wines of teh world auction and dinner event

2015-Symphony of the Americas Celebrates Wine & Food Extravaganza’s 20th Anniversary

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL -- Delectable food prepared by some of South Florida’s top chefs and fine wines from around the world will come together during a glamorous evening that supports Symphony of the Americas. The orchestra will celebrate the 20th anniversary of its premier fundraiser, Wines of the World, on Friday, Oct. 23 at the Hyatt Regency Pier 66.

The popular food and wine extravaganza that draws both novices and serious collectors will be limited this year to 300 guests. The evening will include a VIP reception; a Vintners Tour tasting reception with dozens of wines to sample, passed appetizers and an hors d’oeuvres competition for culinary students; and an elegant, multi-course sit-down dinner. Highlighting the gala will be a live auction of rare vintages and other collectible wines as well as local fine dining packages.

 “When we got the idea for the event two decades ago, I don’t think we expected it to grow the way it has,” said Maestro James Brooks-Bruzzese, founder and artistic director of SOA, who will be on hand to mingle with guests. “The fact that it is so popular 20 years later is a tribute to the people who have worked so hard to make it the exciting evening it is. Many of the same supporters who started it are still involved today.”

In the beginning, WOW was aimed almost exclusively at serious wine collectors, and the first year, Christie’s Auction House provided most of the wines up for bids. It wasn’t long, however, before local wine collectors who wanted to support the symphony began donating bottles from their own cellars. “Today, the auction is just one part of an evening that includes something for everyone who enjoys fine food and wine,” said Renée LaBonte, SOA’s executive director.

Chef Angelo EliaCelebrity Chefs

Each year, WOW honors a talented chef and a notable winery. This year it is Angelo Elia, chef owner of Casa D’Angelo in Fort Lauderdale. Chef Elia has been the winner numerous times of Wine Spectator magazine’s “Best of” Award of Excellence, and has also been honored with Florida Trend magazine’s Golden Spoon Award. Other participating chefs are Oliver Saucy of Café Maxx; Gran Forno Italian Bakery; Marco Pindo of Sapori Ristorante; ; Per Jacobsen and Courtney Burks of Vienna Café & Wine Bar; Gregory McGowan of Pier 66; Toni Lampasone of Wine Watch Catering; Wes Bonner of Publix Aprons Cooking School; Chef Tom Azar of Lauderdale Yacht Club and Chris Nealon of Aruba Beach Café.

The tribute winery is Antinori, an Italian company that originated in 1385. A member of the Antinori family, which can trace its winemaking traditions back 28 generations, will travel to attend the gala and help showcase their vintages.

Wines to Share

One aspect that sets the gala apart from many other fundraisers is that although wines are served with dinner, guests are invited to bring bottles from their own cellars to share. “Collectors enjoy showing off their wines and comparing notes with others,” said wine collector James LaBonte, who will once again co-chair the gala with fellow collector Jerry Rosenthal.

WOW will also be an official event of the Fort Lauderdale Chapter of the Chaine des Rotisseurs, an international food and wine group. “It’s a good fit for us,” said chapter President Jack Kane. “Chaine members, like supporters of the symphony, share an appreciation of the good things life has to offer.”

During the tasting reception, guests will be able to vote for their favorite appetizer in a scholarship competition for budding chefs from the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale. “It’s an opportunity to see how their work is received in a real-world environment,” said Kane, who is also AI’s director of culinary programs.

For more information on Wines of the World or to purchase tickets, visit www.winesoftheworld or call 954-335-7002.


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