Saturday, July 25th at 6pm

Location: Opera


By Liz and John Attaway


The steam rises from the freshly dampened pavement and the air was stagnant like a thick layer of mist billowing into the early evening sky. Late July in Atlanta can be volatile to the elements, hot, sticky, smoldering, stifling, yet oddly alluring, oh who am I kidding; it’s time to head back inside until fall braces us with its cooling presence. It’s also a good time for a crisp, cold white wine with several hundred of our closest friends. Enter, Atlanta Wine Party Summer Edition. It made for a fabulous event, full of short skirts, short lines, fine wines and evening in the air conditioning far away from the hot July Georgia heat.

The majesty of Opera’s beautiful décor, elaborate wood work, and cascading chandeliers always takes your breath away. Being a renovated opera house would do that to a place. With this beautiful background, the wines just seemed more regal. I was very impressed with the wide variety of everything from whites, reds, blends, Roses, and champagne.

wine festThere were several very good white wines. My favorite was the Santa Christina Pinot Grigio from Italy. It had the DOCG logo, which is Italy’s highest classification of Italian wines. It was sweeter at first with banana and tropical fruit but very smooth and ended with a slight apple crisp. It was so smooth I went back a few times for more. I would have bought a bottle if they were offering! I also enjoyed a Gavi varietal from Riva Leone Italy. It had a high quality DOCG seal and was crisp with a tart aftertaste of mainly acid and green apple.  Also, there was the Benvolio Pinot Grigio from Italy that boasted of wild flowers and apple, it was a little more fruit forward with a smoother tarter end, a little fruitier than a like but the tart aftertaste saved the day. I’m not huge on New Zealand or Australian white wines. That being said, I guess I just hadn’t tried the better ones. I found one I really liked called d’Arenberg “Stump Jump” that was a Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc mix that was slightly sweet up front with floral and grapefruit, but not enough to be too harsh, then into a lime/apple crisp at the end. They were all worth a try if you’re into whites.

I even found a red wine that I would take home and drink regularly. I couldn’t believe it! It was a French Grenache, Syrah, Carignan blend varietal by Gerard Bertrand called “Tautavei.” The wine nose was a mix of raspberry and cranberry and that’s how the flavor started off then it went slightly dry and ended with a slight tart. There was no oak or smoke, which I don’t like. It was smooth and light enough for the hot summer months. Just look for the red circle and cross bottle if you’d like to try this one!

No sooner did we get there, that it felt like the event was over. We made our way back out into the steamy night with a slight smile on our faces. We had new favorite wines, new friends, and new memories that would keep this night in our minds for the rest of the summer. Cheers.