Houston Snapshots

Houston Symphony Wine Dinner and Collectors Auction Went From Cellar to Stage-Again!

Event Date:  May 13, 2022
Location:  On-Stage at Jones Hall
Event:  Gala
No. of Attendees:  350
Money Raised:  $650,000
Beneficiary:  Houston Symphony
Chairpersons: Joan and Robert Duff
Dinner Wine Pairings:  John Rydman, President of Spec’s Wines, Spirits and Finer Foods
Wine Auction Committee Chair:  Bob Weiner
Décor & Florals:  The Events Company
Cuisine:  City Kitchen
Photography:  Priscilla Dickson

Houston Symphony Wine Dinner and Collectors Auction Went From Cellar to Stage-Again!

Friday the 13th normally gives one pause for thought, sometimes with a sense of foreboding. This was certainly not the case for the Houston Symphony Wine Dinner and Collectors Auction, held recently on-stage at Jones Hall for the 21st time. The 350 black-tie and ballgown-clad guests were enthralled as a four-course dinner was served, with each course carefully paired with amazing wines by Houston Symphony Society President John Rydman, president and owner of Spec’s Wines, Spirits & Finer Foods.

Chairpersons Joan and Robert Duff were ecstatic as attendees arrived on the red carpet in their formal finery and were further elated as the evening progressed. They graciously welcomed those who attended and stopped by every table to thank everyone for being a part of such a glorious evening. Through their efforts, as well as from the efforts of the sponsors, committees, supporters, volunteers, and staff, the Houston Symphony’s coffer is $650,000 richer.

Prior to the seated dinner, guests were greeted with wine and champagne, which they sipped while viewing (on two levels) the multitude of rare and exceptional wines, popular vintages, spirits, and wine-related experiences, specially assembled by Auction Committee Chair and erudite oenophile Bob Weiner, who has served in this position for the past twelve years. One of the most sought-after auction items was a raffle prize of 12 bottles of 100-point wine, rated as such by Wine Advocate’s Robert Parker.

As the dinner bell chimed, guests were guided through the Green Room—past security—and guided onto the stage, where Richard Flowers and The Events Company had decorated the entire room in metallic colors of pewter, copper, silver and black linens. Atop the shimmering tables, sat large and small floral arrangements in varying spring shades of orange and pink roses, purple hydrangeas and stock. At the rear of the stage, a floor-to-ceiling hand-painted monochromatic drawing of Symphony musicians set the dramatic tone for the evening’s festivities.

City Kitchen was the caterer of choice for this celebrated dining experience. During the reception, the passed hors d’oeuvres highlight was the Beef Short Rib Croquettes with Bernaise. The first course was Melon Ball Gazpacho with Jumbo Lump Crab, paired with Clos Marsalette Sauvignon Blanc 2017. Presented for the Entrée Course were Porcini Crusted Medallions of Beef Tenderloin, Armagnac Glace, Saffron Celeriac Puree and Haricots Verts Heirloom Cauliflower, which was paired with San Felice Campogiovani Brunello di Montalcino 2016 and Chateau Haut Bailly 2011. The third course featured cheeses by Cowgirl Creamery MT Tam, PT Reeves Blue, Cypress Groves Lamb Chopper, PT Reyes Toma, Fig and Armagnac Compote, Artisan Breads, Crackers and Marcona Almonds, paired with Brandy Madiera Five-Year-Old Bual. The dessert course was a chocoholic’s dream come true:  Chocolate Panna Cotta, Chocolate Genoise, Espresso Gelee, Dark Chocolate Gelato with Kahlua Crème Anglaise and Whipped Mascarpone; Garnishes with Chocolate Cigar, paired with Red Leaf Cabernet Franc Ice Wine 2019. A triumph for this renowned catering company and for Houston Symphony as well!

 Socially present (not previously mentioned):  Houston Symphony CEO John Mangum, Lindy and John Rydman, Hallie Vanderhider, Fady Armanious, Ann and Jonathan Ayre, Betty and Jesse Tutor, Carey Kirkpatrick, Gretchen and Jay Watkins, Bobbie Nau, Janet Clark, Leslie Siller, Lisa and Eric Lindsey, Lydia Gold, Quentin Smith, Sippi and Ajay Khurana, Valerie and Tracy Dieterich, Vicki West and Ralph Burch, Elizabeth and Alan Stein, Elia Gabinelli, Farida Abjani, Robert Sakowitz, Franelle Rogers, Ellie Francisco, Tammie and Charles Johnson, Carrie and Sverre Brandsberg-Dahl, William Dee and Lea Hunt, Eric Brueggeman, Cynthia Wolff, Beth Wolff, Cheryl Byington, Jacqueline Baly Craig and James Craig, Kimberly and James Bell, Sylvia Forsythe, Scott Evans, Helen and Jim Shaffer and Diane Roederer

Restaurant Poll Img

Stay Connected

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This