Feelin’ Bubbly

Missives from the Jet Set

What a Corker!

(Left: Daniel Bruce welcoming guests to the Boston Wine Festival; Right: Gary Tummings, Daniel Bruce and Howie Rubin at the Boston Wine Festival’s opening night)

As Benjamin Franklin once said, “Wine is sure proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy,” so, before our livers could even recover from the holidays, the Boston Harbor Hotel held the opening night party for the 27th annual Boston Wine Festival.

Hosted by chef Daniel Bruce, the VIP Champagne reception took place at Meritage and attracted the likes of news anchor extraordinaire Kelley Tuthill and her handsome other half, Brendan, rock scribe Jim Sullivan and the swanlike Roza Yarchun, fashion avatar Cheryl Fenton and her brilliant husband, Keith McPherson, diminutive TV reporter Janet Wu (who was dwarfed by a Nebuchadnezzar of Châteauneuf-du-Pape), redheaded radio legend Mike Macklin, professional foodie Chris Haynes, do-gooder Jackie Bisbee, pixieish PR cutie Jess Alario and one person who said to the bartender pouring Champagne, “I don’t need a fresh glass. My carbon footprint is already bad enough.”

Once the bubbly slowed to a trickle, guests made their way to the Wharf Room, where they joined roughly 400 others in sipping and supping on delicacies like saffron- and Champagne-steamed clams and Maine lobsters, slow-roasted venison loin with chestnuts, cauliflower and black raisins and grilled O¯ra King salmon with riesling and celery root puree while listening to Rich DiMare croon Sinatra tunes.

“Frankly, I wouldn’t know a Bordeaux from a Burgundy,” confessed one guest, to which his friend responded, “Well, then, the wine I served you last week was Domaine Romanée-Conti. Remember that.”

However, the funniest exchange came when a waiter proffered a tray of red wine and said, “Frog’s Leap merlot?” To which the befuddled guest said, “They do?”

Best of All: No One Shushed Me!

(Top Right: Candlewick’s mascot mingling with librarians, staff, authors and illustrators at the Candlewick Press reception; Top Middle: Karen Lotz and Matt Tavares at the Candlewick Press reception; Top Left: Karen Lotz addressing partygoers at the Candlewick Press reception; Bottom Left: Cathryn Mercier and Gregory Maguire at the Candlewick Press reception; Bottom Middle: Sherry Fatla and Timothy Basil Ering at the Candlewick Press reception; Bottom Right: Lindsay Eagar, David Elliott and Kaylan Adair at the Candlewick Press reception)

Who knew librarians were such a rowdy bunch? Approximately 10,000 of them descended on the city for the American Library Association’s Midwinter Meeting, and the hardest-partying among them attended the reception held by Candlewick Press at Fenway Park’s EMC Club.

In addition to a man dressed as a bear (the company’s mascot), the evening attracted such bookworms as authors Gregory Maguire, Lindsay Eagar, David Elliott, Matt Tavares and Timothy Basil Ering, Candlewick head honcha Karen Lotz, art director Sherry Fatla, editor Kaylan Adair, Simmons professor Cathryn Mercier, and one group of out-of-towners who were crestfallen to find the chafing dish marked Fenway Franks empty, but perked up when they were informed that it had yet to be filled with the spécialité de la maison.

While no one in the highly intellectual crowd made the faux pas of referring to the venue as the “E=MC2 Club,” there were an inordinate number of men named Gareth and plenty of witty persiflage along the lines of “It’s a wonderful relationship. We only see each other twice a year.”

But the best exchange, overheard at the bar, was when someone said, “When you stop to think about it, Candlewick Press would be a really good name for a character in a children’s book,” to which her slightly overserved friend said, “Or a drag queen.”

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