For many years, pairing food and wine has been a successful fundraising formula for the Abilities Foundation. Now the charity has added art to the mix, drawing a sellout crowd of more than 200 to "Una Notte di Vino e Vetro," A Night of Wine & Glass Italian-style. Guests crowded into the St. Petersburg studios of glass artist Duncan McClellan and sculptor Dan Painter.
Pietro Morelli, marketing director for Italian winemakers Casa Vinicola Zonin, was on hand and said it was the first such event in which all the wines created by the vintner were represented in one tasting.
Patrons ate, drank and reveled in the art and gardens at the event, which raised several thousand dollars for Abilities job placement services for disabled veterans who served in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Additional participants included O'Bistro, Central Avenue Oyster Bar, Salt Rock Grill, Barry's Gourmet Brownies, Mazzaro's Italian Market, MadFish, Central Avenue Cigars and Crystal Head Vodka.
Foundation president and chief executive Frank De Lucia says additional events are planned in the new "Everyday Italian Lifestyle Artists & Artisans" series — at the new studio of artist T.W. Curtis in July and at the Museum of Fine Arts in August.