The time honored tradition of St. Helena Fire Department’s annual lobster feed fundraiser is an event one should not miss. If you’re allergic to shellfish, you get a pass for missing it. Everyone else, start thinking about blocking out that special Saturday next year when local vintners, winemakers and friends in the valley gather at the fire station in support and to raise funds for the St. Helena Fire Department, taste some great local wines, drink a glass of the potently delicious fireman’s punch made by our friends at Charbay and then dive into steamed lobster, corn on the cob, sausages, shrimp and artichokes prepared by John Sorensen, the “lobster guy”. John is also St. Helena’s fire chief so who better to bridge two great components (fundraising for the fire department and lobster) into one night than him.
Photo above from L-R: the lobster feed feast; Jenni and Marko Karakasevic, owners of Charbay Vodka with their son; Josh Dempsey of Calistoga Ranch, Chris Birdwell, me, Elyse Chambers of Revana Winery and Cameron Fisher of Fisher Vineyards; a glass of the delicious firemen's punch
Truly feeling like Darryl Hannah in Splash, last weekend I picked and pulled apart 3 lobsters, a handful of shrimp, 2 corn on the cobs and 2 artichokes while watching a crowd of about 300 guests enthusiastically do the same. Free to bring our own wine for the feed, we cleansed our palate with friend Cameron Fisher’s 2012 Fisher Unity Rose and Sauvignon Blanc and some William Fevre Chablis. While feasting on this great supper, the live auction lot went into full swing. From phenomenal large format bottle collections to unique dinners at wineries, the lots available at this event weren’t your typical auction lots one would find at a fire department lobster feed fundraiser.
Photos above from L-R: this year's official shirt; the crowd gathers with their Lobster feed aprons, lobster hats, St Helena Fire Department branded wine glasses and auction paddles in hand for the big night; some chilled Fisher Unity Rose 2012; me and Elyse Chambers.
The highlight auction lot of the night every year has to be the “Ladies Night Out” lot which includes a night where you can invite 40 of your friends for your own lobster feed hosted by the firemen at the St. Helena Fire Department. It’s a tough call as to who was more excited about the lot presentation, the firemen presenting the lot on the stage or the women in the crowd.
Overall, it was a great night with friends for a good cause, fun wines to share and it only about a half-hour to scrub my hands clean from the aromas of lobster and butter. But it was totally worth it. - Kerrin Laz, Wine Director