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Greer's OC: Get a taste for change

June 23, 2010|Greer Wylder

David McKinley's affair with wine began when he was growing up in Canada's greatest wine-growing region, the Okanogan Valley. He first sank his feet into a barrel of grapes at age 6. When he turned 21, he immediately began work within the wine industry.

However, in comparison with his new nonprofit, Taste for Change, wine seems largely unimportant to David. Around the same time that he was harvesting the sloped Okanogan vineyards, David lost his younger brother, Daniel, due to complications from Down syndrome.

"He was just the most beautiful child," McKinley said. "I begged my parents every day for a little brother, and when I finally got one, I was consumed. I was totally engrossed in Danny, his differences; he was amazing. He died, but I definitely haven't lost him, he taught me everything I know, and everything I do to this day is for him."

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David created Taste for Change in his brother's memory, an event that pairs wine and tapas for a new charity each month. For the inaugural Taste for Change at

2 p.m. Sunday at Sebastiani's Italian Bistro and Wine Bar in Huntington Beach, Best Buddies, an organization educating communities on mental disabilities, will benefit from the proceeds.

David's parents also adopted two wonderful children with Down syndrome, and ride 300 miles each year in support of Best Buddies. So you can join Taste for Change, enjoy wine and do great things for people. Tickets cost $25.

A dozen wines will be poured, including several dessert wines, with proceeds from tickets/bottle purchases going to Best Buddies. For more information please e-mail tasteforchange@gmail.com. Or contact David McKinley directly at (714) 519-5455.

Sebastiani's Italian Bistro is at 6078 Warner Ave. in Huntington Beach. For more information, call (714) 841-3619 or visit http://www.sebastianis.net.

FAMILY NIGHT OUT

Summer is officially here, the kids are nearly out of school, and I have a money-saving (and delicious) plan for you: consider a family night out. Orange County's first Kids Restaurant Week is starting Sunday through July 3. The Orange County Restaurant Assn., the same group who bring you the popular biannual OC Restaurant Week, is kicking off a countywide celebration for dining out as a family.

Many of OC's best restaurants are featuring special dining deals, such as family-style prix-fixe menus for lunch (a family of four pays $20 to $40) and dinner (a family of four pays $30 to $60) while others will let children eat free.

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