Record-breaking $1M raised at Pairings to benefit cancer research, patient support

NASHVILLE, TN — The Nashville Wine Auction once again celebrated a record-breaking weekend to help fund the fight against cancer. More than $1 million was raised during the 12th annual Pairings: Nashville’s Ultimate Wine and Food Weekend on February 22-24.

Nashville has a thriving and generous wine community, supporting the lives of thousands through donations and attendance. Long-time supporters Gabriela Lira & Jonas Sjögren and Rachel & Jeff Mitchell co-chaired Pairings. Proceeds from the weekend will help fund the fight against cancer through local cancer organizations that provide innovative patient treatment, cancer research and caregiver/patient support. 

“Co-chairing this event was a rewarding experience. It is amazing what a community can do when it is brought together,” Pairings co-chairs Gabriela Lira and Jonas Sjögren said.What better way to fund the fight against cancer than drinking wine with your friends?”

The three-day, fun-filled weekend kicked off with 13 vintner dinners hosted in private homes and a restaurant on Thursday. Over 250 guests enjoyed meeting winemakers and tasting their fantastic wines at special dinners prepared by renowned chefs. 

“We can’t think of a better way to spend a weekend than fundraising for the fight against cancer,” Pairings co-chairs and hosts of a Private Vintner Dinner Rachel and Jeff Mitchell said. “From the dinner hosted at our home to the exciting finale Saturday evening, each vintner, chef and guest helped make this record-breaking evening possible.”

On Friday evening, the Nashville Wine Auction hosted “Wined Up! & The Collectors’ Showcase,” a walk-around wine tasting party and Silent Auction at City Winery. More than 300 guests enjoyed selections from 30 West Coast wineries including ADAMVS, CIRQ., Diamond Mountain Vineyards, L’Aventure Winery, Lithology, COLLATERAL, DuMOL, Pahlmeyer Winery, Peay Vineyards, Simon Family Estate, Three Sticks Wines and more. 

“The Nashville Wine Auction is truly exceptional! From the exquisite food and exceptional wines to the meticulously curated events, every aspect is executed with a commitment to first-class quality,” Bill Price III, proprietor of Three Sticks Wines, said. “However, what truly sets this event apart is the genuine warmth exuded by the people involved. It’s this sincere hospitality that elevates the experience for everyone fortunate enough to participate.”

“This was our first year participating in the Nashville Wine Auction, and we loved it! The team is so warm and friendly, and the events are so well organized,” Jill Davis of DuMOL said. “We will definitely be back next year!”

Pairings weekend was capped with a five-course meal from featured chefs paired with featured wines and a spirited Live Auction on Saturday evening. Wines served at dinner included selections from Hyde Vineyard Estate, Three Sticks Wines, COLLATERAL, Lithology and Roederer Estate. Dinner was prepared by Chefs Joe Townsend, Kevin Ramquist, Sean Strolle, Matt Bell and Alyssa Gangeri. 

The top lots sold in the Pairings Live Auction on Saturday included:

  • A dinner dubbed “Progression to Debauchery The Sequel” that will be talked about for ages! Country music icon Kix Brooks unexpectedly joined hosts David Osborn and Rahel Klapheke Sloan on stage to sweeten the offer for this dinner, which tripled the bidding per seat raising a total of $143,500 for this one-of-a-kind wine experience. 
  • An amazing trip called “Tasty, In-Depth Napa Research” doubled bringing in a total of $50,000. This West Coast winery tour features 12 wineries, seven of whom had representatives in the room Saturday evening: Cornell Vineyards, THE DEBATE, Simon Family Estate. ADAMVS, Diamond Mountain Vineyards, Hyde Estate Vineyards and Lithology. 
  • Two other dinners were hot at the auction: “Oh, What a Knight,” an intimate dinner for 20 guests featuring Peter Michael Wines and special guest winemaker Robert Fiore, sold for $26,250. Our Pairings Co-Chairs sold a co-hosted dinner called “20 Years Under the Super Tuscan Sun” for $25,000. This dinner for eight guests will feature Tuscan wines and a meal prepared by Chef Tony Galzin of Nicky’s Coal Fired. 
  • Three couples hit the jackpot with a trip called “Vive la Reeve-olution!” that sold for $25,000. These couples will embark on a Sonoma adventure, including a four-night stay at Reeve Villa and tastings with Reeve Wines, DuMOL, Mauritson Wines, J. Bucher Wines and more. 

There were more than trips and dinners up for auction Saturday evening. The top wine lots included: 

  • “Had a Good DEBATE Lately?” – This lot included three Beckstoffer Magnums from THE DEBATE and doubled, bringing in $10,000. 
  • “Pinot Noir Magnums from the Stellar Taylor Cellar” – Donated by long-time supporters Pam & Steve Taylor, this lot included Pinot Noir Magnums and went home for $6,000.
  • “Easy to Love California Cabs” – This lot of 16 bottles of California Cabernet Sauvignon curated by various donors went for $6,000.
  • The night ended with a lot “Previewing the Wines of the 45th Parallel for l’Eté du Vin,” which went for $5,000. The wines in this lot offer a glimpse at the featured wineries coming to the 45th Annual l’Eté du Vin on July 25-27. 

“Our 12th Pairings event was a smashing success in many ways,” Loren Chumley, President and CEO of the Nashville Wine Auction, said.“We had so many long time, as well as new wine-loving supporters in the room on Saturday helping us break records to fund the fight against cancer while having a grand time!”

The Nashville Wine Auction is proud to have the following sponsors for the event: Atkinson Giving Fund, Clinical Solutions Pharmacy, Tennessee Oncology, The Wilson Group, Parker’s Paws Animal Hospital, GILEAD Oncology, Morgan Stanley, Husch Blackwell, The Navin Group, Encore and Chazin & Company. 


American Cancer Society’s Hope Lodge, Ascension Saint Thomas Foundation, Gilda’s Club Middle Tennessee, The Heimerdinger Foundation, HopeKids, Inc., Leukemia Lymphoma Society, Nashville General Hospital Foundation, Make-A-Wish Foundation® of Middle Tennessee, Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt, Survivor Fitness Foundation, Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.