Winter, Wine, Summer, Fall…

It’s that time of year again! Beginning with the Fleming’s Wine Dinner at the end of February we kick-off what is known around the Brooks as wine season. In like a lion, we hit the ground running in March! The Memphis Wine + Food Series, now in it’s 19th year, is the premier fundraising event for the museum and the money raised goes directly to fund our award-winning education programs and community outreach initiatives. I am very proud to be able to work on the events that support such dynamic programming appealing to our diverse community and making the Brooks such a bright spot for our city.

Wine season is my favorite time of year but definitely the busiest, too. The entire wine committee works hard to insure that we have excellent auction items, the very best wine and food, and full seats at all of our events. Wine season is marked by tons of wine donations flowing it- you should see my office when I let it build up! In addition to wine, we get generous donations of other items such as jewelry, clothing, trips, art, gift certificates- you name it!

After a couple of Warm Up to Wine classes- the first of which was held at Sole last month and next Tuesday Napa Café hosts the Pinot Power themed tasting-we are ready for Brooks Uncorked on April 15th , by far the most fun party in town! Our fantastic distributors pour some of the very best wines while guests enjoy an awesome silent auction, live entertainment by DJ Raiford AND food by some of our favorite local restaurants. In addition to our distributors, we have the distinct pleasure of working with some of the finest restaurants in town again this year who are donating their time and talent for our patrons to enjoy. This year’s lineup includes: Spindini, Owen Brennan’s, Memphis Pizza Cafe, Amerigo’s, Sole, Interim, Frank Grisanti’s, Ciao Bella, Thyme, Cortona and more!

April showers or not, we don’t slow down after Brooks Uncorked. We have 3 more events after all! We salute the wines from the family of Silver Oak Cellars for our culminating events in May. Even though our winemaker, Daniel Baron and featured chef, Dominic Orsini also of Silver Oak fame clearly hail from California we are bringing a local focus to our wine + food events this year in an exciting Farm to Table effort. Together with Brooks resident chefs Wally Joe and Andrew Adams we invited chefs Felicia Willett (of Felicia Suzanne’s) and Dominic Orsini to prepare memorable dishes using local ingredients for the elegant Patrons Dinner on May 6th. Then the very next day local restaurants set up at the Brooks so serve some of their signature fare to guests at the Grand Auction. With special guest, featured artist Thomas Arvid, all of our friends from Silver Oak, local restaurants, retailers and sponsors all showing up to support our city’s museum, it is truly fascinating to see how world-class wine, food and art converge at the Brooks for the Memphis Wine + Food series, celebrating the art of good taste in grand fashion in 2011.

This blog is written by Lindsey Hedgepeth Development Assistant/Fundraising Events for the Brooks.

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