It’s common knowledge that wine lovers and pet lovers form two groups of passionate individuals. On July 25, the perfect event for these two worlds to merge took place at Heirloom Cafe & Fresh Market.
At the Vegan Wine Tasting to Benefit Athenspets, more was happening than just the usual pairing of fine wine and specially crafted food.
“What we are all about here is sharing a story through food and for me, at the bar, it is about sharing a story through drinks,” said Brian Winters, the bartender who entertained the attendees of the event for the night.
Many might be pretty surprised to hear that most wines are not vegan. Through a process of fining when the organic particles in wine are filtered out, wineries often use animal-derived products, such as egg whites, milk or gelatin.
Within this event, all wines are chosen from wineries who use more traditional methods of fining, where the particles of the wine settle and separate on their own over time. Though this process takes longer, it involves no animal products and some say it produces a more flavorful wine.
“Wine makers will just let the wine settle naturally and it actually makes the wine have a more well-rounded flavor profile in the process,” said Brian Thompson, the individual who selected the vegan wines for the evening.
Throughout the evening, five different vegan wines were presented and paired with three vegan small plates by Joel Penn, the head chef at Heirloom.
Wines were brought out with a short introduction by the server. Thompson then came by and spent a few minutes with each guest explaining the wine’s heritage, after which the small plates were presented.
Throughout the event it was made clear through the wine choices, the hand-crafted small plates and the personable staff that careful intention and thought were put into the execution of the tasting.
Through both the menu choices and the intimacy of the setting, there was an inclusive mood about the event that encouraged mingling and conversation. Tables were large and shared amongst all guests, strangers or not, so a sense of community was sparked from the beginning.
The wine selection varied from Murphy-Goode’s Sauvignon Blanc to Domaine Bousquet’s Malbec Cabernet Rosé. Small plates included dishes such as smashed cucumbers, soba noodles, sesame vinaigrette and lime.
The focus of the event was the collaboration with Classic City Paw Prints and Athenspets. With 10 percent of all proceeds from this event benefiting Athenspets, the enjoyment of vegan wine and food contributed to a cause.
Among the clinking of glasses and the lively classical music playing, the sense of community was shared by all attending this event. Blossoming new friendships and an increased awareness of how wine is made joined together animal lovers and wine lovers for a greater understanding and better community.