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The 4th Annual Stars of Pinot Raises Funds (And Plenty Of Glasses) For The T.J. Martell Foundation

wineLA, Los Angeles’ top source for wine-centered events and education, held their 4th Annual Stars of Pinot gathering at the luxurious Montage Beverly Hills last week. Over 150 wines were poured for enthusiasts to taste, wine reps were on site to talk about their brands and DJ Richard Blade was also spinning the best in 80’s new wave. This grand tasting also raised funds to benefit the T.J. Martell Foundation, a non-profit that supports innovative groundbreaking cancer research.

Bouchaine’s ’17 Vin Gris of Pinot Noir

One might be under the impression that an event like this would be suited for the high rollers at wine auctions, but it was actually much more approachable.

With my general admission ticket (priced at $75) I was provided with a beautiful complimentary pinot wine glass and given access to taste any wine on the floor of my choosing. Plenty of cheeses, breads and Evian water bottles were also included in this ticket.

I believe every event should begin with bubbles and clearly, wineLA does too! Sponsor Champagne Henriot was providing guests with a champagne tasting right at the entrance to start the night on a bubbly note.

Let the games begin!

I’ve been to some smaller scale tasting events in the past, but this was a different beast. The Montage ballroom sets a tone for ostentatious LA glamour, with its operatic balconies and lavish chandeliers. However, the wine reps were all smiles and very down to earth. It was a fun mix of luxury and comfort.

Although this event wasn’t intended for attendees to make on the spot purchases, the reps were readily available with brochures and info on how to buy their wines. Many of the winemakers are also open minded to touring their vineyards, so keep their contact info on file for when you’re in their valley.

Ballroom of Montage Beverly Hills

I started the tasting tour with one of the friendliest faces there–Lindy Willingham, representing A to Z Wineworks–who set a high standard for the night. Their ’16 A to Z Essence of Oregon is lighter-bodied with notes of stone fruits, perfect for sipping on in the summertime. Although this was an earlier tasting, it was one of my favorite pours of the evening.

’16 A to Z Essence of Oregon

Pinot Noir was the belle of the ball, but many makers also offered samples of their rosé and an occasional chardonnay.

Other favorite tastes included:

Wrath Wines’ ’15 Pinot Noir – medium bodied and fruity with a little bit of spiciness

Bouchaine’s ’17 Vin Gris of Pinot Noir – very refreshing, perfect for a pool day

Iris Vineyards ’17 Chalice Estate Pinot Noir Rosé – loved the strawberry notes and light minerality

Van Duzar Vineyard’s ’16 Pinot Gris – notes of tropical fruits and a bit creamy

Although I attended this one solo (I was there for this post specifically), I do think it’s more fun to attend with a friend. So if you have a wino partner in crime, bring them out! Luckily I did bump into Chef Derrick Fox (who I have interviewed in the past) and I also got to meet one my favorite DJs on Sirius XM, DJ Richard Blade.

Me with DJ Richard Blade

There’s nothing better than discovering wines for a good cause. Be sure to keep up with wineLA’s upcoming events on their website. In addition to these events, the wineLA program (founded by sommelier Ian Blackburn) also includes wine classes, private dinners and wine travels abroad. We’re looking forward to the upcoming 2018 Bubbles and Rosé Festival, Sat, August 25, 2018, 1:00 PM – 9:00 PM at Leica Store and Gallery in Los Angeles–keep an eye out on Girls on Food for more information.

Iris Vineyards ’17 Chalice Estate Pinot Noir Rosé

Although this general admission ticket was comped by wineLA, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own. 

Summer Loves Sunshine Package at SLS Hotel Beverly Hills

I recently checked out The Bazaar by José Andrés, at SLS Hotel, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Beverly Hills (read about it here) and I had such a magical experience, I have to share with you the SLS Hotel’s Summer Loves Sunshine package, available today through September 30.

SLS Hotel let me come in for a tour of this fantastic offer. After this tour, I’m dying to escape and seek refuge at the SLS Hotel! I always recommend the SLS to my friends when they come in from out town. But if you’re an LA local looking for leisure, this hotel package is arranged perfectly for those looking to recharge.

Premium Suite

The Summer Loves Sunshine Package includes:

  • Overnight accommodations in a premium Suite – these suites are so luxurious! Everything from the furniture to the lighting to the decorative accents are methodically thought out by designer Philippe Starck.
  • $100 Ciel Spa credit – $100 here can cover a blow-dry, hair treatment, manicure or pedicure, foot or hand massage. This is perfect for a little pick-me-up. 
Altitude Pool Cabana
  • Altitude Pool Cabana (including food & beverage by José Andrés and a welcome bottle of cava) – Swim or tan rooftop with marvelous views of Beverly Hills and Los Angeles.

    Altitude Pool Cabana
  • The Pool Menu offers renewing treatments – includes a Chair Massage or a brightening Eye treatment.
  • Sunshine Dreaming Tote packed with:
    • SLS-branded water tumbler
    • SLS-branded hat
    • Sun Bum sunscreen spray
    • Pair of Toms sunglasses
    • Sunshine Dreaming pillow
Tres by José Andrés

This package is priced starting at $2032/night (plus taxes) and subject to availability. Bookings for SLS Beverly Hills’ “Summer Loves Sunshine” Package can be made online or by calling 866-716-8136 (ask for Rate Plan LTPKG1). 

Let me know in the comments below if you book this package!