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Third annual Wines in the Wild returns Nov. 13

By Staff | Nov 3, 2010

Wally Kain and Henry Glissman enjoying last year's Wines in the Wild.

Though Wines in the Wild certainly gives oenophiles and nature-lovers the opportunity to unite under the banner of the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation, event co-chair Tom Uhler said that it’s also a chance for islanders to catch up with people who are returning from their summer up north.

“Wines in the Wild has kind of turned into a welcome back celebration over the past two years. It’s one of the first things people from Captiva and Sanibel come to after they return,” Uhler said.

And what better way to get reacquainted than with a back drop of wines and wildlife.

There will be several wine-tasting stations set up around the grounds of the SCCF Nature Center. Guests will make their way to each station, where SCCF board members and staff will pour and present information about certain wines.

The theme for this year’s event is “Organic, sustainable and biodynamic,” which means all the wines guests sample that evening will follow the Wines in the Wild theme.

Island glass artist Luc Century has donated a set of six wine glasses etched with the birds that grace our islands (plus burrowing owls). A perfect way to enjoy the perfect wine.

“I try to find a variety of wines, both fun and interesting and of a good value, and every year we change things a little bit. We also sat down with Leslie Adams, who does a lot of catering on the islands, and she came up with some great food to complement the wine,” Uhler said.

And while Uhler, a member of the Society of Wine Educators, joked about having to withstand taste-testing so many fantastic wines when selecting the line-up for the event — “It’s hard work, but someone’s got to do it!” — he and his wife Linda, long-time sea turtle volunteers and financial supporters for SCCF, think Wines in the Wild is a great way to bring people together for a great cause.

“We think that because more than half of Sanibel is protected in perpetuity, we need to support SCCF with our actions and our money and Wines in the Wild is one way we can do that. It’s both a fundraiser and a friend-raiser for SCCF,” Uhler said. “The other nice thing about the event is that usually, after it’s over, people come to me and say they’ve discovered a wine they never had before that could possibly be their new favorite.”

During the event, there will also be a raffle drawing with lots of unique prizes, which includes a set of six wine glasses designed by island artist Luc Century, dinner for four from island caterer Leslie Adams, tickets and Norman Love chocolates for four from the Island Cinema, a gift certificate for a Swedish massage from the Spa at ‘Tween Waters Inn and a custom-designed wine tasting for eight by Uhler.

Tickets for the drawing are $20 each or 6 for $100.

Reservations for the third annual Wines in the Wild are $75 per person. To make a reservation or to purchase raffle tickets, call the SCCF at 472-2329.

To learn more about the conservation efforts of the SCCF, go to www.SCCF.org.