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Wines & Wishes Summer Wine Tour at The Kaleidoscope Center

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At 30 weeks pregnant, a wine tasting is probably the last place you’d think I’d want to be but I can never pass up a night out with my man, especially when the babysitter is working pro-bono (thanks brother-in-law!) We attended Kaleidoscope’s Wines & Wishes – Summer Wine Tour last year and had a total blast so it was a no-brainier when I saw that they had a $25 Designated Driver ticket available for pregnant people like me. It’s especially worthwhile knowing that all of the proceeds raised benefit Make-A-Wish® Orange County and the Inland Empire.

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The red carpet greeted us as we made our way into the Kaleidoscope courtyard. We felt very celebrity-like as we posed for a shot in front of the step & repeat and were handed a take-home memento photo magnet that was printed out right on the spot. It was just a few steps further down the rep carpet where we were wristbanded, given our passports & handed a glass of bubbly. I opted to take my commemorative wine glass empty and filled it up with water to make it feel like I fitted in with the crowd.

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The first half hour was reserved for drinking champagne and enjoying petite bites so I took advantage of cozying up to the food vendors who were more than happy to let me taste for two. First stop was Chef Starr Cornwall’s Rock Starr of (pasteurized) Cheese table followed by a visit with the sushi chefs at Riptide Rockin’ Sushi. I snapped a shot as I enviously watched my husband devour the spicy tuna lettuce wrap and then decided that my first post-pregnancy meal will definitely be an oversized plate of raw fish.

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Next we made our way to the Union Market station where Rolling Boil and the Hatch were serving up samples of Spicy Beef Shabu Shabu and delicious Meatball & Fried Chicken Sliders. We had a delightful conversation with Rolling Boil owner, Leonard Chan who was probably one of the nicest laid-back guys we’ve ever met. My husband is a total craft beer fanatic so he was stoked to learn that Rolling Boil will boast 40 craft beers on tap when they open in Kaleidoscope’s Union Market later this fall.

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Now on to the main event! With our passport in hand, we made our way through the courtyard tasting the likes of pinots, zins, grenaches and every other blend you can imagine. Some of our favorite wineries including Rombauer Vineyards, Cakebread Cellars and Justin Vineyards & Winery were part of the line-up. When we came across this magnum from J. Lohr Vineyards, I excitedly asked my husband if he’d buy it for me as a “push present.” His response of course was an eye roll followed by a “you wish!” Hey, a girl can dream, right?

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After about an hour of sipping, the hand passed trays of chicken wraps, pizza & spring rolls from Buffalo Wild Wings, Rocco’s Pizzeria & Maui Grill were much appreciated. Since I couldn’t partake in the wine tasting, you better believe I ate my heart out all night long. I might have gone a little overboard when I stopped by Donna B’s Bakery and sampled a few cookies, cakes, cupcakes AND brownies. That table was a pregnant lady’s paradise!

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As my food coma set in, I paused a moment to take in the jazz music and remind myself of the worthy reason for the festivities…granting wishes for the kids of Make-A-Wish Orange County & Inland Empire. I can’t think of a better reason to spend an evening sipping wine (and water) at one of our favorite South OC spots. We purchased a few raffle tickets to help support the cause and then called it a night.

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On our way out, I was excited to see that next week’s Kaleido-Kids program is going to be Lego Time. Every Tuesday, my 2 year old son and I come to Kaleidoscope to take advantage of the $1 Regal kids movies and the free Kaleido-Kids Series. It’s the cheapest and most entertaining summer fun outing I’ve found to date! We’re especially excited about the August 26th Kaleido-Kids Summer Finale Carnival.

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Thanks Kaleidoscope for yet another perfect date night. Congratulations on raising over $6,000 to help grant wishes for the kids of Make-A-Wish® Orange County and the Inland Empire. We are proud to have been a part of it all.

Megan is an Orange County implant from Las Vegas who currently resides in Rancho Santa Margarita. She is the loving wife to her college sweetheart & mother to her very active 2 year old son, Declan. Most recently she has added “unpredictable pregnant lady” to her list of titles as she is expecting a little one later this year. Besides being mother, housewife & pregnant woman extraordinaire, she is also the VP of Sales & Marketing for www.spitfiresocialmedia.com. When she’s not busy helping businesses take the viral world by storm, you can usually find her strolling around RSM Lake, biking through O’Neill Park or frolicking through the happiest place on earth.
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