Connoisseurs of bourbon and more gathered at OZ Arts on the first day of fall for Beyond Bourbon, a new annual fundraiser from the arts nonprofit, co-chaired by Christie Wilson and Mark Lombardi.
Before the main event, VIPs had an opportunity to participate in different tastings in intimate settings around the campus. There were dedicated spaces for sampling a variety of wines and a collection of rare whiskeys from Willett and Pappy Van Winkle, and the outdoor patio area had Alice and Max Goldberg serving up Belvedere martinis paired with individual charcuterie plates from Cheese Gal.
As the rest of the attendees arrived, DJ Cole Dumas set the mood for guests as they wandered from booth to booth under a big white tent in the parking lot, tasting bourbons and other delicious libations from Whistle Pig, Castle & Key, Hotaling & Co., Beam Suntory, Davidson Reserve, Old Elk, Ranch Rider, Standard Proof, Hillrock, Pinhook, O.H. Ingram and Blackberry Farm. Martin’s Bar-B-Que served up their famous barbecue, which paired perfectly with the drinks. While enjoying lively conversation with other patrons and vendors, everyone kept a keen eye on their bids for the silent auction, hoping to win such enviable lots as rare whiskeys and tastings from Whiskey House, dinners from favorite local restaurants, sleepwear fit for a rock star from Any Old Iron and even “Opus 243, Flowers & Two Kisses,” an original painting by CAO Cigars founder and OZ Arts co-founder Cano Ozgener.
After sipping and mingling, everyone made their way inside to view the items up for grabs in the live auction, which included bottles of wine, bourbon and whiskey, choice cigars, guitars signed by stars such as Reba McEntire and Tim McGraw and more.
Proceeds from the tastings and auctions helped support OZ Arts’ mission of creating innovative and accessible artistic opportunities for artists, audiences and students in Middle Tennessee.