Greer's OC: Get a taste for change

David McKinley's affair with wine began when he was growing up in Canada's greatest wine-growing region, the Okanogan Valley. He first sank his feet into a barrel of grapes at age 6. When he turned 21, he immediately began work within the wine industry.

However, in comparison with his new nonprofit, Taste for Change, wine seems largely unimportant to David. Around the same time that he was harvesting the sloped Okanogan vineyards, David lost his younger brother, Daniel, due to complications from Down syndrome.

"He was just the most beautiful child," McKinley said. "I begged my parents every day for a little brother, and when I finally got one, I was consumed. I was totally engrossed in Danny, his differences; he was amazing. He died, but I definitely haven't lost him, he taught me everything I know, and everything I do to this day is for him."

David created Taste for Change in his brother's memory, an event that pairs wine and tapas for a new charity each month. For the inaugural Taste for Change at

2 p.m. Sunday at Sebastiani's Italian Bistro and Wine Bar in Huntington Beach, Best Buddies, an organization educating communities on mental disabilities, will benefit from the proceeds.

David's parents also adopted two wonderful children with Down syndrome, and ride 300 miles each year in support of Best Buddies. So you can join Taste for Change, enjoy wine and do great things for people. Tickets cost $25.

A dozen wines will be poured, including several dessert wines, with proceeds from tickets/bottle purchases going to Best Buddies. For more information please e-mail Or contact David McKinley directly at (714) 519-5455.

Sebastiani's Italian Bistro is at 6078 Warner Ave. in Huntington Beach. For more information, call (714) 841-3619 or visit


Summer is officially here, the kids are nearly out of school, and I have a money-saving (and delicious) plan for you: consider a family night out. Orange County's first Kids Restaurant Week is starting Sunday through July 3. The Orange County Restaurant Assn., the same group who bring you the popular biannual OC Restaurant Week, is kicking off a countywide celebration for dining out as a family.

Many of OC's best restaurants are featuring special dining deals, such as family-style prix-fixe menus for lunch (a family of four pays $20 to $40) and dinner (a family of four pays $30 to $60) while others will let children eat free.

And, a portion of the proceeds from the week's food sales will benefit Share Our Strength ( to support in ending childhood hunger. A complete list of participating restaurants and menus check can be found online at http://www.kidsrestaurantweek.




SHOW The Supper Club promises to deliver the biggest and best show yet — "Bourbon Street Speakeasy" at [seven-degrees] from 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. Saturday in Laguna Beach. The sexy and theatrical dinner show, complete with backroom gambling on the patio, is also a benefit for CHOC Children's Hospital. Presale limited VIP dinner seats are available for $65; seated dinner tickets cost $50, standing room and tray passed hors d'oeuvres cost just $20.

[seven-degrees] is at 891 Laguna Canyon Road in Laguna Beach. Visit http://www.showthesupper Make reservations by calling 1 (800) 989-9498 or at info@showthe

Up to 40% off designer brands

At Michael Nusskern's two Newport Beach stores (at Harbor View Hills Shopping Center and Fashion Island) you can find established and emerging international designers — it's one of the best women's apparel boutiques for innovative, casual and sophisticated, creative statements of style.

And stop by Thursday through Tuesday to save up to 40% on designer collections and unique, edgy brands. Choose from apparel, accessories, handbags, jewelry and shoes from some exclusive designers in OC, such as Barbara Bui, Vivienne Westwood and French designer Isabel Marant.

Open 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday to Friday; 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday; 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday at Fashion Island in Newport Beach. Call (949) 287-0220.

Open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday; and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday at 1630 San Miguel Drive (Harbor View Hills Shopping Center) in Newport Beach. For more information, call (949) 759-5500 or visit http://www.michaelnuss


You can meet the winemaker of Hello Kitty Wines from 5 to 7 p.m. Saturday at the Wine Lab in Newport Beach. Patrizia Torti, of the Torti family's "Tenimenti Castelrotto" will be signing bottles that are purchased during the tasting event.

Special prices on the Pinot Noir-based wines that night only — some of the wines are in short supply and will not last. It costs $19 per person to taste all four wines: Hello Kitty Sparkling Brut Rose; Hello Kitty Angel White; Hello Kitty Devil Red; and Hello Kitty Sweet Pink Sparkling.

The Wine Lab is at 2901 W. Coast Hwy., Suite 100, in Newport Beach. For more information, visit or call (949) 515-VINO.

GREER WYLDER writes Greer's OC for the Huntington Beach Independent each Thursday and the Daily Pilot and Coastline Pilot each Friday. She's the founder and president of, a free daily e-mail service that provides the latest in Orange County fashion, dining, music, events and trends. Her blog can be viewed and she can be contacted at

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