Judy Penman, former to you but current for me, Woman of the Year for Santa Clarita, invited me to a recent Circle of Hope fundraiser at Vino 100 last weekend.
Judy always greets me with a big smile and open arms (this time she handed me her homemade pomegranate jam that I’m re-gifting in hubby’s Christmas stocking) as she sees me as her personal advocate.
The fact is that I’ve come to be known around town as the wine writer that will go to any event, and write about any event, that highlights a charity. (I have a tough time saying no to the wine part too…)
The Last Suppers
On hand for this fundraiser, hosted by Lil Lepore and Shari Frazier, was Andrew Caldwell, author of The Last Suppers, a book that tells the real – and sometimes imaginary – last meal of renowned people. (Another gift for hubby.) The group had a few questions and Andrew had lots of answers.
What’s this book about? “You need three things to be in my book,” began the robustly friendly UK writer. “You have to die tragically, have been a headline maker and finish with a great meal.”
Give us an example? We all know who Attila the Hun was. But did you know that after he rampaged Champagne and left 500,000 dead, that their bodies were only covered with a thin layer of dirt and left? Their bones and minerals are what some people believe contribute to the great taste of Champagne!
What’s your “Cover” story? I had 6 different covers made for the book so you can choose which you like. One has Princess Diana with a frying pan while another features Napoleon with a rolling pin.
And where does wine fit in? I paired the wine with what I know about each character and have made and tested all of the meals that are featured in the chapters.
Where have you been, and where are you going? It’s been a great book tour. I’ve been to 36 cities in 39 days. By Valentines Day I am starting a series on the Discovery channel and will be on Letterman and Oprah.
Finally, why are you giving some or your profits away? When my mother got cancer it cost about 40,000 a month for her health care. (She passed away last year.) I wanted to give back, so I wrote this book and am sharing my profits with local non-profits like Circle of Hope.”
(My last supper would have to be: wine, paired with friends I take with me. Ones I met that day and enjoyed wine with were Christine, Elle and Steve.)
So, what was the wine for this event? L.A. Cetto Chenin Blanc, Baja; Sphere Chardonnay – Monterey, Ca.; Hope Shiraz – Australia; and McManis Zinfandel – Lodi.
“The white from Baja, very mild and nice,” stated Judy Penman. “But the best was the McMannis Zin for $14.” I agreed with Judy on the Zin and bought a bottle of that and several other gifties before I left.
Circle of Hope
The mission of Circle of Hope, Inc, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charity, is to provide emotional support and financial assistance for medical expenses for uninsured and underinsured individuals with Breast Cancer who live in, work in, or receive treatment in the Santa Clarita Valley,
Individuals with breast cancer are sometimes unable to work due to side effects of treatment. They may be unable to pay their normal bills due to the high costs of medications, co-payments, or insurance premiums. Some will not qualify for public assistance programs during cancer treatments. These financial burdens are devastating to individuals struggling with breast cancer. Patients should be able to focus on recovery, not debts. Circle of Hope wants to help.
Circle of Hope, Inc. believes that providing financial and emotional support will improve the quality of life and increase the individual’s chance of success in their battle against breast cancer.