2018 seems to be the year of wine dinners in Knoxville and with the number of exceptional restaurants to choose from, it seems there’s a dinner for just about any palate. There was a time when restaurants would host dinners and have a hard time filling the seats, but it seems like those days are over. Just in the last 2 weeks, Oliver Royale, Emilia, The Press Room, the Long Table Dinner, OliBea, have all hosted sold out wine dinners.
The Oliver Royale has wine dinners with regularity and we’ve never been disappointed with these. The Poggio Anima Wine Dinner was the most recent and these trendy-labeled wines were paired with Chef Jon’s Spring/Summer creations with ingredients largely sourced locally. Chef Jon makes not only some of the best dishes in town, but also some of the most artfully designed plates.
Emilia recently was the site of the Knoxville Knox Knockouts, a redux of the James Beard House dinner that Chefs Newmister of Kaizen, Lenn of JC Holdway, Gallaher of Knox Mason and Emilia, and McDonald of Plaid Apron cooked last month.
The Press Room is a new event venue on Central and the May 21st dinner was the first in a monthly series of wine dinners. Catering Chef Anna Bogle created a “Compare and Contrast Wine Pairing” dinner. Each of the 5 wines were presented with a plate featuring two dishes; a dish that you would normally think of as a great pairing and the other, a dish that contrasted what you would normally think would work. This was a great theme to work with and spurred lively debate among the guests.
The Long Table Dinner has become a twice-yearly affair to support a local nonprofit. This dinner was for Dream Bikes and attendees were treated to a large selection of appetizers and snacks from A&B Distributors, bread from Paysan and Mothersdaughter. This led into courses from OliBea, Crown and Goose, Lonesome Dove, and Rebel Kitchen. There’s few events that are as spectacular as seeing an entire street shut down an a giant table running down it to support locals.
OliBea and Corks Wine and Spirits joined in the fun with a Spanish themed wine dinner last night. Corks and Chef Jeffrey Dealejandro worked together to select 7 wines and pair with dishes inspired by Spanish classics but with a decidedly “Jeffrey” flare. This was a ridiculously good end of a week of outrageous dinner experiences in Knoxville. Hopefully more of these will follow in the intimate OliBea location.
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