Just to let you all know, this event is kind of major for me. 😉 Last year at the tasting, I met the love of my life! 🙂
Now, I didn’t go WITH my love to the 2011 event, I actually MET him there. Like, he just so happened to be there! How weird is that nowadays? Until then, I had been meeting people via an internet dating website and not having much luck at all. Then all of a sudden, somehow, someway this guy (with all these things in common as me) happened to be single and in the right place at the right time…I am still sort of shocked at my luck!
I had two tickets to the event from promoting it last year on cakegrrl.com, and I didn’t have a date, so I asked one of my female friends (C) to join me. We drove separately, and met at the entrance (this detail will prove to be helpful a little later in the story). Once inside, we walked around the many food and wine booths, tasting some of the best wines (not only local but from around the world), and some great food from Chef Ame (formerly of L Wine Lounge), Dad’s Kitchen, and Scott’s Seafood. (PS: They’ll all be back this year!)
I precisely remember spotting RB for the first time. He was standing by a tall outdoor table and I was crossing the courtyard. He was kind of darker skinned (now I know this was from running outdoors), had dark hair, and a tall, thin frame. I was instantly attracted to him, and as I walked in front of him, our eyes met, but I quickly looked away (as I felt embarrassed he caught me glancing at him). I continued to have fun with my friend until the event was nearly over. Soon, she left to go home, but I stayed to close out the party.
On my way out of the Sierra 2 Center, I spotted a booth that was still pouring their leftover wine. It just so happened to be the Taylor’s Market booth. It just so happened to be run by Dick and Kathy Ebert. (Dick is the wine expert at Taylor’s Market). They just so happened to be pouring Ridge Cabernet. And the handsome guy I spotted earlier just so happened to be standing at their booth and chatting with them. That’s when I walked up to all of them and stuck out my glass. “Oh may I try some?” I asked.
Of course, at that point, everyone was very friendly. Kathy poured me almost a full glass and I looked up (sigh…yes, looked up–because I am so short) to see the handsome guy looking down at me. He smiled and we started chatting. To be honest, I am not sure what we started chatting about exactly. But, I know that it was about food and wine and Sacramento… and Taylor’s Market… and Curtis Park… and wine (I know, I mentioned that already)… and was I here by myself… and cars.
And then, I was invited back to his house in Curtis Park… to see the cars… his 2 older cars… if I was so inclined. I accepted. I felt comfortable around him already, and his neighbors were also headed back to have a look at the cars as well.
I sort of marveled over the relics in his garage. The giant of a black Chrysler Imperial, and the funky little blue Citroën. Soon his friends left, and I was standing there in the garage with him, alone.
We went into his house and I sat on the kitchen counter. We talked for hours. During our discussion, we discovered that we have many things in common. The biggest thing was wine, I think… followed closely by the Paleo diet!! Other things included running, jazz, love of architecture. I think I left his house finally around midnight. I headed back to my car (parked God knows where) without really exchanging contact information… I just didn’t know for sure if he was available or not… or if he even liked me. The next day, I found him on Facebook and sent a message along. I told him there was no pressure and if anything I liked him and would like to just hang out again if only as friends. Fast forward…a month of food/wine events/free media invites to movies/shopping at Total Wine together/pumpkin carving/grilling out and just spending time together… I sort of just turned him into my boyfriend… or as he likes to say, “I turned HER into my girlfriend.” But really, what did it for me was that he made me bacon wrapped dates one evening for dessert. The only reason he knew I liked them was because I mentioned them in passing. The fact that he remembered the details and made them especially for me really meant a lot. A man who listens AND can make you a Paleo dessert. Sign me up!
And here we are…a year later. And all because of the SCNA Wine Tasting and Silent Auction 🙂
Here’s the official press release from the folks at the Sierra 2 Center:
The Curtis Park Wine Tasting & Silent Auction event is always the talk of the neighborhood. It brings people together for a decadent three hours of sampling food from the area’s finest restaurants and wine from more than 50 wineries. Guests get into friendly competitive bidding in the silent auction and have high hopes to win a raffle item.
The wine-tasting gala is SCNA’s largest fundraising event, and it also benefits two organizations key to the neighborhood: Bret Harte Elementary School and McClatchy High School Drama Club.
Event planners expect to exceed 25 restaurants. Restaurant committee chair Carrie Sage will present in a super strong line-up to show off the city’s expanding food scene. 2012 Participating Restaurants: Tapa the World, Tower Cafe, Gunther’s Quality Ice Cream, AME Mean Eats, Mighty Kong Cafe, Scott’s On The River, Aioli Bodega Espanola, Chops Steakhouse, Enotria Restaurant & Winebar, The Supper Club at The Crocker, Lucca Restaurant & Bar, Casa Garden Restaurant, Espresso Metro, Mamma Susanna’s Ristorante Italiano, Freeport Bakery, Dad’s Kitchen, Taylor’s Market, Oak Cafe at ARC, Selland’s Family Restaurants, La Bombe Ice Cream & More, Pangaea Two Brews Cafe & Bottle Shop, Ambrosia Fine Food.
Wines and a Beer Garden: On the beverage side of the evening, Dick Ebert, our neighbor and wine guru at Taylor’s Market, is again coordinating more than 50 wineries to offer samplings. Winery representatives will be on hand to make suggestions in pairing wine with food. Beer drinkers will want to step into the Belgian Beer Garden. It’s organized by Curtis Park neighbor Rob Archie, who owns PPangaea Two Brews Cafe & Bottle Shop on Franklin Boulevard (across from Gunther’s).
Silent auction: For the silent auction and raffle drawings, we are again lining up Experience Packages, which encourage competitive bidding and make the auction items more interesting: educational and cultural outings, culinary and gustatory adventures and outdoor recreation experiences. In addition to the art, entertainment, and service donations, we have lined up such things as a Condo in Sedona for a week, a condo in Tahoe for a weekend, a special bottle of Montagia wine autographed by co-creators Joe Montana and wine maker Ed Sbragia, Date Night packages, Private wine tastings in Napa and the Foothills, Create the flavor of the month at Gunther’s Ice Cream, and more.
Tickets are $35 for SCNA Members, $45 for Non-members. To buy tickets to the event, click here!
We still need auction and raffle items to round out the selection so we ask neighbors and businesses to consider donating. We especially encourage donation of experiences: cooking, art, dance or photography lessons; share your favorite cookbooks or children’s books by bundling two or three together with a note. These donations make the event even more special. All donations are tax-deductible.
A popular and unique aspect of the event is the ‘neighborhood dinners’— privately hosted, themed events for six or more people, donated to SCNA for purchase by neighbors. This year we anticipate more than a dozen of these ‘dinners,’ to include themes such as Running of the Bulls with food from Spain, southern-style Kentucky Derby Day brunch, a ‘Pub Crawl’ that goes from host to host, French and Indian cuisine and more. Seats at these dinners will be sold during the event in Room 11, separate from the auction and raffle, on a first-come first-serve basis; they go quickly.
Parking: In order to offer the Beer Garden and expand the venue, we are once again closing the main parking lot at Sierra 2 Center. We encourage people to walk, ride a bike or carpool. Side street parking is available but limited.
To get involved:
Donations: Donations are needed and appreciated. They are tax deductible and are very important to the Silent Auction and Raffle. Call Melissa McKenzie at (916) 396-8490. Donations are accepted until Sept. 28. We are happy to make arrangements for pick-up.
Sponsors: Program Advertising opportunities are available until Sept. 18. Please call 452-3005 for sponsor information.
Did I mention you can buy tickets to the event here?!