POSTED ON JUNE 18, 2008:
Stilettos and Stemware
YWCA invites you to put on heels, raise a glass and support a great cause
Fan of Pairs. Whether you're a wine enthusiast or a shoe fetishist, you have more in common to one another than you'd imagine.
I was not much of a wordsmith when I was younger. I always assumed that one could only be a connoisseur of wine. It's a legitimate confusion as so often a person hears the phrase "wine connoisseur." As I have matured and expanded my vocabulary, I know that most anything a person can be highly knowledgeable of can qualify for the fancy French title.
I am an accessories connoisseur. While not highly intelligent on a robust Sauvignon Blanc, I have the ability to identify a designer by the look of a purse and the skill to know what shoe is in vogue. I also have laser-like precision at finding just the right shoes, jewelry or purses.
It's the compliments and compliqueries I receive that really make me a braggadocio at my skill. A compliquery, by the way, is a word recently created on jezebel.com. It's when you compliment a person about an item they are wearing by inquiring where they purchased it. You know, so that you can go out and buy it. Copying is the highest form of flattery, so they say.
In the end though, shoes take the top rank in apparel, as many women will attest. Nothing like a pair of shoes can give you such a high (height, compliments and feeling sexy) and such a low (corns, calluses and other podiatry qualms) simultaneously.
The same can be said for wine. Whether you're a wine enthusiast or a shoe fetishist, you have more in common with one another than you'd imagine. Hey, it's not just me that thinks a fine shoe is equally important as a fine wine. The YWCA agrees with me, so much so that they are hosting the upcoming YWCA "Wine, Women, and Shoes" event.
I don't mix a fancy shoe with an alcoholic beverage. I cannot trust other drunks, er drinkers, to not spill something on my fancy dress shoes. Additionally, it's not the safest situation to be in fancy dress shoes when consuming alcoholic beverages. This event, however, is the time to break out your best shoes and prepare to buy more fabulous shoes. In fact, the organizers of the "Wine, Women and Shoes" charity event have a creative way to pair a fine wine with a stylized shoe.
"Wine, Women and Shoes" is a celebration of women from June 19-21 that is designed to benefit important women's causes while educating patrons about wine. Three separate events are being held in conjunction with the Tulsa YWCA, 10 Napa Valley vintners and an assortment of locally based shoe and accessory retail stores. Each event features a wine tasting and a showcase of shoes from local retailers. Most importantly, 20 percent of the event's proceeds benefit the Tulsa YWCA.
Observe the Legs
"Wine, Women and Shoes" is the brainchild of Elaine Honig of Honig Wines in California. While attending a fundraiser in 2005, she wishfully thought up an idea that would bring shoes and wine together and benefit women's organizations. The idea caught on with the first "Wine, Women, and Shoes" event occurring in Napa Valley; it quickly spread throughout the United States. In its first two years it raised more than one million dollars nationally. Last year the event arrived in Tulsa and was such a tremendous success, it has returned for a second run.
On Day 1, "Wine and Shoe Pairing 101" occurs. The tasting event takes place at the Central Center in Centennial Park, 1028 E. 6th St. It's more than just a chance to sample 10 wines from Napa Valley, this is a chance to educate yourself on wine. Honig noted that you can compare different wines to different shoes, using comparisons like, "silver sandals to a racy, metallic and versatile Sauvignon Blanc and classic pumps to Cabernet Sauvignon where the backbone of tannin supports the wine just as the heel supports the shoe."
If you have no idea what tannin is, then you probably should attend the event. Perhaps if the Frenchman had used this metaphor with a display of cute shoes, I would have a better understanding. You can educate yourself on shoes and wine between 5:30-7pm.
Next on the calendar: Friday's "'Wine, Women and Shoes' Patron and Guests Dinner" held at Gilcrease Museum, 1400 Gilcrease Museum Road, from 6-10pm. The seven-course meal with 12 different wines features a live auction that includes "wine trips and magnums from participating wineries and retail partners."
Saturday's lineup of events includes the "'Wine, Women and Shoes' Luncheon, Fashion Show and Marketplace" at the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame, 322 N. Greenwood Ave., from 11:30-2pm. There will be good food, entertainment, and most importantly, shopping. In addition to having some of Tulsa's female leaders sashaying down the catwalk in shoes from The Glass Slipper, Miss Jackson's, J.Cole, Saks Fifth Avenue and Angeleigh Anastasio, you will be able to purchase to your heart's content. More than just being great community leaders, these models represent what the fashion industry has shied away from--diversity. The models represent women of all ages, ethnicities and sizes.
After you've watched the models and seen some footwear you fancy, break out the checkbook. Each store represented in the fashion show has products for sale. You can also look forward to finding accessories to match your shoes. While I won't name-drop labels here, I do hear that this will be the premiere of three new shoe lines at Saks, two of which are Prada Sport and Christian Dior. Not too shabby.
Tickets to this drink, dine and buy extravaganza can be purchased at ywcatulsa.org. "Wine and Shoe Pairing 101" is $50, the "Luncheon, Fashion Show and Marketplace" tickets are $100 or you could make a weekend of it and opt for both at $150.
The event will be fun for those participating, but the outcome of donations could truly change the lives of local area women and children and be the true reward. The mission of the YWCA is eliminating racism and empowering women. Through no affiliation with the YMCA, the YWCA provides cities throughout the United States with child and youth development, health and wellness, senior programs, immigrant and refugee programs, childcare, career counseling, and community programs. It is a leader in advocating women's rights and civil rights in congress. And, most importantly, it's work assists more than 24,000 women, men and children each year.
To find out what specific vintners are participating in the events, more information about what the YWCA does, more about the "Wine, Women and Shoes" events or to register for your tickets, visit it's Web site, ywcatulsa.org.
As the tagline reads, "Kick up your heels, raise your glass...Finally, an event with sole!"
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