Combine top-notch wines and chef-driven cuisine with a passion for the arts and a remarkable setting, and you might have the perfect chemistry for an unforgettable dinner party. On a March evening in 2018, Aarati and Peter C. Alexander opened their historic Brookhaven home to 24 likeminded guests who embraced all of the above elements. A component of the High Museum Wine Auction’s ticketed Winemaker Dinner series, this intimate occasion served not only as a benefit for the High Museum of Art, but also as a toast to its guests of honor: the 2018 Vintner Chairs, Tuck and Boo Beckstoffer of Tuck Beckstoffer Estate in Napa Valley, California.
When the High Museum of Art asked the Beckstoffers to serve as the Vintner Chairs of the High Museum Wine Auction, which is the museum’s largest annual fundraiser, the couple’s answer was “a resounding ‘yes’,” says Boo, who originally hails from Atlanta and remembers taking art classes at the High as a child. “It’s such an outstanding event in so many ways—as is the outreach that the High Museum does in the Atlanta community for the arts.”
Along with the Beckstoffer’s wines, the evening also highlighted wines by Patz & Hall and cuisine by chef Matthew Basford of Canoe and chef Brian Riggenbach from Mockingbird in Nashville. As longtime supporters of the High—and self-proclaimed foodies and wine lovers—the Alexanders were overjoyed to host one of the wine auction’s private dinners—and thrilled when they learned they’d be hosting the Beckstoffers. “Our dinner was the first one to sell out because of the combination of the food and wine,” Aarati says.
And the Beckstoffers had a special treat for everyone in attendance; partygoers were among the first to sample Tuck Beckstoffer Estate’s newly debuted Mockingbird Cabernet. Also served was the Beckstoffers’ beloved Hogwash rosé, which—fittingly—was originally created for the High Museum more than a decade ago, when the Beckstoffers designed a custom wine for a whole-hog barbecue with Atlanta chef Linton Hopkins.
“Out of any wines that we make, that has the deepest Atlanta connection, and we are always indebted to Atlanta for inspiring that wine,” Boo says. “It was truly a full-circle moment to be able to be the Vintner Chairs and to share what we do now as adults with a place that means so much to me. It was really heartwarming to have that kind of homecoming and gratifying to share our labors of love, our wines, with Atlantans.”