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Evening of Enchantment Delivers For Rosenthal and Bill Foundation -- Malibu’s Finest Taste For Good Cause

By Joe Wehinger . Former Freelancer

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Magician David Minkin teams with Rosenthal Wine Estate at the Beau Rivage restaurant for an enchanting evening to benefit the Bill Foundation.


Many Angelenos adventure North to wine country on a regular basis.  Napa, Solvang, Sonoma.  It’s worth the trip to escape, relax, widen your grin and get lost in a bouquet of red or white.

Paradise Close to Home

Now, forgive me, but I’m going to indulge for a moment.  For me, wine isn’t just a drink, it’s an experience.  A good glass of Merlot (my fave) sends me to Lake Tahoe on New Years Eve.  Snow drifting outside, enjoying a hearty dinner with great company inside.  A glass of Chardonnay and I’m at a patio on Catalina enjoying a summer breeze.  Point is, a good wine experience is complimented by the best atmosphere.


As you pull into Malibu’s Beau Rivage, the wine lover in you rejoices.  It’s Santa Barbara’s Solvang without the commute time and gas money.  Tucked away just far enough from the hustle and bustle, nestled within lush greenery and a European décor.  You’re transported.  And you never want to leave.

Room with a View….

The wine-tasting takes place upstairs on a closed-in patio with heavenly views, the ocean just in time for sunset.  The intimate group gathers and enjoys a Hors d'Oeuvres.  Mostly couples and groups.  Ages spread from 20’s to 60’s, smiles all around.


David Minkin, our magician for the evening, speaks briefly.  He has a confidence that all good magicians possess.  We’ll find out more about him later.  Elise Hicks, a lovely woman with a generous smile talks about The Bill Foundation, one of the organizations benefiting from tonight’s fundraising.  Then comes Shawn Leis, Rosenthal Wine’s Brand Manager and Asst winemaker.  He explains the course of the evening and the wines we’ll be enjoying.

The Bill Foundation is truly a worthwhile and excellent cause.  Their goal is to place healthy, adoptable animals in new and loving homes while aiding in the fight against pet overpopulation. The Bill Foundation also helps care for those animals less fortunate - those who need a little more time to get their health back or may have behavioral problems requiring advanced training before going to a new home.

We start with the Rosenthal Pinot Gris.  The next flight is another white.  Their Chardonnay.  Between each taste, Leis appears to talk about the beverage.  We move to the reds and finish with Surfrider Red.  

Where He Keeps the Magic

We venture down a windy set of stairs into a small wine cellar.  It’s intimate, it’s romantic.  It’s not where you might expect magic to be.


Minkin is the 2007 International Champion.  So, yeah, he's good.  Actually, I guess that means he's the best.  He's earned it.  The first thing you notice about Minkin is his clothing.  Nice sports jacket and a textured white shirt.  His cuffs, starched.  He’s a detail guy, but then again for a sleight-of-hand magician, maybe it’s all about the details.  We’ll have to watch him closely.

That Just Happened

For time reasons, Minkin’s set was split in two.  Things started off slowly with hand games, items disappearing and re-appearing around his fingertips..  About three-quarters through the first half, Minkin started pulling out jaw-droppers receiving audible gasps and spontaneous applause from the crowd.  During the break, the crowd ran upstairs for one last taste of wine and couldn’t help by fawn over the performance.

The next half of the set moves too quickly.  Dazzle and delight with each trick lifting the risk higher until we couldn’t imagine it could go further.  But of course it does. Flying and weather.  That’s all I’ll say.  Jaws dropped.  Eyes widened. And Minkin kept the same modest smile on his face throughout.  

By the end, the audience couldn’t contain themselves.  Applause and cheering.  Elise Hicks joined us one more time to stress the importance of The Bill Foundation.  The audience made its way up from Beau Rivage’s wine cellar back to reality.

Minkin explains, “My goal is to transport them as far as possible from their daily lives.  It's kind of like Disneyland, but for adults who like wine and magical experiences.”

David Minkin will be performing soon at the Magic Castle.  Check his website for details.  No if’s, and’s, or but’s.  Get tickets.  Send me a thank you note afterwards.  

For more information on the Wine and Magic event, visit: www.WineAndMagic.com
For more information on 2007 International Champion Magician David Minkin, visit: www.DavidMinkin.com
For more information on the Rosenthal Estate Wines, visit: www.RosenthalEstateWines.com
For more information on the restaurant, Beau Rivage, visit: www.BeauRivageRestaurant.com
For more information on The Bill Foundation, visit: www.BillFoundation.org



Published on Dec 31, 1969

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