Cabernet for Connoisseurs

Cabernet for Connoisseurs

25th Annual Wine Tasting, Dinner, and Auction

March 28, 2020
The Ritz-Carlton Hotel San Francisco (600 Stockton St, San Francisco, CA 94108)
Click here for special room rate at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel SF
5:30 pm – Wine Tasting & Silent Auction
7:00 pm – Dinner & Live Auction

For 2020 tickets and sponsorship information, please contact Camilla Burraston at cburraston@familyhouseinc.org.


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, Linda Goldfarb, Steve Goldfarb, George Hamel III, Susie Heller, Kimberly Jones, Lorcan Kearney, Shaina Kerrigan, John Kugler, Mourad Lahlou, Adriel Lares, Mark Orsi, Bill Shea, Brad Singer, Dan Toney, Faith Wheeler, Michelle Yoshinaka


2020 Participating Vintners

* Indicates vintners who have generously donated to the live auction, but will not pour at the event.

Live Auction Preview

Bring Home Cabernet for Connoisseurs

Pouring Vintners LotAs you marvel at the amazing wines being poured throughout the Cabernet for Connoisseurs event, know that the fun doesn’t have to end. One bottle from each and every winery present will be yours to sip and savor in the comfort of your own home. If you are a cabernet sauvignon lover, this lot is for you! Enjoy exclusive, small batch treasures made by some of the most well-known winemakers in the world. These wineries represent the best-of-the-best, and they are yours for the taking.

Includes: Forty 750ml bottles from the 2020 Cabernet for Connoisseurs vintners

Donated by: Pouring vintners from the 2020 Cabernet for Connoisseurs event


Private Dinner for 10 by Traci Des Jardins, featuring wines from the cellar of Bill Shea

Private Dinner for 10 by Traci Des Jardins, featuring wines from the cellar of Bill SheaEnjoy an evening of spectacular Spanish-influenced California cuisine, personally prepared by Traci Des Jardins, alongside wines from the cellar of Bill Shea in the warm and intimate private dining room of The Commissary, set in one of the oldest buildings in San Francisco.

A California native, Traci Des Jardins has been a part of the San Francisco food community for more than 30 years, opening several award-winning restaurants including Jardiniere, Arguello, The Commissary, Public House, and Transit. Over the last 30 years, Traci Des Jardins has won the James Beard Foundation Award for best chef in the Pacific region, Food & Wine‘s “Best New Chef,” and San Francisco Magazine‘s “Chef of the Year” awards. She was also named the James Beard Foundation’s “Rising Star Chef of the Year.”

The Commissary is Chef De Jardins’ restaurant partnership with the Presidio Trust and Bon Appetit Management Company. Leave behind the bustle of the city as you enjoy your private dining experience in a cozy space reminiscent of years past, with décor featuring fixtures and accents that highlight the Presidio’s history.

To be scheduled on a mutually agreeable date before March 28, 2021.

Donated by: Traci Des Jardins; Elizabeth & Bill Shea


European Luxury Cruise: River Boat Tour for 2

European Luxury Cruise: River Boat Tour for 2 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 motto 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. This trip of a lifetime is yours for the taking! Your experience includes:

  • Seven-night/eight-day 2020 European Boutique River Cruise in a riverview stateroom
  • Cruise includes all gratuities onboard and onshore, all onboard dining, unlimited alcoholic beverages, tours & excursions, onboard fitness center, wellness classes, use of bicycles & Nordic walking sticks, Wi-Fi, and airport transfers
  • 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

Details: Expires December 31, 2020. Blackout dates: May, June, and September 1-October 15. Travel must take place before April 3, 2021. Excludes Portugal and Russia. Excludes suites and junior suites.

Donated by: Uniworld River Cruises & Ellen Bettridge, CEO


Napa Culinary Immersion: Celebrity Chef Elizabeth Binder and Master of wine Lisa Perrotti-Brown delight the senses at the world class Morlet Family Vineyard for Six

Lisa Perrotti-Brown | Morlet Family Vineyards | Chef Elizabeth Binder for SixYou and up to five guests will experience an unforgettable multiple-course dinner at Luc and Jodie Morlet’s estate guest house in St. Helena. This intimate meal will feature library and 100-point wines from Morlet Family Vineyards paired with delicious cuisine prepared by celebrity chef Elizabeth Binder. As you enjoy each beautifully presented dish, you will have the amazing opportunity to learn from Lisa Perrotti-Brown, MW, Editor-in-Chief and Reviewer for Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate. Throughout the evening, Lisa will share her expertise about wines from around the world.

Your sojourn in wine country includes a 3-night stay at the Morlet family’s estate guest house, where you will wake up each morning to breathtaking views of upper Napa Valley. You will be treated to a private tour of the historic Morlet Family Winery, and to commemorate your visit, each couple will receive a signed magnum of Morlet Family Vineyards 2017 “Passionnément” Cabernet Sauvignon from the prestigious Oakville appellation.

To be scheduled on a mutually agreeable date, excluding the months of September and October. Expires August 31, 2021.

Includes: 3-night stay for up to six at the Morlet Family Estate Guest House in St. Helena; Dinner featuring Morlet Family Vineyards wines paired with Chef Elizabeth Binder’s cuisine and wine education shared by Lisa Perrotti-Brown, MW; Private tour & tasting at Morlet Family Winery in St. Helena; 3 signed magnums of Morlet Family Vineyards 2017 “Passionnément” Cabernet Sauvignon

Donated by: Luc and Jodie Morlet, Morlet Family Vineyards; Lisa Perrotti-Brown, MW; Chef Elizabeth Binder, Hand-Crafted Catering


BUY A SPOT: The Mabon—VIP in the House for 2

The Mabon: VIP in the House for 2Celebrate the 2020 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. Enjoy a multi course dinner prepared by Josh Mitchell of Napa Valley Heritage Catering in the Hourglass caves, along with delicious glasses of Hourglass wine. After dinner, join the other guests to continue the festivities with amazing performances by Hourglass’s house band Wristrocket and a special guest headliner. Come howl at the moon! The Mabon will be held on Saturday, September 12, 2020. Buy a Spots are limited to 12 couples.

Tickets: $2,500 per couple ($1,250 per person)

Donated by: Hourglass Estate


Weeklong Italian Villa for 14

Weeklong Italian Villa for 14Villa San Lorenzo is a stunningly restored 17th century stone villa situated on 14 acres (with a 3 acre nebbiolo vineyard on the property) in Piedmont, Italy with views of the rolling mountains and the Italian Alps from your deck, swimming pool, and al fresco dining area. This 7-bedroom, 8-bathroom villa will be your home for a week as you explore the region and its multitude of wineries, restaurants and outdoor markets. Enjoy a pasta making class, a truffle hunt (in season) and a visit to a local cellar producing Barolo wines. The property is completely private, nestled in the Alta Langa hills, just minutes from town with authentic and incredible restaurants and specialty artisanal food and wine shops. Your visit will include:

  • Six night stay at Villa San Lorenzo, Piedmont for up to fourteen people
  • Hands on traditional pasta making class, followed by dinner with wines paired perfectly with each pasta
  • An evening of storytelling about Piedmont using wine and food as the guide and reference point
  • Depending on the season (autumn is the best!), embark on the truly spectacular experience of truffle hunting with an expert guide and his dog
  • A visit to one of the region’s top cellars, where you’ll meet the owner/winemaker and have a private tasting of the region’s famed Barolo

To be scheduled on a mutually agreeable date before April 30, 2021.

Donated by: Clay McLachlan


“Lights, Camera, Kitchen—Action!”

Lights, Camera, Kitchen-Action!Have you ever dreamed of starring in your own cooking show? Are you the next Rachel Ray or Bobby Flay? Maybe you’re even bigger, but you just haven’t gotten your Cooking Show Big Break… Well, HERE IT IS!

Even if you’re unsure or just a little shy—our Emmy award-winning culinary-TV team of Susie Heller, Paul Swensen, and Amy Vogler will take you from planning to prep to production and post, and make you look like the pro you’ve always wanted to be. You’re secure in the expert hands that have produced the likes of Jacques Pepin, Julia Child, Thomas Keller, Martin Yan, José Andres, Joanne Weir and Lidia Bastianich.

In preparation for your big day, you and Susie will meet for a pre-production session to plan a show tailored to your favorite recipes and cooking style. All the prep will be taken care of, so when you show up at Susie’s kitchen studio in Napa, everything will be ready for your “closeup.”

When you return to your daily life, the footage will be edited, with graphics and music added, and in a short time, you will receive a digital master copy of the finished show to share with your friends, family, and send out for award-consideration….

To be scheduled on a mutually agreed upon date before March 28, 2021. Lot includes:

    • Personalized cooking show experience for one on-camera “star,” plus up to 
 3 guests who can watch the day-of production and shoot (and can join 
 the winner on camera for the final scene, eating food prepared by the star)
    • Pre-production planning meeting with Susie Heller
    • Digital copy of eddited cooking show video

Donated by: Susie Heller, Heller Media; Paul Swensen Productions; Amy Vogler, Wooden Spoon Kitchen


“Carnivale du Vin” New Orleans for 2

Carnivale du Vin New Orleans for 2Your New Orleans adventure in the heart of the historic French quarter begins with a stay at the luxurious Hotel Monteleone. The feasting begins on Thursday, November 5th with a special multi-course dinner at one of Emeril’s restaurants, featuring local cuisine and fine wines.

On Friday, throw on your boots for the 9th annual “Boudin, Bourbon & Beer” festival adjacent to the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Over 60 of the nation’s best chefs share their interpretations of the popular southern sausage dish—boudin! You will also be treated to beer and bourbon tastings and live music under the stars.

Wrap up your weekend on Saturday night at the 15th annual “Carnivale du Vin.” Enjoy G.H. Mumm champagne, a wine reception with acclaimed guest chefs, and a multi-course wine pairing dinner prepared by Chef Emeril Lagasse, his culinary team, and the NOCCA culinary students. Ranked as a “Top Ten U.S. Charity Auction” in Wine Spectator, the evening boasts one of the best collections of silent and live auction packages and concludes with a kicked-up dance party!

To commemorate your weekend of world-class wine and food in New Orleans, Alden Lagasse and Dan Kosta will send you home with two 5L etched & hand-painted bottles of AldenAlli Pinot Noir.

New Orleans experience on November 5-8, 2020. Excludes airfare and ground transportation.

Includes: 3-night stay at the Hotel Monteleone for two (November 5-7, 2020); Dinner for two at an Emeril Lagasse restaurant; Two tickets to Boudin, Bourbon & Beer, November 6, 2020; Two tickets to Carnivale du Vin, November 7, 2020; Two 5L etched, hand-painted bottles AldenAlli Pinot Noir

Donated by: AldenAlli; Emeril Lagasse Foundation


Quel Beau Lieu! “What a beautiful place!” 5 Boutique Wineries, a Glorious 2-Night Stay, and 2 Dinners for 10 at Beaulieu Garden Estate, plus 10 Signed Magnums

Quel Beau LieuPrepare for an unforgettable experience of high-end local cuisine paired with premiere micro-production wines from the Napa Valley: Anomaly Vineyards, Behrens Family Winery, Drinkward Peschon, Relic Wine Cellars, and Zeitgeist Cellars. Stay for two fabulous nights at the historic Beaulieu Garden Guest House set among the picturesque vineyards in Rutherford, plus dinner for 10 prepared by renowned first-class chef, Dave Cruz (previously of Napa Valley’s Bouchon and Ad Hoc, and now San Francisco’s Little Gem).

Upon arrival to the Beaulieu Garden Estate, you will be welcomed by both the CEO and Chairman of Family House.Your first evening will kick off with a special dinner catered by Lindsay & Lorcan Kearney and Dagmar & Patrick Sullivan featuring locally sourced foods with herbs straight from the garden on property. It will be complemented by an assortment of Beaulieu Vineyard wines. The next morning your day of fun begins when you will sip local coffee and enjoy a light breakfast featuring pastries from famed Thomas Keller’s Bouchon Bakery, before your hospitality and tour guide extraordinaire takes you to each of the wineries for a private tour and tasting. This private oenophile experience will be playfully paired with delicious small bites by some of Napa’s finest chefs.

As the day winds down, you will be chauffeured back to the Beaulieu Garden Guest House where you can relax for a bit before the evening begins with a sabering and champagne toast from a magnum bottle of world-class champagne. Your private dinner of culinary creation by Chef Dave Cruz will allow for each course to be masterfully paired with a vintage library wine – hand selected – from the vintners’ personal collections. For the coup de grace, you will receive ten magnum bottles, one current release and one library vintage, all exclusively signed by each winery owner and winemaker.

This extensively classic and truly unforgettable Napa experience is for 10 people and will be scheduled on a mutually agreeable date before March 28, 2021.

Donated by: Anomaly Vineyards; Behrens Family Winery; Drinkward Peschon; Relic Wine Cellars; Zeitgeist Cellars; Chef Dave Cruz; Dagmar & Patrick Sullivan; Lindsay & Lorcan Kearney


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.


View the 2019 Auction Catalog | View the 2019 event recap video | View 2019 event photos