Toast of the Town New York: A Swinging Success

Wine Enthusiast's signature tasting event celebrated wine and food in signature Manhattan style.

Manhattan’s luminous Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center—home to the Metropolitan Opera, New York City Ballet and other iconic cultural institutions—was the sophisticated setting for Wine Enthusiast’s 11th-annual Toast of the Town New York event, held on May 5.

The gorgeous, multitiered building offered more than 1,500 guests an opportunity to taste 500-plus local and international wines from Boisset Family Estates, J. Lohr Vineyards, Robert Mondavi Winery and many others, including pours from India’s Good Earth Winery.

Gourmet bites were provided by 35 of the city’s hottest restaurants, including Arctic Char Tartare from Atlantic Grill, Goat Cheese Panna Cotta with Beet Texture Wrap from Picholine, Vanilla Ginger Crème Brûlée with Rhubarb Marmalade, Oatmeal Streusel and Basil from db Bistro Moderne and Sautéed Sea Scallops with freshly shaved black truffles from Armani Ristorante.

Toast of the Town New York was held in the David H. Koch Theater the past 10 years, but was moved across the Lincoln Square plaza to Avery Fisher Hall for the 2011 event.

As guests sipped wine and nibbled on delicious dishes, the Jonny Hirsch Band set a lively, upbeat mood. A wraparound balcony provided the perfect setting for alfresco mingling, as attendees enjoyed the warm spring evening and the glowing fountain at the center of the plaza.

In addition to great wine, attendees enjoyed craft beers from Sam Adams and Unibroue, and boutique spirits from Crop Organic Vodka and Michter’s Bourbon. Global Giving’s charity saké station, featuring sips from Manabito, Dewatsuru and Shimizu-No-Mai, raised funds for Tsunami relief in Japan, and introduced imbibers to the incredible depth and delicacy of craft saké.

Sponsor Open Skies hosted a lounge on the third floor, offering one lucky raffle-winner two round-trip, business-class tickets to Paris. Riverkeeper, an organization dedicated to defending the Hudson River and its tributaries, raffled off a Eurocave Comfort 266 luxury wine cellar. The Wall Street Journal, the official media sponsor of the event, also hosted a lounge on the third floor.

The night ended on a sweet note as attendees tasted desserts like red velvet cake from Butterfly Bakery and chocolate bon bons made by Julia Baker Confections.

Toast of the Town originated in New York, and it has been held at Lincoln Center annually. The 2011 TOTT series continues in Washington D.C. on May 20, Chicago on June 17 and Miami on September 23. In each city, the event is held in a setting of historic and/or cultural significance. Visit or call 800.847.5949 for tickets. Read tweets from last night’s event by searching hashtag #TOTT.

Published on May 6, 2011

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