At this year’s Thirst for a Cause on Wednesday, approximately 50 wineries from around the world will pour more than 200 wines, all for charity. The ninth annual event will continue as it began in 2009: by raising funds for food service workers’ medical needs.
“The proceeds are administered through the Oklahoma Restaurant Association,” says Alex Kroblin, event founder. “Any employee of a local, independent restaurant or country club who is experiencing hardship due to medical issues can apply for assistance.”
Kroblin is also the owner of Thirst Wine Merchants, a local wine brokerage from which the event derives its name. Brokerages act as agents of wineries in the state, so all of the wineries at Thirst for a Cause are represented by Kroblin’s company. The list includes several notable first-timers, including Monica Samuels.
“We are going to have a full table of sake for the first time,” Kroblin continues, “and we’re excited to announce that the foremost expert on sake in the U.S., Monica Samuels, will be presenting her sake and interacting with guests at the event.”
Thirst for a Cause will feature 38 tables of wine, with a winemaker, principal in the winery or national sales manager behind each one. The access to winemakers and owners is unprecedented in Oklahoma wine tastings.
Several of the wineries have Oklahoma connections, too: 32 Winds was founded by Tulsa native Ed Mascarin; Darms Lane is owned by Oklahoma native Larry Bump; and Conclusion Wines is a premium Napa line founded by Oklahoma City couple Piyush and Lisa Patel. Longtime favorites among locals, such as Elyse, Raptor Ridge and Adelsheim, also will be present.
The event is multinational, featuring wines from South America, South Africa, Spain, France, Germany, Italy and Japan, as well as domestic wineries from California, Oregon and Washington. Food from 10 local restaurants, including first timers El Toro Chino (Norman) and Hacienda Tacos, is included with the ticket price.
Tickets are available at thirstforacause.com and are $75 in advance, or they can be purchased at the door for $89 the night of the event. Thirst for a Cause is a 501(c)3 organization, so donations are tax deductible to whatever extent the law allows.
The event is from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Aug. 16, at the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame (formerly the Jim Thorpe Museum), 4040 N. Lincoln Blvd. Bottoms up!
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