New Venue for Wine & Food Tasting

Photos by Robin GOLDSWORTHY
Analily Park, left, and Sandy Kobeissi.


The pairing of wine and food is an art. To do it right, many options must be provided to make sure that everyone’s palate is pleased. Thankfully, at the 17th Annual Wine & Food Tasting held on Sunday at Olberz Park in La Cañada, there were so many options that no one went home hungry … or dissatisfied.

This was the first year that the event was held at Olberz Park in front of the former Sport Chalet headquarters, now home to the LCF Chamber of Commerce, LCF City Hall and several other businesses. Unlike Memorial Park, where the Wine & Food Tasting has been held for the last 16 years, Olberz Park offered tasters expansive lawns, shady trees and a closeness not always found in previous events.

Monica and John Pawlik.

“The location was fabulous,” said Mary Gant who co-chaired the event with Clyde Hemphill, Mike Leininger and Maureen Bond. “We loved the intimacy that the park provided. We look forward to having it at Olberz Park again next year.”

Ticketholders received a commemorative wine glass and platter upon entering. These tools provided the opportunity for them to enjoy the 33 wine, beer and food vendors offering a sample of their wares.

Chairperson Mary Gant won a bottle at the Kobeissi Properties booth

Newly opened Café X2O in La Cañada served up a delicious taste of its slightly spicy chicken sitting on a flatbread with a squirt of garlic paste. Nearby Natalie Yanke of Franco Wine Imports explained that she represents the boutique Italian winery that produces less than 20,000 bottles annually. Their Bocale Montefalco Rosso paired especially well with Café X20’s chicken dish.

Flautas were found at the booth housing Pepe’s Mexican Restaurant, a favorite Montrose haunt that is often found at the Annual Wine & Food Tasting. Lynne Graves, private wine distributor for OneHope wine, was another familiar face at the event. OneHope offers a variety of wines with a percentage of most purchases being donated to non-profits around the world.

Chicken offered by newly opened Cafe X2O.

In addition to its popular silent wine auction, fun was found at the Kobeissi Properties wine toss. For a nominal fee, wine lovers could try their luck at tossing a hoop at several wine bottles lined up against the back of the Kobeissi tent. Ricardo Gonzales found his mark, winning two bottles.

Luna Grill

The fundraiser is not only a way for local food, wine (and beer) lovers to learn about what the foothills has to offer, but is also a way to support the philanthropic outreach efforts of the Kiwanis.

According to Gant, the money raised was dedicated to student scholarships, disaster relief and other charities. She was quick to credit the many people who helped bring together this year’s event.

Lynne Graves, right, of OneHope WEB

“It takes everyone in the Kiwanis Club to make an event like this come together,” she said. “We’re fortunate that our members are ready to do so … every year.”