The benefits of fine wine

Folks around La Cañada Flintridge are gearing up for one of the most delectable social events of the year.

Sunday, Sept. 14, is the sixth-annual La Cañada Flintridge Wine & Gourmet Food Tasting at Memorial Park, sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of La Cañada, La Cañada Flintridge Educational Foundation, and the Community Center of La Cañada Flintridge.

Funds generated from the event are used for community, school and children's programs offered by those organizations.

Cost is $50 in advance and $60 per person at the gate. Although children pay full price for tickets, babysitting will be provided at the community center.

The event begins with food and wine tasting from 2 to 5 p.m., and a premium wine auction from 5 to 6 p.m.

La Cañadan of the Year Mary Gant is co-chairing the event with fellow-Kiwanian Clyde Hemphill. The two initiated the event after Gant and her husband, Daryal attended a similar event seven years ago in Mill Valley. “Daryal said, 'This is really great; we should do this in La Cañada,' ” Mary Gant recalled, adding that the La Cañada Flintridge gathering has turned out to be “a few steps above” the Mill Valley event.

Last year, about 700 people sampled the wines, which are provided each year by Le Petit Vendome. About 20 area restaurants provide food for the event. Gant said she's hoping for 800 to 900 people this year.

There also will be live music provided by local musician Andy Roth and his classic rock band, Stunt Road.

The highlight for some is the silent auction, which offers an opportunity to purchase a variety of donated items, including vacation rentals and hotel accommodations; artwork; jewelry; baskets from local businesses; premium tickets to sporting events, theme parks and the Los Angeles County Art Museum; catered lunches and gift certificates.

For others, the premium wine auction is worth the price of admission. “This will tie-in California's wines with the great wines of France, Italy and Australia,” said Mike Goldberg, chair of the endowment committee for the La Cañada Flintridge Educational Foundation. All proceeds from the wine auction go to the foundation.

“This is a great event and a great chance to buy some great wine,” Goldberg said.

For more information, or to buy tickets, call (818) 790-9901 or visit

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