Charity Spotlight: Wine Fest Raises $200K for Pacific Symphony

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MICHELE FORSYTE, PRESIDENT OF PSO JOHN FORSYTE, EUGENE CHOI, CAROL CHOI, BEN KWON, JANE KWON

Wine, food and music came together on June 2 as nearly 200 wine aficionados enjoyed an evening of fine wines and gourmet cuisine at the 11th annual Pacific Coast Wine Festival at Balboa Bay Resort.

The event raised nearly $200,000 for the Pacific Symphony’s artistic and educational programs.

The evening began at 5 p.m. with tastings from several dozen elite wineries including wines from France, Spain, Italy as well as Sonoma and Napa Valley.

The roster included such names as Progeny Winery, Allora Vineyards, Jonata Vineyard, Baldacci Family Vineyards, Le Vieux Donjon, Wagner Family of Wine, Grace + Vine, Snowden Vineyards, No Limit Wines, Pont Neuf Wines, Quilceda Creek Vintners, Bedrock Wine Company, Iron Horse Vineyards, Miner Family Winery, Groth Vineyards and Winery, Château Marojallia, Château Malescasse, and many others.

A noteworthy element of the evening: tastings of Wine Spectator’s Top 12 Wines of 2017 including Duckhorn Vineyards, K Vintners, Casanova di Neri, Domaine Huet, Château Canon-la-Gaffelière, Meyer Vineyard, Pahlmeyer Estate Vineyard, Altesino, and Bedrock Wine Company. I particularly enjoyed the K Syrah (95 points in Wine Spectator) and the Bedrock Zinfandel, made from vines over 100 years old.

While guests were tasting and enjoying tray passed appetizers and a caviar tasting from Tsar Nicoulai, they bid on over 300 silent auction items including VIP excursions, wine tasting trips, and of course unique lots of exquisite and rare wine. I had the winning bid on a lot of three bottles of Cab Franc and a bottle of Cab, and can’t wait to open them at a wine tasting party.

Once the lots closed for bidding, guests entered the elegantly decorated ballroom for a multi-course dinner.

(L TO R) EVENT CO-CHAIR MIKE KERR, NEMIE POLLACK, EVENT CO-CHAIR BRIAN POLLACK

Guests were welcomed by the event co-chairs, Wine Festival founder Mike Kerr (who donated some of the wine for the silent auction) and Brian Pollack. As guests dined, they bid on 19 live auction items ranging from coveted Bordeaux and cult Napa wines to culinary excursions and exclusive sports packages.

The Wine Festival was generously sponsored by Jaguar, Land Rover, Aston Marin Newport Beach and Regency Air.

Cumulatively raising approximately $1.5 million for the Symphony’s artistic and education programs over the last 10 years, the Wine Festival supports the Symphony’s education and community engagement programs.

For more information, visit PacificSymphony.org.

L TO R) EVENT CO-CHAIR MIKE KERR, NEMIE POLLACK, EVENT CO-CHAIR BRIAN POLLACK
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