Monday, October 25, 2010

Tivens is Tops at Winewomen and Song

We can't stop crowing about the magnifique Ahnfeldt wine dinner, your amazing support for Well in the Desert and the heart-stopping voice of Jessica Tivens. Our Winewomen and Song evening under the full moon at Miramonte on Friday was nothing short of magical. In case you weren't there, here's what you missed.

First off, thanks to Randy Hazard for five awesome Ahnfeldt wines and Chef Robert Nyerick for a beautiful fall dinner anchored by ol' reliable filet mignon and lobster, both tender and letter perfect – which, for more than a hundred hungry guests that included quite of few VIPs, is not an easy thing to do.

As for all of you who came out to support Well in the Desert, the West Valley's safety net for the working poor and homeless – a giant thank you. God bless Arlene Rosenthal (pictured, to Jessica's right) and the Well staff for the incredible job they do for so many on a shoestring budget. You are true humanitarians.

Lola Rossi Meza sang a fitting People – a daring enough feat in itself – to recognize and honor Arlene and the stellar Well supporters and staff. With barely any prep or notice, accompanist Gale Enger was, as always, right on it. He is the consummate piano pro.

After the festivities, foods and wines, Jessica Tivens took to the stage to give the massive full moon a run for its money. Her vocal dexterity and poise ran a gamut of styles from Sondheim to Andrew Lloyd Webber, Massenet and contemporary Broadway tunes with gusto and humor, always hitting her notes. With stage presence, youthful grace and humor, Jessica lifted the evening to another orbit of sheer musical delight. Listen to her accompany pianist and producer Mike Garson here on Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata, which she absolutely must perform next time as an encore.

As much as we're dying to tell you about our next event at Bellatrix on November 21 in support of local scholarships to Cal State San Bernardino's Palm Desert Campus (and yes, you can start calling Kathleen at 760.799.7076 to reserve), we want to bask in the glow of Tivens' voice and the magic that was Winewomen and Song at Miramonte on Friday. More November event news coming soon.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

WinewomenPSP Hit Back-to-Back Homers

What a week it's been! WinewomenPSP hit it out of the park in support of two outstanding organizations, first with Women Leaders Forum annual leadership conference on Thursday, October 21 and again last night with our Winewomen and Song Ahnfeldt wine dinner at Miramonte benefiting Well in the Desert.

WLF's L.E.A.D. conference was a huge success attended by more than 200 women (and a couple very brave men). After a provocative keynote address by Jet Propulsion Laboratory's super-scientist Dr. Cinzia Zuffada, we headed to intimate breakout dinner panel sessions. And the crowd went wild!

Besides praise for Renaissance Esmeralda Banquet Chef Brian Perry and Pastry Chef Sefika, attendees found L.E.A.D. panelists inspirational to the nines. Panelists shared their knowledge with generosity and grace, giving each breakout audience tips and actionable guidelines to leadership and success.

Here are some of the comments we heard afterwards: The Literary panel got me so jazzed, I couldn't wait to get home to start writing againLifestyle and Wellness panelists gave me plenty of food for thoughtWow, I'll never forget the amazing women on your Philanthropy panelWhere did you find those sharp women on the Business and Entrepreneurship panel?! What a terrific format for everyone – please do this again next year!

Thank you to all the Winewomen who participated in that stellar event! Tell us more on this blog and our WinewomenPSP Facebook page.

Next, we'll tell you about last night's Winewomen and Song event that featured Jessica Tivens' magical voice, an exquisite Ahnfeldt wine dinner and your lovely smiling faces bathed in moonlight. What a night it was!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Showtime! Winewomen and Song This Friday

Our Ahnfeldt wine dinner on Friday, October 22 is sure to hit the high notes. Between the vocal performance of classical songstress Jessica Tivens with Gale Enger at the piano, wines that include two reds from Napa's excellent 2005 vintage, Chef Nyerick's cuisine, a gorgeous outdoor venue at Miramonte and the incredible charity that is Well in the Desert, you are in for a monstrous treat.

Tivens has covered a lot of sheet music in her twenty-something years. The precocious talent made her debut on TV's Star Search when she was only eight years old. Later, she trained at New York's legendary Julliard School of Music, followed by her professional operatic debut in 1999 and an appearance at Carnegie Hall only a year after that – how tough is that in Noo Yawk? Lemme tell ya.

Besides performing for dignitaries Rudy Giuliani and the Clintons, Jessica has also shared the concert stage with Josh Groban, Davis Gaines and Michael Crawford. Listen to this lady rattle the rafters on her website – yowza!

As though all this weren't enough for one night, our Winewomen and Song event features Nyerick's gorgeous fall menu wine dinner and five pairings with Napa Valley's Ahnfeldt wines.

Start with passed appetizers and Ahnfeldt 2005 Cuvee at 6 PM and be humming your way home by 9:30 PM. The dinner includes Ahnfeldt's 2009 Pinot Grigio and Chardonnay as well as two 2005 vintage beauties: Ahnfedlt Estate Cabernet Sauvignon and Estate Merlot.

Weather permitting, Tivens' performance and our wine dinner should unfold under the stars at Miramonte's romantic Mediterranean Lawn. Proceeds will benefit Well in the Desert, a charity dedicated to food assistance, programs and services that focus on poverty prevention and intervention.

Make your just-in-time reservations today! Tickets are $75 for WinewomenPSP members and $85 for nonmembers.

See the entire four-course dinner menu and event schedule online and ring K at 760.799.7076 con brio. See you there!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Two Faves Back in Stock at Dan's

Two wines we like are back in stock at Dan's Wine Shop in Palm Desert. Both deliver plenty of delicious fruit with grace, complexity and a refreshing mineral streak. Better yet, both are easy on the wallet and great with a variety of foods.

Dr L Riesling by Loosen Brothers is from Germany's steep and slaty Mosel region. Its lively kick of ripe mango and apricot fruit is tempered by juicy lime freshness. Between the screw cap and low 8.5% alcohol, you and your guests might never get to the red wine. This versatile wine goes with a variety of foods from tangy appetizers, Asian cuisine, pork and lighter meat dishes.

The 2008 vintage in stock for $9.95 nailed spot #62 on Wine Spectator's Top 100 Wines of the Year and was selected as a best value. Ripe and ready to drink now, you can also stock up and store this Old World winner to savor its crisp, clean pleasure over the next eight years.

Just one look at the ruby red color that gushes out into the glass from a bottle of Bodega Colomé 2008 Amalaya is enough to get a red wine lover's heart racing. This Malbec blend from the Calchaquí Valley of Argentina's northern Salta region boasts crushed red raspberry, fig and currants with a sweet smokiness lifted by a bright mineral streak.

Balancing out the 75% Malbec is 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Syrah and 5% Tannat. Soft tannins and a juicy, lush mouthfeel make this red blend a great pairing for meatier pizzas and stews, lamb, richer preparations of chicken, pork, burgers and other beef dishes such as flank steak. If you like it as much as we do, you may want to snatch a few extra bottles to keep on hand as it's sure to get even better over the next couple of years. We learned that sad lesson when we ran out of the 2007 Amalaya. Find it for $13.95 at Dan's or call to have him hold your winter supply at 760.674.0305.


Thursday, October 7, 2010

Friday is Think Pink Day

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. This year, the Renaissance Esmeralda supports awareness efforts with a series of events in and around the Indian Wells resort on Friday, October 8. Net proceeds from the day's activities benefit the Susan G. Komen for the Cure®, Inland Empire Affiliate and the Lucy Curci Cancer Center in Rancho Mirage.

Early risers can step to the Pink Power Walk at 7 to 9:30 AM. Sleepy-heads or sun-worshipers, dive into Pink in the Pool from 10 AM to 2 PM. Fashionistas, head to the Pink with Passion Fashion Show at STIR from 2 to 3:30 PM with a special exhibit of gorgeous pink sapphire jewelry.

Too busy for you? From 4 to 6 PM, choose instead to Rejuvenate in Pink at a private spa party. Or not busy enough? FM radio's Mix 100.5's Acoustic Lounge and Bradley Ryan kick it up from 6 to 8 PM with Five For Fighting, also at STIR.

Each event offers prizes and specials from continental breakfast, pink T-shirts and water bottles for the walkers to mini-facials and spa treatments, cocktails and hors d'oeuvres for the Rejuvenators. Contact Jackie Diaz for tickets and information at 760.836.1286 or

Events carry separate admission tickets starting from $10. Make a day of it with event packages ($100) with or without a day room at Esmeralda ($250) or an overnight stay with a $25 resort credit ($500).

The silent auction that begins at 9 AM will include a fun wine experience donated by this Winewoman: A private guided tasting of five excellent pink wines for eight people. The winning bidder need only provide a venue. Private wine tastings are a cool way to thank or entertain business clients, friends or family. The five wines will include at least one lip-smacking pink sparkler meant to color your thinking about this amazing wine category.

Instead of the sweet stuff that gave pinks a bad rap, tasters will enjoy a refreshing range of international rosé, blush and pink sparkling wines. Wine boss brings everything – wines, glasses, tasting sheets and light, wine-friendly snacks. Guests get to relax, nibble, enjoy, taste and learn. We promise you'll rethink pink.

Come on out tomorrow, and bring a sister, mom and friends. Take in as many activities as you can, meet some great people and bid on cool auction items to help these great causes.

Ribbon art copyrighted by Bobbie Peachey.