Tag Archives: The Fine Wine Company of Westport

Roundup: Halloween Window Painting, Uncorked Wine, $10,000 Grants …

It’s b-a-a-a-a-c-k!

The annual Halloween window painting contest returns Saturday, October 28.

The Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce is looking for painters for the popular event. It’s open to elementary and middle school children, with 6 winners in 3 different categories earning gift certificates to Saugatuck Sweets.

Last year, 105 kids painted 65 windows throughout town, individually or in teams. Click here to sign up, and for more information.

But that’s not all.

That night (October 28, 8 p.m., Westport Library), the Chamber presents a Halloween Concert and Costume Ball.

Costumes are encouraged. Prizes will awarded for best outfits, in several categories. Specialty cocktails, beer and wine complement music by Bella’s Bartok, a funk/pop/folk band.

Tickets are $35. Click here to purchase, and for more information.

Halloween window painting collage.


Like a fine wine, Westport Sunrise Rotary’s “Uncorked” fundraiser gets better with age.

This year’s event (october 12, 6 to 9 p.m., The Inn at Longshore) will once again feature extraordinary vintages from the Fine Wine Company of Westport. Cory D’Addario will carefully choose 100 wines for tasting.

She is committed to sustainable, organic or bio-dynamic practices, and looks for integrity from the vineyard and supplier to the store. Passed hors d’oeuvres, creative charcuterie and carving stations will be paired with the wines.

Funds raised benefit the many charities supported by Sunrise Rotary. Click here for tickets, and more information.

Festive crowds, great food and excellent wines, at the Westport Sunrise Rotary’s Uncorked event.


Less than one month remains to get $10,000.

Applications for the Westport Woman’s Club Ruegg Grants close October 20.

The grants, established in 1995 by former member Lea Ruegg, are awarded to non-profit projects that enhance social services, health, safety, the arts or education.

Recent Ruegg Grant beneficiaries include the Westport Astronomical Society, Project Return, Earthplace and Wakeman Town Farm. Proposals should be high-profile initiatives that make a meaningful difference in Westport. Click here for the application form. 


Rain and wind are likely tomorrow.

Stay dry and warm — and learn about dozens of opportunities — at the volunteer fair in the Westport Library’s Trefz Forum.

Co-hosted by the town and League of Women Voters (Saturday, September 23, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.), it’s a chance to check out over 2 dozen community organizations. Each will have a staff member to provide information and answer questions.

Participating groups include: A Better Chance of Westport; AWARE; Center for Senior Activities; Club 203; Earthplace; FCJazz; Food Rescue; Friends of Sherwood Island; Guiding Eyes for the Blind; Levitt Pavilion; Staples Tuition Grants; Sunrise Rotary Club; TEAM Westport; Town of Westport; Verso Studios; Veterans of Foreign Wars; Wakeman Town Farm; Westport Book Shop; Westport Community Theatre; Westport Country Playhouse; Westport Emergency Medical Services; Westport League of Women Voters; Westport Library; Westport Permanent Art Collections; Westport Sunrise Rotary; Westport Woman’s Club; Westport Young Woman’s League; Westport-Weston CERT; Westport Weston Family YMCA.

Every year AWARE partners with a different organization, getting to know their work and helping wherever they can. Last year’s partner was Her Time, which serves women affected by incarceration. AWARE is one of many groups at tomorrow’s volunteer fair.


Austin Hatch has an incredible story.

After surviving a plane crash that killed his mother and siblings years earlier, he was critically injured in — and the sole survivor of — a second crash that claimed the lives of his father and stepmother.

His road to recovery — capped by playing basketball for his mother’s alma mater, the University of Michigan — is both astonishing and inspiring.

He’ll tell it next Friday (September 29, 7:30 p.m.) at the Westport Country Playhouse.

Saugatuck Financial is sponsoring the event. They’ve made a few seats available, to friends of “06880.” Click here for tickets, and more information.


When was the last time you went to a real trunk show?

On October 1, you can. On October 1, over 35 Artists Collective of Westport members will (Westport Library lower parking lot, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.), will literally open the trunks of their cars to offer works for viewing and sales.

Okay, some may have vans, but still …

Prices range from $25 to $1,500; most are under $100. They’re bargains — and you can meet the artists too.

Participating artists include Elisa Keogh, Deborah Bohren, Beatrice delPerugia, Nina Bentley, Marc Zaref, Louise Cadoux, Dionne Pia,  Holly Hawthorn, Rosalind Shaffer, Maryann Neilson, Julie Leff, Lisa Silberman, Dolores Santiliquido, Fruma Markowitz, George Radwan, Ronnie Gold, Jean Krasno, Jocelyn Baran, Cecilia Moy, Susan Fehlinger, Dorothy Robertshaw, Cindy Wagner, Robin Babbin, Michael Brennecke, Susan Murray, Debbie Smith, Rebecca Fuchs, Elizabeth DeVoll, Janine Brown, Leonor Dao Turut, Hernan Garcia, Carla Goldberg, Barbara Ringer, Jane Fleischne and Maj Kalfus.

Jazz/pop singer Melissa Newman is an added attraction.


Many Westporters volunteer at Mercy Learning Center.

They help provide literacy and life skills training to women in need. They’ll be at the non-profit’s annual fundraiser October 1 (Shorehaven Golf Club, Norwalk, 5 to 8 p.m.), and encourage many others to join them.

The evening of cocktails, tastings and a live auction is a chance to learn more about this wonderful organization. New president and CEO Lindsay Wyman will be introduced too. Click here for tickets, and more information.


Westport resident Mitchell Green pleaded guilty this week to wire fraud charges in Newark.

He stole more than $2 million by selling Champagne and cognac at artificially inflated wholesale prices. He also got kickbacks on the transaction, which led to litigation by a company owned by 50 Cent.

“Though he was supposed to negotiate the best deal possible for his employer, Green set up secret side deals to inflate what his employer paid so that he could reap millions of dollars in kickbacks,” said Philip Sellinger, US attorney for the District of New Jersey. “Companies must be able to rely on the integrity of their agents to conduct business.”

Green faces up to 20 years in prison, plus a large fine. He will be sentenced in January. (Hat tip: Allan Siegert)

50 Cent


Want to buy a lighthouse?

A Westport resident did.

He bid $360,000, and won the Penfield Lighthouse off Fairfield.

The property contains a 51-foot tall octagonal light house built in 1874, and a 2-story, 1,568- square foot keepers’ quarters. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. 

The bidder is remaining anonymous for now. Still ahead is final approval by the General Services Administration, then negotiations with the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection on the long-term lease.

The bidders will then form a steering committee of local stakeholders, to figure out how best to embrace this offshore treasure. They hope to open it to the broader community for education, events and more.

“06880” will follow this lighthouse story to the end. It’s a beacon of hope for all.

Penfield Lighthouse


Tuesday’s Westport Rotary Club guest speaker was Rotary International’s Celeste Herbert. She noted that the group’s contributions to the Rotary Foundation help it impact communities around the world, in areas like education and literacy; economic development; maternal and child health; peace building and conflict prevention; water, sanitation and hygiene; the environment, and disease prevention and treatment.

Herbert praised Westport Rotary for their “audacity” in addressing important issues, and believing they can make a difference.

Celeste Herbert at the Westport Rotary Club.


It’s mid-September — past the Levitt Pavilion’s traditional closing date — but the outdoor entertainment venue continues to rock.

Last night’s attraction was Borboletta. The Santana tribute band drew a summer-like large crowd.

Borboletta at the Levitt Pavilion. (Photo/Dinkin Fotografix)


Goose H290 has been hanging around Westport for several years.

Time for his/her/its closeup on “Westport … Naturally”:

(Photo/Matt Murray)


And finally … happy birthday to Andrea Bocelli. The Italian tenor was born on this day 65 years ago.

(This story is filled with news you can use. So is every Roundup. Supporting “06880” means you appreciate our local focus. Please click here to help. Thank you!)

Roundup: Rob Simmelkjaer, Paul Newman, President Kennedy …

On the even of today’s New York City Marathon — and a couple of weeks before Roh Simmelkjaer takes over as CEO of its organizer, New York Road Runners — the New York Times sat down for a chat with the Westport resident.

Simmelkjaer is familiar to local residents. He’s a former member of the Zoning Board of Appeals, and the Democratic Town Committee.

Persona — the interview and conversation-focused social media startup he founded — had a heavy local presence.

Simmelkjaer has also been a top manager at ESPN, an on-air Olympics personality for NBC, and — most recently — director of the Connecticut State Lottery.

He calls the Road Runners gig his “dream job.” (He comes prepared: He’s finished the New York Marathon twice.)

Click here to learn about Simmelkjaer’s plans — including a greater focus on the mental health aspect of running, and expanding the organization’s reach — in the Times’ Q-and-A. (Hat tip: John Suggs)

Rob Simmelkjaer


Also in today’s New York Times: a review of Paul Newman’s new posthumous memoir, “The Extraordinary Life of an Ordinary Man.”

It’s by Richard Russo, who has some skin in the Westport actor’s game. Newman’s portrayal of Sully in the film adaptation of Russo’s novel changed the author’s life, opening doors to a screenwriting career.

Click here for the full Times piece.


CraftWestport — the Young Woman’s League’s mega-pre-holiday fair — returns to the Staples High School fieldhouse today, after 2 COVID years off.

Among the 175-plus exhibitors: Aiden Schachter.

The Staples High School student is selling his LED lightclouds. That may be a first for the event — and he may be the youngest vendor ever.

The show runs until 6 p.m. today. Click here for tickets, and more information.

Aiden Schachter, and his lightcloud booth.


As the political season heats up, so does the work of Marc Selverstone.

The 1980 Staples High School graduate — An associate professor in presidential studies at the University of Virginia, and chair of the Presidential Recordings Program at the Miller Center of Public Affairs there — is about to publish “The Kennedy Withdrawal: Camelot and the American Commitment in Vietnam.”

It’s called “a major revision of our understanding of JFK’s commitment to Vietnam, revealing that his administration’s plan to withdraw was a political device, the effect of which was to manage public opinion while preserving United States military assistance.”

Selverstone is an expert on the subject. At the Miller Center he edits the secret tapes of Presidents Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon.

Click here for more information, and to purchase.


How do stress levels affect children’s brain development?

That’s the topic of the next Positive Directions “Lunch and Learn” series.

Frank Castorina, PD clinical supervisor, provides insights on November 16 (noon to 1:30 p.m., Westport Weston Family YMCA0.

It’s an important and timely topic. And lunch is provided! Click here to RSVP.


Speaking of stress: Relax with some wine! (Adults, not kids …)

Westport Sunrise Rotary has just the ticket. Their “Westport Uncorked” wine tasting fundraiser is set for The Inn at Longshore (Friday, November 18. 6:30 p.m.).

Heavy hors d’oeuvres will be served, along with dozens of fine wines provided by The Fine Wine Company of Westport. (All wines are available for purchase).

Every dollar raised goes directly to charities supported by Westport Sunrise Rotary. Click here for tickets, and more information.

Good times at the 2019 Uncorked wine tasting, at the Inn at Longshore.


In advance of Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers’ November 25 release of “Live at the Fillmore 1997” — their first live record in over a decade — Emmy-winning Westport animator Jeff Scher has created a great video.

Viewers will recognize plenty of local scenes, including Compo Beach, North Avenue and Cross Highway. There’s also the “Heroes Tunnel” through West Rock Ridge near Wilbur Cross Parkway Exit 59 in New Haven.

Click below to see:


Westporters turned out in force yesterday, to help the Westport police force — and folks in need.

The Police Department and Stop & Shop sponsored their annual Thanksgiving Food Drive. All donations — 436 bags, filled to the brim — support Homes with Hope’s Food Pantry at the Gillespie Center. and Westport Human Services’ Food Pantry.

Some residents went out of their way to bring food. Others spotted the food drive, and added non-perishable items to their shopping lists.

At the end of the day, an entire (and enormous) truck was filled with much-needed goods. Thanks to all who contributed — and of course to the WPD, and Stop & Shop.

RTM member Jimmy Izzo, former 1st Selectman Jim Marpe (with his wife Mary Ellen and grandson Charlie), and Police Chief Foti Koskinas (center), with volunteers and Westport Police Department officers at the Thanksgiving food drive by Stop & Shop.


“Script in Hand” — the Westport Country Playhouse’s very popular series of staged readings — returns November 14 (7 p.m.). The show is “Ripcord.”

Click here for details (including a plot summary) and tickets.


If you’ve eaten at La Plage, you know there’s fine dining by the water.

If you’re a bald eagle, you agree. Seth Goltzer spotted this bird enjoying a tasty meal of squirrel at Longshore.

It’s the real world. And it fits perfectly with our “Westport … Naturally” concept.

(Photo/Seth Goltzer)


And finally … Aaron Carter, the singer and actor (and brother of Backstreet Boys member Nick Carter) was found dead yesterday at his California home. He was 34.

(Your clock should have been set back an hour last night. And don’t forget to support “06880” either! Please click here to contribute.)