The Party Gene By Nadia Zilkha

I have inherited the party gene from my parents.

For as long as my mother in London has had email, she has been sending me photos of her dining room table set for numerous guests. Different floral arrangements and silver platters filled with chocolates adorn it in winter: and in the summer cherries make delicious edible centerpieces. She treats her dining room table like an artist treats a canvas, and the works of art she creates require as much thoughtful planning and energy as any painting.

Selim Zilkha, my father and the owner of Laetitia, and his longtime girlfriend, Mary Hayley give parties all the time. They just threw a Leap Year Party. I asked my dad if Mary had finally proposed to him but she still hadn’t. Seems they’re very happy together as they are, unmarried for 54 years and counting. They use anything as an excuse to share the joy of life and dance with the ever evolving guests who appreciate their extraordinary generosity and gracious entertaining.

So what about me? Since I moved to New York in 2008, I’m always hosting parties. Perhaps my party gene fully matured because whether it’s post funeral get-togethers, birthdays for every age (Yes, we lie about the age), parties for friends who are visiting New York, or for friends who are moving away, there always seems to be a good reason for me to throw a party. My most relaxed party to date was a get together on the Tuesday night before Thanksgiving. People haven’t yet eaten too much and are in a festive mood and thrilled to see friends before the onslaught of family. Perfect…

Whilst the food at these gatherings varies, one thing on the menu is a constant. I make sure there’s plenty Laetitia Brut Rosé to kick off all festivities.  My friends love it and even crave it. The bubbles flow and so does everything else.

Food cooked by Eliza Glaister (
I threw a party last week and wanted to vary the formula slightly.  Guests often bring other producer’s wines as a hostess gift. This is very kind but a little like bringing coals to Newcastle. I wanted to share these other wines, and to make space in my cellar. So I served Veuve Cliquot, and a Roderer champagne instead of only Laetitia.

Half way through the party my friends staged a mutiny and demanded Laetitia Brut Rose. I had to abandon my well laid out plan and realized I’ve trained my pals well. It’s great to see that our Sparkling wines stand up beautifully against the competition. I immediately ordered a new supply of Brut Rose for my own cellar to make sure that it won’t run out. If I’ve learned one thing from all my party planning, it’s to make sure I’m never caught without a secret stash of Laetitia’s most beloved wines.

So long live Laetitia and our fabulous heritage. Winemaker Dave Hickey’s Brut Rosé rocks!

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