Whether by serendipity or study, the act of discovery is an unfailing thrill. It can last just a few minutes, in the case of a song that captures your mood, or it might remain with you forever, if what’s learned is transformative, opening up a new world of experiences and possibilities.
Over the years, my list has included everything from destinations, authors and artists to tailors, meals (a magnificent eggplant pasta in Sardinia springs to mind) and designers. But it can also, of course, be deeper than an object or a fleeting experience; on occasion it’s as profound as a cause or charity that becomes a lifetime’s commitment.
In this annual Giving Issue, we have a dual focus: on the act of gifting during this holiday season, for which we have curated—and in many cases created—42 genuinely extraordinary opportunities to own or take part in something unique and spectacular (more on that shortly), and on philanthropy. In the US, charitable giving rose nearly 4 percent in 2020, to a total of $471.44 billion. That’s proof of the trend for more aggressive spending, in recognition of the challenges we’re currently facing on multiple fronts, be they Covid-19, America’s racial reckoning or increasingly devastating climate change. In our portfolio spotlighting some of those leading this charge toward donating huge sums now, rather than leaving the funds to a foundation to divest later, we interviewed philanthropists and executives who are intent, as writer Jackie Cooperman reports, “to effect change, and to do it quickly.”
I promised you fantastic gift ideas, and upon review, you’ll find I’m true to my word. How about a private concert by Rufus Wainwright with the autographed, ultra-rare Steinway he played on as your souvenir? Or the last unspoken for Hennessey Venom F5 hypercar, plus a truck and trailer to transport it? An exceptional color-changing diamond ring; a neoclassical French château from 1890, boxed up ready to be built wherever you choose; or a set of six now-discontinued F.P. Journe watches? A delicious week of romance in Provence or a spot in the Carrera Panamericana rally, with a car thrown in to race with? Perhaps, if those all sound too pedestrian, being the first civilian to spacewalk from the International Space Station is more your thing? Or a trip to the edge of the atmosphere in a very big balloon? Whatever you select, rest assured you’ll be discovering something very special and very precious. Just like the person you’ll be giving it to (even if that’s, ahem, you).
Speaking of discovery (and perhaps gifting, too), let me announce something I hope will intrigue you: Robb Report’s just-launched 672 Wine Club. We’ve teamed with Wine Savage to bring members under-the-radar bottles, often from boutique, family-run producers, that you’d be unlikely to unearth anywhere else. The 672 refers to the number of bottles on a standard 56-case pallet, but also to the number of people we’re accepting into the club, in order to access these highly allocated lots. And while buying vintages to lay down for decades is an exquisite example of deferred discovery, what about those who want something magical for right now, too? For them, we devised a new model: Every member will receive two bottles each of three varieties of red every quarter—three to drink now, three of the same for the cellar.
Why choose between pleasure today or perfection tomorrow? Go to robbreport.winesavage.com to learn more and sign up.
Elsewhere in these pages, you’ll find Louis Vuitton’s collection of Objets Nomades, created by some of the great designers of the day, first-drive reviews of three new beauties—Ferrari’s 812 Competizione, Lamborghini’s Huracán STO and the Black Badge edition of Rolls-Royce’s Ghost—and a stack of new motorbikes, plus an exceptional Italian wine region you may have yet to discover.
Enjoy the issue.