On Saturday night, the ballroom of the Hilton Anatole Hotel was buzzing with enthusiastic guests, helped by the plethora of wine poured by 32 wineries from around the nation and around the world. The 23rd annual Cotes du Coeur International Fine Wine Auction and Celebrity Chef Dinner, the American Heart Association’s (AHA) largest charity gala event in the country, hosted by the Dallas Division of the AHA, invited me as a guest.
Last year, the 2000-guest event raised over $3 million, bringing their proceeds to over $21 million in the 22 years that the event has been in place, and this year the expectations were just as high with hundreds of rare and exceptional wines available to the highest bidder in the silent auction. There were 25 unique wine and food experiences, including the simple act of donating to help the American Heart Association save lives, auctioned in the live auction event hosted by Scott Murray.=
With the help of Chef Chairman and AHA Executive Committee member, chef Richard Chamberlain, this event is all about the food and the pairings, with chef Chamberlain bringing together many of his friends, like Dave Holben, Jim “Sevy” Severson, Dean Fearing, John Tesar, Kent Rathbun, and many more to create tasting bites for each guest, paired with selections from wineries like Vineyard 29, Jordan, Ehlers Estate, Sequoia Grove, Siduri, and Hall. The 2008 Schweiger Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon paired with Chamberlain’s with Texas Kobe skirt steak rolled with Manchego, elk sausage and roasted garlic: each bold and robust on their own, melding into unison paired together.
The Schweiger Family, owners of small production Schweiger Vineyards on Spring Mountain in Napa Valley, was the 2014 Tete du Cuvee honorees for the event, a distinction given annually to wineries who have supported the event. On receiving the honor owner, Andrew Schweiger said, “Having lost two grandparents to heart disease, research funded by the American Heart Association is very important to the Schweiger Family. Being awarded the Tete du Cuvée is a huge honor for us.”
As is true for many in our community, I have personally been affected by heart disease and stroke, losing my grandfather to heart disease and recently losing a dear friend to a stroke many years before her time. Though this event is an opportunity to taste delicious food from many of our favorite Dallas chefs and try incredible wine selections, the impact that Cotes du Coeur has to help with cardiovascular research and heart health education programs is monumental, changing lives by helping people “build healthier lives, free of cardiovascular disease and stroke,” as their motto states. More details on how to get involved available here.