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Vintage Classics : Wineries Pour Their Best to Help the Philharmonic Society Cultivate a Good Year

March 08, 1994|KATHRYN BOLD

More than 400 guests indulged in a trio of epicurean delights--wine, food and heavenly music--at the "Symphony of Wines" staged by the Town & Country Committee of the Orange County Philharmonic Society.

The committee joined with Hi-Time Cellars to enlist 67 wineries to pour their best vintages for the wine-tasting that took place The $400-per-person benefit was expected to net about $12,000 for the OCPS's youth programs.

Day of Wine and Noses

The 14th annual "Symphony of Wines" attracted serious wine connoisseurs who like the wine-tasting because they can try many different vintages under one roof.

They sniffed, they sipped, they swallowed and, sometimes, they discreetly spit. How else to sample, say, 50 different wines in one afternoon without, as wine connoisseur Dave Baccitich said, "crawling out of here."

Baccitich shared a dictionary of terms used frequently by wine aficionados to describe certain vintages.

"Some of the words they use are 'oaky' to describe Chardonnay and 'glassy' or 'herbal' for the Sauvignons and fumes. For the reds you start talking about your 'cherries' and your 'raspberries,' " he said.

Wine lover Chuck Roby, who attended with his wife, Mimi, a Town and Country member, had his wine-tasting m.o. already planned. Sample the whites first, he advised, then on to the heavier reds.

"You put together a strategy," he said. "I always start with the Chardonnays."

He took only a small sip of each wine, holding it on the tongue to take in the flavor.

"You don't chug it," Roby said. "This is really about tasting the wine."

Wined and Dined

In between sips of wine, guests indulged in buffets stocked with gourmet specialties prepared by local restaurants. One popular table was covered with strawberries that looked like they were wearing tuxedos made of white and dark chocolate--the handiwork of Rockwell Bakery of Villa Park. Issay of Newport Beach offered tiramisu; Sfuzzi of Costa Mesa served penne with a roasted vegetable Bolognese sauce and Trees Restaurant of Corona del Mar served a marinated sliced pork.

Philharmonic supporters love music as well as wine, so they were serenaded by musicians who performed classical works. Town & Country members Barbara Chahbazian, violinist, and Joan Djang, pianist, were accompanied on piano by Fritz Lin, husband of member Helen Lin, who performed on cello.

Proceeds from the event support the philharmonic society's musical outreach program, which presents concerts for Orange County youths at schools and at the Orange County Performing Arts Center in Costa Mesa.

"This brings music to children who otherwise would not have" the exposure, said Eleanor Beatty, event chairwoman.

Town & Country is one of 32 committees that support the OCPS; it has 37 members based in Tustin Hills.

Among those attending were Lana Hileman, event co-chairwoman; Judith Jelinek, president of the OCPS, with her husband, Howard; Nancy Morrow, Town & Country president, and her husband, Ralph; Dean Corey, OCPS director, and his wife, Gayle; Monica McDade, wine coordinator with Hi-Time Cellars; Ron and Francine Morrison; Barry and Sue Von Hemert, and Marta Zilonko.

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