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Matlacha Hookers wine tasting attracts quite an interesting crowd

Time:2017-02-23 03:23wine - Red wine life health Click:

Pine Island Eagle pineisland-eagle.com Pine Island Matlacha St. James City

Sunday afternoon, everyone from Julius Caesar to Arthur Herbert Fonzarelli, aka "The Fonz," showed up at Alden Pines Country Club for the Matlacha Hookers 5th annual wine tasting event.

"We have a very exciting theme this year," volunteer Tina Bush of the Matlacha Hookers said. "It's sort of a take-off of Julius Caesar's 'I came, I saw, I conquered' but we changed it to 'Veni, Vidi, Vino' - 'I came. I saw. I wined.'"

Darlene Widirstky, Nancy Chandler and Julia Simpson were the three chairpersons that put the event together.

Article Photos

Matlacha Hookers wine tasting attracts quite an interesting crowd

Matlacha Hooker Tina Bush as Chef Mustachio.


Ron Wesorick as Julius Caesar.


Pine Island artist Mel Meo as Al Franco.


The ice sculpture and champagne service station.


"This is one of our premier events of the season," Widirstky said. "We have a great crowd and we couldn't have asked for better weather."

The crowd extended from the main room at the country club out into the sunshine. Tents were scattered throughout the open area decorated in the Italian colors of red, white and green. The main room included an ice sculpture with champagne service and CW Fudge provided chocolates to accompany each of the six wines.

"This is the first time I've come to this," Sandra Hoiffmann said. "We are staying with friends on the island and we're just blown away with everything happening on this little island. Yesterday there was a garden festival and several other things along the main road. What a wonderful place this is."

Sponsors for this year's event were Little Lilly's Island Deli, Miceli's Restaurant, Sandy Peculis (Castaway Realty), Joan and Phil Rosenberg (photography), Island Girl Fitness, Walmart Deli (Cape Coral), Mel Meo Art, CW Fudge Factory, Publix Coral Shores and CFV Wines.

"Rob Kiernan from DFV Wines provided six wines for the event," Bush said. "Three reds and three whites. All of them were excellent.

"All of the proceeds from the wine festival go towards benefiting island seniors," Bush said. "The Seniors Programs offer assistance with seniors medical deductibles, Meals on Wheels, rent, water, phone, mammograms, lab work and prescriptions, dental care, food cards for in-between food stamps, support for grandparents who have to become parents, gas money for interviews and doctor appointments; property taxes, personal hygiene products, renew drivers license and senior events, such as balance, memory, health insurance and end of life care. So we're really proud to assist the Beacon with these needs."

"There are lots of people that come together to make this a truly wonderful event," Widirstky said. "Every year we try to create a different theme. Two years ago it was the Mardi Gras-themed wine tasting and last year it was the Roaring Twenties Great Gatsby theme wine tasting. It's just wonderful how everyone dressed for the occasion with lots of mustaches, fedora's and there are even people wearing toga's."

Pine island resident Jeff Mahl provided his 1929 Model A for personalized photographs. Mahl is the great-grandson of George Schuster, the winner of the Great Race of 1908.

"When the Hookers asked me if they could borrow the Model A, of course I said yes," Mahl said. "The Hookers perform such a great service to the island."

Mahl will present his great-grandfathers story, "The Great Race" as a "one-man-show'" at the Pine Island Methodist Church Saturday, Feb. 25, at 1 p.m.


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