Top Five Favorite Spirits From Nashville's Music City Food + Wine 2016

Bottoms Up in Downtown Nashville
Zodiac Vodka

Which spirit was your favorite?

At food festivals it's common for us lovers of culinary to over-focus on the "food" portion of the "food and wine festival." Music City Food + Wine 2016 has come and gone, but the spirit still remains.  And by spirit, I mean literal spirits, as in the delicious and inventive alcohol options available for taste at this year's soirée (not ghosts).

Here's my take on the best spirits from Music City Food + Wine 2016:

Zodiac Vodka
You've obviously heard of "farm to table," well Zodiac Vodka is looking to put its own spin on that concept. Based out of Idaho, and using regionally sourced Idaho Potatoes, Zodiac Vodka is produced “farm to bottle.”  Cute marketing plea aside, Zodiac has some appeal to people who care about what goes in their body and where it comes from. There is no high fructose corn syrup, GMO's or gluten to worry about with Zodiac. I tried the Black Cherry and it was fabulous. Kacey Musgraves is the ambassador, and my personal musical spirit animal, so if you weren’t convinced, Kacey is all the convincing you need.

Covington Vodka
“From sprout to spirit” this is a North Carolina based company is located in the sweet potato capital of the U.S., so it makes sense that this vodka is made from nothing else but sweet potatoes. Think about it: regular vodka — potatoes, bold and unique vodka — sweet potatoes. Covington is certified kosher, gluten free and a smooth criminal as it traveled down my throat.   

Prairie Organic Spirits
Up next was an "organic" experience. Made in Minnesota, Prairie Organic Spirits had a whole assortment of options for visitors to try. Organic is in the name because being certified organic is their game. No chemicals, herbicides, pesticides or hormones are used in the fields, at the distillery or in the bottling facility. They’re leading this niche or “new trend” when it comes to alcohol beverages.

Stemmari Pinot Noir
Seeing as Stemmari Pinot Noir was described as having "Sicilian intensity" (what's more intense than a Sicilian?), and carried the stamp of sustainable farming, I asked what that really meant for them, and me as a taster for that matter. Turns out they irrigate the vines with collected rainwater, because Sicily is fairly dry area, and no pesticides or herbicides are used either, sounds tasty. Stemmari is to be paired with red meat and pastas with meat sauce, and maybe hot dogs, of course I could have made that last part up. This wine is not considered Italian, but Sicilian, luckily for me I don't have a pre-built bias, as I just considered it tasty.

Whispering Angel Rosé by Caves D’Esclans
After chef Aaron Sanchez and others slipped a glass of this rosé here and there, I had to try some myself. I’m not going to say it was the glittering-gold Whispering Angel temporary tattoo that stayed on my arm for days after application that convinced me, and I’m not going to say it wasn’t....  Rosé is definitely a "thing" in 2016, Whispering Angel is definitely a pop culture phenomenon, and temporary tattoos are a great marketing tool for 20-somethings who like to reminisce their youth.  Although the tattoo's combined with the Rosé infused gummy bears has to make you wonder whether wine makers are now trying to nail down the all-important 8-year-old wine demographic!

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