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WINE & DINE Get your bidding paddles ready. For the 19th consecutive year, the High Museum Atlanta Wine Auction will serve as the institution’s largest annual fundraiser, and the premier charity wine auction in the U.S. benefiting the arts. Held Wednesday, March 23 through Saturday, March 26 amid the white tents at Atlantic Station, this year’s must-see spectacular—aptly dubbed “The Ultimate Collection”—will include a vintner’s reception, live auction, a fashionable Friday fête and dinners with a covetable cadre of winemakers from around the world, all benefiting the museum’s exhibitions and educational initiatives. Tickets, (404) 733-5335 or firstname.lastname@example.org; atlanta-wineauction.org
|Calling upon a gilded age of entertaining, the door to Jennifer Boles’ kitchen—outfitted in a chic nailhead design with Moore & Giles leather—and well-stocked rolling bar cart set the scene for a sophisticated cocktail hour.||+ “Sometimes, you’re having such fun with your guests that no one wants to leave. Don’t panic if you feel that you should serve an impromptu meal. Keep a few Trader Joe’s French flatbread pizzas in your freezer for these occasions; seriously, the gruyère, caramelized onion and ham version tastes gourmet. All you have to do is heat them, toss a quick salad and dinner is served.” –Jennifer Boles, ThePeakofChic.com|
+ Martha Washington enjoyed daily toddys. In the 1790s, “happy hour” began at 3 p.m. and cocktails continued until dinner.
In December, The Brick Store Pub in Decatur unveiled its upstairs vintage beer cellar, a collection of 500 limited-edition, seasonally exclusive and vintage beers—some 17,000 bottles—for its most dedicated connoisseurs. Patrons can even indulge in a “vertical tasting” which entails trying several years’ of beers in chronological succession. 125 East Court Sq., Decatur 30030. (404) 687-0990; brickstorepub.com
BACK TO BASICS Like the award-winning restaurant itself, Miller Union’s bar keeps its offerings seasonal and fresh. Herb-infused simple syrups and fresh-fruit grenadines make the pared-down drinks—featuring four ingredients or less—an uplifting alternative to complicated cocktails. 999 Brady Ave., Atlanta 30318. (678) 733-8550; millerunion.com
METICULOUSLY MIXED Though it has the requisite roster of signature sips, Restaurant Eugene’s libations list details more single spirits than cocktails. Emphasizing quality over novelty, its master mixologists would rather concoct something scrumptious according to your whims. 2277 Peachtree Rd. NE, Atlanta 30309. (404) 355-0321; restauranteugene.com
4... The number of Bloody Marys that Empire State South offers on its “Hooch” cocktail menu. Besides the classic version, creative alternatives include the light-and-bright Borscht, the savory Bloody Caesar and the complex Gazpacho. 999 Peachtree St., Atlanta 30309. (404) 541-1105; empirestatesouth.com
|ON ICE Square, crescent-shaped, shaved—all ice is not created equal. Theron Gunter, Executive Director of Guy T. Gunter & Associates, a local purveyor of appliances since 1952, shares his thoughts on five ice makers created especially for residential use and the cubes they produce.
U-Line “U-Line machines make cubes—1½ inches square—that feature a dimple in the tops.” u-line.com Scotsman “This produces cubes about the size of a small American shot glass. This ice is best for mixed and liquor drinks; because of its size, it melts more slowly than other cubes.” scotsman-ice.com Whirlpool “This is more of a chip ice; its cubes run approximately ¼ x 1 inch. It’s best for those who like to chew on ice or used for water and soft drinks. This ice is also found in KitchenAid and Jenn-Air ice makers.” whirlpool.com
Sub-Zero “These cubes are similar to those of the Scotsman, but have a hexagonal shape. Again, they’re perfect for mixed and liquor drinks.” subzero.com Manitowoc “This company has come out with a flaker ice maker for the home that creates ice similar to the shaved ice found in snow cones.” manitowocice.com
Guy T. Gunter & Associates, 1620 Southland Cir., Atlanta 30318. (404) 874-7529; guytgunterappliances.com
Local Three’s bar menu is defined by the depth and breadth of its “brown liquor” program, particularly the bourbon selection, which may just be the strongest in the city. Settle in at the cozy bar to sample a creative three-pronged “flight” of these spirits, or try the house drink, Muddy Waters, for a fizzy mix of Maker’s and house-made ginger ale. 3290 Northside Pkwy., Suite 120, Atlanta 30327. (404) 968-2700; localthree.com
+ During the reign of William III, a garden fountain was once used as a giant punch bowl. The recipe included 560 gallons of brandy; 1,200 pounds of sugar; 25,000 lemons; 20 gallons of lime juice and five pounds of nutmeg. The bartender rowed around in a small boat, filling up guests’ punch cups.
From the desk of Naomi von Habersham
There was a time when yours truly thought the height of sophistication was serving Riunite on ice. (Well, it was more sophisticated than the hooch consumed during my youth in Montezuma, Georgia!) Thankfully, Mr. von Habersham cured me of the habit by introducing me to that Rothschild wine. You know, Chateau Lafite? I don’t think there’ll be any of that at this month’s High Museum Atlanta Wine Auction, but I do know that some of Atlanta’s most fabulous oenophiles and tipplers will be there sampling the vino and raising those paddles at the live auction. Talk about a guilt-free hangover—the auction benefits the High Museum of Art.
And speaking of the Wine Auction, I hear that a handful of generous patrons will be hosting Winemaker Dinners in their very own homes. These aren’t just any old houses, mind you. We’re talking manses decorated by the “Who’s Who” of Atlanta design. I thought about offering up my place, but it’s temporarily out of order thanks to an endless redo by a certain hot Buckhead designer. (You know who you are!)
Although it’s late January as I write this dispatch from Aspen, I know where I’ll be on February 24. That’s the day Carolyne Roehm will grace the Ainsworth-Noah showroom at ADAC to discuss her new book, A Passion for Interiors. I better be careful, though. The last time I visited Hal and Winton’s showroom, my designer and I bought enough furniture, fabric and antiques to fill two containers bound for my Argentinian estancia. Fortunately, my tall, dark and handsome polo-playing paramour didn’t seem to mind. He just loved what I did in the bedroom with all of that Nancy Corzine fabric. (Wouldn’t you like to know!)
I guess you could say that this past winter was good to me. Too good. I’ve gained ten pounds, and none of my fabulous Phoebe Philo pants from Céline fit anymore. I’ve just got to stop dropping by Eataly every time I’m in New York. Damn that Mario Batali! And the Bill Blass meatloaf that I served my guests up in Highlands earlier this month didn’t help my waistline either. Perhaps I should take up ballet á la Black Swan. Then again, maybe I’ll stick to Gyrotonics at Core.
The social season is here—and I say bring it on! The spring clothes, that is. I saw some of you Atlanta gals at Paris Fashion Week, which means that I better get my wardrobe whipped into shape. I’m thinking of wearing Oscar or Carolina to next month’s Swan House Ball—always safe choices. Or maybe that black embellished Lanvin gown that looks so soigné on me. I mean, if those darlings Lovette Russell and Jack Sawyer are chairing the thing, you can’t just show up in any ol’ frock! (Editors’ note: Ms. von Habersham’s writings will appear from time to time when she has something to say, which we think will be often. Look for her future communiques in the magazine and on our website, atlantahomesmag.com.
Atlanta’s delivery-only dessert boutique Cocktail Cupcakes serves up sugary, alcohol-infused concoctions such as the mini Ciroc Honey Berry, Baileys Irish Cream and Sweet Champagne cakes. Spirits-free options are also on the menu. (404) 941-8594; cocktailcupcakes.net
+ Bourbon is the official spirit of the United States, by a 1964 act of Congress. Only whiskey produced in the U.S. can legally be called bourbon, and the spirit must be aged in new, charred oak barrels.
Bar Basics—and Beyond “The perfect at-home bar should be inviting and attractive,” says Tony Conway, the CEO and owner of A Legendary Event, one of the city’s premier special events companies. “Besides wine and spirits, make sure you have a martini shaker, cocktails glasses, Champagne flutes, wine glasses and martini glasses (I keep a couple in the freezer at all times). And I always suggest that you keep a supply of cocktail napkins on hand—linen are best!
Conway’s Essentials: Vodka • Gin • Light rum • Scotch • Bourbon • Canadian whiskey • Dry vermouth • Campari • White wine • Red wine • Champagne • Club soda • Tonic • Coca-Cola • Sprite or ginger ale • Lemons, limes and large cocktail olives.
Conway suggests keeping an extra bottle of vodka in the freezer and advises against keeping Champagne in the refrigerator, as it will cause it to lose some of its body. “It only takes 20 minutes to chill Champagne with an ice bath,” he says. “Finally, it is always great to have little munchies for those late-night cocktails or that occasional friend who drops by.”
Conway’s suggestions: Hard and soft salami and sausages • Carr’s crackers • Artichoke dip or any spread from Bella Cucina • Hard cheeses • Shelled pistachios and cashews.
And never one to forget the smallest of details, Conway offers up this final tidbit. “I love to keep bottles of beautiful Champagne or wine on hand with non-descript wine bags to have as departing gifts for my guests!” alegendaryevent.com
THE NEXT BIG THING The Old Fourth Ward’s highly hip The Sound Table is engaging the punch revolution with a convivial new concept. Call ahead with your favorite ingredients and the staff will craft a bespoke concoction to sip and share at your special occasion. 483 Edgewood Ave. SE, Atlanta 30312. (404) 835-2534; thesoundtable.com
Fresh & French For her eponymous Westside Provisions District shop, Perrine Prieur “had everything in mind, right down to the concrete countertops and the burlap at the windows, and White Provision helped me build it out,” says the former sommelier at JOËL Brasserie. Indeed, the new boutique shop reflects Prieur’s lifelong vision to share her French Provincial-inspired concept with all. In addition to some 350 wines, the shop carries all manner of artisanal cheeses and meats, oils, chocolates and coffees, perfect for pairing with her expertly selected wines. What’s more, she offers weekly wine tastings and educational classes, all of which take place at the shop’s centrally located focal point—a 14-foot communal table. Perrine’s Wine Shop, 1168 Howell Mill Rd., Atlanta 30318. (404) 254-5077; perrineswine.com –Heather J. Paper
|▲ You'll love the user-friendly shopping and tasting experience at Perrine's, a new Westside wine retailer recently opened by a wunderkind sommelier of JOËL Brasserie fame.|
Sensationally Chic Encompassing Old World and New World wines, as well as an impressive collection of Champagnes and sparkling wines, the inventory at pH Wine Merchant—under the direction of proprietors Patrick Shippey and Anthony Yambor—runs the gamut from the familiar to the obscure. But it’s more than the variety of wines that make this place special. Upon entering the front door, you’re met by an iPad podium where you can browse the likes of Robert Parker, Wine Spectator and Burghound. Straight ahead are zinc countertops like those found in the original French wine bars. And around the corner? A dazzling tasting room, where designer Amy D. Morris has made her most indelible mark, and where wine consultant Maggie Meroney leads classes as well as guided tastings. 200 Peachtree Hills Ave. NE, Atlanta 30305. (404) 949-0702; pHwinemerchant.com –H.J.P.
|▲ Inspired by the rich colors of wine, designer Amy D. Morris created a graphic wall display and velvety-luxe tasting room for her proprietor friends at their super-stylish—and technologically advanced—new pH Wine Merchant.|
|Taster’s Pace The philosophy at Pour Wine Market and Tasting Room is simple, really. Co-owners Johnny McCall and Parke Lammerts want customers to “try before they buy.” That’s why this Brookhaven spot features an Old World-style market on one side and a sit-down tasting room on the other. Pour specializes in affordable wines, predominantly priced within the $12 to $25 range, but also stocks craft beers. And if the affordable aspect weren’t enough to keep customers coming back, the atmosphere is just as appealing; Lauren Davenport of Davenport Designs Ltd. worked with the owners to create a rustic chic ambience, with recycled barnboard siding setting the tone. 1418 Dresden Dr., Atlanta 30319. (404) 474-9563; pourwinemarket.com –H.J.P.|
|The rustic-chic digs of Pour Wine Market in Brookhaven beguiles buyers with diverse and well-priced bottles of vino (plus craft beers) that they can sample before they purchase.|
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Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles' unmatched homes coverage offers entrée into the city’s most inspiring residences. The magazine is also a champion of supporting local food traditions and regional cuisine created by the city’s finest chefs and food artisans. It is a definitive guide to Atlanta’s most exquisite homes and gardens, top design professionals, premier shops and showrooms, award-winning restaurants and cultural events.