The Kiwanis Club of Carmichael hosted the 11th annual Taste of Carmichael on May 18 at the La Sierra Community Center. The event, which is a major fundraiser for the club, benefits some 70 different local children’s charities including Little League, boy scouts, girl scouts, fine arts programs, and parks and recreation.
Twenty-five food vendors and 10 wine vendors were on hand for the festivities. The food covered a wide range of delicacies from local eateries. Among the myriad of things to try were Indian, Afghani, Vietnamese, Italian, Mexican, Chinese, Japanese and Persian food. There was a chocolate fountain as well for those in attendance with a sweet tooth.
There were cars on display from Jaguar, Subaru, Chevrolet and Mazda. The Effie Yeaw Nature Center and the Chautauqua Playhouse had booths set up as well. Altogether there were 58 booths full of food, wine and information. Congressman Ami Bera made an appearance as well.
Three live bands (Rio Jazz, Sister Swing and Vintage Fare) serenaded the crowd. “The music was just outstanding this year,” said event co-chair Rod Ward.
Spotlighted was John Troiano and his Wreckless Blenders winery. It boasts the title of ‘Carmichael’s only winery.’ Troiano, who has a bonded winery in his Carmichael home, brought a case of wines from his 2010 vintage.
Troiano began making wine in the late 1970s in New York before moving to California in 1987. He buys his grapes from the state and ferments them in his home winery. Troiano was unaware of the Taste of Carmichael event until he attended it in 2012.
“I’ve been here since 1993 and I didn’t know about it,” Troiano said.
He thought it was a neat community endeavor and decided to get involved in 2013. Wreckless Blenders has been in business since 2008, selling wine mostly through wine clubs, said Troiano.
In 2012, Wreckless Blenders entered four wines into the commercial wine competition at the California State Fair. Three of the wines received a gold award and the fourth received a silver award. Troiano said that he has entered wines in the upcoming 2013 California State Fair as well and is awaiting results.
The event, which had a ticket price of $35, regularly brings in north of 500 people, according to event co-chair George White. There were 150 items up for grabs in a raffle as well as other great prizes that were left to a silent auction.
Many of the raffle prizes included gift baskets that included wine, beer and restaurant gift certificates. Among the silent auction prizes up for grabs to the highest bidder were a lunch with congressman Bera, a sailboat trip on the San Francisco Bay, a fly fishing trip on the Yuba River, and several different kinds of wine.
This year’s event may have been more lightly attended than past events, according to some attendees, but the weather was warm, the food was good, the music was swingin’ and the wine was flowin’.