There’s plenty of goodwill sipping in Wine Country, and Wednesday’s event at the Whiskey Tip in Sebastopol will likely reel in some big donations for fire relief.

The benefit, from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m., will funnel 100% the proceeds to Redwood Credit Union Fire Relief Fund. Marty Paradise, one of the organizers, said the goal is to raise $10,000.

“People are still sleeping in tents,” Paradise said. “They still need two to three meals a day. They still need to buy stuff. They need cash.”

Bands like Soulistar, Everyday Freak and Flatbroke & Busted will be playing and the Whiskey Tip is at 1910 Sebastopol Road in Santa Rosa.

Paradise and two of his friends are the trio behind the event. Paradise is owner and operator of Paradise Tours and a local private chef; JC Flugger is owner of JC Christopher CO Dry Rub; and Michelle Cuccia is the owner of Bella Luna Wellness. These three have teamed up to feed and entertain the community for the long haul. They are creating on-going special events for first responders and evacuees, to feed hundreds of Sonoma County fire victims.

Paradise credits Cuccia for coming up with the idea.

“It’s just something you have to do for your community,” he said.

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Striking Reds



Carlisle, 2015 Papera Ranch, Russian River Valley Zinfandel, 15% alcohol, $47. ★★★★

While the Papera has generous fruit, the accent is definitely on balance with this zin. It’s buoyed with bright acidity, and that brings out the tangy flavors of the red fruit –– currant and raspberry. This zin is intense, yet balanced. It has great bones –– structure –– and nice length. Impressive.


Neyen, 2012 Colchagua Valley, Chile Red Blend, 13.5%, $40. ★★★1/2: This is a gutsy red with notes of currant, cherry and sandalwood. It has crisp acid and an undercurrent of spice. Nice length.

The Larsen Projekt, 2016 North Coast Grenache, 15.5%, $30. ★★★★: A pretty grenache with notes of blackberry, raspberry, mineral and spice. This is a refreshing quaff with tangy fruit and bright acid. Well crafted.

Lang & Reed, 2014 Napa Valley Cabernet Franc, 14.5%, $48. ★★★★: A savory cab franc with aromas and flavors of raspberry, blueberry, violet and herbs. This wine is layered, with an underpinning of bright acid. A lovely take on cab franc.

Trefethen, 2014 Oak Knoll District Napa Valley Merlot, 14.1%, $40. ★★★★: A complex merlot with a range of flavors — plum, cherry, mushroom and spicy black pepper. Ripe tannins. Generous fruit. Supple texture. Lingering finish.


Peg Melnik's Tasting Room blog