It was touted as "a wine event unlike any other," and by the end of the evening, it was difficult to find anybody who disagreed. On Monday, February 2, San Jose Sharks fans joined the Sharks Foundation, Bay Area Porsche Dealers and Joseph George Wines for "Sampling with the Sharks" Presented by Porsche.
Against the backdrop of exotic and elegant Porsches at Club Auto Sport in San Jose, fans enjoyed some of the best wines from throughout northern California. Among the wineries pouring were Duckhorn Vineyards, Far Niente, Frog's Leap, Kathryn Kennedy, Lewis Cellars, Miner Family Vineyards, Ridge Vineyards, Rombauer Vineyards, Schramsberg and Silver Oak Cellars. Throughout the night, light hors d'oeuvres designed by the chefs at Le Papillon were also served to enhance the wine tasting experience.
For many in attendance though, the highlight of the night was the chance to mingle with athletes from one of the top teams in the NHL. With nearly the entire Sharks roster of players, coaches and broadcasters, there was no shortage of celebrities at the event. "I had a fantastic time," said Marshall Jackson, one of the attendees. "I was able to spend time with almost every Shark there!"
While stars Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau and Dan Boyle received their fair share of attention from fans, some of the main attractions were the high-end Porsche vehicles surrounding the venue. One vehicle that received plenty of second looks was the Porsche Carrera GT, valued at over $400,000.
"With the combination of outstanding wine and amazing Porsche vehicles, it was by far one of our most popular fundraisers of the year," said Sharks Fan Development Manager Erin Buchanan, who orchestrated the event. "You could see it in their eyes as they walked through the door. From the attendees to the players, everyone seemed to be impressed."
"This event was definitely different than anything the Sharks have done recently," said defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic. "The cars were unbelievable and the wine and food were great as well."
"I've received nothing but positive remarks from everyone I've talked to," said Bert George from Joseph George Wines. "I can't think of a better way to raise money than to have the Sharks, the wineries and the Porsches all in one spot. In a word, 'wow.'"
In the end, over $40,000 was raised at "Sampling With the Sharks," which will benefit the Sharks Foundation and local youth organizations in Santa Clara County.