Wine Guy: Wine and food event to benefit local children

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater San Diego are jazzing up a new direction in fundraising.

Rhythm and Vine is scheduled to take place from 6 to 9 p.m. April 25 at Westfield North County mall. The inaugural music, food and wine festival was conceived as a benefit for the venerable nonprofit, which serves children throughout San Diego County.

Ticket holders will be able to sample from more than 70 specialty food, wine, spirits and beer vendors, accompanied by music from The Classic Jazz Trio, Crossroads and headliner Diamond is Forever! The Neil Diamond Experience.

To help bring the event to fruition, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater San Diego partnered with the local wine and food event production firm World of Wine Events, which organizes the annual San Diego Bay Wine and Food Festival among other culinary-based events.

“There isn’t an event that exists like this in San Diego County,” said Michelle Metter, owner of World of Wine Events.

Three stages will host musical performances. The Classic Jazz Trio, a retro jazz guitar band, opens the event on the east stage, followed by Diamond is Forever! The Neil Diamond Experience on the main stage at 6:45 p.m. The well-traveled tribute band will play throughout the remainder of the evening. The VIP stage features Crossroads, a classic rock, country, blues and R&B cover band that will both open the event and have a special performance during the VIP-only hour.

All ticket holders will be able to partake in a variety of gourmet foods and beverages throughout the evenings. Food and drink purveyors are attending from Oregon to Mexico, providing a full spectrum of gustatory delights. Many San Diego businesses are also participating, including Stone Brewing Co., Fallbrook Winery and Carlsbad Gourmet. Art and vacation destinations will also be on display.

Rhythm and Vine was designed to take the place of the “Bid for Kids Extravaganza Auction,” which served as a major source of funding for area clubs. Shannon Frick, the nonprofit’s special events coordinator, expects this new event to become the nonprofit’s largest annual fundraiser.

Tickets cost $75 for general admission, with VIP tickets costing $125. VIP ticket holders have additional access to the exclusive VIP club, which features lounge seating, premium beverages and tray-passed tastings. The VIP area will also be open between 9 and 10 p.m. after the main show is over.

Tickets are limited in each category. For more information on Rhythm and Vine, visit