#ACCESS901 columnist Joy Doss

Invited to sample the 12 Tastes of Christmas as The TSD’s #Access901 columnist, I expectantly embraced a charming and delightful twist on the classic Christmas song – with martinis!

Set for Dec. 14, the 4th Annual 12 Tastes of Christmas is produced by The Stemmed Glass under the discerning eye of founder Alfred Garrett.

Here’s the mix:

Time spent as a bartender served to springboard Alfred Garrett to The Stemmed Glass and, now, the 12 Tastes of Christmas. (Photo: Demarcus Bowser)

12 Days of Christmas. 12 sponsored bars. 12 martinis, including Four Calling Birds (pomegranate and cranberry martini), Three French Hens (eggnog martini), Two Turtle Doves (chocolate martini!!!) and A Partridge and a Pear Tree (pear martini). The vodka and whiskey are supplied courtesy of local labels Old Dominick and Guidance Whiskey.

Not to worry there will be food – and music – to keep the more than 300 guests going through night.

Featured chefs from Midtown Crossing Grill, Wok’n in Memphis and Chef Swift’s Soulful Cuisine will add even more flavor to the 12 Tastes by providing hors d’oeuvres. Diamond Life band will give us live music in between DJ sets.

And, it’s more than an excuse to indulge in a little Christmas cheer. True to the giving nature of most Memphians, there is a purpose to this party. Each year, a portion of the proceeds are donated to a nonprofit organization here in the city.

This year, the featured nonprofit is Legacy of Legends CDC, a community building organization that works with youth and families to prevent, mitigate and overcome adverse childhood experiences (ACE). The mission is to encourage and provide access to counseling resources for adults and children.

“It is important for both adults and children to get the help they need,” Alfred says. “Sometimes we wonder what’s wrong but there are things that have gone on in their lives. You don’t always know someone’s story.”

Throughout the year, you can join Alfred and crew for more tasting experiences and tours at one of the several wineries, distilleries and breweries across West Tennessee. If the nature of 12 Tastes is any indicator, you know this will not be your basic wine tasting. They will host you in a limo, on a party bus, in your home or at a special events for tasting experiences and tours.

If you’re like me, you didn’t even know wineries existed in Tennesssee! I only learned of this in recent years. In fact, Alfred informed me that Tennessee as a whole has over 200 vineyards with over 100-plus wines.

Time spent as a bartender served to springboard Alfred to The Stemmed Glass and, now, the 12 Tastes of Christmas. He was doing in-home tasting for a California-based company when he discovered the aforementioned local wine and spirits makers and decided to transition to the “go local” model, supporting our own regional economy and network of vintners and brewers.

The 12 Tastes of Christmas will be at The Columns on Saturday (December 14) from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. See ya there! I will be the one with the happy chocolate martini face.

(For more information, visit www.thestemmedglass.com. Purchase tickets ($60) at Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/4th-annual-12-tastes-of-christmas-martini-tasting-tickets-69027614453?aff=ebdssbeac.)