A dear friend needed some wine for a reception.
I had been waiting for this day since I started bottling wine. Matt
Tyrnauer and I had been friends for 20 years (in fact, he was a
student in my first teaching assignment, at Crossroads school in
my first year out of college). He had helped me with excellent advice
as I have been trying to understand how to create and sustain a
brand. A commercial question and not in any way less interesting
for being so; a question of survival or at least prosperity too.
I was delighted that someone who had helped me was now in a position
where some of my wine could help him.
I volunteered to supply wine to all of the receptions that would
occur in conjunction with the openings of Matt's movie, Valentino:
the Last Emperor. He and I agreed on this just before its grand
opening in the US, at the Miami Film Festival. At that time, he
thought that the movie might open in 3 more cities, maybe 4. I am
happy to say that while I have provided wine only in New York, Los
Angeles, San Francisco, and Miami-- the movie has opened in a dozen
or two more cities and opens in new ones every week. The movie is
an unprecedented success and it has been an honor for my wines to
be present at a few of the occassions which have celebrated it.
At the gala for which I have reproduced the menu below, the story
goes that Valentino, at the head table, reached across the table
to shake the hand of a devoted fan (and philanthropist). In his
excitement, he spilled a glass of wine on the guest seated at his
left. In this way, Anne Hathaway came to wear Gardens of Babylon
on her Valentino gown and had the maestro sign the gown itself to
commemorate his creation and vinous baptism of it.
I would love a photo of this event, but have not been able to find
one. Perhaps Valentino and Hathaway's grasp of representation is more powerful