By Michael YEGHIAYAN
Wine enthusiasts can turn to the Los Angeles County Arboretum this weekend and be treated to live music, some of Los Angeles’ most coveted gourmet food trucks and free flowing wine from regions across the world. The Pasadena Wine Festival, held on Saturday, Oct. 9, promises to offer a relaxing and enjoyable evening held in the spirit of local jazz club and restaurant redwhite+bluezz.
In addition to wine, food and music, the event promises outdoor entertainment such as bocce ball, horseshoes to complement the natural beauty of the Arboretum. The gourmet food trucks will be out in force as well, with attendees left to choose between Border Grill, Sprinkles Cupcakes, Dosa Truck, Crepe’n Around, Worldfare Bustaurant, and the Grilled Cheese Truck.
However the main attraction this weekend is sure to be the wine. The festival promises a number of varieties with bottles from Europe and all of the California wine regions, as well as a special focus on Australia. One of the main architects of the Pasadena Wine Festival is Russ Meek, who is a managing partner of redwhite+bluezz and behind organizing the wine for the weekend.
“We have every great region around the world represented,” said Meek. “We are going to have around 80 wines. Some are donated for the event by the wineries, and others have been purchased by us and donated.”
Much of the motivation behind the Pasadena Wine Fest is linked to redwhite+bluezz and local entertainment company Pasadena Entertainment’s dedication to the LA Arboretum.
“The California Philharmonic has partnered for years with the Arboretum and we like to continue supporting them toward the end of their summer season,” explained Meek.
Of course, Meek and redwhite+bluezz are no strangers to raising money for local non-profit organizations.
“A couple times a month we have different charities from around town come by [redwhite+bluezz] or other venues for a night of music, great food and wine. They are able to take home between $10 and $15 thousand in a night and we get to break even and let people raise money for their favorite charity,” said Meek. “It’s our chance to show off while being able to raise about $2 million last year. We have quite a few parties planned in the fall as well.”
In the second year of the event, attendees may notice a few changes from last year’s festival. Ticket prices have been lowered to $28 and below and the festival will feature more tastings.
“We want it to be a tasting event, which allows people to pay what they want,” explained Meek. “Some free tickets are available. We want people to come and see how great this is.”
Between great wine, fantastic music, supporting the Arboretum or simply a lovely evening beneath the stars, the Pasadena Wine Festival promises an enjoyable night for all who attend.
The Pasadena Wine Festival takes place from 2:00 p.m. -10 p.m. at the Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden, 301 S. Baldwin Ave. in Arcadia. For more information visit www.pasadenawinefestival.com.