The fifth annual Wailea Food & Wine Celebration is an event that keeps getting better with age. You may swirl, sip and savor tastes from 150 wines in Chambers & Chambers Wine Merchants portfolio, enjoy gourmet pupu by some of South Maui's top chefs, and indulge in sunset views from Hotel Wailea.
"This year, it will be even better, and a little different," says Jim Powlan, wine educator for Chambers & Chambers as well as an artist for the Hui No'eau Visual Arts Center, the beneficiary of the event.
"We'll move the event from the resort's sunset lawn area to the hotel. We'll have three food booths in the garden area of Capische?, three food booths in the beautiful outdoor lower lobby area of the hotel, and all of the wineries will be staged in the elegant, vaulted Anuhea Room that overlooks the koi ponds and the waterfalls.
Toasting to this year’s event are participants Brian Etheredge of Capische? (from left), Jacques Perwin of Spago Maui, Cody Christopher of Three’s Bar & Grill, Napa Recopuerto of Cafe O’Lei family of restaurants and Jim Powlan of Chambers & Chambers Wine Merchants.
The Maui News / CARLA TRACY photo
"We want to keep the wines air-conditioned as they are very expensive so we want to make sure they are kept at the right temperature."
This year's theme is Li'ula i Wailea - Hawaiian for "twilight in Wailea."
"We're really are so fortunate to have so many great wineries willing to donate their time, energy and wines for a good local cause like the Hui," says Powlan. "We will have wineries from Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Oregon, Washington, California, and sake from Japan. These are not the normal wines you would see at other events but some of the highest rated and most allocated wines available in the state."
Event at a glance:
* What: The fifth annual Wailea Food & Wine Celebration, a benefit for Hui No'eau Visual Arts Center in Makawao.
* Where: Hotel Wailea at 555 Kaukahi St. in Wailea.
* When: From 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 18.
* The wineries: About 67 wineries will have their representatives there. Highlights are Bergstrom, Foxen, Grgich Hills, Pahlmeyer, Paul Hobbs, Peter Michael, Selbach, Shafer, Soter, Turley Wine Cellars and Woodward Canyon. Turley will also be featured at two events at the Travaasa Hana Nov. 19 and 20.
* The restaurants: Capische?, Cuatro, Spago Maui, Three's Bar & Grill, Cafe O'Lei restaurants and Maui Culinary Academy.
* Silent auction: Bid on items such as a dinner for 18 catered by Hali'imaile General Store with wines at the Hui's historic Kaluanui Estate in Makawao.
* How much: Cost is $150 per person; and $100 is tax deductible. Valet parking is free. Hotel Wailea is also offering discounted rooms that evening.
* For tickets: Call the Hui at 572-6560 or visit www.huinoeau.com
Swirl and sip, say, the Chateau Pouilly, established in 1551 and family run since the 1800s by five generations of women. Then savor fresh opakapaka crudo with Meyer lemon oil, capers and Wailea Organics herbs by Chef-owner Brian Etheredge of Capische?.
The restaurant will also make tortellini duo with lobster and mascarpone in vanilla foam; and porcini stuffing with braised lamb and oyster mushrooms.
Paul Hobbs will be there with bottles from his Russian River winery as well as from his other winery in Argentina. Savor these fine wines with signature Manoa lettuce wraps and tropical fruit and shrimp cocktails by Cafe O' Lei's family of Maui restaurants.
"All of the wineries at the event are family owned and operated, so they all have their own story of how the winery got started and why," says Powlan. "Some, like Dave Ramey, worked for other people. He made Matanzas Creek, Chalk Hill and Rudd famous before taking that leap of faith and starting his own wineries."
Sip some of Ramey's wines and pair them with freshly shucked oysters with champagne mignonette sauce; and braised oxtail and foie gras ravioli with ginger butternut squash soup by Three's Bar & Grill.
Chef Cameron Lewark Spago Maui will be back from his honeymoon in France, making Wolfgang Puck's signature spicy ahi tuna poke in sesame-miso cones; and peanut butter and banana chocolate triffle.
Maui Culinary Academy will also be there, helping the chefs out, and serving its own grilled Asian pesto-crusted shrimp on pohole ferns; and curried-duck lumpia.