Toast the arts

Perry Mansfield's wine tasting gets better with age

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This is the 10th year that Steamboat Springs' performing arts lovers will board a gondola car and disappear into the evening for a night of music, wine and food.

Each year, The Bottleneck donates enough wine to fill five tables and keep people interested for an entire evening. Saturday's Madness de Vine will feature wines from around the world, including several South African selections.

Key points Madness de Vine: Fundraiser for Perry-Mansfield Performing Arts School and Camp 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday At the top of the gondola $50; available at The Bottleneck, Central Park Liquor, All That Jazz, Off the Beaten Path Bookstore, Epilogue Book Co., Perry-Mansfield or at the gondola on the night of the event 879-7125

This year's lineup includes a Lengs and Cooter chardonnay, a full-bodied chardonnay from Australia.

"It's spectacular," The Bottleneck owner John Marshall said.

There also will be an Arcibaldo Toscano -- a "very expensive, full bodied, chewy wine," Marshall said. "It's one of Italy's finest wines."

But the most impressive offering this year undoubtedly is Belle Vallee Cellars' 2002 Grand Cuvee Pinot Noir. The evening's wine tasting will be paired with the auctioning of a 3-liter bottle of Belle Vallee with a hand-blown glass label.

"Only a few of these were made, and others sold for upwards of $1,500," Marshall said. "The wine is fabulous and a great Oregon vintage."

Attendees will be able to purchase any wine featured at the event. Twenty percent of the proceeds will be donated by The Bottleneck to Perry-Mansfield Performing Arts School and Camp.

Gondola boarding will begin at 6 p.m. When attendees reach the top, they will be given champagne to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Perry-Mansfield's signature fundraiser.

During previous years, the event has raised between $30,000 and $35,000, all of which is used for theater, dance and music scholarships for Perry-Mansfield.

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