The 1920s come roaring into downtown this month

It’s good to be bad at Wine & Dine-Prohibition, a roaring good time to benefit ElderHelp, April 21 from 7 to 11 p.m. at the Westin Gaslamp Quarter Hotel in downtown San Diego.

Take a trip back to the Roaring 20’s with flapper girls, mobsters non-stop dancing and food and wine at the Wine & Dine-Prohibition Benefit, on Saturday April 21 at the Downtown San Diego Westin Hotel.Courtesy photo

Throw caution to the wind and revel in the excitement of live music, gaming, wine and beer tasting and delicious cuisine from a collection of downtown restaurants.

A charity auction and raffle drawings will get the juices going. Wineries that will be pouring include: Callaway from Temecula, Woof’n Rose and Hacienda de las Rosas, the award winners from Ramona, Michael David, Cinnabar and many more.

The event also promises costumed entertainers like mobsters, flappers, dancers and speakeasy characters. There is a constant dance floor of music from the 1920s.

Executive Director of ElderHelp Leane Marchese said, “Wine and Dine is a great opportunity for San Diegans to try cuisine from San Diego’s finest restaurants and sample premium wines and spirits for all over California, plus entertainment, all for a great cause.”

ElderHelp was founded in 1973 as a community-based volunteer organization in the inner city for needy seniors and their families. It helps seniors remain independent and live with dignity in their own homes.

Tickets are $150 in advance and $200 at the door. Advance purchase is available on line at For more information call (619) 284-9281. Special ticket packages are also available.

The Latest Dirt on Wine

Congrats to Temecula’s Robert Renzoni on the winery’s 4th birthday. A two-day celebration is planned for April 14 and April 15, with live music both days. The winery is now producing Italian Brunello! Learn more at (951) 302-8466.

Taste Of Wine columnist Frank Mangio sipped the latest release Rhone Valley Mouvedre from Ted Plemons, winemaker at Cass Winery in Paso Robles. Courtesy photo

Ted Plemons of Cass Vineyard and Winery in Paso Robles loves a party and doesn’t miss a chance to promote his Grenache, Mourvedre, Syrah and Rockin One Rhone Blend. He’s a leader of the pack of “Rhone Rangers,” wineries that are dedicated to the French Rhone style of wines. Count me in as one big fan of that grape style. Cass was a big player at both the recent Paso Robles Road Show in Newport Breach, and the Family Winemakers of California show at the Del Mar Fairgrounds, which listed almost 200 small production-type California wines.

What impressed me was that most of the wineries came with their winemakers. A big “Thank you” to Fast Forward Event Productions for a marketing job well done.

Banfi Vintners, worldwide winery owners founded by the Mariani Family of Castello Banfi in Italy’s Montalcino have just purchased venerable Sonoma winery Kenwood Vineyard, subject to due diligence with a closing scheduled for June. This will be the first winery for Banfi in California. They have recently bought wineries in Oregon and Washington. Kenwood produces over 500,000 cases.

Kudos to Napa Valley’s historic Grgich Hills and its iconic Cabernet Sauvignon

as it was the wine of choice at a hosted dinner in Los Angeles for the next President of China, Xi Jingping recently. The 2008 release was 21 months in French Oak and has a slight blend of 5 percent Petit Verdot, 3 percent Merlot and 3 percent Cab Franc. ($60).

I spoke to the legendary Mike Grgich a week or so ago in Palm Desert (the Napa Valley hero of Judgment of Paris in 1976) and he is struggling to recover from two fractured vertebra in his back. As always he was full of energy and will be ready soon to help with the 2012 crop of naturally farmed grapes on his 366 acres. He was born in 1923, and has spent 54 years in the wine business.

Wine Bytes

San Diego Wine Company is doing a California Reds Tasting Arpil 14 from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Just $10. Call (858) 586-WINE for selections.

3rd Corner Encinitas has a Dragonette Cellars Wine Dinner April 17, starting at 6:30 p.m. Cost is $65. Five wines matched with a four-course dinner. RSVP at (760) 942-2104.

Europa Village in Temecula Wine Country has the second in a series of Old World Wine Dinners April 18 and April19 at 6:30 p.m. Enjoy “La Vie Parisienne,” the food, wine and music of Paris in a five-course paired event. $84. Call (951) 216-3380 for tickets.

The Marine Room in La Jolla presents a dinner with the top artists in the area, April 19 from 6 to 11 p.m. This dinner gala will showcase original oil paintings by leading artists. $200. Call (800) 599-7111.

Dallman Fine Chocolates with its new store at Flower Hill Mall in Del Mar is creating the Dallman Chocolate Boutique with a series of special attractions including “Chocolate, Wine and Cheese,” an experience of the joy of these three pleasures. Start time is 6:30 p.m. April 19.. Cost is $45. RSVP at (858) 720-1933.

A Chef’s Table dinner is planned at the Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel April 19 from 7 to 9 p.m. Dine with Executive Chef Andres Jimenez and his four-course tasting menu sit down dinner with wine pairings. $169. Call (949) 240-2000.


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