Photo: Night scene Haywood Street in downtown Asheville.

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Discover the Bliss of Asheville's Wine Bars, Wine Shops, Wineries and Wine Tasting Events

Wine Bars

Sante Wine Bar
"... Our concept at Santé is simple - we want to make wine about enjoyment and adventure. We want to take the intimidation factor out and put the fun in. We want you to taste before you buy. We don’t want your evening out to cost a fortune and we definitely want you to return again and again - each time walking away having experienced something new. That idea is reflected in our wine selection as we bring you unusual value wines from around the world. Order by the glass, the flight or the bottle - just keep tasting and exploring! And that’s easy to do at Santé as the wine menu changes weekly...." Enjoy their "not so free Free Tasting... where donations are given to charity. Located at the northeast corner of the historic Grove Arcade on Page Avenue in downtown Asheville.

I love Santé because it’s unpretentious and the staff is really able to open your eyes to the various flavors of wine, without looking down their nose at you and expecting you to 1) spit, 2) gargle, 3) waft the bouquet in your direction before sipping, or 4) use ridiculous words. In fact, they’re great at translating an immature wine vocabulary (like mine) and helping find just the right wine. They’ve even (with T’s help) assisted me in developing my palette! And if you go, please don’t miss their divine homemade dips and hand-selected cheese plates - they’re the cat’s meow.

Sniff What I'm Stepping In November 2007

The Back Room at the Flat Rock Wine Shop is a wonderful place to enjoy the wonderful wines and other beverages of the Wine Shop... and to enjoy a fabulous schedule of local live music on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays ... plus open mic night every Wednesday. Food is available, prepared by Green River BBQ. Located in Flat Rock, about a half an hour from Asheville. "... walking distance from the Flat Rock Playhouse, we are your destination before or after the show..." DIRECTIONS
Restaurant and wine bar. Located behind Orange Peel at Lexington Station

Learn How to Grow Your Own Grapes and Make Your Own Wine

Making Wine From Home "... if you want to make wine there is no excuse for not doing so: you don’t need a license or a cellar and the utensils may already be in your house. To make a couple of gallons of wine is no more bother than to bake a tray of cookies, and in comparison the rewards of your labors are far more pleasurable...." SIGN UP FOR A FREE 7 DAY MINI-COURSE IN WINE MAKING

Learn How To Grow Grapes, So You Can Produce Almost 'Obscene', Consistent Crops of Top Quality Grapes... as much as 42 pounds of grapes from a SINGLE grape vine!I own an export grape farm in South Africa, and with more than a decade of grape growing experience, I am sure I can help you grow your very own grape vine. No matter where you are or what you are going to use your grape vine for, the most important thing to remember is: Your grape vine needs to be a well trained, well pruned and disease free plant!...." .CLICK HERE to sign up for FREE NEWSLETTER... and for full details.

Discover the Bliss of Wine

How to Taste: A Guide to Enjoying Wine "...f you decide to read only one book about wine tasting, you can happily make it this one. Unless you have tasted many wines, chances are that you have not yet found the 20 wines you would like the most in your price range. If you are like me, you don't want to spend thousands of dollars to locate wines you would like better than what you now drink. What can you do? Read this book, and start tasting along with some adventuresome friends!

In the mid-1970s, I was fortunate to work for Heublein which made and imported many fine wines. At dozens of tastings, I was introduced to hundreds of superb wines and had a chance to buy them very inexpensively. From that rich experience, I have been given the opportunity to select wines at many great restaurants and many social occasions. People always marvel at how much I know about wines. Can I let you in on a little secret? If you use the process in How to Taste, you will probably exceed my wine knowledge in a few months. What's the reason? Well, I haven't tasted geographically as widely as this book suggests. I know a great deal about French, German, and California wines but relatively little about those coming from other locales. In fact, I plan to use this remarkable book to guide myself into a broadened palate...."

A Moveable Thirst: Tales and Tastes from a Season in Napa Wine Country ".... There are 141 wine tasting rooms open to the public in California's Napa Valley, and Kushman, the TV columnist for the Sacramento Bee, decided he was going to visit them all with Beal, an executive wine buyer for a supermarket chain, offering his expert perspective. Both men are listed as coauthors, but it's Kushman alone who narrates their tours.
He offers plenty of engaging vignettes, along with practical advice—don't wear white if you haven't gotten the hang of spitting yet—and accessible mini-lectures on subjects ranging from the history of white Zinfandel to the proper technique for fermenting wines in oak barrels. The stories, originally published as a series of newspaper columns, are consistently upbeat, reveling in Napa's image as "the heartbeat of American winemaking," and even Kushman marvels at how polite everyone at the wineries is during their visits...."
The Wine Lover's Guide to Auctions "... The book is crisply written and is a useful source of trade secrets on how to try to buy wines inexpensively.... Go slow say I. One of my best auction hints if you are looking for a bargain is to never open the bidding. If the lot is unsold, you may be able to buy the lot by negotiation after the sale...."
Windows on the World Complete Wine Course "... is simply the bestselling wine book in North America—it’s a classic. The 2007 edition alone has sold over 100,000 copies and reorders continue to pour in. Along with the expanded text that has made last year’s update so successful, the 2008 revision will include a special 16-page supplement on “How to Taste Wine,” taken directly from Kevin’s world-famous class...."
To Cork or Not to Cork: Tradition, Romance, Science and the Battle for the Wine Bottle " '...Unexpectedly fascinating, this history of wine corks may sound like a book only an oenophile could love, but Taber's zingy writing and juicy anecdotes make it a genuine page-turner, even for those who prefer wine coolers to wine lists. The first chapter alone is full of intriguing facts: for instance, wine was once sealed with a slick of olive oil, and the practice of tasting wine before pouring it 'actually started as a way of making sure all the oil was gone.'..."
New Classic Winemakers of California: Conversations with Steve Heimoff ".... For anyone who likes oral history, this book contains a well edited collection of interviews with winemakers currently making wine. The California University system has been collecting these histories for a number of years; there is an excellent index available free and online through their website: ..."
Biltmore Estate Winery: America's most visited.(REGIONAL FEATURES, vineyards, wineries): An article from: Wines & Vines

Click on each of the dozens of categories to the left to uncover what makes the Asheville area so vital, so intriguing and so, well, UTTERLY BLISSFUL!


Wine Shops... Some with Free or Inexpensive Wine Tastings
Lists many local wine dinners and wine tasting events. Join their email newsletter to be kept up to date.

Asheville Wine Market
65 Biltmore Avenue for one of Asheville's best selections of wines, beers, ciders, cheeses and accessories. Often has Free Wine Tastings on Saturday from 1-4 p.m. Check their site for details on these Saturday tastings. Also check their Events Calendar for other free tastings as well as wine dinners, etc. You can also subscribe to their free weekly newsletter to be kept up to date with events, new arrivals and specials.

Hops and Vines
"...Each week we highlight a winery, country, or grape designed to illustrate the diversity of wines out there! There's always something to learn by joining us for our tastings on Saturday afternoons...." Ongoing free wine-tasting every Saturday from 2-5 p.m. Located at 797 Haywood Road in West Asheville (near Brevard Rd).

The Merry Wine Market
Check with store for tasting schedule. Located in the heart of historic Black Mountain, just 15 minutes east of Asheville on I-40.

Free wine tastings on Saturdays after 2 p.m. On the 3rd Saturday their is free "Themed Tasting" Located on Patton Avenue in Downtown Asheville

The Flat Rock Wine Shop (Flat Rock ) Complimentary wine tastings monthly, complete with hors d'oeuvres and music.5-8 p.m. Check their website for dates.

The Wine Guy
"...stocks a diverse selection of wines from around the world, focusing on smaller producers and often lesser-known varietals.... we offer tastings several times a month, providing the opportunity for sampling and comparing the wide array of wine styles and grape varieties available today.... Wine Dinners are also offered as well, which showcase the talents of local chefs while demonstrating the magic that can be worked with proper food and wine pairings..." Two locations: Hendersonville Road and Merrimon Avenue. Check their site often for notice of events. You can also subscribe to their newsletter to keep you posted.

Vaso de Vino
"...offers a modern day Enoteca.  The atmosphere is old world, like being in the small town of Montalcino, Italy.  A full deli case and a menu that enhances the flavor of our wines, makes it a pleasure to help our customers figure out their likes and dislikes, regarding their wine choices. We are Asheville's only complete retail wine shop and wine bar, featuring gourmet foods, cigars, accessories and gifts....
Hundreds of wines from around the world... Public wine tastings every Saturday afternoon... Inquire about our private wine and food pairings beginning soon..." 75 Long Shoals Road, The Overlook at Lake Julian

Mini-Course in Wine Making

Vineyards and Wineries in the Asheville Area... and an Hour or Two's 'Day Trip' Away

Biltmore Winery
"...The most visited winery in the United States isn't located in Napa Valley. It's at Biltmore in the mountains of North Carolina, where approximately 1 million visitors stop by to sample award-winning estate wines each year. Learn more about visiting Biltmore's Winery.... Sample our award-winning red, white, rosé, and sparkling wines on your next visit to Biltmore's winery. Learn a new recipe during our culinary demonstrations. Discover gourmet foods, cooking accessories, and other treats for the palate in the Wine Shop...."

Just a few miles away from Biltmore House, there are over 94 acres of beautiful vineyards on the West side of Biltmore Estate. Dennis Wynne, Director of Vineyards will give us the insider tour of this beautiful landscape that most guests don't ever get to see. Then we will meet Sharon Fenchack, one of the Biltmore Estate Winemakers, who will walk us through the process of winemaking during Harvest time.

Your self-guided visit and wine tasting are included in estate admission.

Winery Behind-the-Scenes Guided Tour
Daily, 2:00 p.m Get an inside look at how we craft our award-winning wines. Please register at the Winery reception area. Free with estate admission.

Red Wine & Chocolate Seminar at Winery
Mon.-Fri.: 5:00p.m., Sat.-Sun.: 4:00p.m. & 5:00p.m. Discover why chocolate and red wine is a match made in heaven. Please register at the Winery reception area.

Culinary Demonstrations at Winery
Daily, 3:00 p.m. Watch our culinary experts share quick and easy recipes created by Biltmore chefs. Free with estate admission.

Owl's Eye Vineyard
"...Located only 2.5 miles from the Historic Shelby Courtsquare, Owl’s Eye Vineyard and Winery offers a picturesque view of the South Mountains. We grow, harvest and produce a wide variety of Vinifera wines...."

Rittler Ridge Vineyards, Candler

Rockhouse Vineyards Tryon

Waldensian Heritage Winery
"... The tradition of Waldensian wine making began centuries ago in the Cottian Alps, west of Torino, Italy and the Western Piedmont of Italy. This was comparable to Valdese, North Carolina, the Western Piedmont of North Carolina. The wine-making skills of these Waldensian people are now preserved by Waldensian Heritage Wines and reflect a combined 250 years experience in the making of wine....The winery has available a presentation vineyard and an outside covered "boccia" (lawn bowling) court with an adjacent covered seating area. Visitors are welcome to join a conducted tour along with tasting various wines and an opportunity for purchasing. The winery is available for parties, meetings, reunions, wedding events, or any scheduled gathering of friends. The winery is open year-round on Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday for tours from 1:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. and at other times by appointment...."
Waldensian Wines Online order form

Discover the Bliss
of Making Your Own Wines
Making Wild Wines & Meads: 125 Unusual Recipes Using Herbs, Fruits, Flowers & More "... Make Extraordinary Homemade Wines from Everything but Grapes! Exotic wines, honey meads, spicy metheglins, and fruity melomels-there's no end to the great-tasting elixirs you can make using ingredients from your local market and even your own backyard! You'll find easy, step-by-step winemaking instructions plus memorable recipes..."
Wild Wines: Creating Organic Wines from Nature's Garden " A complete guide to making wild wines using fruit, flowers, roots and leaves.
The Grape Grower: A Guide to Organic Viticulture "... This is a practical guide that's a lot of fun to read.... The focus is mostly on bunch table grapes and wine grapes, but there is some information on muscadines and grapes for cooking, juice, and raisins. The information on available cultivars is great. Hundreds of cultivars are described, along with their vigour, hardiness, disease susceptibility, and other useful info. The material on grape breeding is fascinating...."
The Backyard Vintner: An Enthusiast's Guide to Growing Grapes and Making Wine at Home "... teaches readers how to start and maintain a vineyard, providing vital information on topics such as planting, trellising, and proper pruning techniques for grapes; which grape varieties will grow best in every climate or region; and the wines that can be made from each variety. Basic recipes for wines, and advice on topics such as bottling, storing, and serving wines, are also provided...."
The Home Winemaker's Companion: Secrets, Recipes, and Know-How for Making 115 Great-Tasting Wines "...We are the owners of Maltose Express, the largest winemaking and homebrew store in Connecticut. Whenever a winemaker is looking for a winemaking book, whether the customer is a novice or an experienced winemaker, this book is the one we sell them. It is written by a home-winemaker who knows his craft; after all, he has been making award-winning wine for over 40 years...."

American Express

The Wine Messenger

There are many blissful activities in Asheville! To locate them, go to and search on "Asheville activities".

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