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_MG_1216c-750My friend Danielle Staffieri was the first to tell me about the Share Our Wine Foundation. When she told me that after seven years on its board of directors, she was named President/CEO and was spearheading its eighth annual wine auction, I knew I had to attend.

The auction, held at the Samueli Theater at Segerstrom Center for the Arts, attracted 325 oenophiles. I found out that at a foundation pre-“Wine Drop Off” event at South Coast Plaza, guests brought bottles from their personal collections and those offerings were later grouped into wine lots to be put on the auction block at this event.

The festive gathering saw a multitude of high-end wines offered for tasting throughout the reception time. And, I might add, there were some delicious hors d’oeuvres served as well, courtesy of The Patina Group. I especially liked the scrumptious braised short ribs offering with pomme puree and red wine jus as well as a superb forest mushroom risotto. But, I have to say, the minute the wine auction started, you could have heard a pin drop! This group was serious about wines!!

Dave Reynolds, the auctioneer, was a master. I loved it when he proclaimed, “No spousal restraint allowed!” The 24 lots, which also included gourmet dinners, luxe wine country getaways and gobs and gobs of excellent, and even rare, wines. Foundation and event co-founder Steve Johnson was all-smiles, as was Staffieri. Net proceeds for the affair totaled $60,000, which benefited Big Brothers Big Sisters and the Orangewood Children’s Foundation through the Festival of Children Foundation. It was a win-win for everyone!

Photos: Jonathan Hibma