Hamptons Parties Return with Champagne Guns and Exclusive Rose
(Bloomberg) -- Right out of lockdown, wine in a plastic cup and cheese plates would do. Now theme parties with flashy accessories feel more like they match the giddy moment.
In East Hampton over the weekend, one host brought out watercress sandwiches and parasols for a tea party. Another, Champagne guns.
The shiny plastic guns -- loaded with Veuve Clicquot -- sprayed guests hanging out near the DJ, pool-side. The idea was to re-create some of the spectacle of Cloud Nine Alpine Bistro, an Aspen restaurant that can only be reached on skis.
One person who got drenched in bubbly was the guest of honor, Tommy Tollesson, the general manager of Cloud Nine, and a fixture of Aspen fun, having arrived a ski bum a few decades ago from his native Sweden.
But it’s important to note that Champagne was not the drink of choice at the event. The party pour was Entourage rosé, which Tollesson created with friends a few years ago, inspired by Saint Tropez and Aspen, and made with grapes from Provence.
During the pandemic, Tollesson shipped many bottles to clients craving a connection to these resort destinations. “If you can’t go to Saint Tropez and Aspen, maybe Saint Tropez and Aspen can come to your house,” Tollesson said. Now with many parts of the world reopening, he’s working on expanding where the rosé is sold -- including in Dallas, Palm Beach, New York and the Hamptons.
“What I like about this wine is that it’s so light, but it’s got that minerality and goes really well with food,” said Caroline Williams, a sommelier and founder of Curated Cellar. “It’s low enough in alcohol you can drink it during the day.”
Host Jane DeFlorio sipped hers wearing jean shorts and a fur hat -- with an ice pack tucked inside to keep cool. She’d set the dress code as “bikini/ski chic.” Pir Granoff, a partner in Amagansett’s Best Pizza & Dive Bar, went with ski pants and goggles, and yes, there were a few bikinis spotted.
Others in more typical Hamptons attire: Anna Nikolayevsky, founder of Axel Capital Management, caterer Janet O’Brien, whose team passed truffled grilled cheese sandwiches and tuna tacos, and Julie and Billy Macklowe, who’d come straight from a bat mitzvah in Montauk.
“I hope if Covid killed one thing, it was the big bat mitzvah,” Julie Macklowe said. “Now it’s gone back to what it used to be: small, intimate, not at the Temple of Dendur.”
As for those Champagne guns: they were obtained from the website kingofsparklers.com, said DeFlorio, a former retail and consumer investment banker who is on the boards of SITE Centers and the East Hampton Historical Society, among others. Her husband, who works in private equity, gave her one a few years ago for her birthday.
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