Monthly Archives: November 2011

Jordan Salcito Makes Wine for Dummies (and a Cause)

Fashion Societé appreciates when hot New York restaurants, including Crown, Cain, The Dutch and Locanda Verde offer superb values on their wine lists~

Scribbling in her Moleskine notebook on a plane ride back from a wine festival, Jordan Salcito, the wine director of New York’s Crown restaurant, had an epiphany.

“I wanted to make wine approachable,” she says. “Wine is still an intimidating subject and sommeliers are often stereotyped as being stuffy.”

With a mission to democratize the art of appreciating wine, Salcito launched her own label called Bellus, a Tuscan red made from Sangiovese, cabernet sauvignon and merlot grapes that pairs well with tomato-based foods, red meats, charcuterie and poultry.

Hoping to “empower people to learn their own likes and dislikes,” while extracting wine’s “intimidation factor,” Salcito teamed up with designer Tory Burch to conceptualize the bottle’s label, which succinctly quantifies the wine’s level of acidity, body, tannins, minerality, oak and complexity.

“Tory has been super supportive. She lent me one of her designers for the label to make it more polished,” Salcito says. “In return, I gave back to her foundation.”

For every bottle of Bellus sold, Salcito will donate 75 cents to the Tory Burch foundation. If all 20,000 bottles sell, Burch can expect a hefty $15,000 donation — which is a distinct likelihood — considering the wine’s $19.99 price tag.

Starting today, Bellus will be available exclusively through Gilt Taste for three days. After that, it can be bought through Crush Wine Company and Bellus, which means “beautiful’”in Latin, will also be sold at Crush Wine’s retail store in Midtown Manhattan for $22.99, and at select New York restaurants, including Crown, Cain, The Dutch and Locanda Verde.

“I really wanted to create something with superb quality and a really accessible price point,” says the passionate Salcito. “What I love about wine is that there’s no such thing as knowing everything about it. There are so many different regions. Things are always changing. Wine has such history.”

By Alexandra Steigrad, Women’s Wear Daily

How Style Television Shows and Fashion Magazines Affect the Way Women Dress

Fashion magazines have been around since the mid-1800s. Style shows like “What Not to Wear” have been around for 10 years (as of this month) and going strong.  Pretty much everyone including me wants to “look their best”.  Barring major surgery, we can’t change our facial features, our height or structure, but we can all change our clothes. And unless you live under a rock, you know by now the importance and impact of our image. So with all this media to turn to, what makes us look our best when “well-dressed” is utterly subjective?

Fashion, taste and style are commonly interchangeable words. Yet they’re quite different elements. After all, Fashion is material expression of the current time– garments are chosen to be worn to clothe, through offerings by designers/retailers who feel it will sell. Taste is the preference for a particular design. Tastes range widely to the extent that the “best taste” is usually considered one’s own.  Style is the most complex derivative of clothing and expression. Dressing codes are combined into types, take on a name, become recognizable, and are often associated with groups of people.  But the true essence of style- whether it’s worn, a common thread in music, or found in an author’s work- is a free use of the proper which German poet Friedrich Holderlin explains is the freedom to break rules. Whether a person is “well-dressed” is often a unique interpretation of this 3 element-combo.

With reality TV hosts mocking then transforming the lucky subject to the glee of the family, how many of us can relate to that poor soul when he/she first appears? Their taste is bashed, their possessions discarded and a new style is handed to them. Do we take notes throughout so that we improve upon the end credits, or do we watch for giggles? Personally, I love “How Do I Look?” and  I’ll never give up my subscription to Marie Claire or Lucky. Time spent with these are rewards for tasks such as writing this.  With popularity such as Elle‘s- the largest with 42 international editions in over 60 countries, we can expect to see the new trends, the newest it bags, and fresh ways to put it all together better. With all the coverage and “suggestions” we are led to internalize this ourselves- whether its back to a familiar rut or an actual seasonal metamorphosis.

How’s that going? Magazines work. Shows entertain. It’s basically passive stuff. I believe we need to get proactive. After all, these economic times require all we’ve got.

First published November 7, 2011 in