Drinking Nicolas Feuillatte’s Palmes d’Or with some Philly Racists

Posted by Keith Wallace

Table of Contents

The Four Seasons

In 2010, the Wine School ran a Champagne event at the old Four Seasons that featured a vertical tasting of Nicolas Feuillatte’s Palmes d’Or.

Alas, I fear that objectivity may not be possible. How is it with such a stellar line-up of wines? (After starting the Feuillatte 1999 Blanc de Blancs, we moved on to the house’s Palmes d’Or 1998, 1997, 1996, 1995, 1992, 1991, 1990, and 1985.)

Animated debate at formal dinner.

The Menu

And how is it with such a luxurious menu? It included stuffed oysters with caviar, foie gras terrine with rhubarb chutney, smoked salmon and quail eggs, and spring pea soup with morels. And how is it with the winemaker there, and in the magnificent Washington Room, and attended by a beautiful group of people, friends old and new?

Sometimes, objectivity is impossible. In these cases, it’s best to remember the evening, smile, and look forward to the next one.

It would have all been perfect, except that it wasn’t. The school is well-known for being open to all people. At the time, the Four Seasons was not such a place.

The Racist Shit Show

Several of our black students were treated horribly by a particular waiter. I asked him to back off, but he felt it was his right to treat my people poorly. I immediately addressed the issue with the head waiter, several managers, and even the PR team that helped me organize the event. No one else cared. And that made me even angrier.

I made a scene. A BIG FUCKING SCENE. A big “don’t you fucking treat my students like that, you redneck pieces of shit, I’m going to kick your ass” kinda scene. I made a few enemies that night, including prominent journalists and PR professionals in attendance. Ever wonder why the school doesn’t get much press these days? It all started right there.

Infuriatingly, the very same journalists and PR people who blackballed the school –because I called out their casual racism–were the very same people who eventually jumped on the BLM bandwagon when it benefitted them.

Being on the right side of history sucks.

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