NNormally, we couldn’t be roused from our Saturday torpor to attend a wine event like the one being held on the 1st at the W Hotel. But this one, with the participation of Alto sommelier Eric Zillier, has a lot going for it. There’s a chance to sample wines that would usually be beyond our grasp: 1989 Château Montrose, 1996 Château Léoville-Poyferré, and 2004 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Domaine de Marcoux. (A far cry from our usual Richard’s Wild Irish Rose, enjoyed sitting on the floor of the Port Authority.) Other highfalutin features include a caviar station from Petrossian (paired with 1990 Dom), Todd English tidbits, and hand-rolled cigars. There’s also a well-lubricated wine trivia game hosted by wine guru Grae Verlin. The prize: You get to be drunk and prove that you know a lot about wine. Is it worth leaving the house on a Saturday? And the $150 price tag? It depends on how committed you are to spending your weekend inside a bottle. Call Marc Smoler at 312-482-9766 to reserve your berth.
The rich keep getting richer: Word from one of our cognac-swilling, ascot-wearing friends is that caviar capital Petrossian, among the city's most opulent spots, is waiving its corkage fees. This is actually quite a concession; most restaurants make their money from wine and liquor, of course, and a lot of top tables don't let you bring your own wine in at all. "We don't accept that, no," a reservationist at Cru tells us helpfully, adding, "We do have an excellent wine selection." Per Se, meanwhile, allows diners to bring their own — if they're willing to shell out $90 a bottle to have it uncorked. In honor of their tax-breaks-for-the-rich generosity, we raise a glass to Petrossian — a glass of two-buck chuck, poured directly from a Trader Joe's bag.