With Spec's proprietors Lindy and John Rydman and their daughter, Lisa Rydman, at the helm of the Houston Symphony "Centennial Wine Dinner & Collector's Auction," one would expect a remarkable evening. And so it was at Jones Hall where Cristal champagne flowed during the reception and silent auction and where fine food with wine pairings wowed the sellout gathering on stage in the symphony's home.
More than 300 black-tie attired guests perused the wine auction which tempted with more than 115 lots on display in the Jones Hall lobby. Wine auction chair Bob Weiner circulated through the gathering discussing the many choice wines up for bid while the Fidelis Quartet provided lilting background music. The auction alone brought in more than $112,000. The night's total proceeds set a record at more than $410,000.
Highlight of the auction was the $5,000 per couple wine dinner at the home of Gina and Dr. Devinder Bhatia, whose underground wine cellar has space for 14,000 bottles. Special guests for that evening, limited to six couples, will be Houston Symphony Conductor Laureate Hans Graf and wife Margarita.
Once on stage, guests were enveloped in dramatic decor, created by The Events Co., an ideal setting for the splendid four-course dinner presented by Jackson and Co. Riedel provided stemware for the fine wines that were served and sent each guest home with an engraved commemorative Riedel glass in honor of the centennial. While Jackson Hicks and team created the menu, the Rydman family, with the clout of Spec’s Wines, Spirits & Finer Foods, selected the wines that ranged from Corton Charlemagne to Chateau Giscours.
Among those savoring this special evening were Christina and Mark Hanson, Nancy and Bob Peiser, Phoebe and Bobby Tudor, Betty and Jesse Tutor, Marie Bosarge, Margaret Alkek Williams and Jim Daniel, Joella and Steve Mach, Windi and David Grimes and Susie and Mel Glasscock.