Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

On the town

Wine Weekend St. Pete draws a generous crowd for museum

Wine Weekend St. Pete committee member Glenn Mosby, left, and committee chair Dimity Carlson at the dinner and auction on Feb. 8.

Photo by James Branaman

Wine Weekend St. Pete committee member Glenn Mosby, left, and committee chair Dimity Carlson at the dinner and auction on Feb. 8.

The final figures are not yet tallied, but Wine Weekend St. Pete looks to have been a huge success in terms of fundraising for the Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg. Guests were gaga over the decor in the museum's Marly Room on Feb. 7 when patrons, sponsors and other VIPs gathered for a black-tie dinner presented by chef Tyson Grant and the staff at Parkshore Grill.

Dimity Carlson led the event committee, which had nearly 50 members from the presenting Margaret Acheson Stuart Society and help from the museum staff as well.

Action moved to the Vinoy Renaissance St. Petersburg Resort on Feb. 8 for a gala wine dinner and auction, where nearly 250 participants bid thousands of dollars for luxury lots of wine, travel, jewelry and private dinners.

Art lovers started with a silent auction that offered bidding by smartphone on rare wines, dinners, sapphire jewelry and glass by Baccarat, Waterford and St. Petersburg's own Duncan McClellan.

More than 40 wine lots in the silent auction were donated from the cellars of local collectors and friends of the museum. A single bottle of 1973 Mouton Rothschild with a Picasso label, given by Lynn Bulleit, fetched $600. Six bottles of the sought-after pinot noir from Williams Selyem of Sonoma given by Chris and Bob Hilton went for $480, $100 over estimates.

The biggest wine price tags were $750 for six bottles of 2011 Chateauneuf-du Pape from Beaucastel and two magnums of 2010 Carte Blanche donated by vintner Nicholas Allen, the star vintner and guest of honor of this year's event.

He had much more to give, as both a visiting vintner and local hero. His family owns the fabled Chateau Haut-Brion in Bordeaux, and Allen has started an impressive label in Napa. He divides his time between California and Florida, where he lives with his wife, Teil, a Tampa native.

More of Allen's Carte Blanche was poured during dinner from chef Mark Heimann, and many more bottles from his personal collection came out in the live auction.

Prompted by volunteer auctioneers Jeffrey Burchard in black tie, Thomas DuPont in a signature suit of pop-art zigzags and Liz Flower in sparkling sequins, bidders raised their paddles high, offering as much as $20,000 for various combinations of wine, travel and stays. The most expensive was a single bottle of 1995 Chateau Petrus, the legendary merlot, which brought $2,100.

Previous guest vintners, Jean-Charles Boisset, St. Petersburg native Fred Schrader, the Staglin Family Vineyards and Domaine Serene also donated items to the 2014 auction. For the future, the museum gained new winery friends at Relic Wine Cellars, Keplinger Wines and Lachini Vineyards who were honored along with Allen.

Helen Keplinger said she was charmed by St. Petersburg and the museum: "It's so warm and welcoming and intimate. I haven't had enough time to see everything.''

It was a night of wine, art and generosity in all directions. That included individual contributions from $100 to $3,000 to the museum's children's programs that bought nothing more than a chance at random single bottles of wine.

A big cheer arose when one of those bottles went to Bud Risser, who had just given away more than two dozen fine bottles of his own for the good of the museum.

On Feb. 9, there was a jovial gathering for a Jazz Brunch by Olympia Catering in the museum's glass Conservatory, and automobile aficionados crowded around the entries in the duPont Registry Concours d'Elegance.

The 40 donors who participated in the Feb. 1 "Grape Escape" nibbled on hors d'oeuvres in a private home before being delivered by limousine to surprise destinations for wine pairings and dinner.

One of the most ambitious fundraising projects in the Tampa Bay area, the benefit should prove to be another boost for the museum.

Times correspondent Chris Sherman contributed to this report.

Wine Weekend St. Pete draws a generous crowd for museum 02/14/14 [Last modified: Friday, February 14, 2014 4:08pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. 7 creepy podcasts to get you in the Halloween spirit

    Blogs

    Halloween is all about scary stories. The holiday itself is based on a compilation of creepy tales from history going back thousands of years.

    Television network AMC recently debuted an immersive new podcast, Deadly Manners.
  2. Police: Before a shot was fired after Spencer's UF speech, men gave Nazi salutes and chanted about Hitler

    Crime

    Gainesville police have arrested three men they say are responsible for the shooting after Richard Spencer's speech at the University of Florida on Thursday.

    Texas men Tyler Tenbrink, 28; William Henry Fears, 30; and Colton Gene Fears, 28 all face attempted homicide charges for a shooting following Richard Spencer's speech at the University of Florida. (Gainesville police)
  3. Koetter: QB Jameis Winston will start Sunday vs. Bills

    Blogs

    After five days of uncertainty, Jameis Winston will be starting at quarterback on Sunday as the Bucs play at Buffalo, coach Dirk Koetter announced Friday afternoon.

    Bucs QB Jameis Winston, shown against the Patriots two weeks ago, will start Sunday at Buffalo after being sidelined with a shoulder injury last week. Dirk Koetter announced that he was starting after watching him throw at practice Friday.
  4. Florida's 'Turtle God' is ailing. What happens to his remarkable collection of specimens?

    Wildlife

    OVIEDO — In a small town about five miles from the University of Central Florida there stands a two-story yellow house built in the 1920s. A modest sign mounted on the wall next to the front door says, "Chelonian Research Institute."

    The main room at the Chelonian Institute in Oviedo Florida. - Peter Pritchard sounds British but he's lived in Florida for five decades, running the Chelonian Institute in Oviedo Florida, which holds the world's largest collection of turtle specimens (some of them bones or shells, some of them live turtles or tortoises). Time magazine has declared him a hero of the planet and other turtle experts say he is to turtles what Dian Fossey was to gorillas. He's been instrumental in helping other species, too, including the Florida panther. He has traveled the world studying turtles.
  5. Photos: Maroon 5's PJ Morton slides into Tampa for an electric set at Crowbar

    Blogs

    While the rest of Tampa was off partying with Bruno Mars at Amalie Arena, a much smaller group of fans were getting down with Maroon 5 at Crowbar.

    PJ Morton performed at Crowbar in Tampa on Oct. 19, 2017.