If you have attended any charity event in Southwest Florida, there is almost always an auction lot offering some kind of food and wine experience. They come up for bid, someone grabs it, and that is often the last you hear about it. Today, I’m giving you a look at one, an Italian Wine Dinner for a local non-profit in Fort Myers for Wine Wednesday.

The organization is the Heights Foundation. It serves children and families in the underserved community of Harlem Heights, off of Gladiolus Drive in Fort Myers. The foundation’s largest annual fund raising event is called Love Your Neighbor. For the past several years, there is one dinner that has become a staple and I’m fortunate to be part of it. I team up with beloved chef Harold Balink, chef and owner of Harold’s Restaurant in Fort Myers to organize a wine pairing dinner.

Italian Wine Dinner

Together, we plot and plan a theme. Then, I help with the wines and he does the food of course. In the past we’ve done Fall Feasts, 90 Point Wine Dinners, Pinot Parties and lots more. It gets a little loud and we always have a lot of fun. This year, Harold suggested an Italian comfort food and wine pairing event. With the temperatures dropping like they have this week, the timing could not have been better. In addition, it was National Pasta Day. It really was perfect in every way.

Here are some photos from the Italian wine dinner for the Heights Foundation, at Harold’s Restaurant. Next time you see something like this up for action, go in with your friends, throw your paddle up and be ready for a delicious time to benefit a good cause. Cheers to Wine Wednesday.

*By the way, the next Heights Foundation event is Saltwater Cowboy, this Friday. Details here.

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