Cabernet for Connoisseurs

 23rd Annual Wine Tasting, Dinner, and Auction

March 17, 2018 at The St. Regis Hotel San Francisco

125 3rd St, San Francisco, CA 94103
5:30 pm – Wine Tasting & Silent Auction
7:15 pm – Dinner & Live Auction
Cocktail Attire

Contact Camilla Burraston at or 415-307-5117 for tickets, registration, and sponsorship opportunities.

Join us for an evening of fine wine, fun and inspiration!

This exclusive event boasts exceptional wine tastings from world-class vintners and a gourmet dinner, as well as silent and live live auctions featuring renowned wines, unparalleled luxury and travel packages, and truly one-of-a-kind experiences. This singular event appeals not only to the wine connoisseur, but also to anyone who enjoys festive indulgence in the spirit of generosity. All funds raised benefit Family House, providing care and comfort for families with children battling cancer and other life-threatening illnesses.

Event Co-Chairs:

Scott Miller and Jeff Smith

Event Committee:

Carolyn Duryea, Steve Goldfarb, Dick Grace, Susie Heller, Kimberly Jones, Lorcan Kearney, John Kugler, Adriel Lares, Kim Murphy, Bob Nibbi, Bill Shea, Dan Toney, Alex Virgilio, Spencer Wang, Faith Wheeler, Michelle Yoshinaka, Debbie Zachareas

2018 Pouring Vintners Sneak Preview

* Indicated vintners are generously donating to the live auction, but will not pour at the event.

The St. Regis Hotel San Francisco

Book your room at The St. Regis Hotel San Francisco by clicking here or call 1.877.787.3447 and mention “Cabernet for Connoisseurs” to secure the room rate.

Your Support Matters

Founded in 1981, Family House is a pediatric guest house for families with a child being treated for a serious illness at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital in San Francisco. More than just housing – Family House offers care, comfort and a worry-free environment. As a is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, it is the generous donations from individuals, corporations, foundations and events like Cabernet for Connoisseurs that allow us to provide our vital services 100% free of charge to all families who stay under our roof.

To see last year’s event highlights, auction catalog, list of pouring vintners, and more, click here.


Live Auction Sneak Preview

Download Proxy Bid Form

Hella Hillside - Shafer VineyardsHella Hillside
Shafer’s Hillside Select set the benchmark for Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, with experts touting that the wines have reached first-growth standards over the past two decades. Any Cabernet lover will be enamored with this amazing wine that boasts a rich and powerful flavor with soft and silky tannins, and has years of aging potential. This incredible lot includes an eight-magnum vertical of Shafer Hillside Select, including three 100 point vintages. Your biggest dilemma will be deciding who to share them with!

  • 8 Magnums: Shafer Hillside Select 2001, Shafer Hillside Select 2002, Shafer Hillside Select 2003, Shafer Hillside Select 2004, Shafer Hillside Select 2005, Shafer Hillside Select 2006, Shafer Hillside Select 2007, Shafer Hillside Select 2008

Donated by: Shafer Vineyards

The Run for the Roses WeekendThe Run for the Roses Weekend for 4
Welcome in the month of May at one of the most prestigious horse races in the world – The Kentucky Derby! You and three friends will enjoy “the most exciting two minutes in sports” and so much more. The joys and rich traditions of the Derby will be yours all weekend as you gather under the Twin Spires at Churchill Downs – sipping on endless mint juleps, exhibiting your finest Derby fashion, placing a bet on Good Magic or Bolt d’Oro, and creating memories that will last a lifetime.

  • Dates: Thursday, May 4 – Sunday, May 7, 2018
  • Three nights’ accommodations for 2 couples at the Hyatt Place Louisville
  • 4 tickets, Longines Kentucky Oaks Race on Friday, May 5 – section 110
  • 4 tickets, Kentucky Derby Races on Saturday, May 6 – section 110
  • Transport between the Hyatt Place Louisville and Churchill Downs Race Track on Friday, May 5 and Saturday, May 6
  • Food and drinks, including alcohol, on Friday, May 5 and Saturday, May 6

Donated by: Anonymous

The Ultimate Pairing Weekend for 10: 5 Reserve Tastings - 5 A-List Chefs - 5 Signed 3 Liters... Oh My!The Ultimate Pairing: Five Wineries, Five A-List Chefs, Five Signed 3-Liters, AND two nights at famed Beaulieu Vineyards Guest House for TEN people
Join Anomaly Vineyards, Behrens Family Winery, Drinkward-Peschon, Relic Wine Cellars, and Zeitgeist Cellars for an unforgettable day of food and wine pairing in Napa Valley, two glorious nights in the historic Beaulieu Vineyards Guest House set in the middle of vineyards and dinner prepared by renowned chef, Dave Cruz (previously of Napa Valley’s Bouchon and Ad Hoc, and now San Francisco’s Little Gem)
Convene at picturesque Beaulieu Vineyards Guest House in Rutherford to start your day with coffee and pastry. From there, your limo for the day will take you to the wineries for tastings of reserve and library wines paired specially with delicious bites by these amazing chefs:

  • Chris Cosentino (Los Alcobas – Acacia House)
  • Douglas Keane (Cyrus [2 Michelin stars], Two Birds One Stone, Healdsburg Bar and Grill)
  • Christopher Kostow (The Restaurant at Meadowood [3 Michelin stars], The Charter Oak)
  • Casey Thompson, BRAVO Top Chef

At the end of your day, your limo will deliver you back to the Beaulieu Vineyards Guest House where you can relax until your private dinner is served. Additionally, this evening, you will take home FIVE three-liter, signed bottles—one from each winery.

This experience is for 10 people. To be scheduled on a mutually agreeable date. Expires March 17, 2019.

Donated by: Anomaly Vineyards, Behrens Family Winery, Drinkward-Peschon, Relic Wine Cellars, Zeitgeist Cellars, Patrick and Dagmar Sullivan, Chef Cosentino, Chef Cruz, Chef Keane, Chef Kostow, Chef Thompson

"Pinch Me I’m Dreaming" Dinner with Thomas Keller & Susie Heller“Pinch Me I’m Dreaming” Dinner with Thomas Keller & Susie Heller
Your dream dinner becomes a reality as you and 19 of your closest friends are treated to a dinner prepared by award-winning culinary master, Thomas Keller, and food media extraordinaire, Susie Heller. Raise a glass – or two, or three – of Shafer Vineyard’s wines as you learn to how to create a lobster boil, the Thomas Keller way. Put on your bibs, sit at a long table, and enjoy a casual and fun lobster boil unlike any other with an array of seafood provided by Osprey Seafood.

Imagine spending time cooking and sharing the table with Thomas Keller, the only American-born chef to hold multiple prestigious three-star Michelin Guide ratings, and Susie Heller, a culinary writer and producer who has worked with world-famous chefs including Julia Child, Jacques Pepin, Thomas Keller, and José Andres. The good news is this dream can come true!

  • Dinner for 20, including lobster boil and Shafer wines
  • Do-It-Yourself Lobster Boil Accoutrements: lobster pot, paddle, strainer, burner, and spices
  • To be scheduled on a mutually agreeable date, summer through fall 2018

Donated by: Shafer Vineyards; Thomas Keller and Susie Heller; Osprey Seafood; Sarah Scott and Jorge Velasquez

European Luxury Cruise: River Boat Tour for TwoEuropean Luxury Cruise: River Boat Tour for Two + Pre-Cruise Private Tasting with Debbie Zachareas
Discover some of the world’s most acclaimed wine regions with an unparalleled experience aboard a romantic river cruise. From luxurious rooms to culinary masterpieces, there’s no better way to explore Europe’s most exquisite wine regions. The moto aboard the ship? “No request too large, no detail too small.” Whether you choose to sail the Rhine or the Danube, extraordinary scenery, exclusive treasures, and exquisite landscapes lay ahead, with every detail perfected.

Once you decide on your destination, Debbie Zachareas, celebrated Sommelier and Partner at Ferry Plaza Wine Merchant, will host you for an intimate wine education class and tasting focusing on your region of choice.

This trip of a lifetime is yours for the taking!

  • 7 night/8 day European Boutique River Cruise
  • Private region-specific wine education with Ferry Plaza Wine Merchant Sommelier and Partner, Debbie Zachareas (to be scheduled on a mutually agreeable date)
  • Cruise includes all gratuities onboard and onshore, all onboard dining, unlimited alcoholic beverages, tours & excursions, port charges, onboard fitness center, wellness classes, use of bicycles & Nordic walking sticks, Wi-Fi, and airport transfers
  • Upper deck room with a French balcony stateroom and river view (suites and junior suites are excluded)
  • Transfers to and from airport to ship and ship to airport are complimentary, so long as the passengers are embarking and disembarking on the cruise start and end date
  • Expires December 31, 2018 (Blackout dates include May, June, and September 1-October 15)

Donated by: Uniworld River Cruises

VIP in the HouseBUY A SPOT: The Mabon – VIP in the House
Celebrate the 2018 harvest in style as Hourglass Estate’s honored guest at the winery’s infamous harvest party, The Mabon. Preeminent party-throwers and proprietors, Jeff Smith and Carolyn Duryea, will treat you to a rockin’ good time that you won’t soon forget. You’ll dine along with the evening’s performing artists in the Hourglass caves, enjoying a multi course dinner prepared by Gary Penir, former sous chef at Cyrus, endless glasses of Hourglass wine, and an acoustic performance to accompany your meal. After dinner, join the other guests to continue the festivities and howl at the moon! The Mabon will be held on Saturday, September 8, 2018. Buy A Spot lots are limited!

  • Purchase your ticket for $2,500 per couple ($1,250 per person)

Donated by: Hourglass

Far Niente Yacht and Top Chef Lizzie BinderBreathtaking Bay Views Far Niente-Style
Cruise the San Francisco bay aboard the beautiful “Far Niente” motor yacht, with ultra-modern features that create an incredibly smooth and enjoyable boating experience. Once aboard, you’ll dine on a spectacular meal prepared by Top Chef Lizzie Binder, who has worked at many of the most well-known Bay Area restaurants such as Bar Bambino, Cyrus, and Redd, mastering her sought-after culinary techniques. Each dish served will be thoughtfully paired with some of Far Niente’s finest Napa Valley wines.

  • San Francisco Bay cruise for 10 people aboard the Far Niente motor yacht
  • Dinner prepared by Top Chef Lizzie Binder
  • Includes all drinks, including alcohol
  • This experience is for 10 people. To be scheduled on a mutually agreeable date through September, 2018. Expires September 30, 2018.

Donated by: Nancy and Stephen Grand; Chef Lizzie Binder

Napa Valley Fire Recovery Trailer Party at Arista WineryNapa Valley Fire Recovery Trailer Party VIP
Dan Kosta and his family lost their home in the historic and tragic wine country fires of 2017. As they await the rebuilding of their home, they are honored to support fire recovery efforts any way they can. The Kostas invite two couples to join them in attending a start studded Trailer Party “celebration” of fire recovery at the impressive Arista Winery in Sonoma County. Enjoy the finest cuisine created by renowned chefs such as Emeril Lagasse, Guy Fieri, Michael Mina, and Dustin Vallette. This is an event not to be missed! Each couple will take home an etched, hand painted 5 liter bottle of Dan and Alden Lagasse’s very own 2014 AldenAlli Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir. After the party, each couple will enjoy a wonderful night away at the luxurious Hotel Healdsburg. The Trailer Party Celebration of Fire Recovery will take place on June 9, 2018.

  • VIP Trailer Party Celebration of Fire Recovery tickets for 4 people
  • Accommodations at Hotel Healdsburg in Healdsburg: 2 rooms for 1 night
  • Two 5 liter bottles of 2014 AldenAlli Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

Donated by: AldenAlli

The Ultimate Napa Valley Luxury RetreatThe Ultimate Napa Valley Luxury Retreat
This is the best-of-the-best when it comes to Napa Valley. Start this remarkable retreat with a private tour and tasting for six at the highly-acclaimed Harlan Estate, producer of a wine that has been called “the single most profound red wine made not just in California, but in the world.” Follow the tasting with a dining experience unlike any other at Thomas Keller’s iconic restaurant, The French Laundry, which has drawn attention for its stunning presentation, fresh ingredients, and culinary innovation since it opened in 1994. The French Laundry has recently been ranked as the number one restaurant in California, and you will soon know why. Enjoy each detail, each morsel, to its fullest because afterwards, you will be able to rest and relax at the award-winning luxury resort, Meadowood Napa Valley—the perfect ending to a dreamy Napa Valley experience.

  • Dinner at The French Laundry Dinner for 6 (including private garden tour)
  • Tour and tasting at Harlan Estate for 6
  • Accommodations and Meadowood Napa Valley: 3 rooms for 1 night
  • This retreat is for 6 people. To be scheduled on a mutually agreeable date. (Meadowood stays limited to Sunday through Wednesday nights.) Expires March 17, 2019

Donated by: Harlan Estate; Meadowood

Per Se Dinner with Jacques Pepin and Susie HellerPer Se Dinner with Jacques Pepin and Susie Heller
Dine at Thomas Keller’s acclaimed three-Michelin-starred Per Se restaurant in New York City with internationally recognized French chef, Jacques Pepin, and renowned culinary writer and producer, Susie Heller. Enjoy the serenity of the intimate environment and spectacular views of Central Park while you embark on the meal of a lifetime featuring the finest French cuisine with two of the leading experts on the subject. Learn about the food and techniques that make French cuisine one of the most sought after specialties on the planet. In addition to being an accomplished chef, Jacques Pepin is also an accomplished artist, with works having sold for up to $50,000. You will have the honor of bringing home one of Jacques’ original paintings framed in an authentic Tuscan poplar frame. You’ll also walk away with one of only twelve hand-etched and painted jeroboams (5 liter) of Amuse Bouche Napa Valley Pomerol blend 2015, crafted by esteemed wine maker Heidi Barrett, signed by both Heidi and label-artist Jacques. If you are a lover of French food and wine, you will not want to pass this up.

  • Dinner for two at three-Michelin-starred Per Se restaurant in New York City, dining alongside Jacques Pepin and Susie Heller
  • Two-night hotel stay in New York City
  • Original Jacques Pepin acrylic painting, Barnyard Brawl, framed in museum-quality glass and a Tuscan poplar frame
  • A hand-etched and painted 5 liter jeroboam of Amuse Bouche Napa Valley Pomerol blend 2015, signed by winemaker Heidi Barrett and chef Jacques Pepin
  • Dinner to be scheduled on a mutually agreeable date. Expires March 16, 2019

Donated by: Susie Heller and Jacques Pepin

Rockin' Winemaker DreamsRockin’ Winemaker Dreams
Channel your inner winemaker at a private blending session at Garagiste winery in Napa Valley where you will blend and bottle 5 cases of wine to take home as your family’s own personal stash. You will have access to Garagiste’s super-premium Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, Malbec, and Merlot to use as you craft your own unique blend. Garagiste winemaker, Bryan Page, will walk you through the ins and outs of blending and bottling while spinning vinyl from his extensive music collection. Once bottled, your wines will be finished off with custom labels featuring your family name. Along with 5 cases of wine, you’ll take home a custom “Mike Dirnt” Fender bass guitar, signed by Green Day legend Mike Dirnt himself. To top off your Napa Valley visit, enjoy an authentic and beloved Napa Valley experience on the Napa Valley Wine Train, echoing the glory days of train travel, with fine dining service, multi-course meals, Napa Valley scenery, and ultimate relaxation aboard exquisitely restored vintage rail cars.

  • Personal blending session for 4 at Garagiste winery in Napa Valley with winemaker Bryan Page
  • 5 cases (60 bottles) of personalized 750ml bottles
  • Custom Mike Dirnt Fender bass guitar signed by Green Day’s Mike Dirnt
  • Napa Valley Wine Train tickets for 4
  • Blending session to be scheduled on a mutually agreeable date. Expires March 17, 2019

Donated by: Page Wine Cellars; Mike Dirnt; Napa Valley Wine Train

Savor the World from the Sea: Oceania CruiseSavor the World from the Sea
View the land from the sea while you make unforgettable memories aboard an elegant 10-day cruise. Whether you choose to discover Northern Europe, the Mediterranean, or even the South Pacific, you will experience uncompromising quality and you explore history, culture, art, and culinary delights of a new destination. Relax on board the luxurious ship and savor exquisite cuisine that is renowned as the finest at sea, inspired by Master Chef Jacques Pepin. Unwind in the relaxed ambiance as you lounge poolside, get pampered at the Canyon Ranch SpaClub, and enjoy the overall intimacy Oceania Cruises offer. When you return home, you can savor your memories as you work your way through a case of wine featuring some of Napa Valley’s finest.

  • 9 night/10 day cruise for 2 in a Concierge Balcony Stateroom (Category A) Oceania Cruise embarking in 2018 or 2019
  • Destination options include: Northern Europe, Mediterranean, South Pacific, Caribbean, and more
  • Twelve 750ml bottles of Napa Valley wines
  • Must be booked by December 31, 2018. Excludes air fare, hotels, ground transportation, gratuities, shore excursions, travel visas, passenger protection insurance, and any incidental purchases.

Donated by: Oceania Cruises & Bob Binder