Hall Arts Hotel had scarcely been open when the wine-loving, fundraising crowd celebrated Côtes du Coeur’s Big Bottle reception there on Thursday, January 23. It was just one of the events leading up to the American Heart Association – Dallas‘ 2020 Côtes du Coeur on Saturday, April 18, at the Omni Dallas Hotel, when corks will be popping the night away. Here’s a report from the field:
Inside the gleaming new Hall Arts Hotel in the Dallas Arts District, more than 150 guests were packed into a long, narrow room sipping wine and raising money for the American Heart Association. The occasion was the AHA’s Big Bottle Party, which officially kicked off the nonprofit’s 2020 Côtes du Coeur season on Thursday, January 23.
Guests, including Côtes du Coeur Chairs Jennifer and Mark Sanders, Chef Richard Chamberlain, John Levis, Dan Berner, Melanie and Eugene Jabbour, Melissa and Steve Grimshaw, Shannon Cocreham, Trisha and Rick Allen, Patti and Joe Brayton, Keith Cargill and Carol and Matt Holmes, enjoyed passed appetizers from the Hall Arts Hotel and fine wine from Hall Family Wines.
As the attendees viewed dozens of exquisite wine bottles on display, they imbibed in Hall Sauvignon Blanc, Walt La Brisa Pinot Noir and Hall Napa Cabernet Sauvignon. They also listened during the evening to Dr. Benjamin Levine, who spoke about the impact the American Heart Association has had on advancing cardiovascular research studies locally at UT Southwestern and Texas Health.
Guests had an opportunity to witness the impact of the Association’s mission first-hand, when Jennifer and Mark shared that Jennifer had received a heart transplant 27 years ago, shortly after the birth of their daughter.
The Deloitte-sponsored party, the first of four events leading up to the Association’s annual Côtes du Coeur Gala, asked attendees to bring a “big bottle” of wine valued at a minimum of $250. The guests then competed for whose big bottle was the best of the best, with competition categories including Biggest Bottle, Most Unique, Best Etching and Best in Show.
The Biggest Bottle honors went to Shirley Percival and Tim Harrelson and their Solomon-sized bottle of 2014 Chateau Fleur Cardinale Grand Cru Classé. Keith Nichols’ 2015 Scarecrow Cabernet Sauvignon Magnum received the Most Unique honors, while Sandy Nachman’s 2008 Palazzo Cabernet Franc Napa Valley Double Magnum was Best Etched. Marge and Hank Krawczyk rounded out the competition with their signed 2012 Continuum Imperial, receiving Best in Show. Winners received a custom painted box from artist Michael Shellis and a bottle from this year’s Tête du Cuvée honoree, Torii Mor.
The American Heart Association is still accepting big bottle donations to be included in Big Bottle Alley, one of the largest fine wine auctions in the southwest, at the Côtes du Coeur event on April 18 at the Omni. For more information about Dallas’ premiere fine wine and celebrity chef experience, visit cotesducoeur.heart.org.
* Photo credit: Wayland Scogin Mayo