I guess it’s true… it runs in the family. This past weekend, I hosted a Wine Tasting Fundraiser for my sister who is participating in Team in Training. She will be running her very first marathon at the San Diego Rock N Roll Marathon in little over a month and has her longest run (to date) this Saturday: 18 miles.

I have been running for almost 4 years and during that time my sister, Briana, has occasionally been asking me how I train, what motivates me, and some tips to get her out the door. Since she lives over an hour away, it really isn’t ideal for either of us to train together. Knowing how difficult it is to train yourself the first time around, I thought it would be a great idea to get her into a training program. In doing my part, I signed her up and paid for her entry fee along with offering almost daily advice on running and fundraising until she got comfortable in the program.

She has committed to raising over $3,100, so I also offered to host a fund raiser to help achieve her goal. We organized a Wine Tasting Fundrasier, taking advantage of BevMo’s Nickel Sale (Buy one bottle, get the second for a nickel) and received generous contributions from friends (see below). We were able to purchase various red and white wines within our budget. Our parents also helped contribute by donating all the food and snacks that were enjoyed throughout the night and kept the party going. We also had a raffle with prizes donated from several contributors including a grand prize: A wine tasting and tour of Castello di Amorosa (below)  for four people (value $150). It is a local winery that is well known for their wine and Castle built on it’s property. I was fortunate enough to attend a tasting and was very impressed… so much so that I left with a bottle of 2007 GEWÜRZTRAMINER “Dry”, Anderson Valley. If you are in the Napa Valley area, I highly recommend making this one of your destination points. The vineyard is breathtaking.

Overall, the event was a success in raising over $300 plus over an additional $400 from donations of people that were unable to attend.

Popular wines of the night: (left to right in no particular order)

The Little Penguin: 2006 Shiraz, South Eastern Australia

Clos La Chance: 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon (pictured)
Several bottles were donated by our dear friend, and fellow blogger, Jo. (LOST Blog and Pop Culture Blog). She was also kind enough to bring additional items for raffle prizes including wine and a LOST gift basket with shirt, soundtrack and John Locke Action Figure. You’re amazing Jo. Thanks.
Far Niente: 2007 Chardonnay, Napa Valley, CA
3 Blind Moose: 2007 Riesling, Columbia Valley, WA 
My favorite of the night, but I’m partial to a Riesling

Honorable Mentions: (left to right in no particular order)

Red Guitar: 2006 Navarra Old Vine, Spain 
Donated by our friend Tamara

Trinity Oaks: 2007 Pinot Grigio, California
Viano Vineyards: 2005 Private Stock Zinfandel, Contra Costa County, CA
A local wine from my county… 

St. Innocent: 2000 Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, Oregon
– This wine (along with others were donated by our friend Drew) and was enjoyed especially.

Thank you to everyone who participated in the event and helped by donating to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training on her behalf. It meant a lot to me and to my sister. When she is out there running 26.2 miles for the first time, you will have helped her get to that point and it will be an experience she will never forget. 

Here is her link if you would like to make a contribution. She is really close to her goal. Any donations made will receive a “special thank you” from the PavementRunner Blog.