Houston Symphony’s 20th Anniversary Wine Dinner And Collector’s Auction

By Jennifer Roosth     Photography by Wilson Parish

THE SETTING: The 20th Anniversary Symphony Wine Dinner and Collectors Auction, Joie de Vivre: A Celebration of Wine and Music, was held at Houston’s chic and contemporary Astorian, which was completely transformed in blush hues of pink and gold for the lively springtime event. More than 215 guests attended the limited capacity, socially distanced occasion. Upon arriving at the venue, guests’ temperatures were checked to comply with the event’s safety protocols. Attendees then entered the venue, viewed the evening’s silent auction items spread across the room, and enjoyed the champagne reception with Roederer Philippe Starck Brut Nature 2009.

THE STYLE: The décor, created by Taylor DeMartino Design Group, transformed the venue into this year’s blushing theme. As the dinner chimes rang, guests made their way to the tables that displayed delicate floral arrangements consisting of subtle blush pink and champagne-colored roses. The gourmet, multi-course meal prepared by Jackson and Company was paired with wines introduced by Steven McDonald, Master Sommelier of Pappas Bros. Steakhouse. Selections included Gerbais Extra Brut Grains de Celles Rosé, R de Rieussec Bordeaux Blanc 2017, and Henri Villamont Chassagne Montrachet 1ER Morgeot 2016 for the second course, followed by Jerome Castagnier Chambolle Musigny 2017/Pierre Labet, VV Gevrey Chambertin 2018, and Chateau Guiraud Sauternes 2013.

THE PURPOSE: The Joie de Vivre evening raised over $550,00 for The Houston Symphony’s Education and Community Engagement programs. The evening was chaired by Ann and Jonathan Ayre, with honorary chairs Vicki West and Ralph Burch. This year’s auction included rare wines and spirits, luxury experiences, and many other coveted items, including trips to vineyards in California’s wine country, was thanks to Wine Auction Chair Bob Weiner. And the thoughtfully selected wines paired with the dinner was thanks to John and Lindy Rydman and Lisa Rydman of Spec’s Wines, Spirits, and Finer Foods.