Michael Bray

Wine Columnist Michael Bray

When you’re learning, you’re growing, and when you’re growing, you’re happy. It’s a pretty simple formula and one that I apply to every aspect of my life … and wine is no different. There is some serious wine education happening in Atlantic County over the next few weeks, and I beg you to check out one, or maybe even all, of the following events, with a 100 percent satisfaction guarantee (my personal promise to you)!

The Right Notes:

7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 19, at Greate Bay Country Club in Somers Point: This is a collaborative fundraiser between the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Bacharach Institute for Rehabilitation and Passion Vines Wine & Spirit Company of Somers Point and Egg Harbor Township. Guests will enjoy over 100 top-scoring wines, craft beer, live music, a live auction and delectable food from Knife & Fork Inn, Dock’s Oyster House and Steve & Cookies. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $85 per person and can be purchased at the door. Attire is business casual with a “touch of orange.”

Vegetarian Herb Dinner:

6 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 24, at Steve & Cookies Restaurant in Margate: Enjoy a three-course vegetarian dinner made with seasonal herbs and vegetables, perfectly complimented with an interactive discussion by Herbalist Gayle Gross and Cookie Till. This vegan and gluten-free dinner will feature biodynamic wines from France. Proceeds from this dinner benefit Jewish Family Services Health and Wellness Initiatives. Call 609-822-7409 or email bjoseph@jfsatlantic.org event information and reservations.

Wine Dinner, Flanagan Wines:

6:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 27, at Knife & Fork Inn in Atlantic City: Flanigan Wines was born in 1999, after owner Eric Flanagan purchased 40 acres on the heights of Bennett Mountain in California. Now, Flanagan and his team produce wines from several of the most highly regarded vineyard sites in Sonoma County. This is a truly unique opportunity to dine with a winery owner in an intimate, fun and educational setting. Call 609-344-1133 for event information and reservations.

The Evolution of Cabernet:

6:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 10, at Borgata Hotel & Casino: Join Master Sommelier Robert Bigelow as you tour the noble grape, Cabernet Sauvignon, from its ancestral home in Bordeaux, across Europe, South America and the United States. Explore how the personality of the wine is altered and reinvented with each new soil and each new culture’s palate. Featuring Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars “Fay Vineyard.” First off, this event is a deep dive into the most popular red grape variety — Cabernet. What’s not to love about that!? Secondly, you will be guided by a master sommelier, which is truly a rare and unique experience. Visit TheBorgata.com for event information and reservations.

Having traveled the world attending wine events and meeting with winery owners and winemakers, I can tell you that all of these experiences are first-class and offer no intimidation factor, in case you’re feeling uncertain. If you have any questions about these events, I hope that you will reach out to me at, Michael@ PassionVines.com. But most importantly, I sincerely hope I will see you there!

Drink passionately!

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