I had the privilege of attending the annual Fine Wine auction for the Canadian Opera Company (COC) on April 6. Held at their home, The Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, the evening featured delicious food courtesy of 10ation Event Catering and The Cheese Boutique (they’ve been providing delicious charcuterie and cheese spreads at many of the COC’s events I’ve been to), of course, entertainment from the COC’s Ensemble Studio. Fine wines were NOT the only items being auctioned off. The silent auction also included photo sessions (a great way to update that LinkedIn profile pic!), cookbooks as well as date night events such as a gift certificate to Volos. Proceeds for the event go towards the COC’s outreach programs, which help approximately 50,000 people of all ages gain better access to the arts.
People serving themselves at the cheese and charcuterie table
Wine at the silent auction
The event started with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres in the lobby of the Four Seasons Centre, where people roamed around, bidding on the various items while nibbling on the goodies. Hors d’oeuvres included short rib sliders, mini lobster grilled cheese, grilled feta and vegetable skewers as well as a hot food station serving braised duck and cod (I only had the cod and did not think it was nearly as good as the hors d’oeuvres or the cheese/charcuterie. I really had to control myself for the latter – I love my cheese! The food station was also not nearly as good as the pasta station the event had in 2015 – the last time I was at the auction.
The live auction at work!
A display of the cod (left) and duck (right) from the food station
Following cocktails was the live performance by Ensemble Studio members, Emily D’Angelo and Charles Sy, followed by the live auction with over 60 lots. Wines of all kinds, ranging from vintages as old as 60+ years to more recent bottles from this century. The most recent bottles or magnums (1500 mL) were from 2010 (for the live auction, anyway. The silent auction featured more recent wines, including ones which are still available for a reasonable price at the liquor store). I loved how the auctioneer, as they often do, made funny comments about certain bottles – including one from 1985. He noted that some of the attendees might not have existed (as in being born) yet and may be interested in bidding on “prebirth wine.” This is very true – there were most definitely people who were under 32!
A non-wine item from the silent auction (no, I did not bid on this – I have ENOUGH makeup as is!)
Grilled feta and vegetable skewer
I had an amazing time and will try to make it out again in 2018 if I do not have a conflict (I was invited to two other events that very evening). I’m trying to up my wine collection, especially with bottles from years which have a special meaning to me (namely, my birth year and the year I married). I also feel that, with government cuts, it is extremely important to ensure music and culture are available to as many people as possible. I may have spent my childhood and youth taking piano and voice lessons, but many kids are not as fortunate. Since music and the rest of the arts are an important part of enhancing one’s life – and especially so for children – we need to be able to make it as widely available as possible.