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Pittsburgh Wine Festival supports UPMC

Thursday, and the holy water was baptizing a multitude of sins during the Pittsburgh Wine Festival, where more than 1,800 discriminating palates raised a glass in support of innovation and discovery at UPMC and the University of Pittsburgh.

"I'm open to everything!" mused Alessio Picarella, hailing from Palermo, Italy.

Our wine flight began in the East Club Lounge of Heinz Field, where we sipped our way through our pick of domestics, the perfect prep for what turned out to be a lengthy layover in the West Club Lounge. There, we poured an international flavor of French, Italian and Spanish wines, and, more importantly, the cham-pag-nay, although someone quickly sounded the alarm once the Cristal well had run dry before the free flowing Dom Perignon picked up the slack and smoothed things over for the likes of prez Ed Harrell and GM Dale Markham, internationally renowned sommelier Marnie Old, Robin Lail (of Lail Vineyards), Danielle Cyrot (winemaker at the St. Clement Winery), Bob Bertheau (head winemaker at Chateau Ste Michelle) and Duane Reider and Tim Gaber, the dynamic duo of Pittsburgh's Engine House No. 25.

All things considered, the kids remained on relatively good behavior for this one, up until the moment when our thought-to-be souvenir wine glasses were confiscated out of our swag bags by security upon exiting the elevator banks, provoking a near riot in the street.

"Wow, these really are tough economic times!" lamented one guest.

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