On Saturday, September 28, the Montclair Public Library Foundation presents Grape Expectations, a unique wine and food event with a ‘Twist’ to benefit the Montclair Public Library , featuring Eric Asimov, chief wine critic for The New York Times and the author of “How to Love Wine: A Memoir and Manifesto.”
Asimov will collaborate with Sharon Sevrens of Amanti Vino and Chef Ariane Duarte of CulinAriane Restaurant to provide a tasting and wine education seminar for the first portion of the evening. He will tell the story of four unusual wines from interesting growing regions, as the group enjoys these wines with corresponding appetizers.
“This is the greatest time in history to be a wine lover,” says Asimov. “We have a greater diversity of good wine, from more different places in more different styles, than ever before. I wrote my book partly because I saw so many people who felt anxious or inhibited about wine, which gets in the way of simply enjoying it. My hope is that the book will lead people to question some of the assumptions they may have about wine, and help eliminate the obstacles that get in the way of pleasure.”
The second portion, from 7:30 pm-10 pm, will be a festive food and wine celebration of the works of Charles Dickens. The library has asked Montclair’s most creative chefs to interpret Dickens’ fervent passages on food and wine and come up with modern (and sometimes ironic) interpretations of everything from Oliver Twist’s “gruel” to the heady meat pies of The Pickwick Papers. Creative partners include Michael Carrino from Pig & Prince Restaurant & Gastrolounge, Shawn Paul Dalziel of 12 West, Mark Papera of Fricassée, Jennifer Snyder of The Little Daisy Bakeshop, Grace Grund of Terra, Jamie Busch of Let’s Spoon, Ina Denberg of Continuum Living and Gina’s Bakery. Amanti Vino will select wines for three themed bars at the wine and food party.
Says Anita Peterson, Montclair Public Library Foundation Administrator, “We decided to celebrate Dickens because his career was about making literature accessible to everyone, and that is the core mission of the library.”
An interactive, communal sculpture called “The Vine of Light” will give attendees the opportunity to donate and participate in the library’s development. “Donors will be materially fulfilling the vision of the library expressed in our strategic plan,” says David Hinkley, Director of the Montclair Library. “Proceeds from the event will go toward everything from a new author series to the purchase of E-Readers and E-Books for all ages, to improvements in the Children’s Room.”
In Dickens’ “A Tale of Two Cities” there is a passage to describe what the organizers hope this community event will be:
…amused voices- voices of men, women, and children- resounded in the street while this wine game lasted. There was little roughness in the sport, and much playfulness. There was a special companionship in it, an observable inclination on the part of every one to join some other one, which led, especially among the luckier or lighter-hearted, to frolicsome embraces, drinking of healths, shaking of hands, and even joining of hands and dancing, a dozen together.
Grape Expectations is sponsored by generous donors: Keller Williams Realty (Metro NJ, Montclair), PNC Wealth Management, Susan and Tom Dunn, Rosemary and Al Iversen, and Baristanet and Barista Kids.
It promises to be a sumptuous, inspiring and creative fundraiser for our treasured Library. Let’s toast the library together!
For tickets and information, visit online here .