Photos by Bob Dickey, email@example.com
(story published in the Santa Barbara News-Press on 8/4/14)
“We’ve got some stories to tell tonight!”
That’s how restaurateur and winemaker Frank Ostini greeted guests, to cheers, at a celebrity dinner Saturday night that commemorated the 10th anniversary of the Oscar-winning film, Sideways.
|Direct Relief's Thomas Tighe, actor Paul Giamatti and vintner Frank Ostini|
The experience was one of the big-ticket lots at the Santa Barbara Wine Auction, which was held at Bacara Resort in February. Ten tables of ten went for $10,000 apiece, raising $100,000, and helping organizers set a record $1 million take that night.
|Each table raised $10,000 for Direct Relief|
Since its launch in 2000, the Santa Barbara Wine Auction has raised more than $3 million for Direct Relief. “Thanks to donations made by people like you, Direct Relief has already helped more than 10 million people this year,” Thomas Tighe, the group’s President, told Saturday night’s crowd.
|Director Alexander Payne and "Nebraska" actress Angela McEwan|
Other food and wine leaders in attendance included Gray Hartley, Mr. Ostini’s well-known winemaking partner, Dick and Jenny Doré, of Foxen Winery, 20th Century Fox Television executive and vintner Gary Newman, of Jorian Hill Winery, and Chef Ron True, of Santa Barbara’s Arlington Tavern.
Under a sprawling white tent, and with the
movie Sideways projected onto the
canvas above, diners feasted on five courses, featuring salad of
locally-sourced produce, grilled shrimp, roasted quail and grilled filet
mignon. Each course was paired with what
Mr. Ostini called “Sideways-era wines” – bottles like the Hartley-Ostini 2001
Pinot Noir, which appear in the film and are no longer readily available to the
|Foxen Winery's Dick and Jenny Doré|
Sideways, which won an Academy Award in 2004 for Mr. Payne’s screenplay adaptation of Rex Pickett’s book by the same name, was shot in Santa Barbara wine country, mainly. And pinot noir, a wine known to grow particularly well in this area, features prominently. In fact, the movie is still credited with ramping up consumer demand for Santa Barbara pinot and for helping several businesses featured onscreen thrive.
|Chef James Sly (second from left) briefs his culinary crew|
Among the stories Mr. Ostini would tell: one about a standing fan that he used to help cool off the crew during filming (and which ended up making a brief cameo). “I’m happy to say we now have air-conditioning,” he joked. “Thanks a lot, Alexander!”
Saturday’s fete ended a two-night visit to Santa Barbara wine country by Mr. Giamatti and Mr. Payne, who also met guests at Rancho La Cuna on Friday night for a pig roast.
|Hosts Jim Clendenen and Frank Ostini|
|Olive trees cradle the road into Rancho La Cuna|
Look for upcoming local events commemorating Sideways' 10th anniversary on social media: #Sideways10.