Some people dream of sugar plums. Others may long for a cabernet sauvignon with a bouquet that has a hint of plum. One thing for sure, however, is that every type of food fantasy—and then some—is covered in the online auction run by the Naples Winter Wine Festival. This companion piece to the event’s prestigious live auction was introduced in 2015, and since its inception it has raised more than $700,000 for children’s charities and initiatives in Collier County.
The site, nwwfonlineauction.com, is now live for browsing and registering, and bidding is open until midnight on Jan. 31, 2019. Over the past few years, the prizes have seemed to get progressively more eye-popping, with much higher opening bids and a ratcheting up of the immersive angle of most lots. One item, a private cruise for 150 people on the Naples Princess, had two five-figure bids on the first day. And for 2019, it’s not just dinner at a restaurant like Chicago’s Monteverde, but a day behind the scenes with its chef, Sarah Grueneberg; a private pasta lesson; dinner for four with wine pairings and dried pasta to take home.
But that said, there are plenty of options where you can live out a food dream (and even some non-epicurean delights) and not spend a whole paycheck. Dinner at Dallas’s Knife restaurant, for instance, comes packaged with a two-night hotel stay in the city that could wind up being a good value for the final price. Same goes for an overnight visit to Archery Summit Winery in Oregon’s Willamette Valley with bottles to bring home. But the best prize might be knowing that 100 percent of your dollars spent will be going to helping at-risk kids in Collier County.