Uptown wine tasting set for Oct. 20

Event will return despite earlier doubts

CARAG — The annual wine tasting sponsored by Hennepin Lake Liquors is set for 5 p.m.–8 p.m. Oct. 20 at Calhoun Square.

Event organizer Pat Fleetham said he finalized plans for the neighborhood fundraiser Aug. 18 after several months when it seemed the wine tasting might not return for a 28th year. Tickets go on sale in September, Fleetham said.

That’s good news for the Uptown-area neighborhood organizations that participate in the wine tasting and earn several hundred to several thousand dollars each year from the event. The organizations keep all the revenue from ticket sale they make themselves, as well as a portion of the sales made at Hennepin Lake Liquors and at the door on the night of the event.

Those organizations learned earlier this year there might not be a 2010 wine tasting. In an email sent to neighborhood leaders in March, Fleetham alleged one of the 2009 wine tasting sponsors “back(ed) out” of a pledged donation.

The event in recent years had been held in June.

Over its previous 27 years, the Uptown wine tasting raised about $290,000 for neighborhood organizations. It was founded by Hennpin Lake Liquors owner Phil Colich.

Over 400 wines available to sample for this year’s event, Fleetham said.

Sponsors include Hennepin Lake Liquors, Great Clips, Calhoun Square and Il Gatto, which will provide appetizers during the wine tasting. Attendees will also receive a “swag bag” with coupons to Uptown-area businesses, Fleetham said.

The event will take over both floors under the atrium in Calhoun Square, located at the intersection of Hennepin Avenue and West Lake Street.

Tickets are $25 in advance or $30 at the door.