Master Sommelier and director of BOND Estates winery, Paul Roberts knows a thing or two about the Houston palate. Once upon a time, he made the pours as sommelier at Café Annie. That was before he headed west to the acclaimed French Laundry in Yountville, Calif.
So when he returned to H-town to head up a five-course/eight-wine benefit dinner, the evening's success was all but guaranteed.
And so it was that the second annual "Small Steps Wine Classic" packed the River Oaks Country Club ballroom with supporters of the Small Steps Nurturing Center and raised $450,000. It was, by all accounts, "a superb menu and pairing of wines."
Chairs Julie and John Howie and Theresa and Jeff Eaton welcomed guests to the evening that began with a private underwriter reception with Roberts in the wine cellar and continued with a general cocktail reception and the lavish dinner. Joining Roberts in sourcing top-notch wines for the event were Small Steps wine committee members Ralph Eads III, Lenoir Josey and Crawford Moorefield. Included were several vintages of Napa Valley Reserve.
The dinner courses were interspersed with comments about Small Steps, which provides early childhood education and nurturing through two schools for children living in poverty in the First and Fifth Wards.
Supporters on this evening included board chairman Fred Brazelton, Small Steps executive director Evan Harrel, Lilly and Thurmon Andress, Laurie and Tracy Krohn, Jan Duncan, Alice and Keith Mosing, Kay and Ned Holmes, Christine and Shea Morenz and Barbara and Bob Zorich.