Wednesday, 17 July 2024

Lake County Wine Alliance hosts 10th annual Wine Auction

LAKEPORT – The 10th annual Wine Auction made its way to a new venue this Saturday as it sought to continue its efforts to raise funds for important local causes.

The Lake County Wine Alliance put on the charity gala at the National Guard Armory in Lakeport for the first time. The black-tie event benefits various community, art, and health programs around the county.

The full receipts for this year's event aren't in. However, Wine Alliance member Wilda Shock said the live auction, consisting of 30 items, brought in $40,800.

This year's beneficiaries include the fine arts programs at Clearlake, Kelseyville, Lower Lake, Middletown and Upper Lake High Schools; Lake County Hunger Task Force, St. Helena Hospital Clearlake, and the five senior centers that provide Meals on Wheels or other nutrition programs; Stitch and Give Knitters, Lake County Chapter of Vietnam Veterans of America, Peoples Services and the Senior Law Project.

A special “fund a need” portion of the live auction benefited the Ely Stage Stop & Country Museum project of the Lake County Historical Society. Shock said those pledged totaled $4,100. The Wine Alliance anticipates participating with the society to add to this project, which will include placing a plaque at the museum noting the donors that contributed through the Wine Auction, Shock Said.

The event was very well attended and offered wine tastings from nearly every Lake County winery and hors d'oeuvre from local restaurants and catering businesses. In addition to the main tasting room, there was a Vintage Vault room which hosted reserve wines from a select group of wineries.

There were many generous donations of items made to both the silent auction and the live auction, including wine, trips to exciting vacation spots, deluxe gift baskets, winery tours, and other unique packages. These donations generated a lot of interest and raised significant funds for the event’s beneficiaries.

Shock said Andy Beckstoffer, the event chair, was the winning bidder for the single auction item that brought in the most funds, Mike Thompson's annual “Pig Out at the Pumphouse,” for $3,800.

Upon check-in at the front door, guests were presented with a gift bag, donated by Kelseyville Lumber, which contained a commemorative wine glass, hors d’ouvres plate, pen and auction bidding card. There were costumed actors at the entrance, some in flapper dresses, some in zoot suits and other periods of dress. In the main dining room the LC Diamonds provided music.

Rob Roumiguiere was the evening's master of ceremonies, with Congressman Mike Thompson the special guest. Tom DiNardo acted as Auctioneer for the live auction.

One might assume that a utilitarian building like the National Guard Armory would be hard to decorate, but it was excellently done. In the entryway, the dining room and the Vintage Vault the walls were all hung with fabric, creating a very soft appearance. In the dining room the fabric was also draped across the ceiling and enhanced with light strands. Each table was decorated beautifully as well.

In the tasting room, each vendor was duly designated by a sign placed above their table, with wine and food vendors interspersed. There was an excellent variety of foods offered, showing that Lake County has some wonderful chefs.

All the vendors were set up against the outer wall of the tasting room, and in the middle of the room was a circle of tables that held the silent auction items.

The auction was exciting, and DiNardo did a great job at generating interest and spurring on a little healthy competition over items with good grace and humor. People were very generous in their bidding.

All of the food being served was good if not great, but there were a couple of exceptional items. Lindy’s Quality Catering pulled out all of the stops with grilled prawns, grilled tri-tip, chicken yakitori, and sweet and sour pork. The smoked salmon mousse from Park Place Restaurant was great, as was the Blue Wing’s sesame tuna. There also were raves over Aromas at Yuba College’s figs with blue cheese and bacon.

Ross Christensen writes about food and wine for Lake County News; his wife, Lacy, is his editor and occasional co-author.


Upcoming Calendar

07.17.2024 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
Free veterans dinner
07.18.2024 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Clearlake City Council
07.20.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at the Mercantile
07.23.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
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07.24.2024 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
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07.27.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at the Mercantile
07.30.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at Library Park
08.03.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at the Mercantile
08.06.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at Library Park
08.10.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at the Mercantile

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