My parents were the very first food and wine enthusiasts I ever knew.  They both possessed finely tuned palates, following their favorite chef from place to place, (Michael Chiang at Twin Dragon and Mandarin Gourmet), and making regular pilgrimages for the superlative dining experience that was Richard Wing’s internationally renowned, 5-star Imperial Dynasty in Hanford, CA.  I recall as a young girl, that their outings were often-times wine tastings and/or dinners with groups like Les Amis du Vin or the French gastronomic society, La Chaîne des Rôtisseurs (while my brother and I were left home with the babysitter and a TV dinner.  Ah, the irony.) 

My father was an avid wine drinker and collector – he had a wine locker and soaked the labels off each and every bottle, carefully indexing and cataloguing them so he could savor them into perpetuity.  In those days, wine was mostly a French affair, with California wineries just starting to ruffle feathers, and I recall names such as Stony Hill, Stag’s Leap, Caymus, BV, and the Châteaux - Margaux, Latour, Lafite, Mouton-Rothschild, d’Yquem.  Through my father’s unwavering passion, I was afforded the opportunity to sample many of what were considered great wines, though I never took to it as he did.

It was Alice Feiring who opened up a fascinating universe for me that I never considered when it came to wine, tequila drinker that I am.  A James Beard Foundation Award-winning wine writer and journalist with a deep passion for, and knowledge of her subject, she is feisty, outspoken, and a champion of natural wines – those made with nothing added and nothing taken away, (thus allowing for a true showing of the grape’s nature and vintage).  Her book, The Battle for Wine and Love or How I Saved the World From Parkerization takes on Robert Parker’s hegemony, positing that palates are highly individual.  It has kicked up such a stir in the wine establishment that she has created a polarizing effect, being called both the Michael Pollan of wine as well as its “pot stirrer.”  Who knew wine could be so controversial?  Nevertheless, it is her fearless take on wine which has won her many fans among independent thinkers and drinkers who have been disenfranchised by Parker, the world’s most powerful palate.

Please join Alice and I at the next 403, where we’ll swirl and swallow some delicious wines as we dig into the fallacy of absolute palates, oeno-powers, and how natural wines are shaking the wine establishment to its core.

With this 403, I am thrilled to announce a new direction for the food.  The upcoming 403 will feature the global soul food of the talented Josie Smith-Malave.  A child of Italian, Filipino and Puerto Rican cultures, Chef Josie’s cuisine blends these flavors with the love she brings to her craft, and is evident in her skill at creating inventive and transportive dishes.  A graduate of the Culinary Arts program of the Art Institute of New York, a former Sous Chef at Brooklyn’s Marlow and Sons, and former Executive Chef at the Norwood Club and NY Yankee Steak, Josie’s bold and high-spirited personality won her legions of fans on Season Two of Top Chef.  Most recently she can be found cooking and entertaining her guests at her latest venture, The Speakeasy in Brooklyn where she is a partner.  She is one of my favorite people and I await her culinary delights!

MONDAY, JANUARY 10 from 7 - 11PM.  

LIGHT DINNER AND WINE (vegan options available)


Please RSVP to 403rsvp-at-gmail-dot-com.  The address will be provided at that time. We ask that guests commit to the evening and be prompt.  Please note if you wish to pay via paypal, and a request for payment will be forwarded. Fees are transferable, but non-refundable should your plans change.  Cash only at the door.

403 is a cultural salon which seeks to encourage discussion and the exchange of ideas through presentations on the arts, culture and humanitarian concerns.

Many thanks to our wine sponsors for the evening: JENNY AND FRANCOIS SELECTIONS AND JOSE PASTOR SELECTIONS.