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Photograph by Janet Kurtz

Anyone who has attended any of the Nashville Wine Auction events knows that the high-energy, wine-filled events are not for the faint of heart. For those signed up for all of the events, a prep week of cardio and carbs is advised. Each year, the Nashville Wine Auction brings in winemakers from around the world to showcase the wines and raise money to fund the fight against cancer. While exploring Music City, the organization hosts intimate events to help introduce the winemakers to the wine collectors of the city and the beneficiaries of the auction. One such event was the Guest of Honor Luncheon held the Friday before the auction at Gray & Dudley in the 21c Museum Hotel.

The Guest of Honor Luncheon is a casual event focused on relaxed conversation and great food and wine. This year, the guests of honor included the father-daughter duo Christian and Justine Clerget of Domaine Y.Clerget, Christophe Prieux of Champagne Gardet, and Christiane and Alain Patriarche of Domaine Alain Patriarche. Each guest brings wine to share from their cellars, including a 2000 Dom Pérignon, a 2006 Prestige Charles Gardet, a 2018 Evening Land Vineyards La Source Seven Springs pinot noir, a 2017 Julien Altaber Bourgogne La Fleur au Verre, a 1992 Nuits-St.-Georges “Les Damodes,” and many more.

Chef Matt Bell of Gray & Dudley and his team created a lunch that was an ideal lead-up to the events that evening and the next day, starting with platters of hors d’oeuvres, such as the indulgent liver mousse toast with pepper jelly and pimento gougères. The first course was a mix of locally grown lettuces with radish, nuts and seeds with lemon vinaigrette. The second course — the star of the show — was the poulet de Nash with barbecue blanc, brassicas and herbs. The entire lunch was finished with an ample and perfectly balanced summer fruit cobbler with blueberry and Tennessee honey.