“Que Syrah Syrah” was the theme of the 5th Annual Wine Aficionado Dinner held at the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles. The $1000 a plate fundraiser for the Bogart Pediatric Cancer Research Program drew wine lovers from across the city and beyond. Delia Viader descended from Napa, while local celebrities ran the gamut from stars of film and television—Jerry O’Connell (“Crossing Jordan”) and host Sandra Bernhard—to the world of wine, with Ann Colgin, glamorous in a grey Christian Dior outfit, and husband Joe Wender in attendance.
But in many ways, the star of the evening was Dr. Stuart Siegel, director of the Bogart program. Introduced by Co-chair and Board Member Sandra Rapke as “St. Stu,” Siegel explained to the nearly 200 attendees that cancer is still the number one killer of children, and that acute leukemia and brain cancer are the two major diseases. “With your generosity tonight,” Siegel told the crowd,” “you are going to help save kids’ lives. They can go through the treatment and come out as incredible human beings.”
Dinner in the cathedral-like room was provided by chef Joachim Splichal’s Patina, and the courses, from jumbo lump blue crab salad with kumquats to seared beef tenderloin, were chosen to pair with the Rhône varietals selected for the evening by Jeff Smith, founder of Carte du Vin. Highlights included the honeyed 2001 Guigal Ex-Voto Hermitage Blanc, Colgin’s 2003 IX Estate Syrah with its bright, explosive fruit and the 1998 Penfolds Grange, with its Port-like overtones.