More Than a Taste 14

It’s a warm summer night and the air is alive with the clink of wine glasses, the twinkling bubble of laughter and the soft pop of fresh corks. We’re not at some rooftop cocktail bar or mod wine lounge, but at South Asheville’s favorite wine shop, Vaso de Vino.

A series of tables fill the two open stories of the shop, and their angular lines are hugged by the relaxed forms of all types of folks—a spectrum of ages and looks—and heaped with plates of fragrant pork loin and dozens of drained wine glasses. Although the space is perfect for and often hosts private events, from receptions to corporate dinners, that’s not what this is; this is Vaso de Vino’s monthly tasting.

Wine connoisseurs are familiar with the programs their local shop offers, which usually come in two forms: a free tasting of a small collection of wines or a pricey four-course dinner. But what Vaso de Vino offers at their twice monthly paired dinners is the best of both worlds.

“We were doing a Friday or Saturday tasting like a lot of other shops and grocery stores do, and wine dinners for $60, $80, $100 a person, but they didn’t seem to be doing much,” explains owner David Hansen. So he and co-owner Rich Prochaska created an alternative in the form of their monthly tasting dinners.

“With these dinners you get way more than a regular tasting, and almost the same experience as a four-course dinner,” he notes. “For $25 you get a nice plate of food and six wines—that’s a value!” And it’s true. Nowhere else can you sample six wines and a full dinner for less than $50—even at home. Hungry attendees can even add a cheese board or decadent truffles to their order. Plus it’s a great way to get a taste (pun intended) of a private event at the wine shop before reserving the space.

It’s been a popular offering for Vaso de Vino’s regulars and new customers alike for eight years. So popular, in fact, that Hansen expanded the dinners to twice a month to accommodate the expanding waitlist.

It’s become a monthly tradition for some, who gleefully clink glasses at being reunited with other guests they’ve met at dinners past. For others, it’s a tasty entree to an oft-intimidating world of wine. They’re young, they’re old, but they’re united by a love of good food and good wine.

Sound like your kind of night? Sign up for Vaso de Vino’s email list at VasoDeVino.com to get notified of upcoming pairings and reserve your spot before the it fills up.