It's hard to believe that Wine Quest is 22 this year. Even harder to believe that I still remember attending the very first Wine Quest. I got carded. (I heard that; be nice.)
Wine Quest -- full title: Wine Quest Premier Dining and Auction series -- is the annual two-day event to raise awareness and funds for Quest, Inc., an organization of good people who provide services to help others with developmental disabilities to live and work.
This year, WQ begins on Friday, June 1, with a grand tasting featuring more than 250 wines and craft spirits. There will be a silent auction, of course, and a variety of hors d'oeuvres created by the chefs of the Loews Royal Pacific Resort, which is convenient for them because that's where the event is going to be held this year.
On Saturday, June 2, it's the Premier Dining evening. Following a sparkling wine and hors d'oeuvres reception, guests will be seated for a multiple course meal with fine wine pairings. The live auction will feature rare wines, culinary experiences and travel opportunities.
By the way, some of the wines that will be on pour during the weekend include: Pommery, Heidseck Monopole, Goldschmidt Vineyards, Jonata Estate, The Hilt, Daniel Cohn Bellacosa, Antinori Family Wines, Chateau Ste. Michelle, Row Eleven, Justin, Rodney Strong, Conundrum, and Ferrari-Carano. As a master sommelier once said, "That's good juice!"
The events are ticketed separately. Friday's grand tasting is $95 per person and the Saturday dinner is $195. All proceeds will go to Quest, and there will be more proceeds thanks to the partnership of Souther Glazer's Wine & Spirts and others.
Wine Quest was a hit from the beginning. I remember some of the early WQs that were held at the then-new Grand Bohemian in downtown Orlando (then known as the Westin Grand Bohemian). There was one main room with some cheeses and sausages, and extra pouring stations were set up in meeting rooms throughout the floor. It didn't take long for it to outgrow that space.
The Loews Royal Pacific Resort should have plenty of room. (If they need it, they can spill over into the recently departed Emeril's Tchoup Chop.) The resort is at 6300 Hollywood Way, Orlando.
Friday's event is from 7 to 10 p.m. and Saturday's is from 6 to 10 p.m. This link will take you to the official Wine Quest site for more information and tickets. While you're there, take a look at some of the auction items -- some good stuff.