Midtown Wine and Spirits | 615-327-3874 | Nashville, TN
Midtown Wines and Spirits

Inaugural Wine & Food Festival


Announcing the First-Ever Nashville Wine and Food Festival!

It feels like just yesterday that we were blogging from within the depths of  an exceptionally long and dreary cold snap, but springtime pollen counts never lie: we’re poised on the edge of yet another beautiful summer in Music City.

We couldn’t be more excited to welcome the season with a delectable surprise — in fact, we’re so excited that we’re throwing a one-day culinary affair the likes of which Music City has never seen: Midtown Wine and Spirits is proud to present the first-ever Nashville Wine & Food Festival!

Scheduled to take place on June 14, 2014 at Riverfront Park, the Inaugural Nashville Wine & Food Festival will pear tasting booths stocked with over 150 wines from around the world with mouth-watering offerings from a staggering lineup of Nashville’s very best chefs, merchants, and vendors – from Duckhorn and Holland House to Orin Swift and Olive & Sinclair, festival guests will have the opportunity to sample the creme de la creme of everything that Nashville’s culinary scene has to offer — and much more!

Tickets are disappearing quickly and this inaugural event is already shaping up to be the most talked about wine festival in an already jam-packed culinary season, so don’t hesitate — buy your tickets today!

For more information on the 2014 Nashville Wine and Food Festival – including admission pricing, V.I.P. opportunities, and an up-to-date list of participating restaurants, wineries, vendors, and benefitting charities – please visit www.thenashvillewineandfoodfestival.com.

If you or someone you know would be interested in participating in the festival as a volunteer,  please email us with your name and contact information to midtowncorkdork@gmail.com “Wine and Food Festival 2014 Volunteer” in the subject line. (**IMPORTANT: All volunteers must be 21 years of age or older as of June 14, 2014**)

Important Whiskey Fest Announcement!


We are thrilled to announce that we have set a date and a location for Whiskey Fest 2013 — this year’s festivities will be held on the evening of Saturday, September 14, 2013 at the Country Music Hall of Fame.

If you attended Whiskey Fest 2012, then you may remember that our focus was centered on local favorites; this year’s list of featured whiskeys will include Japanese, Canadian, Scotch, and Irish whisk(e)ys in addition to our American standbys.

The festival was a smashing success last year, but we want to make everything bigger and better for 2013, so we will be packing our schedule with a larger variety of classes, seminars, and special events in the days leading up to September 14th. You can also expect to see – and hear  a lot more from us on the web and in the store about our favorite whiskeys and bourbons as Whiskey Fest draws near.

In the meantime, we will be making a point of keeping you up to date on the enormous selection of local and imported whiskeys on our shelves. We just received new shipments of Corsair Triple Smoke and W. L. Weller 7 Year, and we are also proud to be one of only a handful of spirits stores in the area offering a limited stock of Hakushu 12 Year Japanese Malted Whiskey. We are also expecting several shipments of hand-selected single barrel whiskeys any day now so you can look forward to brand new batches of some of our most-requested spirits including Blanton’s, Four Roses and Buffalo Trace Single Barrels, Elijah Craig 12 year, and that good old Tennessee standby: Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel, so please stop by and pick up a bottle of whatever tickles your fancy!

For now, we will continue to post updates about Whiskey Fest 2013 and related activities on Twitter, Facebook, and right here on the Midtown blog, so don’t forget to check back in with us frequently and be sure to let us know if you have any ideas or requests about spirits or seminars that you would love to see at Whiskey Fest 2013.

1st Annual Nashville Whiskey Festival 2012


whiskeyfestwebsite 1st Annual Nashville Whiskey Festival 2012

That’s right folks, this is a big deal! On September 22, the 1st Annual Nashville Whiskey Festival, sponsored by your favorite wine and spirits store, will take place at the War Memorial Auditorium. It will be one of the biggest events to hit Nashville and will be packed full of stars and gems of the whiskey world. With Tennessee being not only one of the largest whiskey consuming states in the world, it is also one of the largest whiskey producing. It’s only proper to throw a festival in celebration of one of America’s favorite spirits. What happens at a whiskey festival, you say? Here’s just a few things we have in store for you:

  • -Special tastings through the week leading to the event
  • -30+ distilleries & breweries participating
  • -Educational seminars put on by master distillers
  • -Special VIP hour w/ rare whiskey tasting
  • -Cigar kiosk
  • -Barrel aged beer
  • -Special whiskey cocktail seminar featuring  Tim Laird America’s C.E.O.

There’s all this and so much more to come. Follow us on Twitter (@Nashwhiskeyfest & @midtownwine), Facebook and make sure you’re on our email list to get the latest information as it comes out!

In-Store Tasting Notes: Chardonnay and Valpolicella


Another week of voting in the books, and Chardonnay and Valpolicella came out on top. Never before at our tastings have we had two sets of wines so vastly different, in the sense that everyone knew the name Chardonnay but very few had ever heard of Valpolicella. It turned out to be a great pairing, however, as people enjoyed tasting two different styles of America’s most popular white wine while learning about a fun winemaking region of northeastern Italy.

Four Vines “Naked” Unoaked Chardonnay 2009 (Santa Barbara)
Everyone is accustomed to the big buttery oak bombs so often produced in California, so we thought we’d start things off with our most popular unoaked Chard. Fermented in 100% stainless steel, “Naked” doesn’t go through malolactic fermentation — the process by which malic acid is transformed to lactic acid, creating the buttery flavor and texture — thus this wine is lighter bodied and crisper than your typical Chardonnay. The fruit really shines, displaying apple, peach and pear notes, with bright minerality and acidity on the finish.
$11.99 / 750 ml

Liberty School Chardonnay 2008 (Central Coast)
Next we decided to show a more typical representation of California Chardonnay, this time from Liberty School, the one-time second label to Napa powerhouse Caymus. While this Chard doesn’t go through malolactic fermentation either, it does see some significant time in oak. As such, it’s a more full-bodied representation of Chardonnay with a much creamier mouth-feel. It showed big green apple and pear notes along with a hint of vanilla.
$12.99 / 750 ml

veneto wine map1 224x300 In Store Tasting Notes: Chardonnay and Valpolicella

The Veneto wine region.

Tommasi Valpolicella Classico Superiore
If you’re not familiar with Valpolicella, don’t worry — you’re not alone. Like many old world wines, such as Chianti or Bourgogne, Valpolicella is actually the name of the region where the wine is made. Located in northeastern Italy in the Veneto region, Valpolicella sits just a little northwest of the city of Verona, due west of Venice. Amarone della Valpolicella, the high-end wine that gets all the attention, has made this area famous. Your everyday Valpolicella is produced from the same grapes that go into Amarone, though it doesn’t go through the same vinification process.When labeled with the “Classico” designation, that means the grapes came from the old, original Valpolicella zone, and when labeled “Superiore”, the wine has been aged at least one year in oak barrel.

We tried both the 2009 and 2007 vintages, and ’07 definitely won out. Medium-bodied with nice acids, these are always excellent food wines. This one was loaded with black cherry, spice and a touch of leather.
$16.99 / 750 ml

Zenato Valpolicella Superiore 2009
While we enjoyed the Tommasi, the Zenato outperformed its competitor this weekend, despite not coming from the “Classico” sub-region, which typically has the better grapes. The Zenato was more on the full-bodied side, with a richness the Tommasi didn’t possess. With finely-grained tannins, bright acids and layers of flavor, we ranked it #1 for the weekend.
$19.99 / 750 ml

Missed out on the fun? Be sure to join our email list, “Like” us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter to keep up with everything we’ve got going on!

In-Store Tasting Notes: Sangiovese and Red Blends


I must apologize for the gap in blog posts, missing out on tasting notes from Labor Day weekend. I took advantage of that holiday weekend to travel out to Sonoma and Napa (look for an upcoming series of blogs recapping that trip), and as such, I missed out on our in-store tasting. By all accounts, however, the wines were showing very well. Viognier came away the winner, and we hope you were able to swing by to try ’em.

This past weekend, however, your votes from our e-newsletter and Facebook page took us in a completely different direction. Maybe the slight change in climate, indicating that fall is near, led you away from whites and into the reds. Or maybe you just wanted to change things up. Either way, Sangiovese and Red Blends won out.

These selections gave us a wide range of options, so we were able to spread things out a little bit, tasting wines from vastly different regions.

chianti map 300x230 In Store Tasting Notes: Sangiovese and Red Blends

A map of Chianti.

Gabbiano Chianti Classico 2007
What better way to represent the Sangiovese grape than to pick a good Chianti Classico? Many people know the name “Chianti” but don’t realize that it’s actually the name of a region, not a grape. Located in the broader region of Tuscany in central Italy, Chianti is most famous for their sangiovese-based wine. By law, to put “Chianti Classico” on the label, the wine must contain at least 80% Sangiovese, grown in the Chianti Classico production zone. The wine must also have a minimum ABV of 12% and be aged no less than seven months in oak barrel. And now onto the wine in question…

The ’07 vintage may have been the best since the famed ’97 in Tuscany, and this affordable, everyday red shows why. With just 30 minutes or so of breathe time, the wine opened up beautifully. I called it a “Wednesday wine”, great for your every day pizzas and pastas. Medium-bodied, it had some of the classic Sangiovese traits — leather, cedar and a touch of tobacco — along with ripe red cherry notes and a touch of spice on the finish. The bright acids made me crave some meaty lasagna.
$13.99 / 750 ml

Bliss “Schoolhouse Red”
The Bliss wines from Mendocino, California, are brand new to Midtown, and this one represents great quality for the money. A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Zinfandel and Syrah, the winery notes describe it well, saying “it has a nose of dark berries, followed by a rich mouth feel bursting with fruit; the finish is long with good structure.” It’s medium-bodied and layered with flavors. I’d compare it to the Apothic Red, Stephen Vincent Crimson or Menage a Trois Red, though it doesn’t finish with the slight touch of sweetness that some of those do. It’d make a great party wine when you want something enjoyable for a mixed crowd of people or when you just want an easy-drinking red after a long day at work.
$8.99 / 750 ml

Goldschmidt “Fidelity” 2009
This has been one of my personal favorites for the last year or so. The Goldschmidt family is most well-known for their $70+ single vineyard offerings of Cabernet Sauvignon, but they’ve since expanded with a line of under $20 wines that show off just how good the fruit is in Sonoma’s Alexander Valley. “Fidelity” is a blend of 73% Merlot and 27% Cabernet, and it’s definitely closer to the full-bodied side of things. The Wine Enthusiast calls it “rich and satisfying. And at this price, a bargain for a full-bodied, Bordeaux-style wine.” They’re dead-on, but I delve a little deeper into this one. Like it’s sister bottlings Katherine Goldschmidt Cabernet and Chelsea Goldschmidt Merlot, it’s got fine-grained tannins and a fleshy mouthfeel, making it an ideal pairing with burgers and steak. This one was, without a doubt, my favorite from the weekend.
$14.99 / 750 ml

Crios Syrah-Bonarda 2008
And we wrapped things up with this fun blend from Mendoza, Argentina. Native to Italy, Bonarda is a grape seldom seen in our market, yet this marks the Bonarda we’ve had at a tasting (Lamadrid Bonarda Reserva, from our first ever in-store tasting), even if it’s only a blend of it. The winery notes describe this wine as “Dark reddish/purple color. Intense aroma of black raspberries… very lively wine has loads of ripe red plum and black raspberry flavors with a slightly spicy character and a long, juicy finish.” We poured it last because it’s the meanest, spiciest, smokiest and earthiest of the bunch — and those are all good things.
$13.99 / 750 ml

Missed out on the fun? Be sure to join our email list, “Like” us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter to keep up with everything we’ve got going on!

In-Store Tasting Notes: Riesling


Riesling is one of those grape types that people either love or hate. Generally, it’s the sweetness that turns people either on or off.

The problem — not all Rieslings are sweet.

So when you voted last week via e-newsletter and Facebook and Riesling won, narrowly defeating Sauvignon Blanc, we decided it’d be a great learning experience and a chance to show the greatly differing styles of Germany’s most famous white wine. We got things started with the true home of Riesling — Mosel, Germany. Then we jumped totally around the world for one from Western Australia, then up to Columbia Valley, Washington, before wrapping things up back in Mosel.

Von Schleinitz Estate Dry Riesling (Mosel)
Von Schleinitz is one of the most popular producers we have in the store. We carry a number of different bottlings of theirs, from the dry one we offered over the weekend to their Spätburgunder (Pinot Noir). The winery calls this wine an excellent aperitif, saying it’s “a delicate, yet fruit-driven white, sporting peach and apple notes backed by lively acidity.” All of the above is true, but what those notes don’t convey is just how dry the wine really is. We had customer after customer say to us, “Oh, well I don’t like sweet wines.” So I’d pour them a taste of this one, and they’d reply with something along the lines of, “Wow! That’s not at all what I thought it would be.” If you like unoaked Chardonnay, this is a great alternative.
$14.99 / 750 ml

Diddley Bow Riesling (Western Australia)
This is the last holdout of the famed “Southern Gothic Series” from R Wines and importer The Grateful Palate. The rest of the series included Southern Belle Shiraz and Poor Thing Grenache, both of which were huge hits and flew off the shelves. Sadly, due to some financial difficulties on the part of the importer, it looks like none of these wines will be available again. But while the reds may be long gone, we still have a couple cases of the Riesling left. Jay Miller, writing in Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, scored it 90 points, saying it’s “light straw-colored, it gives up an enticing aromatic array of spring flowers, baking spices, lemon-lime, and melon. Just off-dry in a Kabinett style, it has lively acidity and the balance to evolve for 2-3 years. It should drink well through 2017.” You can take away from that description the fact that this one does have just a touch of sweetness to it, at least more than the VS. The citrusy notes on this wine were beautiful, and the nose is classic Riesling.
$19.99 / 750 ml

Maryhill Winery Riesling (Columbia Valley)
And now we come to what I called the sweet summer porch-sipper. Maryhill Winery’s Riesling is definitely a sweeter one, but not so cloyingly sweet as to leave your palate feeling sugar-coated. The winery describes it as exhibiting “an enticing nose of spring flowers, lemon, and mineral… It will pair well with spicy Asian cuisine.” They are smart to point out one of the best pairings for all Rieslings — spicy Asian cuisine. Think of a good Thai or Indian dish with curry or some fresh sushi with wasabe.
$7.99 / 750 ml

Monchhof Estate Riesling (Mosel)
We wrapped things up back where we started, Mosel, Germany. We served the Monchhof Estate Riesling last because it has the highest amount of residual sugar of the group, though it impressed us with its balance. Despite the high sugar content, it didn’t come across as sweet as the Maryhill, due to the bright acidity and minerality which left your tongue tingling and wanting more. The Wine Spectator described it by saying it tasted “like passion fruit and apricot jelly, this Riesling is vibrant and focused, with herbs and mineral lurking beneath the surface, followed by a mouthwatering finish.”
$16.99 / 750 ml

If you didn’t get a chance to come by for these wines, you should definitely try to stop in this upcoming Friday and Saturday as we’ll be trying a fun white blend, a Viognier and a couple of bold Zinfandels.

In-Store Tasting Notes: Oregon


When Sierra Nevada Brewery began exploring the idea of opening an eastern brewery, the city of Alcoa, Tennessee was on their short list. In an effort to draw them to our great state of Tennessee, the legislature passed a bill, which Governor Haslam then signed into law, which makes our state regulations more attractive to the brewery, allowing them to produce high-alcohol content beer and perform tastings on site.

tasting1 300x225 In Store Tasting Notes: Oregon

Want a taste?

As a much welcomed by-product of this new law, we can now have in-store tastings of our own and for the last two months they’ve been a huge success. If you haven’t had a chance to come by Midtown for one of them, we’d love to have you join us as we sample four different wines, every Friday and Saturday, from 2-7 p.m.

But since everyone’s schedules are different and you might not always be able to make it by, we thought it’d be good to post our own notes from the tastings and let you know what people have been saying about the wines!

After popular polling on our Facebook page and via our e-newsletter, Oregon won and we’re featuring some delicious wines from that far northwestern region of the U.S, from producers Acrobat and The Rascal.

Acrobat by King Estate Pinot Gris 2009
This was one of our most successful Midtown Online Exclusive offers this summer, and after such success, it seemed natural to select it for our Oregon tasting. Wine & Spirits Magazine scored it 90 points, describing it as “clean and citrusy in scent, with a soft leesy note, this brisk gris has a peppery phenolic bite that makes it ideal for pairing with whole-roasted fish.” We couldn’t agree more with their overall description, but what has really impressed us most is how well the citrusy notes and vibrant acidity balance with the creamy mouth-feel.
$13.99 / 750 ml

The Rascal Pinot Gris 2010
These wines from the Willamette Valley, arguably Oregon’s finest appellation, are brand new to Midtown. And for $9.99, they represent some of the best bargains the entire state has to offer. This Pinot Gris is not as floral or creamy as the Acrobat, instead offering tropical fruit notes and finishing with just the slightest touch of sweetness. It has been the hands-down customer favorite this weekend!
$9.99 / 750 ml

The Rascal Pinot Noir
With the scorching hot weather we’ve had here in Nashville, this light-bodied and fruit-forward Pinot Noir is the perfect red wine. With aromas and flavors of bright black cherry and soft raspberry, soft tannins and a touch of spice, it’s classic Pinot. It’s an easy-drinker that’s sure to be a crowd-pleaser.
$9.99 / 750 ml

Acrobat by King Estate Pinot Noir 2009
The counterpart to our first wine, this bottling also received high praise from Wine & Spirits. They gave it 91 points, calling it “as bright and fruity as a Beaujolais, this youthful pinot leads with scents of raspberries and red cherries and a woodsy bottom note. The flavors are light and fresh, the fruit giving way to a mild amaro-like bitterness. A great pinot to stock up on.” As the second label for Oregon powerhouse King Estate, we would expect nothing less.
$19.99 / 750 ml

We hope you can make it in for our next tasting — the poll is still going over on Facebook so please vote and help select our next wines!

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Nashville Whiskey Festival

Saturday, September 14th, 2019
Omni Nashville Hotel

For Tickets & Info visit the website

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