Hollywood Eat and Drink: 2016 SAG Awards

Not my typical blog post, but I thought you might enjoy a behind-the-scenes look at the 2016 Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards.  You are probably wondering how did this wine geek get an invite to the SAG Awards?! I am a lucky gal. Let’s leave it at that.  Here’s my perspective on the very glamorous evening.


It is exactly how you expect it– beautiful yet tiny celebrities, wearing very beautiful clothes with very beautiful dates, sashaying their way around the red carpet for all of the many cameras and screaming fans. There are actually three red carpets –one closest to the cameras and interview booths, one in the middle for staff, and one closest to screaming fans. That’s my red carpet. My strategy is to very slowly walk down with an eye out for my favorite celebs. I very carefully position myself behind the “flash area” where celebrities pose in beautiful 360 degree turns, so I can possibly be part of the background for some star’s red carpet moment. It worked for me and Amy Poehler (hey girl….) as well as Viola Davis.  Occasionally actual celebrities will cross over to the lowly regular-person red carpet to sign autographs, and then I have a chance to capture a close up. The red carpets all merge at the entrance, and that how I ended up trying to not walk too closely behind Queen Latifah for fear of stepping on her custom Michael Costello Dress (way-to-go Project Runway alumn).

Red Carpet action

My red carpet look was a black silk jersey Halston Heritage dress with a side split, 5-inch Jerome Rousseau black suede strappy platform heels, an Alexis Bittar crystal cuff, and a BCBG woven leather clutch in silver, gold, and black. Dior make-up by me and simple updo by Dry Bar in West Hollywood. Voilà.

Hubby and I arrive on the Red Carpet at Shriner Auditorium


The Ceremony is a live broadcast event with all of the nominees sitting on the floor of the ballroom, supposedly eating dinner. The rest of us non-actor people are dining on risers above and behind the cameras. This gives me a pretty good view of the stage, as well as easy access to the restrooms and bars. My strategy for bumping into major celebrities is to hang out near one of the bars closest to the A-List dining area, as celebrities must leave the broadcast area to get a drink or use the restroom (same restroom as the rest of us!). My real spies during the ceremony were on my favorite drama (which should have won!) Mad Men – Christina Hendricks, Jon Hamm, and January Jones. I must take a moment to appreciate how stunning January Jones is – her sheer ice blue Schiaparelli dress was beautiful and refreshing, absolutely the best dressed of the evening (sorry Fashion Police). I don’t think it photographed nearly as well as it looked in person. She was quite a vision.

Rows of dining tables during the SAG Awards 2016

Okay, so onto the food and drink. Catered by Wolfgang Puck, we were treated to a plate of puff-rice crusted Salmon with Carrot-Ginger Puree and Crispy Shiso Leaf, Grilled Chicken with Meyer Lemon Salsa and Lemon Scented Fingerling Potato. The Salmon melted in your mouth.

Dinner was paired with a red, white, and sparkling. The one string Beringer’s 2013 Knights Valley Cabernet Sauvignon was gorgeous. Beautifully balanced layers of black fruit, herbs, spices and cocoa. Velvety smooth with structured tannins. For those without wine wipes, they also served the Beringer 2014 Napa Valley Chadonnay. Most people opted to drink the magnum of Taittinger Champagne chilling on the table (cover photo). Dramatic and luxe, this is definitely going on my next dinner party table. And it tasted like perfection- balanced notes of citrus and brioche, with delicate bubbles dancing in my glass.

Magnums of Taittinger Champagne on each table, along with Beringer Cabernet and dinner by Wolfgang Puck


The Golden Age themed Gala immediately follows the Award Ceremony. With a grooving DJ, people started to actually relax and stopped trying to talk to Ben Kingsley.  From Modern Family’s Sarah Hyland swaying with her co-stars to The Big Bang Theory’s Kaley Cuoco dancing on a red velvet tufted sofa, the stars were grooving and having fun. The food included Asian stir-fried noodles in tiny take out boxes. My personal favorite was the mounds and mounds of fresh lobster claw and giant shrimp. yum yum yum. The bar offered two signature cocktails featuring Patrón tequila, one with silver Patrón, pineapple juice and fresh lime juice, the other with Resposado, Patrón Citronage liqueur and fresh lemon juice. I stuck with the delicious Taittinger.

All in all a magical evening!

Palm tree SAG
The Golden Age Themed SAG GALA 2016
SAG Gala
Striking a pose at the SAG Gala

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