The Valley Line: Wine fest previewed under a full moon; 'The Grapes of Wrath' to play at A Noise Within

Were you howling at the moon last Saturday night? We enjoyed the first full moon of 2013. Not that I usually pay any attention to the names of the full moons throughout the year, but this moon is known as the “Full Wolf Moon.” The Algonquin and Sioux tribes thus named it. Of course I wanted to know why.

According to NBC news, “Amid the zero cold and deep snows of mid-winter, the wolf packs howled hungrily outside Indian villages. It was also known as the Old Moon or the Moon after Yule.”


Noir Food and Wine restaurant in Pasadena gave a prelude Saturday to the upcoming sixth annual Pasadena PinotFest, which is scheduled for Feb. 9 at Altadena Country Club. The fest is a fundraiser for Hathaway-Sycamores Child and Family Services.

Mike Farwell, owner of Noir along with Claude Beltran, welcomed guests as they gathered at the cozy wine bistro and patio with its lovely water fountain and pond.

The main dining room of the bistro was where Carr Vineyards & Winery of Santa Barbara had set up shop, so to speak.

Ryan Carr, owner and winegrower, along with his wife Jessica, young, attractive and full of excitement for their wines, were fun to talk to and offered wonderful information about their wines. They will be pouring at the PinotFest, too, and this was a good introduction to their wines.

In the patio, representatives were pouring more pinot and other wines from Tolosa, Demetria, Richard Grant and Baletto.

It was a delightful afternoon spent in good company, fine foods prepared by the excellent chefs of Noir and sipping this wine.

Don't forget to mark your calendar for the PinotFest on Feb. 9 — you can purchase tickets online at Remember, proceeds go to a good cause, Hathaway-Sycamores.


While I'm talking about marking calendars, opening on Feb. 16 at the classical theater A Noise Within in Pasadena is a theatrical presentation of John Steinbeck's Pulitzer Prize award-winning novel, “The Grapes of Wrath.”

Terry Kay, president of the theater's board of directors and a La Cañada Flintridge resident, is looking forward to this highly anticipated production.

Terry and his daughter, Charlotte, were among the crowd that attended a most delightful afternoon event, last month's “Fezziwig's Holiday Tea” that was held before a matinee of Charles Dickens' “A Christmas Carol” at A Noise Within.

Dainty tea sandwiches and traditional scones were on the menu served on lovely china plates, and delicate tea cups were filled with Earl Grey tea — with a drop or two of cream, of course. Each tea table was covered with beautiful white linen cloths, many with lace edging. Pretty teapots of many colors and designs centered each table.

It was such a cozy event that I'm already looking forward to next year's offering.

The tea preceded a fabulous production of this beloved Dickens play which was so much fun and unlike any other that I have seen — the company did a superb job.

Other locals I chatted with at the tea and play were Sandy and Fred Engler and Wynter Salazar.


JANE NAPIER NEELY covers the La Cañada social scene. Email her at with news of your special event.

Copyright © 2019, La Cañada Valley Sun
EDITION: California | U.S. & World