A showcase for 50 wineries and eight local restaurants, A Taste of the Grape is a benefit for the Ute Pass Kiwanis Club, and in turn, children.
“We hope to make this a signature event for the community,” said John Todd, chairman of the fundraising committee.
A wine-tasting and appetizer treasury, the benefit begins with a seminar titled “Wine Tasting 101” hosted by sommelier Rafael Craveiro and his portfolio of wines, including three that took Best in Class awards from Wine Spectator magazine. Two of the wines are a Malbec and a Sauvignon Blanc from Chile.
An educational — as well as tasteful — experience, the seminar sets the tone for the evening.
“All the participants will receive a wine glass with the event logo on it,” Todd said.
Laced with information about each wine, the tasters will move on to the real deal, sips and swirls from the 50 wineries.
“There will a program that lists all the wines and an order form for each to be filled by Gold Hill Wines and Liquor,” Todd said.
To enhance the cultural ambience, harpist Karin Taylor will provide the music.
Complementing the wine tastings are an array of appetizers from local restaurants; Pegasus, Tabeguache Steakhouse, Maximilian’s, Joanie’s Deli, McGinty’s Wood Oven Pub, Café 609, Mangia Mangia and Mountain View Bar and Grill.
“We plan to have A Taste of the Grape every year and would like people to look forward to it,” Todd said.
The seminar is from 6 to 6:45 p.m. Jan. 20 at the event center at Shining Mountain Golf Club followed by the tastings at 7 p.m. Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 at the door and are available at Mangia Mangia and Gold Hill Wine and Liquors.
A Taste of the Grape is a benefit to help fund Kiwanis projects, all of which help children in Teller County and around the world. Recently, the local club completed a pledge of $25,000 for the pediatric ward at Pikes Peak Regional Hospital. As well, the members funded pediatric equipment for Teller County’s ambulances.
Known regionally for its annual Breakfast with Santa, the Ute Pass Kiwanis also funds scholarships for high-school students in Woodland Park and Cripple Creek.
Kiwanis International also recently launched its Eliminate Project dedicated to eliminating maternal and neonatal tetanus. In Woodland Park, the members held a kick-off party for the project in November for professional women in the community. Hosted by Dawn Ignatius, Julie Watson, Jenny Cowan, Teresa Elliot, Chris Rubin and Marisue Vincent, the event highlighted the devastating disease that kills more than 60,000 babies in 40 countries every year. Globally, the Kiwanis/UNICEF project expects to raise $110,000 by 2015.
For information about the fundraiser or Kiwanis in general, check www.utepasskiwanis.org.