New York Times wine critic Eric Asimov, author of How to Love Wine: A Memoir and Manifesto, will collaborate with a Montclair wine shop and celebrated chef to prepare a tasting and wine education seminar in a special benefit for the Montclair Public Library called "Grape Expectations."
Asimov will tell the story of four unusual wines from different regions available at Amanti Vino courtesy of owner Sharon Sevrens. Chef Ariane Duarte of CulinAriane Restaurant will create appetizers to go with the wines.
"This is the greatest time in history to be a wine lover," Asimov says. "We have a greater diversity of good wine, from more different places in more different styles, than ever before."
Asimov wrote the book to help people enjoy wine without inhibitions or anxiety, he said.
"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 event will take place on Saturday, Sept. 28, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $250 and seating is limited.
Acclaimed Montclair chefs will interpret Dickens' passages on food and wine, from Oliver Twist’s “gruel” to the heady meat pies of The Pickwick Papers.
Creative partners include Michael Carrino from Pig and Prince Gastropub, Shawn Paul Dalziel of 12 West, Mark Papera of Fricassee, Jennifer Snyder of The Little Daisy Bake Shop, Grace Grund of Terra, Jamie Busch of Let’s Spoon, Ina Denberg of Continuum Living (more to be confirmed.) Amanti Vino will select wines for three themed bars at the main event.
“We decided to celebrate Dickens because his career was about making literature accessible to everyone, and that is the core mission of the library," said Anita Peterson, Montclair Public Library Foundation Administrator.
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," said David Hinkley, Director of the Montclair Library.
Proceeds from the event will be used to fund a new author series, purchase e-readers and e-books and improve the Children's Room.
Tickets and info at www.montclairplf.org.