Fairmont ponders Brasserie fate
Though some conclude its demise is all but inevitable, Fairmont Hotel management dances when asked to confirm the Brasserie's rumored closing. "[The rumor] is not currently accurate," says Fairmont's director of food and beverage, Roger Hyde. "Though it is part of our current conversation." Roughly two decades old, the casual restaurant serving traditional American fare discontinued dinner service last month. Though Hyde says nothing is final, he adds that if the restaurant were closed, they would most likely make the Pyramid Room more casual: "The Pyramid is often described as opulent, but it's a term that just doesn't fit anymore." Hyde says they're also evaluating a cosmetic makeover of the Pyramid Room, which underwent a $1.8 million renovation several years ago. He adds that while nothing is likely to happen before the end of the year, he doesn't discount the possibility of a new restaurant in the hotel.
A taste of obscenity? Kenwood Vineyards in Sonoma recently announced a special 20th-anniversary release of its Artist Series Cabernet Sauvignon for the 1994 vintage featuring David Lance Goines' "Naked Lady." Appearing in 1978 (1974 vintage) for the inaugural release of the series, the simple depiction of a nude woman reclining among vines was deemed too "obscene and indecent" at the time by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, the federal agency that regulates alcoholic-beverage advertising and labeling. The label was restricted to a 50-case release. Art collector Jan Shrem, owner of Close Pegase Winery in Napa, had a similar problem more than a decade later when the label for his winery's reserve red "Hommage" (1988 vintage) was rejected by the agency. Featuring French artist Jean Dubuffet's "Bedecked Nude," the label with a man in the buff was edited several times before it was finally approved. "In the abridged version, there were a few strands of abstract hair, and they said that suggests pubic hair," Shrem explains. "So they did not approve it until finally...we just emasculated him." It wasn't until well into the Clinton Administration after all the wine was sold that the label showcasing the entire painting was given the green light. What a difference two decades and a Monica make...Geyser Peak's 1997 Sonoma County Sauvignon Blanc is flush with distinctive grapefruit and melon aromas. Find it on lists at Bistro A, Flying Saucer, The Grape, and Nana Grill.
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