60 people are due here in three hours. Who would have thought that as hard as it was to ask people to donate to an event, the amazing amount of support seemed endless? The proceeds, well over $2000, was going to our local Unitarian Universalist church.
Before I ramble on any more I want to thank the generous businesses, in and out of Santa Clarita, that donated to our event.
First came the wine donated by local businesses: Guy Lelarge, my wine guru and owner or Valencia Wine Company donated a Tomero Cabernet, Cathy MacAdams, co-founder of Agua Dulce Vineyards, was more than generous not only with 3 ½ cases of wine but with 72 wine glasses, Lil Lepore and Shari Frazier owners of Vino 100 gave an Abundance Syrah and John Kelley poured and supplied Raven Oaks Vineyard’s Syrah and Cabernet Franc.
Then came the food: Fiona Soukup, owner of Fresh Xpress Produce Delivery, prepared her stuffed red ‘sweet ‘n piquant’ peppers from South Africa. George Thomas, owner of Route 66 Grill, offered the tasty chicken strips. Maria’s Italian Deli gave us a couple of huge platters of, you guessed it, the marinated olives that we love as well as some great sharp cheeses and deli meats.
Dream Dinners Valencia provided several pounds of beef tips, noodles and stroganoff sauce. Tamra Levine, private chef, caterer, event stylist, culinary educator, professional wine consultant for Heritage Lane Productions – wow let’s just take a breath here – made savory vegetarian Palmiers.
Lima Limon Peruvian Restaurant, in Saugus, is coming to our house to prepare Ceviche, a cheese salsa for dipping sticks of cooked corn into and Alfajores cookies (described to me as two butter cookies romantically joined by caramel.)
Church members Gerri and Mattie Brehm are bringing their slightly spicy Italian meatballs. Susan Hauptfeld had graciously created, for the first time, a chocolate Panini for dessert. Other church friends that helped make our event special included Trish Lester, Trish Paioni, Deana Perozzi, Rich and Pam Jaffke, Carol Winkler, Maya Loch, Ingrid Armour, Kirby Petersen, Evelyn Carpenter, Lucy Bates, Bill Gregory and Reverend Ricky Hoyt.
DiMaggio Washington, sommelier and winemaker, coming straight from teaching a real wine class at Tournament Player’s Club, had agreed to help me answer any questions about wine above my 101 level. We had some other experts, local vintners Chris and Jeannie Carpenter as well as Kerry and Susie Clark. Both also donated wine. (Ed and I are going to “Sunset in the Vineyard” that both the Carpenters and the Clarks will be serving their own home made wines at to benefit our local Assistance League.)
Jeff Jacobson, wine chair for the annual Santa Clarita Wine Classic (save the date for 2009: May 30. scvwineclassic.org) was responsible for the Black Chook Shiraz everyone will surely enjoy at our evening’s end.
We had door prizes and raffles that included several eclectic items from the obvious (wine) to the not so obvious (wine glasses hand crafted for any occasion).
Kirby made a donation of 1792 Ridgemont Reserve Bourbon Whiskey complete in a basket that included two tumblers filled with wrapped chocolates, a large Melmac bowl with autumn leaves motif and a bag of gourmet popcorn.
A chocolate ice bucket with rock candy ice, a chocolate champagne bottle filled with caramel, two white chocolate champagne glasses and gold foiled chocolate eggs came all wrapped up with a bow all the way from New York, from chocolatesbylorigailinc.com.
Domaine de Canton Ginger Liqueur & recipe cards didn’t come cheap. This amazing 56 proof liqueur produced in France is an infusion of crystallized handpicked baby Chinese ginger, Tahitian vanilla, Provencal orange blossom honey, sugarcane and VSOP Cognac. An award-winning new taste with limitless possibilities. I know because it was my bottle. I still have a half one left to make an excellent martini, or two.
Eddie, almost-willingly, donated two of our cellared wines: Nickel & Nickel Dyer Vineyard 2004 Syrah and a Joseph Phelps 2005 Le Mistral.
The door prizes included Six Heroes 2003 Memorial Merlot generously donated by George Bacon for Six Heroes Wine & Friar’s Choice North America LLC and “A Toast to You!” decorated wine glasses were created by two local business women, Eileen Elliott & Carolyn Goedike, from Inspired-Touch.com.
In conclusion, a word I didn’t use in my Wine 101 speech, let me apologize for not inviting you, dear reader, into my home. But I do have a solution. Next year, if I can convince Eddie to make it an annual event, we’ll hold it at the much-larger-than-my-home Signal offices. As long as the presses aren’t running of course, it interferes with the nose.