Oktoberfest: A Fete and Fundraiser by Amanti Vino

A feast of drink, dance and nosh by local chefs awaits partygoers at Amanti Vino’s fifth Oktoberfest on Saturday, Oct 23, at the Wellmont.

And it’s all for a great cause. Profits from the event, which is estimated to raise about $30,000 in revenue, will go towards Intensive Therapeutics, a non-profit charity which provides occupational therapy for children with special needs.

The event also celebrates five years in Montclair for the wine store on Church St.

Get your tickets now. Click here for general admission tickets at $75 apiece, and here for VIP admission tickets at $150 per person.

Or, ring Amanti Vino at 973-509-9463 and mention Baristanet to buy your tickets and enter a drawing – the general admission winner will win an upgrade to VIP admission (which allows you to enjoy earlier admission, appetizers from CulinAriane and tastings of limited production beer and wine), and the VIP ticket winner will win a free month of Club Collettore, the store’s $90 wine club, which includes 2 bottles of wine.

What you can expect at Oktoberfest:

  • 45 beers and ciders to taste
  • 20 wines from Germany, Champagne, and South America
  • Food from some of Montclair’s best restaurants and purveyors, including 32 Church, Market, Tallmadge Cheese Market, Passione, Fascino and Southern Belle
  • Two hot bands, the Mar-Tays and El Kabong
  • Baristanet spoke to owner Sharon Sevrens, 38, about Oktoberfest, Amanti Vino’s five years in Montclair, and her decision to swap her investment banking job for the wine industry.

    Why is Intensive Therapeutics your charity of choice for Oktoberfest?

    My second son, who is 4, was born very prematurely and had a lot of health issues, goes to camp at Intensive Therapeutics every summer for four weeks. They put a cast on his functional arm and make him do everything with his right hand, which is weaker. It was amazing how much he accomplished two summers ago. There was no way he could have fed himself lunch with his weaker arm: the first day, he ate his grapes with his mouth; on the second, he managed to put one grape in his mouth and by the 3rd day was using his thumb and index finger to pick up the grapes.

    How did Oktoberfest do last year?

    We did very well last year and about 225 people attended. We made Van Vleck Garden our charity and donated all our profits to it.

    How much are you hoping to raise this year?

    We haven’t finalized the budget but we should have about 300 to 400 people at the event and expect a total revenue of about $30,000.  After costs, and we have asked all participating restaurants to provide everything at the bare minimum of cost, everything goes to Intensive Therapeutics.

    Congrats on your 5th year in Montclair. What has changed for Amanti Vino since 2005?

    When I opened the store 5 years ago, I wasn’t sure who the market would be. I moved in with lots of empty space in the store so I would have space to accommodate; 1,300 sq ft to start. We have since doubled to 2,600 sq ft and I’ve added a classroo upstairs for 30 people.

    When we first opened, we just served Montclair, but now we have picked up customers across the state and country and also have a thriving Internet business.

    What’s in store after Oktoberfest?

    On November 8, we’re doing a big winetasting for the Claara Mass Foundation’s annual fundraiser from 6:30pm to 9:00pm. Your favorite local chefs will be there, along with ten of Amanti Vino’s favorite distributors, pouring their favorite wines for you to sample.

    Do you miss your banking job at Merrill Lynch? What, specifically, turned you to drink, I mean, wine?

    No, I don’t miss it one bit. Not for a second. I had worked at Merrill Lynch and left right after 9/11 to work at a really small merchant acquisitions shop. But I wanted to follow my passion for wine and, after teaching, consulting and studying, I decided to open a wine store where I could handpick artisanal wines, offer fair prices and have a wine-educated staff, with a focus always on customer service. I don’t rely on wine ratings but taste everything before I bring it in.

    Have you had any unusual customer requests?

    A customer called to order a few bottles of wine for delivery and asked if our delivery guy could stop at the market to pick up a few things on the way.

    (Photos, by Anthony Batson, show, at top, wine glasses at a Haiti fundraiser in March attended by Amanti Vino, and below, Sharon Sevrens, speaking at the same event.)

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    1. I have two tickets – general admission that I cannot use. Does anyone want to buy them? I live locally. Leave a message at 973-743-7085.

    2. I know Bernadette. so based on last year how much will benefit the charity? I’d like to go but if the benefit is, say, $5 I’d rather then just give $10 to the charity.

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