Photos: Bacchanalia Gala Dinner and Auction

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Date: Friday, April 23, 2010
Place: Fairmont Hotel Vancouver
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The gem of the 32nd annual Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival is the Bacchanalia Gala, held this past Wednesday, April 21st at the beautiful Fairmont Hotel Vancouver.  Drawing many of the Vancouver and wine world elite, the gala featured a champagne reception, live and silent auctions, a fantastic live performance capped off by an extraordinary five-course, 12-wine gourmet meal created by chef Robert LeCrom.  Prior to the event, we decided to look up what 'Bacchanalia' meant.  It wasn't long until we found the meaning that would set the tone for the night, thanks to Wikipedia: "The bacchanalia were wild and mystic festivals of the Roman god Bacchus (or Dionysus). It has since come to describe any form of drunken revelry." The night certainly lived up to its name.

As the primary sponsor of the live performance, the Fully Managed® team played host to a great group of people ready to indulge in a great night. We sampled (read: guzzled) the plethora of wines introduced to us with each meal.  The highlight of the meal was the Nectar of Nova Scotia Lobster en Croute, not to be outdone by the tantalizing Veal Osso Bucco with Roasted Vegetables.  The wines kept coming, my favourite the 2006 Argentinean Malbec, ensuring that the conversation and laughter kept flowing, getting more lively with every sip.  Throughout the night, Canucks playoff updates were delivered by our radiant host, CBC Vancouver's Gloria Macarenko, each update prompting cheers and boos from the ever-rowdier crowd.  In between updates, Gloria even took time to catch a photo with guests, some of which are included below.

The highlight of my night had to be meeting the exceptionally talented Elena Juatco, pianist and singer, a former Canadian Idol contestant, and star of the recent rendition of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels put on by the Vancouver Playhouse Theatre.  Elena's talent was on display for all as her live performance of Alicia Keys' "If I Ain't Got You" captivated the audience and drew loud applause.  I was also privileged to meet Lesley Stowe of Lesley Stowe Fine Foods, who supplied her delicious Raincoast Crisps to be paired with the tasty cheese course.

With the final course delivered and devoured, and numerous filled glasses of wine still covering most tables, attendees slowly started to filter out of the hall and into the Vancouver night.  Congratulations to our partners, the Vancouver Playhouse Theatre for yet another excellent Wine Festival, and a for a gala that lived up to its bacchanalia name, we look forward to sponsoring it again! What a night!

Glasses Everywhere
Mark Romic and Derek
Max Reimer and Crew
Chris Day and Martin
Joel Zanatta, Gloria Macarenko
Elena Juatco - Fully Managed

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