Category Archives: Events

Vintners Reception

What to Taste at the 2017 High Museum Atlanta Wine Auction

Top winemakers and wineries from California and beyond will be in Atlanta March 22nd through 25th for the High Museum Atlanta Wine Auction. Celebrating its 25th year, the auction has raised more than $26 million for the High Museum.

Earlier: High Museum Atlanta Wine Auction Returns for 25th Edition

Whether it’s your first High Museum Wine Auction or you’re a regular, here are the wines you won’t want to miss at Saturday’s Vintners’ Reception. Bonus if you love Pinot Noir.

Au Bon Climat

Jim Clendenen at the 2016 wine auction
Jim Clendenen at the 2016 wine auction

Owner and winemaker Jim Clendenen is one of this year’s guests of honor. It is well deserved – beyond making delicious wines, Jim is a familiar face at the wine auction and always has entertaining stories. In addition to Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, Jim brings fun and unique wines for guests to sample. Au Bon Climat is based in Santa Barbara County, in California’s Central Coast.
aubonclimat.com

Kosta Browne

Co-founders Michael Browne and Dan Kosta round out this year’s guests of honor. If you’re a fan of Pinot Noir you’ve no doubt enjoyed one from Kosta Browne. If you haven’t tasted these wines from Sonoma, you must make them one of your first stops.
kostabrowne.com

Single vineyard Pinot Noir at Bernardus Winery's tasting room
Single vineyard Pinot Noir at Bernardus Winery’s tasting room

Bernardus Winery

Start with the Sauvignon Blanc from this Carmel Valley, California winery and you won’t be disappointed. Bernardus was founded by Bernardus “Ben” Pon, who is from the Netherlands (you’ll notice orange in the logo). Marinus, a Bordeaux-style blend, is a must-taste. Bernardus also makes single vineyard Pinot Noirs that when sipped side-by-side offer a glimpse at the different terroir. After the wine auction you’ll want to plan a trip to the tasting room in Carmel Valley Village.
bernardus.com

Big Basin wine

Big Basin Vineyards

In the charming town of Saratoga, on the edge of Silicon Valley, is where I first discovered Big Basin Vineyards. Their small and unassuming tasting room doesn’t prepare you for the big and bold flavors of their red wine – Pinot Noir, Syrah and Rhone blends. Big Basin’s vineyards are located in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Wine auction guests got their first taste of Big Basin at last year’s event; this year owner and winemaker Bradley Brown will be offering tastes of current releases. Big Basin also makes Chardonnay and white wines from Rhone grapes. I’m a big fan of their Roussanne.
bigbasinvineyards.com

Continuum Estate's vineyards on Prichard Hill
Continuum Estate’s vineyards on Prichard Hill

Continuum Estate

Continuum made a big splash at the wine auction in 2014, when father and daughter Tim and Carissa Mondavi were guests of honor. Continuum’s vineyards are located on Pritchard Hill on the east side of Napa Valley, a stunning location if you have the chance to visit. Each year Continuum produces one wine, made from the estate’s best grapes, that truly captures a sense of place and the characteristics of that vintage. More recently they introduced Novicium, a second wine made primarily with grapes from younger vines. Continuum is a prized wine that all aficionados should have in their cellar.
continuumestate.com

Domaine Della

Domaine Della

A favorite discovery from last year’s wine auction, Domaine Della returns for its second year. Owner and winemaker David Hejl named the winery for his mother, who as he will tell you, was a truly remarkable woman. David’s experience crafting high quality Pinot Noir shows in each bottle of his wine. It’s hard to pick a favorite between his Russian River Valley and Sonoma Coast. Be sure to join Domaine Della’s list for a chance to buy wine during the spring and fall releases.
domainedella.com

Lando Wines

Sam and Jennifer Lando at the 2016 wine auction
Sam & Jennifer Lando at the 2016 wine auction

Sam Lando is the kind of guy who you want to have a beer – or in this case, glass of wine with. Besides being engaging and entertaining, Sam is extremely knowledgeable about Pinot Noir, having worked with Kosta Browne winery. He’s another wine auction regular, and his table is always a popular spot. Lando makes flavorful and balanced Pinot Noir from the Russian River Valley and Sonoma Coast appellations.
landowines.com

Patel wines

Patel Winery

If full-bodied Napa Cabernet is your favorite, you must seek out Raj Patel of Patel Winery. As I wrote in 2015, “when Robert Parker awards your first wine a 95, you know you’ve made something special.” Patel wines are lush, layered and elegant, thanks to having access to some of the best grapes and the expertise of Luc Morlet, one of Napa’s top winemakers. Last year Raj debuted a Malbec, a deliciously spicy wine. This year he’ll be offering tastes of his 2014 Napa Valley Malbec, Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon and Coombsville Cabernet Sauvignon.
patelwinery.com

Winderlea Pinot Noir

Winderlea Vineyard and Winery

You could spend the entire Vintners’ Reception enjoying California Pinot Noir but be sure not to miss these Oregon Pinots. The name Winderlea evokes images of the breeze gently blowing through the vineyards in the Willamette Valley. Founders Bill Sweat and Donna Morris made their wine auction debut last year, offering tastes of their Chardonnay and single vineyard Pinot Noirs. I can’t wait to taste what they’ll have this year.
winderlea.com

Of course, you can’t go wrong with Champagne. This year Champagne Billecart-Salmon will be offering tastes of its bubbly. I’d suggest starting there, then moving on to the wineries featured above.

The Vintners’ Reception at the 25th annual High Museum Atlanta Wine Auction will be held on Saturday, March 25th at 11 a.m., followed by the Live Auction. Located under the tents at the Green Lot at Turner Field.
atlanta-wineauction.org

Click to see earlier articles on the High Museum Atlanta Wine Auction

STK Atlanta

Oyster & Champagne Party at STK Atlanta

Oysters for $1 each and a glass of champagne for $5 starting at 5pm on Friday, March 31st at STK Atlanta.

You really don’t need to know much more than that. Fab food and drinks at a great price at one of Midtown’s coolest spots kind of speaks for itself.

oysters at STKBut here are the full details: STK Atlanta is hosting a “Shuck Yeah! Oyster and Champagne Party” in its bistro and lounge in honor of National Oyster on the Half Shell Day. It’s from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. on the 31st.

Fresh, chef handpicked East Coast and West Coast oysters will be $1 apiece, and the price of champagne changes based on the hour. At 5 p.m. a glass of bubbly is $5, starting at 6 p.m. it’s $6, and then it’s $7 from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. A live DJ completes the party, making STK the perfect place to kick off the weekend.

Stay for dinner and add some turf to your surf, with one of STK’s mouthwatering steaks. I recommend the 28 oz Dry-Aged Porterhouse.

Shuck Yeah! Oyster and Champagne Party at STK Atlanta
Friday, March 31, 2017 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
1075 Peachtree Street, Atlanta 30309
(404) 793-0144, www.stkhouse.com

Images courtesy Caren West PR

wine auction 2016

High Museum Atlanta Wine Auction Returns for 25th Edition

Raise a glass to one of Atlanta’s top social events! The High Museum Atlanta Wine Auction returns for its 25th year in March 2017.

This year’s theme is “The Big One,” and celebrates the event’s major milestone. Over its 24 years the High Museum Wine Auction has grown to be the largest charity wine auction benefiting the arts in the United States, and has raised more than $26 million for the High Museum.

High Wine AuctionFrom Wednesday, March 22nd to Saturday, March 25th there will be special lunches, dinners and seminars, leading up to the Friday Fête and Saturday’s Vintners’ Reception and Live Auction. For the second year the Friday Fête and Auction will be held inside the tents at the Green Lot at Turner Field.

Jim Clendenen, Michael Browne and Dan Kosta are this year’s special guests of honor. Jim, the owner and winemaker at Au Bon Climat, hardly needs an introduction. A High Wine Auction regular, he has been regaling guests with entertaining stories and delicious wines for years. Michael and Dan are the co-owners of Kosta Browne Winery, which is well-known for its outstanding Pinot Noir. Kosta Browne is being honored for its support of the Wine Auction, having participated for nearly 10 years.

A number of wineries have already confirmed their participation in the 2017 Vintners’ Reception and Auction. Click here to see the list.

Benefactor packages to the High Museum Atlanta Wine Auction are now available. Single tickets will go on sale in late January.

For more information on the High Museum Atlanta Wine Auction visit atlanta-wineauction.org.

For more information on the High Museum of Art visit www.high.org.

I’ll see you under the tents in March!

>> Connect:
Facebook: HighMuseumWine
Twitter: @HighMuseumWine
Instagram: @HighMuseumWine

Scofflaw beers

Scofflaw Brewing Co. Grand Opening Party

Atlanta’s newest craft brewery is opening its doors to the public this weekend. Introducing Scofflaw Brewing Company, which made its debut in the metro area last month.

It’s a seemingly common story for many successful breweries — owner Matt Shirah and co-founder and brewer Travis Herman left behind jobs in the corporate and pharmaceutical industries to follow their true passions. Herman attended brewing school at the University of California, and honed his skills at top craft breweries. Scofflaw is the result of two years of intense (and one would assume tasty) research and development.

Scofflaw Brewing Co. makes 11 craft beers including:

Basement IPA – A seriously juicy and tropical India Pale Ale (IPA) made with organic citra hops, this IPA was created in Grammy’s basement following an argument about the differences in west and east coast beer. At the end of the day, this is one of Scofflaw’s go-to beers.

Slim the Pale Ale – This beer is a well-balanced pale ale for people that know their limits but have crossed the line before. It’s light – but not too thin – with hints of passion fruit, pine, berry, citrus and faint floral tones (but we won’t tell anyone).

Sneaky Wheat – Slightly cloudy and creamy, this imperial American wheat has a kick that can sneak up on you. Made with coriander and orange, it presents its case with light honey and spice aromas that match the moderately sweet flavors, without focusing on a hop profile.

Westside IPA – Straight out of the brewmaster’s arsenal, this brew is full of caramel malt and hops that start with the letter C.  It presents itself as somewhat bitter with plenty of hops, but not overkill.

Tasting notes courtesy of Phase 3 Marketing and Communications.

You’ll be able to taste these beers, plus specialty batches at the Grand Opening Party on Saturday, September 17th. The converted warehouse space on Atlanta’s Westside will be open for tours and tastings from noon to 5 pm. Tastings cost $14 per person.

Sweet Auburn Barbecue and Westside Creamery food trucks will be parked on-site to pair with the brews (not included in the tasting fee).

Scofflaw has partnered with Lyft for the opening celebration. New Lyft users can receive $10 off their first two rides by using promo code SCOFFLAW. Existing users can use promo code SCOFFLAWX1 for 25% off their ride to or from the event.

Scofflaw Brewing Co. is located at 1738 MacArthur Boulevard NW, Atlanta, Georgia 30318. Visit scofflawbrewery.com for more information.

Scofflaw Brewing Co. will be open for tours and tastings on Thursday and Friday from 5 to 8 pm and Saturday from 1 to 5 pm. The $14 per person fee includes 36 oz. of beer samples and a take-home branded glass. To-go tours will also be offered at $7 for 36 oz. or $14 for 64 oz.

>> Connect:
Facebook: ScofflawBrewingCo
Instagram: @scofflawbeer

photography credit: Heidi Geldhauser

Toast to the Emmy Awards with Ferrari Brut

Forget what the stars will be wearing at the 68th annual Emmy Awards, it’s all about what the stars will be drinking!

And they’ll be drinking one of my favorites: Ferrari Brut.

The sparkling wine from the Trentodoc appellation in northern Italy is the Official Sparkling Wine of the Emmys.

Ferrari Emmy AwardFerrari Brut is your go-to sparkling wine when you want to try something beyond France. It gets its bubbles via the traditional method just like Champagne, and is made from Chardonnay (one of the three grapes allowed in Champagne).

But you don’t need to compare it to Champagne. Ferrari Brut — and the other sparkling wines produced by the Trentino winery — stands out on its own. It is always winning awards, and was just named the “World Champion Blanc de Blancs” at the Champagne & Sparkling Wine World Championships.

Ferrari was founded in 1902 by Giulio Ferrari (no relation to the car company, which wasn’t founded until much later). Giulio did not have children, so he entrusted the winery to Bruno Lunelli in 1952. The Lunelli family still owns and operates Ferrari today.

Ferrari suggests making your Emmy party more exciting by asking guests ahead of time to guess who will win each category. Click here for a PDF of the official ballot.

No champagne flutes? No problem! Ferrari suggests enjoying the Brut in a standard wine glass as it showcases the bubbles and aromas even more.

Tweet how you’ll be toasting with Ferrari Brut @FerrariTrento with hashtags #ToastFerrari and #Emmys.

The 68th annual Emmy Awards air live Sunday, September 18th starting at 7pm Eastern on ABC.

For more information on the sparkling wines from Ferrari visit www.ferraritrento.it.

image courtesy Ferrari

Cobb Restaurant Week 2016, September 17 – 24

Cobb Restaurant WeekMake your reservations for Cobb Restaurant Week. During the 8th annual event participating restaurants in Cobb County will be offering prix fixe menus for $15, $25 or $35 per person, plus tax and gratuity.

Cobb Restaurant Week runs from Saturday, September 17th through Saturday, September 24th.

Click here to see a list of participating restaurants and their menus.

Highball

Highball: High Museum’s New Boozy Benefit

The art of mixology will be on display next February at a new fundraiser for the High Museum of Art.

Introducing Highball, the museum’s first craft cocktail competition. On February 18, 2017, twelve of Atlanta’s top mixologists will shake, stir and serve an original cocktail, with guests getting to sample each and vote on their favorite. There will also be light bites from Sterling Spoon catering and music from DJ Teknology.

Here are the participating mixologists:

Jeff Banks, Brush Sushi Izakaya
Donna Bogatin, Sipology
Greta Buccellato, 5Church Atlanta
Blake Carter, Sweet Auburn BBQ
David Chapman, Kimball House
Bobby Dudley, The S.O.S. Tiki Bar
Joseph Haywood, Bar Margot (Four Seasons Hotel Atlanta)
Brent Hesse, 1KEPT
Carmaleita Lyght, Lyght House Cocktails
Jose Pereiro, Drift Fish House & Oyster Bar
Corey Phillips, Bellina Alimentari
Trip Sandifer, The Painted Pin (Buckhead)
Jessica Smith, Urban Tree Cidery
Ryan Smith, Reboot Retrocade & Bar
Jonathan Turner, Grain Spirits + Food
Ben Yabrow, Himitsu

At the event there will be a “People’s Choice” winner, decided by the guests, and a “Critic’s Choice” decided by a local expert based on appearance, taste, complexity, balance and originality. In addition to bragging rights, the winning mixologist will receive a cash prize.

Single tickets to Highball are $100 for museum members and $125 for not-yet members. Benefactor packages start at $500. All proceeds will benefit the High Museum of Art. The event is 21 and up.

Click here for more information and to purchase tickets.

Highball is an aperitif to the museum’s main fundraiser (and one of my favorite events), the 25th annual High Museum Wine Auction, to be held March 22 to 25, 2017.

Highball at the High Museum of Art, Saturday, February 18, 2017.
General admission at 7:30pm, benefactor preview hour at 6:30pm.

Margaretta Taylor Lobby, Wieland Pavilion, 1280 Peachtree St. NE, Atlanta, 30309. www.high.org

image courtesy High Museum of Art

Jeffrey Fashion Cares

Fashion for a Cause: Jeffrey Fashion Cares 2016

Atlanta’s most fashionable gathered at Phipps Plaza Monday night for Jeffrey Fashion Cares. Founded by fashion guru Jeffrey Kalinsky, the 24th annual event is one of the largest combined AIDS and breast cancer benefits in the country. One hundred percent of net proceeds benefit the Atlanta AIDS Fund and Susan G. Komen of Greater Atlanta.

Cucumber Pink Mule cocktail
Cucumber Pink Mule cocktail

The fete kicked off with a cocktail hour. While perusing the silent auction items guests sipped on drinks including a Tropical Tiki Mojito, Spicy Margarita and a Cucumber Pink Mule, made with Svedka Cucumber Lime Vodka, LiDestri Pink Limoncello, and Ginger Beer Syrup and Baltimore Bitters from local favorite 18.21 Bitters.

Once guests took their seats along the runway in the transformed Monarch Court, event chairs Lila Hertz, Jeffrey McQuithy and Louise Sams gave a brief introduction. A live auction offered guests the chance to bid on fabulous trips, experiences and jewelry.

Jeffrey Fashion Cares

Then it was on to the main event. Models showed off the latest looks from Celine, Balenciaga, Chloe, Givenchy, Gucci and beyond.

Major fashion envy ensued. My closet simply won’t be complete without the fab purple pants from Dries Van Noten and gorgeous geometric print dress from Haider Ackerman.

The final walk at Jeffrey Fashion Cares 2016
The final walk at Jeffrey Fashion Cares 2016. I’ll take one of everything, thanks!

Last year’s sold-out Jeffrey Fashion Cares raised $700,000 for the Atlanta AIDS Fund and Susan G. Komen of Greater Atlanta.

Jeffrey Kalinsky is the founder and president of the Jeffrey boutique chain, with locations in New York City and Atlanta’s Phipps Plaza.

For more information visit jeffreyfashioncares.com.

Dine at Moe’s in June to Support Bert’s Big Adventure

Wednesday’s welcome at Moe’s Southwest Grill will be more magical this June. The 70 plus metro Atlanta locations of the fast-casual southwestern restaurant will be supporting Bert’s Big Adventure.

click to enlarge
click to enlarge

On the first four Wednesdays in June — June 1st, 8th, 15th and 22nd — Moe’s restaurants will be donating 10% of net sales to the nonprofit organization that provides all-expenses-paid trips to Walt Disney World for children with chronic and terminal illnesses and their families.

To find a Moe’s near you click here.

Bert’s Big Adventure is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that was established in 2002 by Bert Weiss, morning radio show host for the nationally syndicated The Bert Show. For more information visit bertsbigadventure.org.

>> Connect:
#Moes4BBA

Bert’s Big Adventure:
Facebook: Bert’sBigAdventure
Twitter: @bertsbigadv
Instagram: @bertsbigadv

Moe’s:
Facebook: Moe’sSouthwestGrill
Twitter: @Moes_HQ
Instagram: @moessouthwestgrill