Category Archives: Charity

Coming Up: The Nashville Wine Auction’s L’Ete du Vin

Now in its 34th year, the Nashville Wine Auction‘s major fundraiser, l’Ete du Vin takes place this month. But leading up to that is a series of wine-focused events, which NWA is calling Pour de France, that gives wine lovers a number of opportunities (and price points) to help raise much-needed funds for seven local organizations dedicated to cancer treatment.

Sylvia Roberts
To kick off the series, NWA hosted Grand Cru, a preview event that took place in mid-June at the home of Sylvia Roberts—aside from boasting a gorgeously appointed wine cellar, the home also happens to play the part of Rayna James‘ house on the ABC television show, Nashville. The night featured various tributes to the show including a showcase of photos of the set that is modeled after the home (so carefully, in fact, that it features working appliances in the kitchen) and hand-held paper masks of the stars.

Rayna James
But, of course, the emphasis of the night was on the wine and driving up excitement for the auction items that will be up for bid at l’Ete du Vin. A note to the wine lovers out there: You do not want to miss this auction. Why? Because you might be walking home with a trip for two to California’s Central Coast, including lunch and a barrel tasting with Au Bon Climat winemaker Jim Clendenen. Or a wine tour for six to the best chateaux of Bordeaux, that includes stops at Chateau Marguax, Chateau Lynch-Bages, and a private tour and tasting at Taittinger. Or an elegant diamond pendant from Luca Carati (for that one, all you have to do is purchase a glass of Tiattigner Comtes du Champagne Blanc de Blanc for a chance to win). Tickets to the Saturday, July 20 event are still available and you can preview the whole auction catalog here.

Wine Cellar
But if your tastes run closer to the $30-and-under range, there’s still an opportunity to join in the fun, including an evening at The Franklin Theatre. On Wednesday, July 17, NWA will host a screening of A Year In Burgundy, which guides viewers through a year in the winemaking process alongside French importer Martine Saunier who will be on hand for a pre-event reception—and yes, there will be wine! ($30 per person, $100 for VIP.) The Vintner’s Tasting takes place on Thursday, July 18 and includes a tasting of a selection of French wines ($135).

Regardless of your level of taste or ability to bid high, the events are sure to bring your appreciation and love of wine to a whole new level—and support a host of important cancer initiatives, too.

Wine Tasting

Pour de France Schedule:

Wednesday, July 17
A Year In Burgundy at The Franklin Theater

Thursday, July 18
Vintner’s Tasting at Hillwood Country Club

Friday, July 19
Patron’s Dinner at The Hermitage Hotel

Saturday, July 20
l’Ete du Vin at Loews Vanderbilt Hotel

For tickets and more information, go to

Also check out our Wine + Spirits page for recipes, events and more!


New Book “Rock and Vine” Features A Nashville Wine Group

ErinThis week, our office is buzzing as we prep for our biggest event of the year, Savor Nashville. The event takes place Friday and Saturday this weekend—and while the Friday night Chefs Challenge Cook-off is sold out, you still have time to score tickets to Saturday’s Celebrity Chef  dinner. If I had to choose between the two, this would be my pick namely for the wines: All seven courses at Saturday’s dinner will be paired with wines from the Wagner Family of Wines stellar collection.

Joseph WagnerTasting Wagner’s amazing lineup (Caymus, Mer Soleil, Belle Glos, and my personal fave, Meiomi) is a treat, but so is rubbing elbows with hot-shot winemaker Joseph Wagner himself, who is coming to Nashville for his first-ever visit to be at this event.

Keep an eye here for more details about Joseph and his wines later this week. But in the meantime, if you’d like to learn more about him, as well as a few other rock star vintners, pick up a copy of the book Rock and Vine: Next Generation Changemakers in America’s Wine Country by author Chelsea Prince. This beautiful, easy to read primer takes a look at some of the most innovative young minds in the wine business today, including Joseph Wagner, as well as Nashville-based BNA Wine Group founder Tony Leonardini. Leonardini is a volunteer-firefighter-slash-winemaker who started bottling his Napa Valley Volunteer Cabernet Sauvignon in 2006 and immediately found a following in Tennessee (the name fits!). He then partnered with two TN-based wine pros to create the BNA Wine Group, which according to the book, is on track to sell 1.2 million bottles this year.Rock adn Vine

Enter to WIN a copy of Rock and Vine at

Get to know BNA and Joseph Wagner by grabbing a copy of the book, which you can do during a signing with author Chelsea Prince this Sunday, April 14 at Parnassus Books. What’s more, a portion of the book’s proceeds will benefit the non-profit organization Wine to Water, which provides clean water to people around the world. Great wine supporting great causes? We think it’s a win-win.

Rock and Vine author signing, Sunday April 14 at 2 p.m. For more information go to

— Erin Byers Murray, Managing Editor

Our Holiday Cheer: Working with The Charles Davis Foundation

We’ve had a festive few weeks here at the offices of Nashville Lifestyles. Yes, the party season is under way and the holidays are almost here. While we’re all looking forward to spending more time with our families, this is also the time of year when we take the opportunity to give back to our local community. Every year for the last five years, our team has worked with the Charles Davis Foundation to take part in the “For Santa’s Sake” program. CDF provides programs that enhance the quality of life for thousands of Nashville’s most impoverished residents and at Christmas, that means partnering with area businesses, individuals, and neighborhoods to bring a “Santa Claus” opportunity to young children around the city.


This year, we fulfilled the “wish lists” of four young children who were selected by CDF. From winter coats to new pajamas, we handpicked several items of necessity (as well as a few goodies) and brought them all back to the office where, to the sound of Chirstmas music, we spent the morning wrapping each gift in anticipation of “Santa’s Sleigh.” It’s a small gesture that every one of us enjoys taking part in and we hope that it helps to bring a smile and a helps fulfill a need for those who need it most. Happy Holidays from the team at Nashville Lifestyles!

To learn more about the Charles Davis Foundation, go to For more Nashville charities doing great work in our community, visit

Chefs Thomas Keller & Sebastien Rouxel Hit Nashville

ErinFew people in the food world generate as much buzz and genuine excitement as Chef Thomas Keller. This past Tuesday, Nashville’s food industry and its fans were downright giddy as the superstar chef, joined by Bouchon Bakery pastry chef Sebastien Rouxel, made an appearance at the Hutton Hotel for a book signing of their new book (Bouchon Bakery) and a Q&A with The Tennessean food writer Jennifer Justus. A host of the city’s most talented up-and-coming chefs were on hand to cook for the event, including the Capitol Grille’s Tyler Brown, the Catbird Seat’s Erik Anderson and Josh Habiger, Chef Lisa Donovan of the Buttermilk Road Sunday Suppers (who recaps the excitement perfectly on her own blog), and Porter Road Butchers, Chris Carter and James Peisker.


There was an outstanding array of dishes, to start, including these preciously trimmed egg cups filled with a silky, complex maple and pine custard (Catbird Seat).


We got their early and ate our fill including three (yes, three) of the PRB’s “beeves in a blanket,” which were actually insanely good all-beef hot dogs made from 14-day, dry-aged beef short ribs wrapped in bone marrow biscuit dough. Later, we had a visit with the folks from the Nashville Food Project (the beneficiaries of the night) who told us all about their two urban farms and the meals they cook and deliver to low income residents—it’s a program I’m hoping to get to know better soon.

And then, came the meat of the meal: Thomas Keller and Sebastien Rouxel took the stage for a casual conversation with Jennifer Justus. Keller came across as very funny, intelligent, and kind; clearly he and Rouxel have a deep admiration for one another’s work. Rouxel, one of the country’s most revered pastry chefs, was soft spoken and humble but managed one or two impeccably timed jokes. The gentlemen took their time with their answers in a way that felt both personal and genuine.

When the conversation ended almost an hour later, we applauded the guests and the crew of chefs who had cooked that evening, and sauntered back out to the dining room to find a sugar-trimmed feast of desserts prepared straight from the cookbook. The “better nutters,” prepared by Etch pastry chef Megan Williams went down especially well with a sidecar of Cruze Dairy Farm milk, served just like the book cover, with red-and-white striped straws.

If you missed Tuesday’s event, the book captures many of the stories and philosophies shared by the two chefs—and if you’re willing to share, might just make the perfect holiday gift.

Bouchon Bakery. Book Jacket

Erin Byers Murray, Managing Editor

Keep tabs on our Things to Do and Restaurant pages on for more great food events coming to Nashville!