The NBA Finals isn’t the only haute event taking place in the San Francisco Bay Area right now. Auction Napa Valley 2015, arguably the most celebrated wine charity event, is underway too and runs through Sunday, June 7. The highly-anticipated Live Auction Celebration, featuring exciting lots with wine and once-in-a-lifetime experiences, takes place Saturday at Meadowood Napa Valley. At the various welcome dinners with vintners throughout the Valley on June 4, wine enthusiasts peeked at their smartphones to keep track of the NBA score while they enjoyed delicious meals in picturesque wine settings. Haute Living was on the scene for “Le Diner en Blanc,” an ethereal, all-white affair at VGS Chateau Potelle in St. Helena hosted by proprietor Jean-Noel Fourmeaux du Sartel and beautifully prepared by Michelin-starred chef Ken Frank of La Toque.
Guests, dressed all in white, sipped rosè and nibbled on passed hors d’oeuvres during a reception before sitting down to an elegantly-decorated table. Working with the all-white theme, Frank served a first course of scallops with Granny Smith apples, melted white onion, celery root and vanilla bean, paired with VGS Chardonnay 2012 Sonoma Mountain and VGS Chardonnay 2004 Mount Veeder Magnums. For the second course, Alaskan halibut with lobster crushed potatoes and red wine was paired with VGS Syrah 2012 Mount Veeder and VGS Syrah 2007 Mount Veeder.
For the entree, diners feasted on blanquette de poitrine de veau “moderne” with pearl onions and champignons de Paris while enjoying VGS Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 Mount Veeder and VGS Cabernet Sauvignon 2005 Mount Veeder. Poured with the dessert of a “just picked Silverado Trail strawberry “pavlova” was the VGS Zinfandel 2012 Mount Veeder and VGS Zinfandel 2005 Mount Veeder. The Zin with a dessert went together as well as the evening itself.
Today’s festivities include the Napa Valley Barrel Auction at HALL St. Helena in the afternoon followed by dinner parties with the vintners in the evening. Auction Napa Valley is the annual community fundraiser for the Napa Valley Vintners, a nonprofit trade association. Proceeds from Auction Napa Valley support community health and youth education in Napa County. To date, Auction Napa Valley has invested more than $145 million in Napa County nonprofit organizations. Cheers to another wildly successful Auction Napa Valley!
Photos by Kelly E. Carter