Good hearts, high spirits at AHA Fine Wine Auction

November 06, 1994|By SYLVIA BADGER

"Good structure," "long finish," "fruity," "full-bodied," "will age well" are not words you overhear at most parties, but they seemed to be part of everyone's vocabulary at Stouffer's Harborplace Hotel last weekend.

It was the American Heart Association's annual Fine Wine Auction, a three-day event that began Friday evening with a Wine Tasting Walk About. It continued Saturday with an elegant black-tie dinner, where two culinary wizards, Tim Barger, executive chef at the Radisson Hotel in Alexandria, Va., and co-chair of the dinner, and Guy Reinbold, executive chef at Stouffer, prepared a magnificent seven-course meal, which was heart-healthy and under 1,000 calories.

The weekend culminated Sunday with live and silent auctions that raised more than $100,000. This is a biggie for serious wine aficionados, and one cannot say enough about the talents of auctioneer Rick Opfer.

One hot item -- you could hear a pin drop during the bidding -- was dinner for eight with the world-renowned wine expert Robert Parker, which went to Bruce Gearhart for $10,000. He had flown in from New York that morning to bid on that item; he was representing a consortium of New York recording artists.

(FYI: The $10,000 evening will begin with a champagne reception at the Parkers' Monkton home, followed by dinner with Mr. and Mrs. Parker in a private dining room at the Milton Inn. The wines to accompany the meal, personally selected by Mr. Parker, are expected to be among the finest in the world.)

To add to Sunday afternoon's excitement, actors Daniel Baldwin and Isabelle Hoffman, from the television series "Homicide," made an appearance. Both seemed to know what they wanted and spent approximately $1,700 on their wine purchases. Mr. Baldwin was quite the gentleman when he went to pick up his selections and found that one wine lot had been misplaced. He said not to worry and insisted that the Heart Association keep the money.

Others who enjoyed the weekend were Mark Clark, co-chair of the event and the person who contacted Gearhart; Joseph Phelps, honorary chair and owner of Joseph Phelps Winery in Napa Valley, Calif.; Ceil Martin, development associate at WBJC-radio; Carole and Neal Love, First National Bank of Maryland; Lily and Paul Suss, Continental Realty; and Kathy Sabatier, chairman of the board of Maryland's American Heart Association.

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A sell-out crowd filled the Senator Theatre for the Maryland premiere of Morgan Creek production's latest film, "Silent Fall." People on the Eastern Shore, Baltimore and Carroll counties are going to love trying to spot local places, because the film was shot entirely in those areas and stars Richard Dreyfuss; Linda Hamilton, from the Eastern Shore; John Lithgow; and 9-year-old Towson resident Ben Faulkner.

The premiere was a benefit for the Producers Club of Maryland and Sheppard Pratt Hospital. Before the screening, James G. Robinson, CEO and president of Morgan Creek, and actor Ben Faulkner signed their autographs in cement in front of the theater with its owner, Tom Kiefaber, officiating.

Others at the screening were Ben's parents, Mary and Tom Faulkner; Dan Peacock, Sheppard Pratt chairman, and his wife, Joan; O's shortstop Cal Ripken and his wife, Kelly; Dr. Mark Komrad, the film's consultant on autism, and his wife, Kimberly; Judge Fred Motz and his wife, Judge Diana Gribbon Motz; Celia Blumenstein, Budget-Rent-A-Car; Norm Steinberg, Hollywood screenwriter now living in Baltimore with his wife, Bonnie; and Dr. Doug Strouse and his wife, Sharon.

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Speaking of the Eastern Shore: Author Pat Ross spent the last two years crisscrossing America in search of the quintessential small town for her book, "Remembering Main Street." On Nov. 12, she returns to her hometown, Chestertown, for a book signing-champagne party given by Lanny Parks, Chris Wright, Robert and Barbara Lavelle, Carla Massoni and Maria Sommer at the Massoni-Sommer Gallery.

The book is a delightful, interesting chronicle of 10 American Main streets. Of course, the book begins with Chestertown.

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I plan to run a calendar of December events Nov. 27. If you would like yours included, I must have the information by Nov. 9. Please include pertinent information and a telephone number, and mail to my attention, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, Md. 21278, or send a fax to me at (410) 783-2519.

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