The Sotheby’s Wine Interview: Dana Hammond Stubgen

By Jamie Ritchie


NEW YORK - For the next in our series of Sotheby’s Wine interviews, I spoke with Dana Hammond Stubgen, mother of five, socialite and philanthropist, who is always in a minority in the world of wine collecting: she is one of too few serious women wine collectors. Knowledgeable and generous, she has been Sotheby's most important female collector of wine for many years and has built up a great collection of Burgundy, Bordeaux, Rhone and California cults. Now, she concentrates mostly on Burgundy, her singular passion, which she indulges in every day.

Where were you born?
New York City at Doctor's Hospital.

What did you want to be when you grew up?
A neurosurgeon, an Olympic swimmer and a mother of 10.

Where/what did you study?
NYU Film School; a minor in romance languages.

Any formal wine training?
None at all.

Who was your wine mentor?
My ex-husband, James; Michael Aaron; Bob Sleigh, Jamie Ritchie and Raj Vaida.

What was the best advice you ever received?
Live every day as though it's your last...don't spend more money than you have.

What instantly brings a smile to your face?
Quality time with my family, especially having all five kids under one roof...running around the reservoir...and La Tache '78.

What instantly makes you frown?
Corked bottles of expensive Burgundy...and idiotic men who assume women don't know anything about wine.

What is the last movie you saw?
A French Indie film called "Polisse".

What's your guilty secret?
Opening expensive bottles of Burgundy every night, even if I'm alone.


What are you craving right now?
The gnocchi at Sette Mezzo that I am about to eat right now with my friend Jamie Ritchie.

What are you reading now?
Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace; Hitch 22 by Christopher Hitchens and IQ84 by Haruki Murakami - I always read three books at a time.

Favorite local hotel?
I have never stayed at a New York City hotel, so have no idea, but I would probably pick The Plaza because I like the food court, I love Eloise and my friends Douglas Hannant and Frederick Anderson have their store there.

Favorite hotel in the world?
Tongabezi Lodge in Zambia, right on the Zambezi River - awesome wildlife hotel.

Favorite local restaurant?
Both Daniel and Le Bernardin.

Favorite restaurant in the world?
Restaurant Arzak in San Sebastian, Spain...and I am in love with Juan Mari - he is SO COOL!

Favorite airline?
NetJets, of course!!!!

Favorite wine/vintage?
Any great DRC, Dujac, Leroy or Rousseau from a top vintage.

Favorite shoes?
Manolo Blahnik, Guissepe Zanotti, Christian Louboutin, Jimmy Choo.

If you can choose your perfect last supper before leaving this world, what would it be, who would it be with and what would you drink with it?
We would have a family table for eight: for my five children, Patrick, James and myself. Then, we would have a separate table that would include: Mick Jagger, John Lennon, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Neil Young, Jim Morrison, Picasso, Vincent Van Gogh, Henri de Toulouse Lautrec, Marilyn Monroe, Gertrude Stein, Cole Porter and Fellini. We are a little short on ladies (not my strongest area) so let's also include Cleopatra, Helen of Troy...and Serena Sutcliffe, of course!

We will have Beluga Caviar from Petrossian with buckwheat bilinis and Montrachet DRC '78, followed by cheese soufflé, shaved artichoke salad with white truffles, then sirloin steak from Lobel's - all served with a complete horizontal of the DRC reds from 1985. Dessert will be a Bento box from Nobu 57 with an assortment of mochi ice cream, with Yquem '21

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