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Hamptons Scene: Wine Club’s $3,250 Tasting; Spike Lee

Societe du Vin
A seal identifies a former potato barn as the home of a private wine club Societe du Vin. The initiation fee is $50,000. Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

Aug. 15 (Bloomberg) -- A huge faux-stone face of Bacchus frames a doorway in the tasting room at Societe du Vin, a new private wine club in Bridgehampton.

In the climate-controlled room next door sit 14 bottles of Domaine de la Romanee-Conti Richebourg, representing 10 vintages from 1948 to 1999.

Tomorrow night they’ll be uncorked for 14 guests. The cost to sip: $3,250. A few seats remain.

“We will start with the young and work our way to the old,” said Peter Thustrup, 61, the wine adviser who will lead the tasting.

Thustrup, president and founder of Paris-based PT Lifestyle Wine, said half of the wines come from his favorite private collection in France and were bought directly from Domaine Romanee-Conti between 10 and 20 years ago.

To prepare for the tasting, it’s important “to be rested,” Thustrup said. “In the Hamptons this should not be a problem.”

The event is a co-venture between the Wine Trust LP, which operates a wine-investment fund and a wine-distribution business based in Ridgefield, Connecticut, and Societe du Vin, founded by Houston Rockets owner Leslie Alexander.

Alexander started the club as a place for wine aficionados to gather, store and share their wine. The initiation fee is $50,000, plus annual dues. A club spokesman, Jenna Petrucci, declined to state the number of members.

Potato Barn

Rustic and whimsical, the club occupies a converted potato barn on Butter Lane. A Hollywood set designer did the interior: A staircase to private cellars has the names of famous wines printed on the steps. A storage space has blue floors and faux-rust walls.

In the tasting room, cherubs dangle from the chandeliers. Blue velvet chairs sit around giant wood tables.

There’s no leather in the design and pets are welcome. Alexander is an animal lover, though he doesn’t plan to bring his Yellow Lab Joey to the tasting.

“My dog eats anything I eat, but when I put wine down to his nose, he refuses it,” Alexander said.

New York Notes

On Tuesday night, Spike Lee sat in on a private concert by Jon Batiste and his band Stay Human at the inside lounge of Gallow Green, the McKittrick Hotel’s rooftop garden.

The show started with two renditions of “My Favorite Things”: “We forgot to transition to the next song, so we’re going to do it again,” said Batiste, who went to Juilliard.

The show was being taped for the PBS series “Front Row Center,” pegged to the Oct. 8 release of the band’s album “Social Music.”

“Sleep No More” producer Jonathan Hochwald, writer Alexis Clark, and Brooklyn Bowl owner Peter Shapiro were in the audience. “I’m jealous of this venue,” Shapiro said.

Spotted at Monday’s opening night of “Love’s Labour’s Lost”: Hans Morris, advisory director at General Atlantic LLC; Jeffrey Barker, New York City market president of Bank of America Corp., which sponsors the Public Theater’s Shakespeare in the Park; and playwright John Guare.

For a hint of which college the characters may have attended, see the blue-and-white marching band.

(Amanda Gordon is a writer and photographer for Muse, the arts and leisure section of Bloomberg News. Any opinions expressed are her own.)

Muse highlights include Jason Harper on cars, Rich Jaroslovsky on technology, Lance Esplund on art.

To contact the writer on this story: Amanda Gordon in New York at agordon01@bloomberg.net or on Twitter at @amandagordon.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Manuela Hoelterhoff at mhoelterhoff@bloomberg.net.

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