A grand early spring festival of the grape, co-chaired by DeDe and Alex McKinnon, attracted some 300 wine lovers and raised an impressive $160,000 for the Pacific Symphony.
Organizers billed the event, which unfolded at the Island Hotel in Newport Beach, as the Pacific Coast Wine Festival. It showcased vintages from 30 wineries worldwide. Participants in the festival were selected by advanced sommelier Jim Houston from the renowned Charlie Palmer's dining rooms.
The Saturday evening party began at sunset with a cocktail reception. Arriving guests pulled into the handsome Island porte-cochère, passing a lineup of Aston Martin vehicles parked there to impress. The Pacific Symphony and the festival were, in fact, supported by the upscale automotive dealer.
A two-hour reception provided the opportunity to wander the wine exhibits, sample the Island's scrumptious hors d'oeuvres, meet and discuss wine with the experts on hand, and check out a silent auction stocked with some very rare vintage selections.