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SWFL Wine Fest's groundbreaking two-yacht vintner ...
SWFL Wine Fest's groundbreaking two-yacht vintner ...: SWFL Wine Fest's groundbreaking two-yacht vintner dinner was hosted by Joe Anderson, his wife Mary Dewayne, and Dave Copham, and his wife, Cheryl Copham. Video by Amy Sowder.
Cheryl and Dave Copham host guests Friday on the To-Kalon. / Kinfay Moroti/news-press.com

Our Favorite Auction Lots

1. Dinner in your home for 10 by chef Roy Yamaguchi, the namesake for Roy’s restaurants
2. Choose either the 2013 Kentucky Derby, Masters, Final Four, with travel and hotel included
3. Five nights at a boutique hotel in Buenos Aires for two
4. Mark Loren-designed one-of-a-kind wine pourer made with 1 ounce yellow gold and diamonds, plus wine from AC/DC bassist Cliff Williams’ wine cellar, and dinner for six by Cru chef Harold Balink at Williams’ home
5. Three nights in Prague and a seven-night Danube River cruise from Vilshofen to Budapest with chocolatier Norman Love.
6. Four days as an extra in the independent film “Hemingway & Fuentes,” starring Anthony Hopkins, Annette Bening and Andy Garcia.

Auction lots

1. SWFL Wine & Food Fest Vintner’s Variety: A large format wine bottle from each of the fest’s wineries plus more.
2. Dinner in your home for 10 by chef Roy Yamaguchi, the namesake for Roy’s restaurants
3. Theater trip to New York City, including hotel, dinner
4. Choose either the 2013 Kentucky Derby, Masters, Final Four, with travel and hotel included
5. Five nights at a boutique hotel in Buenos Aires for two, with special tours, trips, meals and more
6. A 19-inch stone sculpture of draped cubes by Marton Varo and tour of marble mecca, Carrara, in Italy
7. Four nights at Napa Valley’s Calistoga Ranch, with spa, wine country tours and more
8. Festival’s signature painting by Ella Sterling of Naples, born three months premature and now an active kindergarten student
9. Mark Loren-designed one-of-a-kind wine pourer made with 1 ounce yellow gold and diamonds, plus wine from AC/DC bassist Cliff Williams’ wine cellar, and dinner for six by Cru chef Harold Balink at Williams’ home
10. Lifesaving Fund a Cause lot, such as Giraffe Omnibeds.
11. Husic Vineyards wine trip for four in the Stags Leap district of Napa Valley
12. 2013 Wine Auction Weekend in Chicago for two, with tastings, dinners and hotel
13. Angelina’s Ristorante dinner for 12 at your home with 100-point wines
14. A dozen 100-point wines
15. Three nights in Prague, a seven-night Danube river cruise from Vilshofen to Budapest with celebrity chocolatier Norman Love, which includes stops for tours and sights.
16. VIP treatment at a Dave Matthews Band concert at the open-air Oak Mountain Amphitheater with an AAA Four Diamon hotel and spa stay and restaurant dinner.
17. Four days as an extra in the independent film “Hemingway & Fuentes,” starring Anthony Hopkins, Annette Bening and Andy Garcia, with airfare and a hotel in the Dominican Republic.
18. Visit the 2012 signature vintner, Benovia Winery in the Sonoma Valley, fly aboard a DC-3, dine in a top restaurant and get VIP tickets to a charity concert at BR Cohn vineyards.
19. Dinner at Cote d’ Azur in Naples with several top wines and go home with twelve 750-milliliter bottles of Bordeaux rated between 91-100 points by Robert Parker.
20. Attend with your children or grandchildren the 2013 Teen Choice Awards with three nights at the Hilton Los Angeles Universal City in Hollywood.
21. Dinner for eight at Sea Salt in Naples, with a limo bus and eight top wines, plus six 750 milliliter bottles of 1995 Ermitage Blanc L’Oree Chapoutier to take home, and a painting by Tampa artist Rodney Alexander.
22. Four nights at the Rosewood Inn of the Anasazi, a Forbes four-star boutique hotel in the heart of historic Santa Fe with dinner at two award-winning restaurants and tickets to the opera.
23. A golf trip for four to to play golf at five top courses in Ireland or Scotland, with massages and cigars.
24. A three-hour Top Gunfighter jet experience on a military L-39 jet in St. Petersburg followed by a $500 voucher for a night out or a night at a spa resort.
25. Airfare for two and five nights at Fairmont Monte Carlo, plus two Grandstand B seats for the qualifying race and the Grand Prix Monaco.
26. Wine Smackdown at FGCU’s state-of-the-art wine education lab with a Champagne reception followed by a tasting led by Master Sommelier Andrew McNamara with Bleu Provence food and wines rated at 90-100 points by Robert Parker.
27. Eight-day Rhone River cruise for two from Arles to Lyon with meals and excursions.
28. A candlelit dinner and Spanish wine on Captiva Island for three couples with the “Dexter” author.
39. The Loretta Paganini School of Cooking harvest tour of the wine regions of Italy for four, with eight nights in several Italian cities with tastings, excursions, dinners and cooking classes.
30. North Captiva Island getaway with wine and for a week at a private residence with dinners at restaurants and fishing school.
31. Four-night stay at Hartwell Estate Vineyard in Napa Valley with the Staglin Music Festival, dinners and wine.

More

As the sun dipped toward the Caloosahatchee horizon, guests strolled in white fluffy slippers along the royal blue carpet unfurled at the dock of the Fort Myers City Yacht Basin.

This Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest dinner Friday evening took waterside dining to a whole new level. It was the first chef-vintner dinner held on and beside two yachts since the fest began in 2009, organizers said.

They used Shelly Sullivan Events to kick it nautical-style for the 27 dinner guests paying $1,500 apiece to attend.

“A red carpet wasn’t nautical enough, and the blue matches my eyes,” said Joe Anderson with a laugh as he relaxed with a glass of Benovia Chardonnay before guests arrived.

Benovia Winery owners Anderson and his wife, Mary Dewayne, along with fest trustees Dave and Cheryl Copham co-hosted one of 10 chef-vintner dinners throughout Southwest Florida.

Today, those guests and others participate in the festival’s Grand Tasting & Auction at Miromar Lakes Beach and Golf Club. The festival has raised $5.25 million since it began.

Anderson challenged the auction bidders: If they raise $2 million today, he’ll match that $2 million, and a Golisano match of the original $2 million will make $6 million.

The festivities benefit The Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida, the music therapy program at FGCU and the pediatric nursing program at Edison State College.

Keeping it festive Friday night, many women matched the nautical theme with navy-and-white striped outfits and earrings shaped like anchors. The two male hosts donned captain’s caps.

The dinner paired Benovia wines with five courses created by Cru chef Harold Balink, who worked aboard the Cophams’ To-Kalon yacht, named after one of winemaker Robert Mondavi’s vineyards.

The menu included whole Maine diver scallops, pepper-cured duck with duck confit and golden trumpet mushroom risotto, triple cream sheep’s milk cheese with lavender honey and smoked sea salt and grilled antelope with lingonberry sauce.

He used the scallop shells to form a plate upon each plate.

“This is the time of year for big, big, big ones off the coast of Maine,” Balink said. “The meat itself is just sugary sweet.”

As AC/DC bassist Cliff Williams mingled among the guests, he said he won a pretty sweet auction lot last year. There are 31 lots today, plus two alternative ways to donate in piggy banks and hats.

“Last year, I got to go to Joe and Mary’s Benovia winery, and we got to fly by the Golden Gate Bridge on this great little old plane,” Williams said in his British lilt. “It was not too shabby.”

Naples couple Elliot and Retta Snyder reminisced with Brian and Denise Cobb also of Naples how they met at another wine auction up north.

“Hooray for this community for building a hospital of this nature. I think it’s just all fabulous,” Elliot Snyder said. “As Minnie Pearl would say, ‘Mighty proud to be here.’”

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