On August 25, I attended the Asheville Wine & Food Festival VIP Grand Tasting in the U.S. Cellular Center in Asheville, North Carolina. This was my first public tasting event and I was not disappointed. In fact, I was pleased to find an assortment of vendor choices serving not just wine and food samples, but also beer and liquor, most of which were produced in North Carolina. I tasted food samples from local hotels and restaurants, wines from North Carolina wineries, international wines provided by local retail stores and their distributors, ONEHOPE Wine (50% of their profits are donated to charities benefiting the environment, breast cancer, the troops, AIDS, and autism), beers from Asheville-area microbreweries, Cardinal Gin (Kings Mountain, NC), Troy & Sons Moonshine Platinum and Oak Reserve (Asheville, NC), and Carriage House Apple Brandy (Lenoir, NC). Below are some photos from this year’s event.