From fruity chars to perfect pinots to tangy zins, wine lovers were in heaven at the 12th annual Uncork a Wish Fundraiser. About 2,000 aficionados, foodies and celebrity chow hounds gathered at the Barker Hangar for the annual event that benefits the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Chris Rich of TV’s “Reba” was ready to dive right in. “I know the Make-A-Wish kids from the set,” he said. “So if there’s anything I can do to help them out, I’m in.”
In addition to his celebrity bartending duties, this wine connoisseur was shopping for bargains. “I have a pretty good collection,” he said. “Last time I was in Nashville, Reba’s husband opened a bottle of Obrion, so that got me pretty spoiled. But I love Palmer, Saint George. I love ovation. Pinots and cabs are great.”
“What about merlot?” I inquired.
“I’m not falling for that,” he said with a smile.
Inside, Bob Goen and other famous faces were giving it their all at the martini bar.
The crowd was wearing everything from black tie to denim, and you couldn’t miss those Martha ponchos.
Guests sipped and sampled while they viewed silent auction items like prints, oil paintings, animations cells, Apple iPods, a sleek, $7,500 Frank Muller Casablanca timepiece and a 6.0 liter bottle of Grand Brute Perrier Jouet.
L.A. restaurants, meantime, were dishing up a storm. Noe featured tangy shrimp mojitos served in freshly carved lime cups. There were oysters on the half shell from the Water Grill, down home barbecue from Mr. Cecil’s and steak sandwiches from Arnie Morton’s. It all led to chocolate paradise at the back of the room where strawberry, white, dark and milk chocolate cascaded from four massive fountains. Those loco for cocoa could choose from marshmallows, strawberries, Oreos and even salted pretzels as a means to transport their favorite fix.
This was one stop even the cops couldn’t resist. “Mmmm,” marveled Officer Holloway as he blanked a berry in the luscious liquid. “It’s good chocolate, too.”
As dessert was served, Goen took on the live action duties that featured a souped-up Pontiac GTO, a ride on the Goodyear Blimp and a private party prepared by reality series chef Rocco DiSpirito.
The event raised more than half a million bucks to help make dreams come true for kids in need. So whether you’re a cop on duty, a celeb pitching in or just an ordinary food fan, the Make-A-Wish Foundation gives everyone a good reason to ditch your diet and dig in.