John Brown has been a wine and food columnist in West Virginia since the 1980’s. His regular columns appear in the Charleston (WV) Gazette-Mail under the title Vines & Vittles and in The State Journal - a statewide business weekly

Wine and food events abound!

Tis’ the season of multiple wine related events and I can think of no better way to shed the winter blues than by enjoying the restorative power of good food and wine. In the next two weeks, you’ll have opportunities to do just that.

Bridge Road Bistro The Bridge Road Bistro prides itself on using locally produced foods whenever possible and Chef Robert Wong is planning a gourmet meal featuring Swift Level Farms beef from Greenbrier County.

Swift Level Farms is a 150-acre property featuring historic buildings, premium lodging facilities and a working farm producing spectacular Angus beef. The farm’s natural and organic beef program is based on Angus weanling calves purchased locally which are grain fed and then placed on winter grass with hay and supplemented with kelp.

On Thursday March 4, at 6:00 pm the Bistro will present a multi-course meal with accompanying wines featuring Swift Farms Beef. Yours truly will select and discuss the wines during the dinner, which is sure to be an excellent gustatory experience. The menu will include a Swift Level Slider, Asian Skirt Steak Roulade, grilled New York Strip Steak and & Braised Short Ribs among other culinary delights.

Price is $69 per person (plus tax and tip) and reservations are required by calling the Bistro at 304-720-3500.

Bluegrass Kitchen The menu and wine list at this restaurant in Charleston’s East End redefines eclectic. Under the stewardship of owner Keeley Steele and the masterful culinary creations of chef Gary Needham, a meal at the Bluegrass is a tasteful adventure where you can enjoy everything from the “new” Appalachian cuisine to dishes with a distinct Indian influence. The wine list is an ever-changing palette of reasonably priced international selections all available by the glass as well as bottle.

Mark your calendars for Sunday March 7, from 5:30 to 7:30 pm when the Bluegrass Kitchen will present an evening of South African wines and specially prepared small plates by Chef Gary to accompany them. The event is casual - what I like to call a “graze around” - where guests can try the wines with a variety of different foods.

There will be 15 to 20 wines from South Africa and a representative of wine importer Cape Classics will be around to answer your questions. The menu will include a cornucopia of small plates including such delicacies as wild mushroom strudel, ‘Spago’ pizza (with smoked salmon) and homemade country pate.

Cost of the event is $40 per person payable in advance by calling 304-346-2871 or by email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Space is limited so make your reservations as soon as possible.

Annual Escoffier Dinner You can top off a week of decadence by attending one of the culinary highlights of the year hosted by Chef Jeremy Stills of Edgewood Country Club. Joining Chef Stills in the kitchen will be some of the area’s best chefs who will create a six-course culinary extravaganza accompanied by specially selected wines.

Mark your calendars for Monday March 8, at 6 p.m. at Edgewood Country Club. In addition to the fabulous food and wine, guests can take part in a silent auction with gifts such as weekend resort getaways, private chef dinners, wine baskets, golf rounds and other goodies. All of the funds raised from the auction and a portion of the funds from the Escoffier Dinner will be used to fund scholarships in the culinary arts to West Virginia students.

Price of the dinner is $75 a ticket or $550 a table and reservations are required. Call 304-545-0802 or go online at

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