Enjoying a bottle of wine at home over a satisfying, home-cooked meal is one thing, but enjoying a tasting of five carefully selected cabernets over a menu of gourmet hors d’oeuvres is quite another.

This Thursday, Feb. 21, two of Chattanooga’s vino aficionados host a cabernet wine tasting at Easy Bistro & Bar at 6:30 p.m.

Chef and owner Erik Niel and sommelier Casey Gamblin will share an introduction to each of the five wines, providing information about how the particular climate, soil and surroundings in which the grapes were grown can impact the final pour.


The cabernet list includes Argentina’s Argento, Italy’s La Maialina Gertrude, Washington’s Charles & Charles, France’s Chateau Bel-Air Bordeaux Superieur and, finally, Napa’s CadeCuvĂ©e.

Gamblin added that the two will also speak about the factors that determine a wine’s price point and how wines pair with food.

The hors d’oeuvres menu is set to complement the variety of earthy, fruity and spicy notes of the five libations. Although it has yet to be announced, previous tastings have featured caviar and other delectable offerings.

Last fall, Niel and Gamblin hosted a similar event with sparkling wines from around the world. In both cases, they compiled the lists from conversations and tastings with distributors. Many of the wines were discovered while building out Easy Bistro & Bar’s house lists.

Niel and Gamblin ran the sparkling wine night in classroom mode, speaking to the group as a whole. This Thursday’s event will be more intimate, with the pair speaking to individual guests as their wine is served.

“One of the main pieces of feedback we got last time was that we weren’t charging enough money for what they were getting,” Gamblin said. “A lot of wine events are trying to promote a product, so it is more of a sales pitch. This is just to actually educate wine drinkers, and people were really excited about that.”

The response is indicative of Chattanooga’s budding wine culture, of a growing trend for diners interested in adding wine to their foodie experience and for chefs and servers interested in further diversifying the dining scene in the city.

Tickets are $25 each and can purchased at Easy Bistro & Bar. Call 423-266-1121 to reserve a space.

Updated @ 3:40 p.m. on 2/19/13 to add the fact that Gamblin is a full sommelier, not a sommelier-in-training, as originally reported.