COURTESY BISHOP MUSEUM
King David Kalakaua stands front and center on the steps of Iolani Palace. Among the European luxuries the king brought to his palace was a wine collection. The palace is looking for period wine bottles to help recreate the king's cellar.
Event raises a glass to Kalakaua
THE VICTORIANS invented many things, perhaps the least of which was wine snobbery. King David Kalakaua, a great admirer of all things Victorian, was known to have a sip now and then. But what filled his cup?
"Let's see, we have a party menu from 1890 to give us a clue," said Iolani Palace curator Stuart Ching. "Beer is listed, and champagne, and we know there were inventories of brandy -- for medicinal purposes! -- but the wines listed for this event were Chateau D'yquem 1877, Schloss Johannesberg 1876 and Chateau Lafitte 1877. Good stuff."
This comes up because the Palace Hui, a new support group for Iolani Palace, is holding a "King's Wine Cellar" fundraiser on Friday. Celebrating, a couple of days late, the Merrie Monarch's Nov. 16 birth date, the event features master sommelier Chuck Furuya's pairings of wines with modern renditions of King Kalakaua's favorite dishes, as updated by Grant Simms of Big G's Catering.
Music is courtesy George Kuo, Aaron Mahi and Martin Pahinui, and a silent auction includes items such as a Tiffany & Co. Jean Schlumberger diamond ring.
Did Kalakaua actually have a wine cellar in the palace?
"There were wine storage areas designated," explained Ching. "How many, we don't know exactly, because when the Provisional Government took over, they tended to list converted rooms as former wine-storage rooms. There will be a note saying, for example, that the Territorial Armory is located in one of Kalakaua's former wine-storage rooms, but that could be a form of propaganda."
By the way, when you're done raising your glass to the departed Merrie Monarch, the palace is looking for period wine bottles to help in restoration. Call Ching at 522-0822 if you have any empty 1800s wine bottles. Doesn't have to be the good stuff.
THE KING'S WINE CELLAR
Benefit event: 6 to 8:30 p.m. Friday
Place: Iolani Palace
Call: 522-0822 or visit www.IolaniPalace.org