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Longboat Key Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2012 5 years ago

Harry's wines and dines with new tasting format

by: Robin Hartill Managing Editor

Harry’s Continental Kitchens will still wine and dine its customers at wine tastings that also serve as fundraisers for local organizations.

But, this season, the events will be smaller and take on a more upscale feel.

“They will be a bit more intimate yet (have) the same friendly and casual atmosphere, targeting about 100 guests,” according to a letter recently sent by Harry’s to organizations that hold wine tastings.

Past wine tastings have drawn more than 300 people to the area outside of Harry’s deli.

But, according to Hal Christensen, general manager at Harry’s, the wine tastings were never meant to get that large. Harry’s co-owner Lynn Christensen said that the goal is to give the events a more sophisticated feel while making sure that the restaurant can cover its costs for putting on the events.

Now, the events will take place on the restaurant patio. Attendees will receive a free go-vino wine glass, wine from two different vendors and passed hors d’oeuvres, cheese and charcuterie, instead of the hors d’oeuvres buffets featured in past wine tastings.

The events will cost $20 per person instead of the $10 charged in the past, with $5 still donated to each organization.

The smaller format means that the events will probably generate less money for the organizations. According to the letter, non-profits “are encouraged to think outside the box to create a more profitable fundraising experience,” by holding raffles, Chinese or silent auctions, or selling T-shirts.

The first wine tasting of the season will be a fundraiser for the Longboat Key Garden Club from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 24. Future wine tastings will take place at an earlier time, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.

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