Uncorking Cancer's Cure One Bottle at a Time

Come for the Party; Stay for the Cause

Great progress has been made in the fight against cancer, yet the disease remains a formidable foe. Fortunately, many wonderful institutions in town are seeking cures and aiding patients. But it’s expensive. That’s where Nashville Wine Auction comes in. As the country’s longest-running charity wine auction, the organization has raised tens of millions of dollars over the years for local cancer-fighting nonprofits such as St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center.

"In 2018, we provided funds to purchase a 3D mammography machine for St. Thomas West. It will serve thousands and thousands of women in our community," says Holly Whaley, Nashville Wine Auction’s president and CEO.

But that was only part of the $1.8 million Nashville Wine Auction raised last year. Another beneficiary last year included the Make-A-Wish Foundation, philanthropy made possible through the appreciation of great times with extraordinary wines.

But let’s face it, not everyone is a sommelier, and high-end wines can be intimidating, what with all their complexities and layered notes and pedigree of grapes. Hence the rationale behind Pairings: Nashville’s Ultimate Wine and Food Weekend. You need not be an expert to enjoy yourself; you need merely be an enthusiast, one who is eager to explore the experiences afforded by some of the world’s most remarkable wines.

“If you are at all interested in wine, then our events are going to thrill you,” Holly says.

As well as, of course, raise significant funds. Since the vintners donate the wine and the chefs their expertise, about 60 to 70 percent of each ticket sold goes to battle against cancer.

The first of the three evenings of events kicks off on Thursday, Feb. 21 with Private Vintner Dinners. These are intimate affairs with gourmet meals prepared by local chefs in private homes and select restaurants, allowing participants to converse with the winemakers themselves at the table. Friday evening is Wined Up! Here, 26 vintners from the West Coast provide samples of their wines at the City Winery while participants enjoy delectable cuisine from guest chefs and bid in a silent auction. Saturday evening is the Pairings Dinner. Again at the City Winery, participants savor a five-course meal prepared by featured chefs and paired with fantastic wines from esteemed vintners, all while raising their paddles to bid on donated wine during a spirited live auction.  

To learn more about Nashville Wine Auction and to order your tickets for Pairings, visit

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