Strong Memorial Hospital’s Gala Wine Tasting Marks 22 Years

Jan. 6, 2013
New enhancements expected to broaden appeal.

Organizers of Rochester’s favorite wine tasting event have made improvements to reach out to beer lovers and also make it easier than ever to order tickets. The event is scheduled for 7 to 10 p.m. Friday, Feb. 1, at the Hyatt Regency Ballroom, 125 East Main St., Rochester. Presented by the University of Rochester Medical Center’s volunteer services group, Friends of Strong, the event will mark its 22nd year raising money for patients and families at Strong Memorial Hospital.

New this year is a curated selection of artisanal craft beers expected to delight connoisseurs in addition to the hundreds of vintages that wine tasting sponsor Century Liquor and Wines has selected from local and award-winning wineries. The list of wineries includes: Dr. Frank Wine Cellars, Bully Hill Vineyards, Heron Hill Winery, Lamoreaux Landing Wine Cellars, Standing Stone Vineyards, Wagner Vineyards, Constellation Brands, Fox Run Vineyards, Hermann J. Wiemer Vineyard, Glenora Wine Cellars, Swedish Hill Winery, Knapp Vineyards and Brotherhood Winery. Hot and cold hors d’oeuvres and dessert will accompany the tasting.

Also new is the opportunity to purchase tickets online by visiting Friends of Strong’s secure site at Visa, MasterCard and Discover Card are accepted. Tickets will continue to be available in person and by mail.

13WHAM anchor Rachel Barnhart returns as emcee and will conduct the silent auction and raffle of donated items including round-trip Delta Airlines tickets. Matt Valerio and his trio will provide live jazz.

Friends of Strong Director Louise Criticos said “Our mission to enhance patient care has broadened significantly since 1926 because of ever-increasing demand. In 2011, more than 1,800 dedicated volunteers contributed 148,210 hours of service. Financing the work we do would not be possible without the help of fundraisers like the Gala Wine Tasting. We are fortunate that it has become such a popular event, and we urge everyone to come out and have a good time for a very good cause.”

Tickets to the Gala Wine Tasting are $50 per person or $45 per person for parties of four or more. To purchase tickets, or call the Friends of Strong office at (585) 275-2420. Visa, MasterCard and Discover Card are accepted. Tickets purchased will be mailed to buyers unless otherwise requested. To pick up tickets in person, please contact Friends of Strong immediately after ordering online. Tickets cannot be mailed one week prior to the wine tasting but can be picked up at the Hyatt on the night of the event.

For a relaxing and worry-free end to the evening, Friends of Strong has negotiated a special rate for guests wishing to stay overnight at the Hyatt Regency. Go to to reserve overnight accommodations. Please note: guests must be at least 21 years of age to attend this event.