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‘Wine and Down: A Wine and Sangria Tasting’ to be held Wednesday

By Staff | Jun 28, 2010

Cape Coral’s Pollo Tropical restaurant is hosting “Wine and Down: A Wine and Sangria Tasting,” an event to benefit the American Red Cross of Lee County.
The local restaurant, known for its popular chicken dishes, reopened earlier this month with a twist on its regular concept and some new menu items. The wine and food tasting is open for residents over the age of 21 on Wednesday, June 30, from 6-9 p.m., at 1652 N.E. Pine Island Road.
For a minimum donation of $10 per person, participants get to taste from the restaurant’s wine list, including bottles from Spain, Argentina, Chile and the Napa Valley, as well as their signature Sangria. Kampi Chaleunsouk, spokesperson for the restaurant, said tastings from Pollo Tropical’s new menu will also be available.
According to Chaleunsouk, 100 percent of the proceeds are being donated to the American Red Cross of Lee County to assist with hurricane relief efforts.
Colin Downey, communications coordinator for the American Red Cross of Lee County, said the organization deals with the hurricane season all year round. The ARC recently moved its office to 7051 Cypress Terrace in Fort Myers.
“Hurricane season isn’t just June to November,” he said. “We spend a lot of those months leading up to hurricane season training our volunteers, stocking up on supplies and making sure we’re ready to go on a moment’s notice.”
Red Cross officials give out food and open shelters during a disaster, but Downey said there are a number of other behind-the-scenes operations that people don’t see, such as maintaining vehicles.
He added that nearly all of the funds for the American Red Cross come from local sources.
“Over half of our operational funds come from private donations from Lee County residents and businesses,” he said.
Weather experts expect the 2010 hurricane season to be very active.
Downey said the American Red Cross always welcomes new volunteers.
“We have all been quietly preparing and watching the weather as close as anybody,” said Downey.
Pollo Tropical’s new restaurant concept is based on a casual dining model with food runners and real silverware. It also features art caricatures depicting chickens in some of history’s most famous masterpieces, such as the “Pollo Lisa” or “Night Pollos.”
Organizers are asking local residents to make a reservation to the event by calling 305-751-7001, extension 8003. For more information on the restaurant, visit pollotropical.com.