The Tasting Panel magazine

Nov 09

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Page 18 of 92

A nyone who knows anything about Wente Vine- yards knows that the family-owned wine brand places a serious emphasis on music, thanks in great part to fifth-generation winemaker Karl Wente's pas- sion for both making and promoting music through his Discover the Wine, Discover the Music series. But Wente is also passionate about compassion, as is evi- denced by its support of one of the largest AIDS chari- ties in the country, Macy's Passport. Over the course of four days in Los Angeles and San Francisco, some of Wente's premium wines were poured during a gala that included guests such as Sharon Stone, Elizabeth Taylor, Ashlee Simpson-Wentz and the casts of TV's 90210 and Make it or Break it. Wente's presence was also strong during the fashion show portion of the evening, where favorite band West Indian Girl rocked as models strutted the runway. —Rachel Burkons 1 / the tasting panel / november 2009 The Message Wente Loves to Rock Angelic Spot A s suburbs spread out to urban territory, the chic sections of town grow chic-er with retailers and restaurateurs adding glam to once quiet hamlets. Such is the case with Alon Raphael and his new Studio City, CA dining spot, Raphael. After selling the Bel Air Bar & Grill on the trendy Westside of Los Angeles, he could not shed the ownership bug. "My family and I missed owning a restaurant," he tells THE TASTING PANEL. Hiring a former chef from The Water Grill (Stephen Barkulis), Raphael's new digs in Studio City features world cuisine amidst an alluring décor of texture meets table: teak and bam- boo at the bar, shiny fabric'd banquettes and chairs and a mirrored ceiling. Born and raised in the east portion of the San Fer- nando Valley, just a few miles from Hollywood and the city environs, Raphael explained, "We would venture over the hill for the 'good food.' We wanted to create a restaurant on this side [of town] with a Westside buzz; a place we would have always liked to go." —M.M. Great, good-looking food. The tuna niçoise salad at Raphael. Alon Raphael, proprietor of Raphael restaurant in Studio City, CA. PHOTO: CATHY TWIGG-BLUMEL AnnaLynn McCord, LaToya Jackson and Tommy Hilfiger were among the celebrity names at Macy's Passport event in Los Angeles, of which Wente Vineyards was a sponsor.

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