Shindigger was sitting next to publicist Miriam Silverberg in the front section of Midtown’s Destino early last week. “Most people eat to live,” she proclaimed, taking a stab at one of the joint’s prized meatballs, “but I live to eat!” Owner Anthony Curko scurried by to refill our glass of Piemonte Barbera just then, and we thought: if Ms. Silverberg lives to eat, then we must live to drink!
It all started with the introduction of a premium sparkling French wine cocktail, Pampelonne Rosé Lime, at the Dream Downtown on Monday. One day later, Shindigger was toasting Chardonnay Day with Constellation’s Clos du Bois label at The Frying Pan, where winos played cornhole alongside newlywed actress Katrina Bowden.
One ace, apparently not showing his festive colors that evening, was actor Penn Badgley.
“He’s so skinny,” whispered a nearby Condé Nast editor. “I heard that they offered him one of the [Chardonnay-infused] slushies and he said, ‘Ew! I would never drink that.’”
Unverified rumors aside, Shindigger guzzled two of the delicious Kelvin Slush Truck libations in spite of the purportedly grumpy Mr. Badgley, who sat at a nearby wrought-iron table, looking seriously aloof.
We then made the rounds, sampling the North Coast Chardonnay, Sonoma Reserve Chardonnay and Calcaire Chardonnay. Before long, we couldn’t tell if it was the NC Lightship that was swaying or our own slush-filled body. Either way, it was time to abandon ship!
Next we headed back to the Dream Downtown for Chandon’s celebration of its limited-edition summer bottle and design collaboration with Trina Turk.
“I’m a little warm,” Ms. Turk said of the 80-degree weather. “I changed my wardrobe plan for the evening by going to the Trina Turk store in Meatpacking. My original plan was not gonna work tonight.”
“What was your favorite drink here?” we asked the designer, who was still a little hot under the collar.
“A sparkling wine cocktail. It was elderflower? Elderberry? Elder-something—it’s that St. Germain,” she said. Ms. Turk also told us that she was gearing up for even more heat over the Memorial Day Weekend.
“I’m going to go to Palm Springs. There’s no humidity!” she said with a toothy grin. “I’m flying back to L.A. Thursday night.”
In need of a refill, a publicist suddenly pointed us toward one of the evening’s signature poisons, a Chandon Cabana Boy cocktail.
The party was in full swing, with Hannah Bronfman on the turntables. We approached her.
“How are you coping with this early heat?” we wanted to know.
“There’s not much to do, besides put your hair up and put on some mad lipstick—I dunno,” she said.
“Well, we are drinking chilled beverages,” we told her. “What would go into your ideal summer drink?”
“I’d put in some mint, maybe some basil and a bit of citrus to cut the bite,” she purred.
“Are you going to be up to anything fun for the holiday?”
“I’m going out east,” she divulged. “I’m going to deejay Surf Lodge and Ruschmeyer’s.”
Her chanson du jour?
“Haim!” she exclaimed. “Their song ‘Falling’—it’s so good!”
We concluded our weeklong oenophilic escapades at an intimate press dinner at Chelsea’s farm-to-table eatery, Alison Eighteen.
“So you have a new chef?” we questioned restaurateur Alison Price Becker. “What is exciting for you about that?”
“Everything! Her energy, her flavor palate, where she wants to go, what she loves to do,” Ms. Price Becker enthused about executive chef Roxanne Spruance.
We took another swig of our dessert wine, Domaine les Grandes Vignes Coteaux du Layon 2006. It was sublimely rich with an apricot parfum.
“She thinks about food the way I do, so there’s an unbelievable dialogue,” Ms. Price Becker continued. “Food is fun, and she gets that. We speak the same language.”
Shindigger wondered if we spoke the language as well. We had, after all, relished the restaurant’s choice of Cassis Blanc Clos Saint Magdeleine 2009, which was served with a roasted carrot salad.
“I don’t know if you used a sommelier, but your wine selection has our heart aflutter,” we said, inquiring about a barrel to go.
“I get all my grapes mixed up,” Ms. Price Becker confessed with a wink. “I nearly flunked chemistry! I can never remember the percentages of the blends.”
What Ms. Price Becker does know is what pairs well with the establishment’s food.
“What I also believe about wine is that, ultimately, if it doesn’t taste good to you, guess what? You don’t have to drink what someone else thinks is good wine. Who cares?” she said.
Changing gears, Shindigger informed Ms. Price Becker that we had arrived a bit late to her tasting because we had come from the Spirit of Helen Keller Gala, where former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had received an award.
“You didn’t! Why didn’t you bring her?” was her excited response.
“What wine would you serve her?” Shindigger wanted to know.
“Oh, interesting,” she began, before taking a pause. “Hillary, not Bill, right?”
“Correct. No Bill.”
“From these wines, I would sell Hillary the Cassis Blanc,” she said.
“Because she would get it. Because it’s a wine that has, like, a little bit of a hidden sexuality to it,” she elaborated. “She’s got a sense of humor. She’s really strong, but with a twist.”
We didn’t dare ask what she’d serve to Bill!