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Toasting Heart of the Grape. Courtesy photo.




Heart of the Grape Wine Tasting

When: Friday, March 4. VIP and Grape Expectations from 6 to 7 p.m., main event tasting from 7 to 9 p.m.
Where: The Courtyard by Marriott Grappone Conference Center, 70 Constitution Ave., Concord
Tickets: $35 main event, $75 VIP, $100 Grape Expectations
Visit: giveto.concordhospital.org




Heartfelt sips
Hospital hosts benefit wine tasting

02/25/16
By Allie Ginwala aginwala@hippopress.com



 The only thing better than heading out for an evening of sampling from a selection of 150 wines is doing it for a good cause. On Friday, March 4, Concord Hospital is hosting Heart of the Grape, a wine tasting event that benefits the hospital’s Breast Care Center.

The decade-old event began after the hospital created the breast care center, one of its community benefits with many programs in need of philanthropic support.
“One was this genetic counseling program,” said Jessica Bailey, events associate for Concord Hospital Trust. “So that’s what the funds for this event support.”
In its early years the event drew a couple hundred people but more recently it has seen around 500. In order to break up the numbers attending at one time and also to appeal to different levels of wine drinkers, Heart of the Grape features three components of tasting — the main event, VIP and Grape Expectations.
Martignetti Companies of New Hampshire provides the different varieties of wine to pour among 12 tables in the main tasting. Local restaurants, such as O Steaks and Seafood, Firefly Bistro and Granite Restaurant, are given creative freedom to decide what bites they want to offer as samples.
“[Guests are] definitely not going to be able to taste every [wine], so we hand out a program booklet with a listing and what tables they’ll be at,” Bailey said. 
The next-level tasting ticket is for the VIP event, which allows people to come an hour early in a smaller setting to sample high-quality wines before the Heart of the Grape main event.
“They get to enjoy the wines with less of a crowd and we offer higher-end wines and it’s in a ballroom-type room,” she said.
The final component is Grape Expectations, which was added to the event a few years ago. It’s a wine-glass seminar, and attendees will learn about how the taste of a wine is affected by the glass in which it’s served. This year a representative from Riedel will lead the event, and guests get to take four Riedel tasting glasses home with them.
“Our hope was to be able to pull in [many people],” Bailey said, and also to give wine aficionados an experience beyond the main tasting event. 





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