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October 2nd, 2009 by Bill Peters
This weekend, the Pasadena Wine Festival will offer the opportunity to sip both California wines and wines from around the world while sampling cheeses and food at a two day event at the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Gardens Saturday, Oct. 3 and Sunday, Oct. 4. The festival will be open from 4:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. each day. Net proceeds of ticket sales are to benefit the Pasadena Symphony Association’s two orchestras, the Pasadena Symphony and the Pasadena Pops.
About 20 wineries will be participating in the festival offering tastings of over 120 wines. California wine regions represented will include Napa Valley, Sonoma County, Santa Barbara County, Paso Robles region, and Monterey County. State of Washington wines will be available and wines from around the world will come from Italy, New Zealand, Australia, Spain, South America, France, and Columbia.
Samplings of food will come off the Ultimate Tailgater’s Chill and Grill Barbeque set up by Barbeques Galore and California and world-wide cheeses will be available. Food will also be available for purchase.
Music will be a major part of the entertainment and be heard throughout both days. Music styles will include jazz, jazz-funk, salsa, world jazz and blues. A favorite at the Cal Phil concerts at the Arboretum during the pre-concert picnic times, Ryan Cross Trio will play straight-ahead jazz while Byron Miller and Friends will offer jazz-funk. Greg Porée Quartet will perform world-jazz style and the Jacques Lesures Blues Band, the blues. A key entertainer of salsa, José Espinosa and his Umbalaye Cuban-style music will be on hand. Espinosa, born in Havana, Cuba, is known for his excellent percussion work and keeps the beat flowing smoothly through the salsa, son, timba, Latin jazz and other styles.
Communal tables will be available and umbrellas to provide additional shade. The grounds will be available for strolling. But the more active can challenge friends to games of bocci ball, horse shoes, Ultimate golf challenge of even throw the Frisbee around. The idea is to relax on the Arboretum’s grass while enjoying a tad of vino, the music and the food samples. Event officials suggest you bring blankets or beach chairs to stay the full evening. No one under age 21 will be admitted to the event. No food or alcohol can be brought to the grounds.
Ticket options include a one-day pass, $55; a two-day pass, $85; preferred pass, $125. The two-day pass comes with a special invitation to the official Pasadena Wine Festival Kick-off party; the preferred pass allows access to the VIP hospitality tent as well as an invitation to all pre-festival wine tasting events. Tickets can be ordered through the Pasadena Wine Festival website, www.pasadenawinefestival.com/buy/tickets.
The Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Gardens is located at 301 N. Baldwin Ave., Arcadia.