ABOVE: SALVATORE FERRAGAMO, CHRISTINE FERRAGAMO, AND MICHAEL WHITE AT DEL POSTO IN NEW YORK. PHOTO COURTESY OF BILLY FARRELL AGENCY.
Circling the room downstairs at Del Posto in search of a new wine last night, we decided to enlist some expert help. The scene: an Italian wine tasting thrown by Relais & Châteaux in honor of their new ambassador, Salvatore Ferragamo, whose Tuscan Estate "Il Borro" was just added to Relais & Châteaux. "I have my own wine [here], so I am very biased," Mr. Ferragamo joked when we asked him for a recommendation.
We began with the whites, sampling a Chablis-like San Paolo from a five acre vineyard, a 2004 Quatr Nas from Piedmont, and a rather odd white from near the Slovenian border. Then we ran into Michael White, the Grand Chef at Relais & Châteaux's Marea and traded our wine in for his favorite drink of the evening, "the fabulous" sparkling rosé. "I'm a chef, and I need to go back to work tonight—I need to be able to cook the fish halfway decent, so I can't indulge too much," White confided. Was this his usual pre-work activity? "No! But during the holidays there are so many events, right now until the 24th of December, it's every single day. The restaurants are extremely busy—thank god—and there are so many outside events and parties that we have to go to."
Jeffrey Porter, Del Posto's wine director, seconded White's recommendation, listing it as one of his top three wines of the evening. "Our most popular wine in volume is actually Champagne," Porter told us. "A glass of Champagne."
Other guests in attendance included chefs Colin Bedford (The Fearrington House), Barbara Lynch (Menton), and Michael Tusk (Quince), who made the canapés; as well as chefs Daniel Humm (Eleven Madison Park), Mark Ladner (Del Posto), Patrick O'Connell (The Inn at Little Washington); Lidia and Joe Bastianich; and critics Nina and Tim Zagat.