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BENEFIT SHOWCASES THE ART OF THE VINE

Wine and art are a natural combination in the world of Jan Isaac Shrem.

Proprietor of Clos Pegase Winery in California's Napa Valley, the former book publisher in Japan and Europe will share his findings on the history of wine as seen through 4,000 years of wine-related art at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 16 in the Albright-Knox Art Gallery.

Shrem will present "An Homage to the Intertwining of Wine, Art and the Good Life" as a benefit for the gallery. He will begin with the origin of the grape and the origin of wine illustrated in Egyptian tomb paintings and Roman mosaics and include works by Renaissance and contemporary painters.

Clos Pegase, named for the winged horse of Greek mythology, translates as "the Walled Vineyard of the Pegasus."

It was designed by the internationally known architect Michael Graves, chosen after a competition sponsored by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and completed in 1987. Included are 450 acres with three vineyards, 20,000 square feet of caves where the grapes are fermented and the Shrem family home.

The Pegasus label used on all the wines produced at Clos Pegase is a reproduction of the 1890 painting by Odilon Redon that is in Shrem's private art collection.

"We are excited to have this distinguished man coming to Buffalo with this beautiful program," says Audre Bunis, co-chairwoman with Eras Bechakas of the benefit sponsored by the gallery's Members' Council.

"We have tried to put together a total evening. After the program, we will go from the auditorium to the sculpture court, where there will be the right types of food -- mostly cheeses and pates -- to accompany each of the wines (Chardonnay and Merlot from Clos Pegase) that we will be tasting."

A group of musicians from Young Audiences of Western New York will be playing during the tasting, and the exhibition hall, with docents available to answer questions, will be open to those attending.

Says Mrs. Bechakas, who has talked with a number of wine purveyors and connoisseurs: "We know we are having a quality presentation from a quality person. Mr. Shrem's success as a book publisher has allowed him to concentrate on the things he loves most -- art and wine.

"His passion for fine art and wine are clearly reflected in this unique presentation that should delight both art and wine enthusiasts. He goes all over the world giving this presentation, and if he knows it is for a fund-raiser, he is most generous in donating his time and his wine."

Tickets for the evening are $30 each and may be purchased through the gallery by calling 882-8700.

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