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The Country Friends are hosting special fundraising evening

RANCHO SANTA FE — The Country Friends is inviting those who have a passion for wine and gourmet food, to join them for a special event.

Proceeds from the Nov. 6 fundraising soiree, Italian Wine Dinner at Cucina Enoteca Del Mar, will go directly to benefit the charities, which The Country Friends supports.

The restaurant’s sommelier, Cate Hughes, will guide guests through the pairings of delicious wines for each delectable course.  Hughes, who recently traveled to Italy, has been on a whirlwind of both local and acclaimed wineries.

Donna Ahlstrom, administrative coordinator at The Country Friends, said Hughes will return from Europe with wines for this evening soiree.  Hughes will talk with guests about the regional parts of Italy and their diverse wine grape varieties.

While the reception begins at 6:30 p.m., dinner will start at 7 p.m.

Chef de Cuisine, Andrew Bachlier has crafted a savory menu especially for The Country Friends.

The menu will include a tray passed of brescianella fresca cannoli Ι prosecco apricot and cider vinegar powder; antipasti of albacore marinated in porcini dust Ι grilled porcini and maple garlic and vinaigrette; piatti of muscovy duck breast Ι gingerbread and carrot and chervil and sour cherry sugo; and, dolci of brachetto d’ asti poached pear Ι brown butter and walnut and crème fraîche sherbet.

Ahlstrom is thrilled about this event because it’s something they’ve never done.  “It’s new and fun.  And we’re getting some interest and people are already signing up,” she said.

Also during the course of the evening, guests will have the opportunity to bid during a silent auction for unique wine themed gifts, from impeccable Rancho Santa Fe estate donations.

And being that the holidays are right around the corner, it may afford a perfect time for some gift buying or special hostess gifts.

Space is limited and the ticket cost is $100 per person.

All proceeds will benefit The Country Friends charities.

To learn more about the Italian Wine Dinner at Cucina Enoteca Del Mar, visit or call (858) 756-1192

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