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“Wine Above Water” Showcases Rare Bottles And Raises Money For Hospitality Pros

Camerata at Paulie's


Houston wine bar Camerata at Paulie's. Photo by Chuck Cook Photography

Posted: September 19, 2017 at 12:05 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

Wine Above Water, a fundraising event on Sunday, September 24 from noon to 8 p.m., encourages lovers of the vine to get out of the house and bid on tempting auctions, all while indulging in rare bottles. Camerata at Paulie’s, located at 1834 Westheimer, is hosting the festivities. Tickets are $100 each and onsale now. (The fair market value is listed as $50, which means guests will get a charitable donation receipt for $50 as well.)

Hurricane Harvey really did a number on Houston, and not just because of the over 51 inches of rain it dumped on some areas. The resulting destruction resulted in at least a week of lost income for many restaurant and bar employees—and customers have been slow to come back. Because of that, founders of the annual Southern Smoke event have re-aimed that fundraiser to help hospitality professionals. Wine Above Water raises additional funds for the cause, and also functions as the kick-off for Southern Smoke’s online auctions.

Chris Poldoian at Camerata

General manager Chris Poldoian of Camerata. Photo courtesy of Camerata at Paulie’s

Featured wines include hard-to-find vintages of grower Champagne, Chablis, Burgundy and Barolo donated by collectors, importers and producers. From noon until 2:30 p.m., Chilean winemakers will pour a selection of cuvees. Major distributors donating wines include Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits, Republic National Distributing Company and Pioneer Wine Company.

Here are some examples of what will be poured at Wine Above Water:

  • 1995 Caves Sao Joao ‘Poco do Lobo’ Arinto
  • 2007 Huet Clos Du Borg
  • 2008 Paolo Scavino Monvigliero Barolo
  • 2012 Clos Fourtet St.-Emillion Grand Cru
  • 2011 Raul Perez Sketch Albariño
  • 2013 Escarpment Pinto Noir Martinborough Kupe Single Vineyard

Event organizers include Camerata general manager Chris Poldoian, Raj Natarajan Jr. (most recently of dearly departed The Durham House, which sported quite a wine collection itself), Jeremy Hart of Banville Wine Merchants and Melissa Hughes, Moet Hennessy Portfolio Manager at Glazer’s.

The group is also working with distributors to get some choice sud selections for the event. So, yes beer lovers, there will be items of interest for you, too. Natarajan says, “Brian Rod from Flood Distribution is making a really awesome donation and I am contributing Saint Arnold’s Bishop’s Barrel 7 though 10, 2011 JW Lee’s Harvest Ale in Calvados Casks, 2012 BFM Abbaye de Saint Bon-Chien, 2013 Virtue Cider and four limited Jester King collaborations.”

Of course, at an event like this food is a near-necessity—and there will be plenty. Some of the restaurants already committed to serving small bites include Coppa Osteria, Giacomo’s Cibo e Vino, Benjy’s and Ritual. Visit the Underbelly website (host of Southern Smoke) for more information.