• Laurel Contributor

Wine Dinners Line UP

by Luke Osteen

A stellar lineup of exclusive wine dinners will serve as the centerpiece for the 2019 Highlands Food & Wine Festival.

Highlands Food & Wine Festival has earned a regional reputation for its superlative offerings of meticulously crafted menus and near-legendary culinary creations.

At the center of all the excitement are the Wine Dinners that have been embroidered into the fabric of the festival since its inception.

The 2019 Highlands Food & Wine Festival, slated to run November 7 through 10, continues that tradition with a full lineup of wine dinners.

On Friday, November 8, look for a fun event at Lakeside Restaurant on the shore of picturesque Harris Lake in downtown Highlands.

Lakeside opens its Dining Room for an exclusive Wine Pairing, The Davis Family Vineyards Wine Dinner (with winemakers/owners Gary and Judy Davis. Dinner will be five courses accompanied by five superb wine selections. Indulge in lush sauces, bold textures, and silky-smooth sips of Davis Family delights. The fun begins at 6:30 P.M. For reservations, call (828) 526-9419 or visit lakesiderestaurant.info.

An Evening with Canyon Kitchen at Lonesome Valley and Aviva Vino will be staged at the Sapphire restaurant on Friday, November 8, from 6:00 to 9:00 P.M. Guests will experience Canyon Kitchen & Lonesome Valley’s fireside wine dinner with the exceptional selections of Aviva Vino. Cost is $150 per person, which includes food, wine, tax, and a service charge (additional fees may apply). For reservations, call (828) 743-7967 or visit LonesomeValley/CanyonKitchen.com.

On Friday, November 8, plan to visit 4118 Kitchen + Bar at 6:30 P.M. for Chef Adam Bresnahan’s five-course tasting menu focusing on regional products prepared with both classic and modern technique. He’s pairing those dishes with six amazing beers from Sweetwater Brewing from Atlanta. Cost is $115 per person. For reservations, call (828) 526-5002.

Meritage Restaurant will stage its International Beer vs Wine Dinner on Friday, November 8. It’s a no-holds-barred battle pitting a lineup of beers with a worldwide reputation against Meritage’s deep, deep wine list, all of which will be paired with creations from Meritage’s storied kitchen. Make reservations at (828) 526-1019 or email meritagereservations@gmail.com.

At 6:30 P.M. Saturday, November 9, it’s the Duckhorn Vineyards Wine Dinner at Lakeside Restaurant. This features five courses with five wine pairings guaranteed to satisfy every lucky taste bud. Lakeside enjoys a wide reputation for getting it right. Cost is $150 per person, plus tax and gratuity. For reservations, call (828) 526-9419 or visit lakesiderestaurant.info.

Chef Wolfgang Green and the vintners of Caymus Vineyards and Wagner Family Wines will serve an unforgettable Wine Dinner at Wolfgang’s Restaurant & Wine Bistro, 7:00 P.M. Saturday, November 9.

Chef Wolfgang will create five remarkable courses to complement Caymus Vineyards and Wagner Family Wines.

The event starts at 6:30 P.M. with Champagne and appetizers, followed by dinner at 7:00 P.M. Cost is $160, excluding tax and gratuity. For reservations or more information, call (828) 526-3807.

On the Verandah pulls out all the stops for its Wine Dinner at 6:00 P.M. Saturday, November 9. Nationally-recognized chefs Andrew Figel and Jerri Fifer will conjure six Southern-style dishes with six impeccable selections from Champagne Laurent-Perrier. Cost is $155 (not including tax and gratuity). For reservations, call (828) 526-2338.

Chef Todd Richards’ exclusive dinner at Half-Mile Farm, set for Saturday, November 9, promises to capture attention far beyond the confines of the Highlands-Cashiers Plateau.

Chef Todd is also the chef/owner of Richards’ Southern Fried and has previously helmed the kitchens of prestigious hotels and restaurants including The Oakroom at the Seelbach Hotel, which garnered the prestigious AAA 5 Diamond Award.

Tickets for the inclusive evening are $185 per person, plus tax and gratuity. Call (828) 787-2635 or (828) 787-2916 to reserve your seats.

Meritage, which the night before staged a Battle Royale between the heady pleasures of a well-bottled beer and the fruits of sunny vineyards from around the world, throws its favor behind the subtle aesthetics of its wine lists on Saturday, November 9, with its Wine Top 100 Night. Just like it says, guests will be able to order from the Meritage Menu and pair their selections with wine flights from Meritage’s Top 100 List. It’s an exciting test of your ability to match the wisdom of chefs and sommeliers and the clarity of your palate. Make reservations at (828) 526-1019 or email meritagereservations@gmail.com.

Festival plans are still being made, so you’ll want to visit highlandsfoodandwine.com to get the latest word.

The Laurel Magazine

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