published Thursday, March 20th, 2014

Whiskey, wine tastings in two downtown restaurants - March 20

If a round of drinks is in your immediate future -- say after work today, March 20 -- two Chattanooga eateries are offering alternatives to happy hour.

Choose between Tennessee whiskey at Easy Bistro & Bar and French wine at Back Inn Cafe. Or maybe do both: Easy Bistro's event lasts from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Back Inn Cafe's is scheduled 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

■ Easy Bistro, 203 Broad St., will host Jason Eskind of Capital Distilling and four local mixologists as they create signature cocktails featuring Cumberland Cask Tennessee Whiskey, which is distilled, aged and bottled in Nashville.

Representing the four local establishments are Heidi Vasterling of Easy Bistro, Rachael Gass of The Social, Stephanie Shanton of Urban Stack Burger Lounge and Sarah Johnson of Flying Squirrel.

Tickets are $20 for all four cocktails. Bar snacks are included.

To check on ticket availability, call 423-266-1121 or email Amanda Niel at

■ Back Inn Cafe, 412 E. Second St., will spotlight Cabernet Sauvignon, perhaps the world's most popular red wine grape varietal.

"Although its easy nature allows for [Cabernet Sauvignon] to thrive in regions across the globe, its ability to allow the winemaker and the region to truly shine is what makes this varietal a noble grape indeed," says a new release from the restaurant.

Host Michael Vasta will lead this tour of some of the Cab's best features, including its thick skin, a plus in the world of wine-making. Selections will be paired with creations from Back Inn Cafe's chef and culinary team.

Tickets are $37. To reserve, call 423-265-5033, ext. 1.

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