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A Tipsy Wine Launch Party

May 31, 2001, 12:00 AM EDT

Beringer Blass Wine Estates wine launch party Vine Thursday, 05.24.01, 5:30 PM onward
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Beringer Blass Wine Estates knows how to treat its distributors. For the launch of the new Stone Cellars by Beringer table wine, the winemaker threw a party for New York and New Jersey distributors from the Opici Wine Group at Vine near Wall Street. And judging from the several tipsy partygoers who stumbled through the faux stone arches on the way to the restroom, not only was the wine good, but the combination of gourmet food, a live band and the promise of safe transportation home made most partygoers very happy--always the sign of a successful party.

Beringer chose an appropriate space for the event: Vine sits in the former headquarters of PaineWebber, and houses an old bank vault in the basement level of the restaurant, where Beringer held a wine demonstration. The wine cellar theme was further extended with several crates of Beringer wine on display inside the restaurant's wine vault. And to match the Stone Cellars name, the Bugs Moran Entertainment Group played songs with “stone” lyrics (as in, “Everybody must get stoned").

For decor, the rest of the basement space was decorated with richly-colored centerpieces of roses, peonies, lilac and lisianthus by Leslie Palme Design. Signs of Success cut gobo stencils to shine through some of the acrylic-paneled light boxes that decorate the vault's walls.

Vine head chef Ariane Duarte served up a delectable array of hors d'oeuvres, including lobster mango brochettes with thai cilantro vinaigrette; lobster and vegetable spring rolls; and chili rubbed lamb chops with mole sauce. The buffet-style dinner included beef tenderloin with bearnaise sauce, Peking duck wraps, herb-encrusted swordfish (the favorite of the night) and a variety of sushi displayed with a honeydew melon carved in the shape of a swan filled with pink ginger. And of course, Beringer wine flowed all night.

--Suzanne Ito

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