Sponsors’ Event: ‘partiest’ part of L’Amour du Vin!

Each day of the three-day event that is the L’Amour du Vin fundraiser for the Knoxville Museum of Art is unique.

The Artist’s Luncheon, described in the previous post, is all about meeting the featured artist and learning about his or her work. The Saturday night L’Amour du Vin itself is a great dinner and a fabulous auction — mostly of wine, trips and art — that is the major fundraising portion of the weekend.

But the Sponsors’ Dinner, held on the Thursday prior to the other two events, is one thing and one thing only — an over-the-top dinner party. Emphasis on party! It’s no wonder that there’s a waiting list to be a sponsor of this singular event! (Glad that Moxley Carmichael has been a sponsor for years!)

In a nod to the lush florals that highlight much of the work of this year’s featured artist, Gordon Cheung, Dino Cartwright of Lexus of Knoxville staged one of the dealer’s cars to be overflowing with beautiful cut flowers! Creative!

Held at Blackberry Farm, this year’s event was a six-course extravaganza — not counting the three passed appetizers served prior to guests sitting down! The weather that evening earlier this month was beautiful, making it inviting to wander outside and take a close look at the Lexus automobiles that were decorated for the occasion. Lexus of Knoxville is a longtime presenting sponsor of L’Amour du Vin.

Efton Rymar was passing pork belly skewers with vanilla pickled fennel! Wow.

Steve Bailey, left, and David Colquitt.

Nancy and Stephen Land.

Tim Powell, left, and Robert Shipley.

Carter Heinzmann passing crispy kale with fermented black garlic.

From left, Joe and Ruth Fielden with Joe Pryse.

David Butler, left, with Ann Bailey and Annie Colquitt, right. David is executive director of the Knoxville Museum of Art.

Final passed appetizer was Brebis cheese on a tapioca bread with herbs.

The set tables were a foreshadowing of the wine to come!

The centerpieces also were a salute to the flowers in the featured art.

Ashley Capps and Birgit Clark were in the spirit of the evening.

First course was roasted sweet potatoes and Brussels sprouts with burrata , benne seeds, pecans and sorghum. Wine was a 2015 Morlet Family Vineyards “Coup de Coeur” chardonnay from Sonoma County.

Ted Smith, left, and David Butler.

Stephen and April Harris.

My favorite course: crab and laurel aged rice with lemon, fennel, chives and Bergamot tea emulsion. Wine was a 2015 Morlet Family Vineyards “La Proportion Dorée” from Sonoma County. The name means “the golden ratio” and it is a blend of semillon (65 %), sauvignon blanc (33%) and muscadelle (2%).

Sharon Pryse, left, with Lee and Susan Hyde. Susan is credited as being the originator of L’Amour du Vin back when she was director of development for the Museum of Art.

Regina and Terry Turner, with a photo-bomber!

Charred and braised cabbage with roasted chicken jus, crispy potato, aged gouda and black truffle. It was served with a 2014 Morlet Family Vineyards “Joli Coeur” pinot noir from Fort Ross-Seaview.

Vintner Luc Morlet of Morlet Family Vineyards commenting on the delicious wines he brought to the party.

Chef Cassidee Dabney discussing the food. After that last course, we were not surprised to hear that her favorite vegetable is cabbage! It was unbelievable.

I have had this quite a few times at Blackberry and I always love it: guinea hen terrine. In this case, it was served with sourwood honey, Dijon and watercress. Wine was a 2011 Morlet Family Vineyards “Coeur de Vallee” cabernet sauvignon and cabernet franc from Oakville in Napa Valley.

Featured artist Gordon Cheung, left, his partner, Inez Suen, and David Butler.

Lindsay Cates, left, and Sheryl Linck of The Trust Company of Tennessee.

Kreis Beall, co-founder of Blackberry Farm, and Michael White.

Wood-grilled beef ribeye cap with sunchoke puree, braised short rib ragout, hen of the woods mushrooms and garden herbs. Wine was a 2012 Morlet Family Vineyards “passionnement” cabernet sauvignon from Oakville in Napa Valley.

Haha. Ted Smith, seated, and Rob Heller, who, with his wife, June, was the volunteer chair of the whole L’Amour du Vin.

Patricia Bible and Stephen Hackney.

Mitchell Moseley, left, and Dino Cartwright, the mastermind of those decorated Lexus vehicles.

Melissa and Doug White, owners of Lexus of Knoxville.

Dessert was apple butter tart with sorghum ice cream and bourbon caramel.

Michell and Jim Clayton.

John Winemiller, left, and R.J. Hinde.

Blackberry Farm proprietor Mary Celeste Beall with David Butler.

Frank and Belinda Gambuzza.

Another decorated Lexus. This one features a portion of a painting by Gordon Cheung. Pretty cool.


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4 Responses to Sponsors’ Event: ‘partiest’ part of L’Amour du Vin!

  1. Alan Carmichael, on March 17th, 2022 at 8:12 pm said:

    The charred and braised cabbage was my favorite. I didn’t know such creations were possible with cabbage

  2. Cynthia Moxley, on March 17th, 2022 at 10:01 pm said:

    I know what you mean! That was my second favorite course!

  3. Monique Anderson, on March 18th, 2022 at 11:04 am said:

    Looks like a great night!

  4. Stephen Harris, on March 24th, 2022 at 10:49 pm said:


    Always great to celebrate your, Jim Clayton’s and my birthday at the KMA Sponsor Dinner. We always come back in town to attend this wonderful get together. Will always remember it was the last “fancy” party we went to before the world ground to a halt 2 years ago this month.

    Makes you appreciate what we had, what we lost, and what we have back. Thank you for being there to bring it to life.

    All the best,

    Stephen Harris

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