Wine collectors, local theatre supporters and sommeliers will mingle at Crush - A Fine Wine Affair, to auction off rare and unique wines from across the globe to benefit The Belfry Theatre. Contributed photo

‘Crush’ a glass of wine to support the arts in Victoria

Annual fundraiser for Belfry Theatre will auction off prized bottles of wine and Scotch

The Belfry Theatre may be in the swing of a Russian musical, but it’s the Scots who will take the stage this year at Crush – A Fine Wine Affair, the annual fundraiser for the professional, non-profit theatre company in Fernwood.

The premiere wine event returns for its sixth year, as staff, volunteers and board members comb the city’s best wine cellars to auction off rare and unusual vintages in the name of the performing arts.

“One of the things with Crush is that for the most part, the bottles on auction are not available through the LCLB,” Belfry Theatre communications director Mark Dusseault says. “Sometimes people will go away to France or Italy and bring back bottles, or it might be something that a restaurant or hotel had that they donate.”

A wine and cider tasting paired with cuisine from Chef Takashi Ito will get the evening underway, followed by the auction. Sommelier and wine educator Earl Wilde will introduce each lot and auctioneer Roshan Vickery will get the bidding started as guests consult tasting notes provided by Monday Magazine wine columnist Robert Moyes. Dusseault says previous years have seen single bids as high as $1,500.

This year’s event will feature wine from France, Italy, Spain, Australia and British Columbia. For the first time, Crush will offer something for Scotch lovers with the donation of a 1975 and 1984 single malt that he says have ceased operation. “You can’t buy it anymore, so that will probably taste really, really good,” he laughs.

A 1934 bottle of Comte de Lauvia Armagnac from France – a cousin of cognac – is valued at $1,300 and expected to fetch a tidy sum. But for someone just beginning a wine collection, Dusseault says there are a few lots under $100.

“It’s a good opportunity to get bottles you can’t [get] elsewhere. We certainly couldn’t do it without the help of people who are really fond of the Belfry.”

Crush – A Fine Wine Affair takes place Oct. 22 from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Inn at Laurel Point. Tickets are available at

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