernet, Australia (about $6 retail)


  • 2013 Alta Maria Sauvignon Blanc, California (about $21 retail)
  • 2012 Alta Maria Pinot Noir, California (about $31 retail)
  • 2013 Bell Sauvignon Blanc, California (about $17 retail)
  • 2012 Chateau Mongravey Margaux, France (about $44 retail)
  • 2012 Beaulieu Vineyards Rutherford Cabernet, California (about $24 retail)
  • 2013 Leonard Kreusch Estate Riesling, Germany (about $17 retail)
  • 2012 Cornerstone Stepping Stone Cabernet Franc, California (about $47 retail)
  • 2013 Force of Nature Chardonnay, California (about $20 retail)
  • 2012 Penfolds Bin 8 Cabernet/Shiraz, Australia (about $26 retail)
Art of Wine features pleasing list of choices

Art of Wine features pleasing list of choices

The Art of Wine is one of my favorite wine functions. The annual three-day event benefits the Walton Arts Center’s educational programs and offers wine enthusiasts the opportunity to sample hundreds of wines. Each year it continues to impress. This year’s event, held June 11-13, went beyond my expectations.

Here are some wines featured this year worth seeking for your everyday enjoyment and or special occasion splurges.


  • 2014 Candoni Organic Pinot Grigio, Italy (about $12 retail)
  • 2013 Van Ruiten Cabernet, California (about $16 retail)
  • 2014 Barkan Pinot Noir Classic, Israel (about $13 retail)
  • 2013 Matchbook Chardonnay, California (about $12 retail)
  • 2014 Stella Rosa Platinum, California (about $14 retail)
  • 2014 Force of Nature Red Blend, California (about $14 retail)
  • 2013 Alamos Malbec, Argentina (about $10 retail)
  • 2014 Stellar Organics Merlot, South Africa (about $11 retail)
  • 2013 Tercos Malbec, Argentina (about $12 retail)


  • 2014 Left Coast Cellars Pinot Noir, Oregon (about $24 retail)
  • 2013 Mira Cabernet Sauvignon, California (about $52 retail)
  • 2010 Kopke 10-Year Port, Portugal (about $33 retail)
  • 2013 Round Pond Kith and Kin Cabernet Sauvignon, California (about $29 retail)
  • 2013 Tooth and Nail “The Stand,” California (about $26 retail)
  • 2014 Raptor Ridge Barrel Select Pinot Noir, Oregon (about $26 retail)
  • 2013 The Creator by Charles Smith, California (about $72 retail)