There was brio in the air last night at Camerata, as co-owners David Keck and Paul Petronella wrangled an ornery projector and guests sipped Riesling selected especially for the wine bar's "Summer of Riesling" microlist.
The occasion was the debut screening of "Summer Riesling - A 'Summer Nights' Parody," a video produced and performed by Mark Collado, a musical theater enthusiast and amateur singer, and Ryan Cooper, a Camerata sommelier and chef-about-town (he is the founder and owner of R&D Barbecue, a Houston-based catering company). The two became friends and musical collaborators after meeting at the wine bar, where Mark is a regular guest.
The cast is made up of Camerata staff and regulars and it features Collado's voice (lip-synched by Keck) in the role of "Danny." Bret Forsberg, a former Houstonian and ex-Camerata sommelier, plays "Sandy" (his part is sung by a friend and collaborator of Collado's). Cooper composed the lyrics with the help of Hayley Wallace, also a Camerata sommelier who performs in the video as well.
You had to be a wine nerd (and intimately familiar with Riesling) to get some of the jokes.
The line, he got friendly, Hock in my hand, for example, is a reference to the classic, slender bottle shape used in the production of Riesling, an abbreviation of Hochheim, the German city that popularized the format.
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But the video's overall hilarity was not lost on the jovial crowd, whose mood was fueled in part by the many bottles of Riesling that were passed around among guests.
The evening didn't lack in culinary Houstonian glamor: Earlier in the day, Houston Chronicle restaurant critic Alison Cook revealed on her blog that Keck and Petronella have partnered with ex-Tony's chef de cuisine Grant Gordon to open a new restaurant in the Montrose.
With a projected launch in 2015, the restaurant -- which is to be built on a vacant lot on Westheimer from the ground up -- is sure to be one of the most-talked-about openings in the city.