Fairhaven Memorial Park to Host Tribute to Renowned Wine Journalist Robert Balzer

Santa Ana, CA, February 10, 2012 --(PR.com)-- Fairhaven Memorial Park will raise a glass in tribute to renowned wine journalist Robert L. Balzer on February 11 at 1:00 p.m. who died of natural causes on December 1. The memorial service will celebrate Balzer’s 99 years of life and his contributions to the wine industry with a special tasting event modeled after Balzer’s famous 1973 New York Wine Tasting.

Known as America’s first serious wine journalist, Balzer’s love affair with wine began when he was put in charge of the wine department of his family’s gourmet market and started writing a customer newsletter, which blossomed into a 65-year career writing about wine and teaching others the intricacies of reds and whites.

Balzer’s extensive portfolio of work encompasses 11 books, numerous articles in Travel Holiday magazine, a weekly column for Los Angeles Times Magazine and “Robert Lawrence Balzer's Private Guide to Food and Wine,” which was the first nationally distributed wine newsletter in America. A champion of California wines, Balzer helped place the state on the global stage.

In addition to his prolific writing career, Balzer was also a beloved teacher of wine. His wine classes provided an opportunity for students of all ages to learn the finer points of wine appreciation and visit famed wine regions such as the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Paso Robles, France and Spain. During these tours, students, affectionately known by Balzer as his “children,” would tour famous wineries, meet legendary winemakers and enjoy memorable food and wine pairings.

“Robert’s classes provided an inside perspective on the art of winemaking and a priceless experience,” said Marla Noel, president of Fairhaven Memorial Park and one of Balzer’s former students. “On one of our trips, Robert Balzer and his longtime friend Robert Mondavi stood together and shared their experiences in the wine industry. This is a day I will never forget.”

In addition to his work as a retailer, an artist, actor, restaurateur and wine teacher, Balzer also served as a flight instructor during World War II, was a passenger on the maiden voyage of the Queen Mary and was a Buddhist monk. His celebration of life memorial service will include a number of firsthand anecdotes in remembrance of this eccentric and beloved local personality, as well as video montages and eulogies.

About Fairhaven Memorial Park

Founded in 1911, Fairhaven Memorial Park is Orange County’s most beautiful independently owned and operated full service mortuary, crematory and cemetery. Fairhaven offers a wide range of pre-need and at-need services provided with care and compassion. Fairhaven is dedicated to celebrating the individual, providing services that are as unique and wide-ranging as the people they celebrate. Additional information is available at www.fairhavenmemorial.com.

Fairhaven Memorial Park and Mortuary
Jessica Fix