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05.31.2005

Napa's Big Event Is This Coming Weekend

I can barely believe it, but it's time again for Napa's biggest event, the 25th Annual Auction Napa Valley, the annual glitzy wine auction which raises millions each year for charity.

The whole weekend is packed in Napa with open houses and events, but the two main attractions are divided between the event that ordinary people can go to, and the event that you have to be someone to attend.

FOR THE PUBLIC
The first is the Auction and Barrel tasting this Friday, June 3rd, where Napa wineries pull out all the stops and offer some of their most glamorous wares to be bid up to astronomical amounts by canapé wielding, wine loving ordinary people like you and me.

Some of the more interesting items on offer this year are:

The Chandon Four Star Fete -- a dinner for 12 in your home (anywhere in the US) prepared and hosted by Domaine Chandon Chef Ron Boyd and Winemaker Wayne Donaldson and served with some of Chandon's most exclusive current releases and library wines. Oh, and you get a case of their Pino Noir thrown in as well.

A private wine seminar and dinner at the CIA hosted by wine educator Karen MacNeil and with wines from Fife Vineyards. Plus 16 large format bottles of reserve Fife wines.

And one that makes my mouth water:

The Spring Mountain Collection: 11 large format bottles, one from each of 11 neighboring wineries on the mountain, including Barnett, Fantesca, Fife, Juslyn, Lynch, Marston, Robert Keenan, Schweiger, Sherwin, Spring Mountain Vineyards, and Terra Valentine.

If anyone wants to but Vinography a belated wedding present, that would be the one.

Auction Napa Valley #25
Barrel Auction and Festival
Friday June 3rd, 2005
Trinchero Family Estates, Napa
11 AM to 4 PM
$150 per person


FOR THE BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE
The second event is the Saturday night, star-studded live auction that will be kicked off by Jay Leno and only get more over the top from there. At this auction there are 57 mega lots on offer with amazing items. Here's just a smattering:

A complete 25 year vertical of normal AND 3 liter bottles of Chateau Montelena Cabernet.

A weekend in Hollywood with Teri Hatcher (plus some Frank Family wines).

A meal for 20 cooked by Thomas Keller of the French Laundry.

An 152 bottle collection of Rombauer wines in small verticals.

A private tour of Versailles and other Parisian spots, a night at the opera while made up as Marie Antoinette by a Hollywood costume and makeup crew and dinner at Gerard Depardieu's restaurant in Paris.

A cameo role in the next Merchant & Ivory film.

...just to name a few of the more interesting ones. There's lots of amazing wine to be had as well, of course.

This event is usually by invitation only, though there is a small waiting list of people who get tickets every year simply by putting their name in. If you haven;t gotten your tickets already, you're gonna need to pull all your best strings to get in at this point.

Auction Napa Valley #25
Live Auction and Dinner
Saturday June 5th, 2005
Meadowood Resort
The time of the event is unpublished.
$7,500 for a pair of tickets.

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The Oxford Companion to Wine by Jancis Robinson Wine Grapes The World Atlas of Wine by Hugh Johnson to cork or not to cork by George Taber reading between the vines by Terry Theise adventures on the wine route by Kermit Lynch Love By the Glass by Dorothy Gaiter & John Brecher Noble Rot by William Echikson The Science of Wine by Jamie Goode The Judgement of Paris by George Taber The Wine Bible by Karen MacNeil The Botanist and the Vintner by Christy Campbell The Emperor of Wine by Elin McCoy The Taste of Wine by Emile Peynaud