A Host’s Guide for the Holidays


Return of a legend: The Ford GT takes aim at the 360 Modena.  Our annual celebration, Watches and fine jewelry.

From This Issue

Home Electronics: Blue Ribbon Winner

the concept behind the ribbon speaker is rather straightforward. A thin strip of conducting foil (the ribbon) is suspended between the poles of powerful magnets. The ribbon is secured at the top and bottom and moves within the magnetic field as the amplifier’s signal stimulates the magnets, resulting in a pleasing, open sound. The ribbon […]

Furnishings: Art Deco Undercover

Pierre Lahalle and Georges Levard created some of the most exotic furniture of the early Art Deco period, but only a handful of French connoisseurs were familiar with their work. That changed with the debut of an exquisite suite of Lahalle and Levard bedroom furniture—two side chairs ($8,000), an armoire, a bench, two single beds, […]

Appliances: Nothing to Sneeze At

When Harvard Medical School psychiatrist/psychoanalyst Martha Stark realized that she was allergic to pollen and grasses, she began studying the effects of environmental impurities on mental and physical health. “What I learned was that all of us, every day, are being bombarded by pollutants, most of them man-made, and reacting in some way or another,” […]

City Lights

“Richard Neutra told me long ago that architecture must keep up with the times,” says David L. Davies, the owner of a taut, planar, white stucco house that Neutra designed in San Francisco. “When I bought the place in 1970,” recalls Davies, a former advertising executive, “I decided to subdivide it horizontally into two duplex […]

Journeys: High Hopes

The Pinzgauer 710 transport vehicle plods its way stubbornly over clumps of broam grass and foxtail on the western slope of the Sangre de Cristo mountain range. Olaf Mingo is behind the wheel of the German-engineered, Austrian-made, and Swiss-operated military jeep, a Cold War remnant now serving a more peaceful purpose at the Latir Mountain […]

Dining: Tea Time

“Full-bodied,” “fruity,” and “smoky” are descriptions that once belonged solely to the lexicon of wine, but another centuries-old beverage is inspiring converts to praise its pleasures in oenological terms. Tea has captured the interest of Americans like never before, thanks to a number of tea companies, hotels, and restaurants that are showing their patrons the […]

Smoke: And the Ban Played On

It is a typical evening at Lexington Bar and Books on Manhattan’s tony Upper East Side, and the bar is awash in cool jazz and crowds of stylish men and women enjoying cocktails and Cabernets. However, something seems amiss. At the end of the bar, two young women, between sips of wine and bouts of […]

Host Guide: 99 Bottles of Wine: The Gift of Wine

Maison Joseph Drouhin 2000 Chablis Grand Cru Les Clos Explosive and juicy with amplified flavors of spice and white fruit. Chalk Hill 2000 Chardonnay Clone Collection Highly collectible box set of six single-clone Chards from the winery’s Oak Hill vineyard. Robert Talbott 2000 Chardonnay, Cuvée Audrey, Diamond T Estate, Monterey Thick, rich, and toasty with […]

Host Guide: 99 Bottles of Wine: The Holiday Host

Brewer-Clifton 2001 Chardonnay, Sweeney Canyon, Santa Rita Hills Gorgeous Chardonnay from a team of Santa Barbara’s best winemakers; charming honey, spice, and citrus. Hendry Ranch 2000 Chardonnay, Blocks 9 & 21, Napa Valley One of several solid Chardonnays from this producer; excellent structure and notes of oak, fruit, and spice. Devil’s Lair 2001 Chardonnay, Margaret […]

Host Guide: 99 Bottles of Wine: Classics Are for Keeping

Domaine Faiveley 1999 Grand Cru, Corton-Charlemagne Sweet flavors of vanilla and exotic spice race through this long, structured Burgundian beauty. Louis Jadot 2002 Corton-Charlemagne This one has it all: grip, depth, and richness, with notes of honey, butter, and white fruit. (available in 2004) Labouré-Roi 1999 Puligny Montrachet Premier Cru Champs Gains Elegant, rich, and […]

Host Guide: Holiday Spirits: Barware to Lift Your Spirits

Modern Martini If you prefer your martinis stirred, not shaken, the Martini Pitcher and Stirrer ($340) from William Yeoward (www.williamyeowardcrystal.com) is the appropriate accoutrement. Part of the prestigious London crystal maker’s celebrated Marcie collection, the crystal pitcher is tall, slender, and thoroughly modern while retaining a classic feel. On the Road If your travels take […]

Host Guide: Smoker’s Triumvirate: The Essentials

Fuente Hemingway 7-Inch Classic Of the six shapes in the Hemingway line, ranging from the 91⁄2-inch Masterpiece to the 41⁄2-inch Short Story, our preference is the 7 x 48 Classic. It provides thick, Cameroon-wrapped spiciness for a full hour—not so long that a guest overstays his welcome nor so short that the evening ends prematurely. […]

Host Guide: Smoker’s Triumvirate: Rare Prizes

  Pre-Castro Montecristo No. 2 The two most likely ways to obtain these cherished pre-embargo smokes are at auction, where the going rate is $300 to $350 a stick, or from a coveted stash in one of London’s emporiums. The differences between current Cuban Montecristos and those made before 1959 are dramatic. For one, the […]

Host Guide: Smoker’s Triumvirate: Showstoppers

  C.A.O. L’Anniversaire Box-Pressed Tubos Cigars that come packaged in tubes are typically round, and square-cornered, box-pressed cigars are traditionally packed in boxes. C.A.O. mixed the two, creating the world’s first box-pressed, square-tubed cigar. Our favorite is the brown-capped tube containing the 7 x 50 eXtreme, which features a Sumatra seed Ecuadoran-grown wrapper and Nicaraguan […]

Host Guide: Crystal Clear

Nick Goldschmidt, group winemaker for Allied Domecq worldwide properties, is a true believer in the virtues of glassware designed for specific wines. But he was not always so convinced. In a memorable tasting held in 1994, Georg Riedel, of Riedel Glas of Austria, invited eight Sonoma County winemakers, including Goldschmidt (then a winemaker for Simi […]

Host Guide: Party of Five

Great parties pose a paradox. A staggering amount of strategy, preparation, and perspiration goes into providing such ephemeral distractions. If you wish to mount a truly spectacular event that your guests will remember fondly forever, the preparations require a commitment on the level of a full-time job. It is fortunate, then, that an entire industry […]

Host Guide: Circle These Dates

We love a party. You name the event, and we will hold a party around it, whether it is a horse race (the Kentucky Derby), a historical event (Bastille Day), a good cause (charity fund-raisers), or even something as unavoidable as the passage of time (birthdays and reunions). We will celebrate anywhere, in ballrooms or […]

Golf: Stay and Play

With the U.S. Open planning to visit the South Course in 2008, it is not going to become any easier to secure one of the coveted tee times at Torrey Pines, a 36-hole municipal facility in La Jolla, Calif. Given these circumstances, rather than trying to reserve a round, consider booking a suite at the […]

Sport: Top Notch

It is difficult to remain focused when staying at New Zealand’s Treetops Lodge and Estate. As much as I wanted to catch trout, distractions such as a helicopter ride to White Island, an active volcano only 50 minutes by chopper from the Treetops helipad, were constantly competing for my time. A horseback journey through the […]

From the Editors: Tales of Two Pearls

Over the centuries, revolution and conquest have moved more merchandise than the enterprises of Cartier, Harry Winston, and Van Cleef & Arpels combined. The history of rare gems is often a protracted tale of bloodshed, culminating with the prize in question being swallowed, concealed behind a secret panel, or sewn into a corset in preparation […]

Health & Grooming: The Barber of Naples

Standing tall in his signature Panama straw hat and toting the tools of his trade—scissors, straight-edge razor, and almond soap—Antonio Boellis cut a dapper figure on the streets of early–20th century Naples. Boellis peddled the narrow cobblestoned streets of Italy’s famous seaport “becoming a friend, a confidant, and an adviser while giving a haircut and […]

Wardrobe: Buckle Up

An elderly gentleman walked into J.W. Cooper at Florida’s Bal Harbour Shops mall recently wearing a distinctive Western-etched three-piece belt buckle set that immediately caught the attention of store owner Todd Rauchwerger. “I told him, ‘That looks like a great old Bohlin buckle,’ and he said to me, ‘Son, I bought this buckle in 1937 […]

Jewelry: Grand Allusions

For more than 50 years, Piaget has turned heads with its decadent diamond-studded jewelry watches, but it received little recognition for its jewelry designs—that is, until now. The new Magic Reflections jewelry collection captures the essence of the brand with its luxurious, imaginative, and distinctly feminine designs. To emphasize the significance of the launch of […]

Diamond Rush

In 1848, on the eve of the fall of Louis-Philippe’s regime, two representatives from Tiffany & Co. arrived in Paris for their annual buying trip. The mini-revolution was reaching its peak, and members of the royal court, mindful of what happened to their predecessors in the revolution of 1789, were preparing to flee the country. […]

Diamond Rush: Birth of a Diamond Mine

At a development cost of more than $941 million, the Diavik diamond mine stands as a unique testament to the extremes—and expense—to which producers will go to dig diamonds out of the ground. The mine site—stretched over a tiny island in Lac de Gras, 186 miles north of Yellowknife—seems to blend inconspicuously into the Arctic […]

Diamond Rush: The American Way

John Loring, Tiffany’s renowned design director and historian, is particularly proud that Tiffany is selling diamonds sourced in North America. “The first important diamond to be cut in America was the 77-carat Tiffany II in 1889,” he notes. “I like the idea that all these years later, we’re involved in pioneering the diamond industry here.” […]

Time: Revolutionary Thinking

When you don a tourbillon, you strap to your wrist what is perhaps the most inefficient, out-of-date—not to mention expensive—complicated watch available. Undoubtedly, a number of horological aficionados will bristle at such a statement because it seemingly slights watchdom’s holiest of holies: the complicated movement that is revered above all others and virtually defines high-end […]

Style: Hide and Sleek

The stench of death lingers inside a series of stone buildings that were built during the French Revolution just outside of Saint-Léonard-de-Noblat in the heart of the French countryside. Here, in this lush green valley dotted with picturesque cottages, Bastin et Frères tannery, better known as Tannerie Bastin, has converted a former military supply factory […]

Back Page: Pashas Past and Present

The most remarkable watches are often one-of-a-kind pieces, custom-made for clients of means. This is true of the original Cartier Pasha watch, which Louis Cartier created in 1931 for Thami El Glaoui, the pasha of Marrakech. The watch was an early attempt to address needs that most busy, successful modern people will recognize. El Glaoui […]

Personal Technology: The Sound and the Ferrari

Jim Bolton knows every inch of unused space in a Ferrari. “Some of the tighter cars are Ferraris,” says Bolton, the owner of Performance Sound & Security, a car audio aftermarket specialist near San Jose, Calif. “There’s barely room for a coat or a small bag.” He should know. Bolton has designed and installed some […]

True Blue Oval

On a map, Turn Eight of Laguna Seca Raceway appears to be nothing more than a simple S-bend that can be disposed of with two quick flicks of the steering wheel. But when viewed in three dimensions through a windshield, Turn Eight of the Monterey, Calif., track is something else altogether. You approach the aptly […]

True Blue Oval: Creating a Legend

It could be argued that the impending arrival of the 2005 Ford GT was guaranteed at 4 pm on June 19, 1966. If a checkered flag had not waved over the Ford GT Mark II, the new 500-hp supercar would have had no reason to exist. The site was Le Mans, where Ford, having spent […]

Revival of the Fittest

Back and forth the bidding went between the two gentlemen at the Christie’s Exceptional Motor Cars auction at Pebble Beach in August, increasing by $10,000 increments with each volley. The auctioneer delivered each bid with a shout—$400,000! $410,000! $420,000!—that was greeted with a roar of approval from the growing crowd of onlookers. The two combatants […]

Revival of the Fittest: Culling the Classics

The 1965 Maserati Quattroporte sat unnoticed by everyone at a California classic car show in 1978. Everyone except Oscar Crovetto. “Nobody knew what it was,” Crovetto recalls. “I felt sorry for this animal. I had to buy it.” Crovetto, who spent $4,800 on the car, recalls chatting with two former Maserati employees at another auto […]

Wheels: Vantage Point

On the roads of Gaydon, England, prototypes of the Aston Martin AM V8 Vantage motor around town, undergoing various tests to eliminate every existing kink. Company insiders call the stealthy two-seat sports car Project 305, an unassuming designation for a machine that promises merely to shake Aston Martin upside down and inside out, ushering the […]

Aircraft: On a Wing and a Share

From his home in Newport Beach, California, it takes Drew Warmington 10 hours to drive to Lake Tahoe. He recently completed the trip in an hour and 40 minutes—traveling at an average speed of 200 mph. Warmington, who operates a financial services company, owns a fractional share of a $289,400 Cirrus SR22, a piston-powered single-engine […]

Boating: Pull of the Pacific

Don Gilman, president of Gilman Yachts, had an ample fleet of Browards, Vikings, and Hatterases on display last February at the Miami International Boat Show. However, there was one particular yacht that he was bursting to show visitors at his crowded slip: the $1.18 million Horizon 62. The new addition to his stable of yachts […]

Wings & Water: Blackbird Fly

In April 1986, following an attack on American soldiers in a Berlin disco, President Reagan ordered the bombing of Muammar Qaddafi’s terrorist camps in Libya. My duty was to fly over Libya and take photos recording the damage our F-111s had inflicted. Qaddafi had established a “line of death,” a territorial marking across the Gulf […]