Looking at the list of wines Jason has assembled, I’m hugely impressed by the breadth of the selection.
— Jancis Robinson, Master of Wine
When I heard of the boldly pervasive undertaking Jason was planning, I thought it was logistically impossible. Well, I was wrong!
— Scott Harper, Master Sommelier

Swirl, sniff, fellowship. Repeat x 26.

Created in partnership with the 2016 Atlanta Food & Wine Festival, Grapetionary A-Z is an interactive wine tasting event curated by sommeliers and hosted by wine professionals. Based on Master of Wine Jancis Robinson's monumental tome, "Wine Grapes: A Complete Guide to 1,368 Vine Varieties, Including Their Origins and Flavours,” attendees taste varietal wines representing each letter of the alphabet from A-Z. 

But you won't find Chardonnay or Merlot in this line-up. Our letter C might be Coda di Volpe, Charbono or Cornali. And M could be represented by Magliocco, Mencia or Moschofilero. Grapetionary is an engaging social affair and an enlightening bucket list event suitable for any level of oenophile from novice to Master Sommelier. Beginners are wowed by the breadth of discovery; experienced tasters are impressed with the impeccable curation and quality.  

We think it's sublime, but don't take our word for it.
Read why Forbes.com called it: "The Most Unique Wine Event I've Ever Experienced." 

G R A P E T I O N A R Y   T E A M

Jason Tesauro, Author, Speaker, Sommelier

Jancis Robinson, Master of Wine, Inspiration

Bartholomew Broadbent, Importer, Advisor

Robert Jones, Master Sommelier, Advisor

AFWF/Raftermen Photography

Vivacity, creativity, and unconventionality are earmarks of Tesauro’s programs, which make for lively, outside-the-box experiences.
— F O R B E S


Whether indoors or under tents, the ideal arrangement is thus:

  • Guests are greeted, checked-in and ushered to a reception area where they are greeted with a welcome cocktail.
  • Once all guests are on-site, the host delivers opening remarks and an overview of how the event works.
  • Guests are split into groups and assigned a wine professional who manages portioning and pouring while keeping an eye on spit buckets and pacing. 
  • After tasting wines A-H, guests alight to tables or stations where the chef(s) commences with a multi-course meal or its equivalent in small plates.
  • During the meal, wines I-R are served family style with bottles placed incrementally among the guests.
  • After the meal, wines S-Z are served with dessert. 


  • Glassware: 1 for the batched and passed cocktail, 2 glasses per person for wines A-H, 3 glasses per person plus a water glass for the seated portion, 2 glasses per person for after the meal. 1 cocktail glass / 7 wine glasses total per person if there is no washing station. Otherwise, 1 cocktail glass / 5 wine glasses.
  • Set-up: tables with water pitchers, spit buckets, napkins and silver.
  • Staging area for chilling and opening wines.
  • Neck-hangers to mark each wine’s letter (since not all wines are labeled with their grape variety).
  • Menu with wine list / score sheet on the reverse side.
  • Lavalier microphone and PA system is ideal by not necessary.


  • Host: Jason Tesauro. Writer, speaker, sommelier. Author of three books and a two-time national magazine award–winning wine writer. Founder of Grapetionary A-Z.
  • Chef(s). 
  • Sommeliers & wine professionals. (1 per 25 attendees).


  • WINE: 12 bottles of wine = 300 oz, enough for 200 servings at 1.5 oz each, which is ample for tasting. Multiplied by 26, that’s 39 oz, or 1.5 bottles per person (which is why guests are directed to either spit or skip).
  • 12 bottles each x 26 wines = 312 bottles.
    At $20 / bottle average, wine cost = $6,240.
    $25 avg, cost = $7,800.
    $30 avg, cost = $9,360.
  • FOOD: With so much wine available for consumption, food must be plentiful.
    At $75 / head, food cost = $15,000.
    $125 avg, cost = $20,000.
    $150 avg, cost = $30,000.
  • RENTALS: tents, tables, chairs, linens, plateware and glassware are all necessary for the event and available for rental at a variety of price points.
  • OTHER: flowers, printing (invitations/menus), water, swag bag.
  • TALENT: Modern Gentleman project management and hosting fee = $3,500 minimum. Chef talent appearance fee: $2,500 minimum, Sommelier appearance fee: $500.

TOTAL ESTIMATED COSTS (not including tax and gratuity)

  • LOW = $175 / person
  • MED = $220 / person 
  • HIGH = $270 / person


  • To offset ticket prices, we recommend selling sponsorships to individuals and businesses. With 26 letters in the alphabet, there are 26 slots for partners. 
  • Oenophile. Single-letter package = $1,500.
    Name on menu. Name and logo on all corresponding bottle tags. Includes 1 seat.
  • Steward. Three-letter package = $3,750.
    Name on menu. Name and logo on all corresponding bottle tags. Option to present wines in preferred order for brand emphasis. Example, DMI could sponsor letters D, M and I and present them as a block: A, B, C, DMI, E, etc. Includes 2 seats.
  • Sommelier. Five-letter package = $6,500.
    All of the above, plus table signage and 4 seats.
  • Master Sommelier. Ten-letter Title Sponsor package = $10,000.
    All of the above, plus your brand at the top: "YOUR NAME HERE's Grapetionary A-Z."
    Event signage, 8 seats and personalized copies of Wine Grapes and The Modern Gentleman.


To execute this event requires extensive planning and forethought. Regarding price, consider the current tasting menu prices of these sought-after restaurants in Washington, DC.

With wine pairings, tax and tip...
    Komi = $297
    Marcel’s = $304
    Fiola Mare = $337
    Restaurant Eve = $403
    Minibar = $620

Grapetionary A-Z delivers “The Most Unique Wine Event I’ve Ever Experienced” paired with an exceptional food experience. It's a red-letter day with a long afterlife of wine knowledge, fond memories, photographs, social media posts and new relationships forged.

Do you want to host an A-Z?