We’ve had a couple of busy weekends – this weekend was the Nine Lakes Wine Festival; we went to the Winemaker’s Dinner last night and the festival itself today, and both were wicked fun. Before I met the Nine Lakes folks I really had no idea that Tennessee wine was thriving – I’d only tried one Tennessee wine and it was from a winery that’s … not very good … and I didn’t realize that there were so many more Tennessee wineries out there, and that so many of them are excellent.

I am now thoroughly enlightened on this matter. The Winemaker’s Dinner last night showcased award winning wines and I enjoyed every single one – there were dump buckets at the table so that you could dump out any wine that you didn’t like, but I didn’t dump a single thing.

Okay, let’s have some honesty here – when it comes to wine I’m really not very picky. This isn’t to say I can’t appreciate truly good wine – I can, and many of the wines I’ve had this weekend were something special. But I’m also perfectly happy with whatever house wine they serve at Cru that’s $5 for a 9oz glass at happy hour, and I usually keep a Bota Box around at home.

I also enjoy just about every type of wine. I generally prefer reds, and I particularly love reds that punch you in the face – a really bold red zin is one of my favorite things – but other than sickly sweet wines I can enjoy just about any variety. We brought home a few things from the festival today that aren’t my typical style – a light peach wine and a semi-sweet white muscadine. I do sometimes get more in the mood for whites in the summer when a chilled drink is particularly enjoyable, and there were some amazing whites on offer this weekend.

But point being, a wine would have to be pretty damned bad for me to pour it in the dump bucket, and there was absolutely nothing bad at the dinner last night. No wine that was poured for me ended up anywhere other than in me. And, um, by the end of the evening it was pretty evident that I’d enjoyed the hell out of the selection.

The festival today was perfect – the lakeside setting was gorgeous, the weather was bright and beautiful and there were so. many. wines. I tried a ton of things that I wouldn’t normally order in a restaurant or commit to a bottle of without tasting first.

In the midst of everything going on in the world it was nice to focus on good food, sunshine and an abundance of good wine for a while. And I’m now officially a convert to Tennessee wine.