Charlotte’s big wine weekend is packed with events

This is a big week for Charlotte wine lovers. The every-other-year Charlotte Wine & Food Weekend is just getting started, with all sorts of wine- and food-related events and activities. Lucky ticket holders are anticipating lots of fabulous food and wine.

It’s a big weekend for the Charlotte Wine & Food Weekend as well. This is the 25th anniversary, and the Forbes Travel Guide named it one of the nation’s top five spring festivals. Of course, Charlotte already knows that, as this is one of the city’s most anticipated events.

Charlotte Wine & Food Weekend is actually several days of events, with wine dinners at a number of restaurants, educational classes and a couple of rocking parties. The weekend has raised roughly $4 million, all benefiting children’s causes in the Charlotte area. That’s worth raising a glass to celebrate.

Ticket sales for this year are closed, but you still might see a famous wine personality around the city, as a slew of talented and accomplished winemakers and sommeliers have arrived. The honorary guest is the brilliant and charming Doug Frost, one of only four people in the world to hold both the highly exclusive Master of Wine and Master Sommelier certifications.

While not formally part of the Charlotte Wine & Food Weekend, winemakers will visit retailers who sell their product while they’re in Charlotte. Greg Gauthier, winemaker at Bouchaine Vineyards, will be at the restaurant 300 East Wednesday for a casual meet-and-greet from 6 to 8 pm. It’s also half-priced bottle night, so stay and enjoy spring weather, wine and great food. Details:

A longtime friend and supporter of Charlotte Food & Wine Weekend, Fritz Hatton of Arietta Vineyards will join a group of wine luminaries at Petit Philippe from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday for a very special lineup of excellent wines. Tickets are $30. Details:

Even if you miss it this year, be sure to add Charlotte Wine & Food Weekend to your “must-do” list for the next time. Planning for the next one starts soon.