Rivertown Wine-Around (revisited)

The wine offerings at 3rd Avenue Home: Josh Cabernet and Hedges Sauvignon Blanc

The wine offerings at 3rd Avenue Home: Josh Cabernet and Hedges Sauvignon Blanc

The Rivertown Wine-Around is such a popular event that Conway Downtown Alive hosts it twice a year: once in January and once in June!  (See Kelly’s Rivertown Wine Around post from January).  As soon as we saw tickets go on sale I purchased one and invited our friend, Kayla, who had tried to purchase tickets in January but was unable to attend since the event had sold out (it turns out they always sell out!) to join us.  Kelly had to go out of town but Kayla and I made sure we wrote down our favorite wines to share with her later.  (Surprisingly I enjoyed the reds more than the whites during this wine tasting whereas I enjoyed the whites more during the Tasting Trolley event).

The June Rivertown Wine-Around mirrored the January event: we picked up our wine glasses and a map of participating Conway businesses at the Visitor’s Center and started our walking tour of the city, planning to visit 12 establishments where we would be served one to two wine samples each in order to taste 20 wines total.  The event lasted from 3pm to 6pm and most of the stops provided some kind of snack (such as cheese, fruit, crackers or chocolate).

If you follow this blog you have read about many of these Conway shops during other events.  However, I have listed the stops below with a fact or tidbit of information I took away from my visit with them this time, a link to their websites that showcase their businesses, and the wine they offered during this event.  I highly recommend spending an afternoon checking all of these businesses out in downtown Conway. Participating in one of these drop-in events is a fabulous way to get a taste (of something to drink!) of what these shops have to offer!

Encore Florals and Fine Gifts was our first stop.  This is one of my favorite shops in Conway!  They have a cat that loves attention and will follow you around the shop at times!  They were showcasing serving dishes that you could create themes with by using the straw-sized hole on the edge of the dish for inter-changeable porcelain figurines in shapes such as a beach ball, a flip flop, a red solo cup, a turtle, etc.  The wines served were The Rule Cabernet (everyone in the shop seemed to enjoy this one the most) and Big Gun Red.

The next stop is another one of my favorite shops, 3rd Ave Home.  They have an amazing “mix of artisans, antiques, décor, and more!” They served a Josh Cabernet (which was hands down both Kayla and my favorite from the event!) and a Hedges Sauvignon Blanc (see picture).  They provided a recipe that paired well with each wine and I picked up the “bacon wrapped figs stuffed with goat cheese” recipe to share with Kelly, who loves to cook.

Unfortunately we passed The Shabby Chick without realizing it (they were on the other side of the street from 3rd Ave Home) but they were serving a St. Cosme Cotes Du Rhone.  I have visited this shop before and they offer amazing eclectic furniture pieces and other unique items.

Trademark Home Exteriors served a Butternut Chardonnay and a Camp Viejo Rioja Tempranillo (one of my favorites of the day) in their cozy showroom.

Palmetto Patio & Hearth served a Biltmore Zinfandel and a Jason Stephens Merlot.  They also provided sample cups of their winaritas: a blueberry pomegranate (YUM!) and a regular margarita flavor.  Kayla and I enjoyed these while sitting at one of their outdoor table and chair sets set up in their showroom with fire places surrounding us – another cozy showroom!

US International Nail Spa served a Trinity Oaks Cabernet Sauvignon and another Trinity Oaks that wasn’t listed.  They gave out $10 gift certificates to their services.

Simply Sophia served a Chateau Ste Michelle Riesling and a Folonari Chianti.  This shop would make any little girl feel like a princess!  They offer free gift wrapping and will monogram anything.

Homebrewer’s Pantry served a Cartlidge & Brown Cabernet Sauvignon. This is a new stop on the Wine-Around as they opened after January and it was my first time visiting.  They have everything you need to brew your own wine and beer.  Kayla and I got to speak with the owner, Thomas Lucas, and he invited us to their Wednesday classes.  The first Wednesday of each month they offer a beer making class; the second Wednesday they offer a wine making class; the third Wednesday they offer an all grain brewing class; and the fourth Wednesday the class varies.  Each class is $40 per student.

Oh Sew Cute served San De Guilhem and Can Feixes Blac Seleccio.  The owners are so friendly and they will monogram anything.  I will soon be going back to purchase one of their rain coats!

Essential Massage & Back to Basics Organics served Jaume Serra Cristalino Brut and Tortoise Creek Zinfandel.  They offered some organic snacks which Kayla and I tried (a bean dip, coconut chips, banana and cinnamon, and organic chips).  I placed my wine glass down on top of a free magazine I had picked up earlier at one of our stops and the weight must have been unevenly distributed because over went my wine and magazine and map of the event!  Luckily there wasn’t much of my wine sample left.  The owners were very sweet and brushed it off and said it wasn’t the first time it had happened!  I mopped some drops off the wall and threw the soaked magazine away – it had served its purpose.

The Spa on Main served Pasorina Moscato and Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais.  This was a new shop for me as they had not participated in the last Wine-Around because their owner was pregnant.  This was a delightful establishment and they gave us a tour of the upstairs where they offer pedicures on a massage table!  Can you say girls’ day out?

Kayla and Karen snap a selfie in Bodega's wine aisle at the Rivertown Wine-Around

Kayla and Karen snap a selfie in Bodega’s wine aisle at the Rivertown Wine-Around

We ended the day at Bodega which is another one of my favorite shops in Conway.  Bodega could not offer any free wine samples because they hold a wine license in the state of South Carolina, but they do sell almost all the wines that we sampled.  They offered their own wine tasting for a reasonable $2, but we decided that we had consumed enough wine for the day.  We did enjoy their complimentary snacks which included a delicious cocktail sauce on shrimp and their blueberry lavender jelly served with cream cheese spread on a variation of Melba toast.

This was another great event in downtown Conway!  I know Kelly, Kayla, and I will enjoy many more Wine-Arounds.

Cost: $20 per person

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