Greer's OC: Get a taste of wine country

The fabulous wine country of Paso Robles rolls into Orange County on Thursday at a not-to-be-missed wine event at Charlie Palmer at South Coast Plaza.

The second annual Stars of Paso Robles wine tasting means nearly 30 of Paso's premier winemakers are bringing more than 100 varietals from Paso's wine country. The evening is hosted by SoCal's wine expert, Ian Blackburn of LearnAboutWine.

Whether you're in the restaurant/wine industry or a wine enthusiast, you will love this experience. And all proceeds from the silent auction benefits the T.J. Martell Foundation, which funds children's cancer and AIDS research as well as Children's Hospital Los Angeles.

Participating wineries include Adelaida, Alta Colina, Asuncion Ridge, Bianchi, Bodegas Paso Robles, Cass, Chateau Margene, Cinquain, Cypher, D'Anbino, DAOU, Dubost, Eden Canyon, HammerSky, Hidden Oak, J&J Cellars, JK Wine Company, Katin & Arada, Kiamie, Le Vigne, Lone Madrone, Niner, Roxo Port, Stanger Vineyards, Terry Hoage, Treana & Hope Family Wines, Turley and Villa Creek.

The trade tasting lasts from 2 to 5 p.m.; consumer tasting is from 7 to 9:30 p.m. Tickets cost $75 (two for $140) in advance, $100 at the door. Enter code "VIP" and save $20 on each ticket. For tickets, call (310) 451-7600 or visit

Charlie Palmer is located at Bloomingdale's South Coast Plaza, 3333 S. Bristol St. in Costa Mesa.


Give Peace a Chance

Join the Center for Living Peace in Irvine on Saturday for an all-day celebration honoring its first year of making good happen (and pick up a cupcake, too!). The center will be offering free family-oriented classes focusing on compassion and living peace from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

In just the past year, the Center for Living Peace, in partnership with UC Irvine, has already brought high-profile speakers to inspire leadership, charity, education and sustainability at its Living Peace Series, including Charlize Theron, Sir Richard Branson and just last week the Dalai Lama.

The center is an important resource for connecting the community with classes, lectures and programs dedicated to its mission of inner growth and development, peace making and effective communication, protecting the environment, arts and culture.

On Saturday, the day's events include Tibetan-inspired art projects with Bowers Museum, a screening of the documentary "Peace One Day," storytime from children's author Mina Javaherbin, new earth drumming, Smiling Monkey Yoga for kids, Qigong, Shambhala meditation and more.

The Center for Living Peace is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday at 4139 Campus Drive in Irvine. For more information, call (949) 854-5500 or visit


New Fetneh Blake Store

Fetneh Blake just launched the Studio, a new luxury consignment spot behind her coveted fashionista's favorite boutique on the Coast Highway in Laguna Beach. Now you can find one-of-a-kind vintage couture as well as ready-to-wear pieces from past. Fetneh is revered in the fashion world for her eye for design — if Anna Wintour were to have a boutique in Orange County, this would be it.

Fetneh Blake is open 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday; 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at 427 N. Coast Hwy. in Laguna Beach. For more information, call (949) 494-3787 or visit


Ten Years of Team Kids

Kids can improve a community and ultimately the world — especially with the help of Team Kids, which is providing children the tools to make a difference in their schools and communities and preparing future generations to become caring, resourceful and responsible adults. And now it's celebrating its 10th year of providing organized free and innovative programs in schools that give students the opportunity to raise funds for local charities.

More than 21,000 students have completed the month-long Team Kids Challenge, raising and donating more than $200,000 to youth-serving nonprofits, including those that serve homelessness, the hungry and the environment. Recently, they've raised thousands for Japan relief through the American Red Cross.

Team Kids is inviting you to join it from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday at the Imagine Event at Il Fornaio restaurant in Irvine. It's a fun-filled family event that celebrates Team Kids' successes with award-winning cuisine, entertainment and a kids' carnival. There will be a delicious buffet lunch and silent auction.

Tickets cost $50 for adults, $10 for teens, free for kids 12 and under. Special honorees include Kelly Smith, founder of Center for Living Peace, and Stephen McHale, Orange County Fire Authority captain and founding Team Kids president.

Il Fornaio is located at Lakeshore Towers, 18051 Von Karman Ave. in Irvine. For more information, call (949) 861-4887 or visit


Tea and Music of Japan

Enjoy a traditional Japanese tea ceremony at 2, 3 and 4 p.m. Saturday at Bloomingdale's South Coast Plaza performed by members of the Omote Senke Tea School. You will no doubt leave the ceremony with a sense of tranquility; the centuries-old process is based on harmony, respect, purity and simplicity. Enjoy the serene sounds of a koto, a Japanese stringed instrument. The Japan America Society will be accepting donations towards the relief and rebuilding efforts in Japan.

Bloomingdale's South Coast Plaza is at 3333 S. Bristol St. in Costa Mesa. To RSVP, call (714) 824-4547.


Meat on the Doorstep

Want premium steaks, lamb, pork and veal delivered fresh to your door?

No problem. Rick Nicholas, founder of the renowned Newport Meat Company, and his son Adam just launched 35 Degrees (a nod to the perfect temp for aging beef), which is giving Orange County's home chefs and meat lovers fine restaurant grade cuts at home.

They don't mess around with less desirable cuts. Their meats are only center cut, marbled and aged to perfection.

35 Degrees can deliver fresh New York strip, filet mignon, Colorado lamb rack, porterhouse, Kurobuta pork rib chop, Salmon Creek natural pork porterhouse chop and much more.

35 Degrees arrived just in time for outdoor barbecue season, and it also makes a great gift idea. Starting this week, 35 Degrees will deliver nationwide. You can choose a pre-selected assortment of meats or customize a box. 35 Degrees will pre-arrange a delivery date with the gift recipient, and voila, you just made someone very happy.

For more information, call (800) 355.3535 or visit

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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