Food La La: Wine tasting for a good cause

Feb. 29, 2012 | 0 Comments

BY LINDSEY MURAOKA / Special to the Star-Advertiser

“Executive Vineyards” at the Kahala Hotel is a benefit for the UH-Manoa Shidler College of Business Alumni Association. I look forward to this event every year because of the hundreds of wines they sample. This year was even better because they added lots of delicious appetizers created by the chefs of the Kahala.

I remember this event clearly last year because it was the night of the tsunami warning after Japan was hit by the earthquake. It was an eerie feeling that night. Everyone left halfway through to be safe and away from the ocean. Thankfully this year there were no disasters and everyone stayed until the very end mingling and drinking a variety of wine from around the world.

There was live music by Manoa DNA. They played some great Jason Mraz and Bruno Mars renditions.

There were two stations with an assortment of cheese and vegetables that were continuously refilled throughout the night. Perfect for wine tasting!

Shrimp balls accompanied with sweet and sour sauce.

Crunchy bruschetta with sun dried tomatoes.

Chinese style ribs wrapped in lettuce with your choice of veggie toppings.

These were really tasty. Parmesan encrusted mashed potatoes with hazelnuts and truffle oil topped with asparagus.

One of the favorites of the night — crispy bacon wrapped with shrimp!

I loved these fried fish cakes. They were flavorful, crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside.

Sweet and spicy Korean-style chicken sticks.

Miniature baked potatoes with spicy tomato sauce. Very cute!

There was a huge silent auction area with gift certificates for restaurants, hotels, vacations, bottles of wine and gift baskets.

I was very close to bidding on this awesome gift basket filled with Goldfish snacks. But I was afraid I would eat the whole thing in one sitting if I had won.

A selection of sparkling wine. I liked the light blue one on the left. It was very light and flavored with blueberries.

The mimosa was like drinking delicious carbonated orange juice. I kept going back for more. I also liked the peach sparkling wine in the middle.

A selection of Zinfandel.

With Taizo Braden, who emceed the event.

It was a very fun and successful event that raised more than $31,000 for the Shidler Alumni Association!

Lindsey Muraoka blogs about food and drink for the Pulse. Contact her on Twitter or via email at

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