Log In / Join Now

From the New York Fashion Week Runways: How Much for that Champagne Vending Machine?!

Also in Unfiltered, a 17th-century Dutch Master painting of Bacchus stolen by Nazis finds its rightful owner, and Jose Cuervo celebrates its 222nd birthday with far-out art
Photo by: Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for Moët & Chandon
Actor Alan Cumming took bids for the coveted Moët & Chandon vending machine.

Posted: February 16, 2017

While models, designers and celebutantes alike fawned over (or silently judged) the newest trends at this season's New York Fashion Week, Unfiltered was busy getting the scoop on which drinks they were clutching in their perfectly manicured hands. Moët Hennessy kicked off the festivities on Feb. 8 as the signature sponsor for amfAR's 19th annual New York Gala. With glasses of Moët & Chandon Impérial Brut, Numanthia-Termes Numanthia 2013 and Cape Mentelle Sauvignon Blanc–Sémillon Margaret River 2016 in hand, A-listers including Scarlett Johansson, Adriana Lima, Mark Ruffalo and Jeremy Piven helped raise nearly $2 million for amfAR’s AIDS research programs. No stranger to Moët magnums, amfAR event chair Heidi Klum served a personalized, bejeweled bottle to Donatella Versace and her model-filled table. During the live auction, a presumably very rare Moët vending machine (complete with 336 mini bottles) sold for $85,000, making it the highest-bid item of the evening.

Getty Images / Rachel Carr (amfAR)
Fashion royalty sipped Moët & Chandon at New York Fashion Week. From left: Donatella Versace, Naomi Campbell, Heidi Klum, Alessandra Ambrosio and Zoë Kravitz.

On the same night, more famous faces flocked to another decadent soirée to toast to Vogue's 125th anniversary. A Dom Pérignon Champagne tower quenched the thirst of the fashion-forward guest list, which included fashion show front-row regular André Leon Talley, rapper ASAP Ferg and French model Constance Jablonski. But late-night fêtes weren't the only time the fashion world got its drink on; British fashion brand Prism teamed up with French rosé producer Mirabeau for its Feb. 11 presentation. Proving that pink wine is on trend even in winter, the audience sipped on Mirabeau Côtes de Provence rosé while viewing the fashion brand's newest resort-wear collection. And last night, fashion designer Peter Som and chef Zac Young, pastry director for David Burke's Craveable Hospitality Group, disproved the myth that fashion victims don't eat during their "Pasta Couture" demo at Bloomingdale's. The duo whipped up red and white beet ravioli, herbed ricotta, quail egg yolk and brown butter truffle sauce fit for the runway … if only carbs were allowed backstage.


A 17th-Century Bacchus, Stolen by Nazis, Finds Its Way Home

Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images
Jan Franse Verzijl's Young Man as Bacchus (1630) has been returned to the Max Stern Foundation.

Does fine art age as well as fine wine? It's hard to say, but there's no doubt that the estate of late art dealer Max Stern is happy to have been reunited with its 17th-century Dutch Master painting of the wine god Bacchus this month. In 1937, Stern was stripped of his accreditation as an art gallery owner in Germany under the Third Reich, which had forbade Jewish citizens from selling art; much of his collection was forcibly auctioned off, and the rest was eventually confiscated by the Nazi government. By the end of that year, Stern had fled to Canada, where he eventually reestablished himself as a leading art dealer and worked tirelessly but relatively fruitlessly to have his family's original art collection restored; of the estimated 400 pieces of art confiscated by the Nazis, only about 20 have been recovered. Stern died in 1987, but his foundation continues to support the arts in Canada and Israel.

Last week, another one of Stern's lost works was returned home. In 2015, Young Man as Bacchus, a 1630 painting by Dutch artist Jan Franse Verzijl, surfaced at the New York Art Fair. Agents of the FBI's Art Crime Team seized it, and it was finally returned to the Stern Foundation in a ceremony at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in New York on Feb. 8. “Works of art hold a special place in our society," said special agent Michael McGarrity in a statement issued by the FBI. "Accordingly, facilitating the return of stolen and missing works of art to their rightful owners is held in high regard among the FBI’s art crime investigators. Today, we are proud to return the Verzijl painting to representatives of the Stern Foundation after more than 80 years.” The Max and Iris Stern Foundation benefits Concordia and McGill universities in Canada and Hebrew University of Jerusalem in Israel, and Unfiltered can't think of many finer occasions for a celebratory glass of wine than the return of young Bacchus.


Jose Cuervo Celebrates Own Birthday Just Like Yours: By Tripping Out on Jose Cuervo

Though his padre immigrated to the future Mexico in the mid-18th century and began cooking up homemade tequila, it was Jose Mariá Guadalupe de Cuervo who first obtained a charter from the king of Spain to sell the stuff commercially in 1795, making this year Cuervo's 222nd. As everyone does on their '22nd birthday, Jose Cuervo is celebrating with an abundance of Jose Cuervo, but the brand invited a few friends along as well: Artist Ricardo Cavolo and fashion designer Carlos Campos were in New York this week for the launch of four limited-edition bottles ("Heart, Lady, Devil and Music") featuring their capsule and label art. Cavolo, known for his trippy folk-art murals, record-album covers, tattoos and more, brings a bit of Dia de los Muertos/Carlos Santana vibe to the new bottles, which depict such staples of tequila fever dreams as "four-eyed mamacita," "mustachioed Satan" and "behatted cat-man with flaming guitar."


Enjoy Unfiltered? The best of Unfiltered's round-up of drinks in pop culture can now be delivered straight to your inbox every other week! Sign up now to receive the Unfiltered e-mail newsletter, featuring the latest scoop on how wine intersects with film, TV, music, sports, politics and more.

Would you like to comment? Want to join or start a discussion?

Become a WineSpectator.com member and you can!
To protect the quality of our conversations, only members may submit comments. Member benefits include access to more than 315,000 reviews in our Wine Ratings Search; a first look at ratings in our Insider, Advance and Tasting Highlights; Value Wines; the Personal Wine List/My Cellar tool, hundreds of wine-friendly recipes and more.

WineRatings+ app: Download now for 340,000+ ratings.