Steve Kim traveled all the way from Orange County with his girlfriend, Janice Kim, for his first beer and wine tasting. The couple chose Malibu’s third installment of the Malibu Grand Tasting for Steve’s debut at such an event.
When asked what brought him out to the event, Steve Kim turned to his girlfriend, pointed and simply said, “Her.”
“I have very limited knowledge, but what I know of Malibu, I think I see it here,” Steve Kim said. “It’s just like a relaxed atmosphere. It’s just a chill vibe next to the beach. It’s good to have because it represents Malibu.”
The event on Saturday, Sept. 19, at Malibu Lumber Yard brought together various types of wine and beer. Sales representatives from different beverage companies served curious attendees samples of the spirits.
Brian Haghighi displayed wine from his company, The California Fruit Wine Company. What is in the bottles is a different take on wine.
“Most wine that is available out there is fermented from a varietal of grape,” Haghighi said. “But anything that has sugar will naturally ferment. So what makes our wine unique is we ferment fruits other than grapes.”
That means Haghighi is selling beverages such as mango, pomegranate and pineapple wines.
Saturday’ was Haghighi’s first time showcasing his wine at the Malibu Grand Tasting.
“I’ve actually been really impressed at how open everyone is to trying new beverages,” Haghighi said. “We’re definitely a nontraditional category, and sometimes, you go to events like this and people are a little stuffier. But people have been really open here.”
Troy Muenzer, who recently returned from living in Australia, attended the tasting event with two friends. He felt the event was a good way to catch up with his friends, and especially liked the local feel of Saturday’s tasting.
“It’s very cool to be able to try different [wines] from the local area,” Muenster said. “Usually when you do wine tastings, it’s wine from other places. But I like that they keep it local here.”
All proceeds from the tasting benefitted Rock Against Trafficking, an organization that raises awareness for youth and children who are victims of human trafficking, said Chantelle Herburger, regional manager of marketing at WP Glimcher, the company that manages the shopping center.
Herburger said there aren’t many places to simply hang out in Malibu, and usually people have to go to Santa Monica, the valley or somewhere in Los Angeles to do so. The tasting event is a way to bring casual hangouts to the city, she said.
“Providing them just the situation where you can hang out with your neighbor, or your friend that you haven’t seen in a while or your family members,” Herburger said, “that’s kind of what screams Malibu.”