by Kristi Maier

| @TriadFoodies

North Carolina wineries will descend upon downtown Winston-Salem for the 10 th annual Salute! NC Wine Celebration this Saturday. More than 35 wineries will line up along Fourth Street to pour samples of their wine, giving local residents and visitors to the Triad a taste of what the NC Wine Region has to offer. The festival itself is actually the culmination of a week chocked full of events throughout downtown featuring regional wineries and local chefs.

Salute! has been voted a “Top 20 Event in the Southeast” by the Southeast Tourism Society. If you’ve ever wondered about the vines in North Carolina, a tasting of this size is a great way to get an idea of the varied flavored profiles of the region. Downtown Winston-Salem Partnership President Jason Thiel says calling the festival “Salute!” is the most appropriate word. “The event highlights our ever growing North Carolina wine industry. It’s fun and festive and not only can you taste, but wineries also have their wine here for purchase. There’s musical entertainment and terrific food selections at on-site vendors and food trucks, as well as throughout our downtown restaurants.”

Several wine events have already been held this week, including a Meet the Winemaker Event featuring Childress Vineyards and RayLen Vineyards at Carolina’s Vineyards and Hops. On Wednesday, June 3, a/perture cinema will show the film “Roman Holiday” along with a glass of Raffaldini wine. Showtime is 7 8 p.m. and admission is $11. Chef Nikki Miller- Ka will also be there with her own popcorn creation and be a guest pourer. Then, on Thursday Wednesday night, JOLO Vineyards and Winery will set up shop at Fourth and Trade from 6-8 p.m. for an after-work tasting with appetizers from JOLO’s chef and restaurant.

Hungry for a bit more? Meridian Restaurant will feature a fivecourse wine dinner with Biltmore Estate Winery. And Quanto Basta: Italian Eatery and Wine Lounge features a collaboration dinner with Raffaldini Vineyards.

On Friday, Spring House Restaurant Kitchen and Bar will host a RayLen Vineyards celebration with a multi-course meal. Menus are available on the Salute! website.

To kick off the weekend, Salute!

will feature the much anticipated celebrity chef cooking event, “An Evening of Southern Food,” this year with renowned chef and author Virginia Willis. Chef Willis is a nationally recognized southern food and beverage authority and has worked as a producer and kitchen director for the likes of Martha Stewart Living, Bobby Flay, Epicurious on the Discovery Channel and has appeared on Food Network’s “Chopped.” Local chefs being featured at the event will be Stephanie Tyson of Sweet Potatoes and Jared Keiper of the Tavern in Old Salem. Chef Jeff Bacon’s Triad Community Kitchen will also be assisting with the small bites. That event takes place at Milton Rhodes Center for the Arts at 6:30 p.m. on Friday.

Attendees of the festival will also get up close and personal demonstrations throughout the day in the tent on Poplar Street that is Food and Wine University. FWU is an interactive area that showcases five chefs, who’ll each demonstrate a course that “students” can do at home. A winemaker will also show how to sip, swirl and savor the featured paired wine for the dish. Here’s the schedule:

Flight 1: 12:30 p.m. Chef Kevin Reddick, The Screaming Radish Food Truck w/ Jones von Drehle Winery

Flight 2: 1:30 p.m. Chef Mark Grohman, Meridian Restaurant w/ Biltmore Wines Flight 3: 2:30 p.m. Chef Richard Miller, Graze Restaurant:

ALL LOCAL CHALLENGE featuring Joyce Farms, Shore Farms Organics w/ Cellar 4201 Vineyards Flight 4: 3:30 p.m. Chef Tim Grandinetti, Quanto Basta: Italian Eatery Wine Lounge & Spring House Restaurant, Kitchen & Bar w/ Raffaldini Vineyards & Winery Flight 5: 4:30 p.m. Chef Pablo de Valle, Atelier on Trade w/ Hanover Park Vineyards Each demonstration is 45 minutes long and includes a sample pour of each paired wine. !


Tickets for Salute! are available for $25 in advance at Total Wine, Whole Foods and Lowe’s Foods as well as online at www.salutencwine. com, where you can also find out more info and purchase tickets for an Evening of Southern Food. Reservations for wine dinners and tastings should be made through the individual restaurants or locations. Seating is limited. Volunteer opportunities for Salute are also available. Tickets will be available at the door until 4pm for $30 but are subject to sell out. The event is from 12:00-6:00 and wine tastings end at 5:00.