Penny Parker On The Town: ‘Tuscan Sun’ author takes her talent to crafting a wine line

September 16, 2013

It was a thrill to meet Frances Mayes, the bestselling author of “Under the Tuscan Sun,” during an invite-only party to introduce her Tuscan Sun Wines line with the support of her Denver-based partner Curious Cork Imports.

One of the fine wines by Tuscan Sun Wines. (Photo courtesy of Tuscan Sun Wines)

One of the fine wines by Tuscan Sun Wines. (Photo courtesy of Tuscan Sun Wines)

The wine line is composed of seven wines produced in Italy and around Tuscany and hand selected by Mayes herself. Each Tuscan Sun Wine embodies a different concept that touches on the Tuscan lifestyle.

The wines were launched in Cortona, Italy, in July and are making their U.S. debut this week.

“These wines bring to life a sense of wonder through simple joys that my life in Italy has given me,” Mayes said during Thursday’s event at the Denver Art Museum. “I hope that by bringing them home to the U.S. that everyone can share a taste of the many pleasures I’ve enjoyed in Italy.

The Tuscan Sun Wines include four reds and two whites. A Prosecco is scheduled to join the lineup next year.

“Creating this line of wines with Frances and bringing them to wine lovers in the U.S. has been one of the most rewarding experiences of our entire team’s professional careers,” said Danny Keefe, founder of Curious Cork Imports. “We’re proud and honored to have the opportunity to share these exceptional wines with fans of Frances, fans of Italy and wine lovers in general.”

For more information, go to

Wild about waffles?

The newest addition to the Waffle Brothers empire is a third location set to open this week in Denver’s Uptown neighborhood at 1707 Lafayette.

My condo BFF and I stopped by for a “test drive” on Saturday of the new savory additions to the menu. This Waffle Brothers branch (as soon as all the T’s are crossed by the city’s inspectors) will cater to late-night diners and restaurant industry workers by staying open and serving food until midnight.

During a trial run, we munched on fried chicken and (what else?) waffles with whipped cream and syrup as well as spicy chicken wings. I’ll let you know as soon as the joint gets a firm opening date.

‘Stache gets stashed

There’s not much that Sage Hospitality honcho Walter Isenberg won’t do to support his wife, Christie‘s, charity Concerts For Kids, which supports various children’s charities in Colorado.

So recently during the Concerts For Kids Celebrity Waiter Dinner at Ocean Prime, Isenberg submitted his “forever” mustache to the razor when Denver Mayor Michael Hancock lopped it off in the name of charity. Isenberg raised more than $40,000 to forfeit his facial hair.

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock, right, happily shaved off the famed mustache of Sage Hospitality CEO Walter Isenberrg. (Photo courtesy of Concerts for Kids)

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock, right, happily shaved off the famed mustache of Sage Hospitality CEO Walter Isenberg. (Photo courtesy of Concerts for Kids)


Transplant heroes

The American Transplant Foundation is presenting the Transplant Hero Awards : The After Party — a celebration of life from 9 to 11 p.m. Sept. 26 on the 38th floor of the Pinnacle Club at the Grand Hyatt Denver.Dance the night away with music from New York City celebrity DJ Dr. D’Arce. The evening includes drinks and desserts.

Ticket information: $40 per person. Purchase tickets online at or  tickets are $50 at the door.

The After Party will follow the inaugural Transplant Hero Awards — an event honoring those who have created a lifesaving impact in the transplant community. This evening is designed to support the American Transplant Foundation’s mission to save lives by reducing the growing list of people awaiting a lifesaving transplant. Proceeds will benefit the American Transplant Foundation.

Special discount for those in the know

Tickets for the 4th Evening of Decadent Delights are $100 each for Sense of Security friends. That’s a savings of $25 per ticket! This event sells out fast, and is only two weeks away. It’s events like Evening of Decadent Delights, hosted by Penny Parker and friends, that make a difference in our community. Come out and support this great organization’s efforts, eat well, and enjoy.

Seven of Denver’s finest chefs will prepare a divine five-course meal accompanied by wine pairings. Chefs are: Lance Barto, Michael Bortz, Troy Guard, Alex Seidel, Tyler Wiard, Brian Laird and Sean Yontz. It’s a fabulous fall evening that includes a cocktail party, sponsored by Downslope Distilling, with live band, The Whitfields and Robert Eldridge on acoustic guitar during dinner. Emcee Les Shapiro is always spirited and fun.

Sense of Security seeks to provide a sense of security from financial hardship and enhance the quality of life for Colorado breast cancer patients in treatment. As a 501(c) 3 nonprofit organization, Sense of Security has served more than 960 Colorado breast cancer patients while in treatment by providing nearly $1.5 million toward housing, utilities, groceries, transportation, COBRA or insurance premiums and other basic living expenses over the past 13 yearsSense of Security has served grantees from 48 Colorado counties.

Decadent Delights guests can participate in silent and live auctions plus complimentary winery tours. This fundraiser sold out last year, so don’t miss it – space is limited. Order your special discounted tickets today by going to Use the discount code FRIENDS.

Tickets are $100 each through 5 p.m. Monday (today, so act fast!). Don’t forget the not-so-secret code FRIENDS.

Hazel in the house

Local vocal and Denver treasure Hazel Miller is teaming up with a few musical pals to headline a benefit concert for Inner City Health Center from 7 to 9:30 p.m. Thursday at The Infinity Park Event Center, 4400 E. Kentucky Ave.

Miller’s musical chums who will play during the event are Latin guitarist Manuel Molina, The Subdudes’ accordionist/pianist John Magnie and rhythmic/acoustic rock pioneer Dave Tamkin.

Tickets are available at, or by calling Josh Hoffman at 720-833-5091. Doors open at 6 p.m.

Hazel Miller will perform at the (Blacktie-Colorado photo)

Hazel Miller will perform at a benefit concert for Inner City Health Center Thursday at The Infinity Park Event Center in Glendale. (Blacktie-Colorado photo)


Subscribe and win

The latest giveaway incentive to subscribe to my column at is two VIP tickets to “Clean Guys of Comedy,” a stand-up comedy show featuring performances by Jamie Kennedy, Dave Coulier, Heather McDonald, Andy Hendrickson and Ralph Harris for one night only at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at the Buell Theatre.

The “Clean Guys of Comedy” show marks the launch of a new comedy brand targeted toward audiences who enjoy adult but clean stand-up laughs. And, just in case you don’t win the random drawing, you can purchase tickets at

In the meantime, get all your friends to subscribe to my column for a chance to win. The winner will be drawn at 6 p.m. this evening and announced in my column on Wednesday. If you’re a long-time subscriber, first of all “thanks” and rest assured that you are equally eligible as my new friends in qualifying to win.

Eavesdropping on a woman on Facebook: “Been shopping for Lily today. I am starting a new consumer watchdog group. It will be called M.A.L.G.D.L.M.I.T.E. – Mothers Against Little Girls Dressing Like Madonna In The Eighties.”

Did you hear that I have a new column, “Mile High Life,” in Colorado Community Media’s 17 weekly newspapers circling Denver? Be sure to like my Facebook page! Also, here’s where you go to get my column emailed to you Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. My email: Want to advertise your business here? Contact Trisha at

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