Off the Menu: Wine and Dine and Wine

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BBC - 14By Christopher Trela & Catherine Del Casale | NB Indy

This is the season for wine, and wine events. Three notable wine dinners and tastings take place in May, with more on the way.

Around the World Wine Dinner

The Newport Beach Sunrise Rotary Club is hosting a special wine pairing dinner at Back Bay Bistro on Thursday, May 14 to benefit the Special Olympics World Games.

A reception with silent auction starts at 5:30, with proceeds of the silent auction going to the local nonprofit organizations that procured them for the event.

Dinner starts at 6:30 p.m., but this is no ordinary dinner. There are six courses, with each course inspired by cuisine from a different continent, paired with wine by a Certified Sommelier from the Wine Gallery in Corona del Mar.

The dinner starts with a trip to South Africa with hors d’oeuvres of curried lamb meatballs and farm goat cheese, paired with Kanonkop “Kadette” Stellebosch Red Blend (2012).BBC 4 The North America selection is a spring mix from Napa with a cabernet dressing and Point Reyes blue cheese paired with Raymond Vineyards Napa Valley Reserve Sauvignon Blanc (2013).

The dinner continues with culinary tastes of Thailand, Australia, South America, Mexico, and Europe.

Cost is $150 per person. Black Tie Optional. Visit

Newport Beach Wine Festival

The Balboa Bay Resort holds its 12th annual Newport Beach Wine Festival May 22-24, and looks to be as fun and tasty as previous years. We’ve been to several of the resort’s wine festivals and have been impressed with the selection of wines, the wine-focused seminars, and the outstanding cuisine.

This year’s festival starts on Friday, May 22 with a Jordan Vineyard & Winery “Meet the Maker” Reception from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. ($55), followed by a Jordan Vineyard & Winery Winemaker Dinner from 6:30 to 10 p.m. ($150).

wine festSaturday, May 23 features two daytime seminars: “Cooking with Wine” and Blending Class ($75 each). That evening is the Grand Tasting ($125) from 7 to 10 p.m., with 90 wineries pouring tastes of over 200 wines. Executive Chef Vincent Lesage and his culinary team prepare create bountiful displays of seafood, meats, caviars, artisan cheeses, pates, and desserts.

Sunday features Beer for Breakfast (a la carte pricing), and a seafood festival ($89).

Call (855) 421-0546 or visit

Balboa Island Wine Walk

The inaugural Balboa Island Wine Walk takes place on Saturday, May 30 from 3 to 7 p.m. Attendees will receive a commemorative wine glass with a map to participating venues along Marine Avenue that will be pouring tastes of wine.

As guests stroll (and hopefully shop) they can enjoy live entertainment, food and activities.

Pre-sale tickets are $40, or $45 on the day of the event. A limited number of VIP tickets will be available at $75. The event is dog friendly, and will be held rain or shine.

This is the first of what organizers hope will be a twice-yearly event (spring and fall).

For event information and tickets, visit or call (949) 675-0501.

ASID Wine + Design

On Wednesday, June 17, SOCO Collection hosts its American Society of Interior Designers Wine + Design event from 6 to 8 p.m. At the event, guests can explore ASID windowBBCR_NBWF_3 High Res vignettes during a progressive tour that includes presentations, light bites and wine pairings at each stop.

SOCO’s design showrooms include Design Within Reach, Stark Carpet, Famosa Tile, Environment, HD Buttercup, and The Shade Store. At each showroom, guests can enter a raffle for prizes donated by participating SOCO design showrooms.

Tickets are $25. Proceeds benefit the ASID OC Chapter. Visit for details.

Newport Beach Wine & Food Festival

Following last year’s impressive debut, the Newport Beach Wine & Food Festival returns for its second year, Oct. 2 – 4.

The Festival kicks off on Friday, Oct. 2, with the official Launch Party & Charity Event at Oak Grill & Aqua Lounge in The Island Hotel.

The daytime festival, held at the Newport Beach Civic Center on Saturday and Sunday, features celebrity chefs, master sommeliers, and cuisine from the finest restaurants in Orange County.

We thoroughly enjoyed last year’s Festival, and suspect that this year will be even bigger and better. More details on the festival will be announced soon. Visit

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