The Cultural Diversity Foundation, a non-profit educational organization based here in Las Vegas, presents a Wine and Spirits, Food, Auction, and Jazz scholarship fund-raising event every year. This year’s event, Educational Taste of Excellence, was held on March 10 at the SLS (formerly the Sahara Hotel and Casino), in the ballroom area.

Bottles of Wine
Bottles of Wine

I had the privilege, along with a small group of friends who are sommeliers, sommelier candidates, or experts in the Las Vegas Hospitality field, to pour at this year’s event. I try to do this every year as long as my schedule has me in town, because if I’m in town, I’m there!

While I won the auction on a 1.5L of Pinot Noir last year, I was too busy to participate in any of the auctions this year. I didn’t even consider the trip to Bali or the week in Sonoma because I knew they would be way out of my already-whining budget’s reach.

The crowd of supporters was at least a third or more larger than last year’s, and that meant more pouring, more information shared, and running out of wine that much earlier! As an aside, I noticed that there were actual wine people at the event. Dr. Joni Flowers, the founder and director of the Cultural Diversity Foundation, decided to get better wines for this year’s event. The success of that move was reflected not only in the quality of the wines, but the fact that many people were educated about the wines that we poured.

The food was amazing as always. I scarfed several cups of beef tartare (sorry my vegan friends!) as well as gumbo – both regular and vegan – Middle Eastern cuisine, Mexican food, Asian delights, and more.

Enjoy the slideshow, and be sure to contact the Cultural Diversity Foundation to offer your assistance. Next year will be particularly important as they make the decision to search for another, larger venue.  If you can help in any way be sure to contact them directly.




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