Enjoy YOUR Slice of Life!
Zinfandel Advocates & Producers (ZAP) Co-Founder and Founder of Ravenswood Winery, Joel Peterson, talks about the annual ZAP Festival held at the Ft. Mason Festival Pavilion with the most complete showing of Zinfandel wineries in the world. He also talks about the history of this robust wine and what to look for in California Zinfandels. Joel was recently inducted into the Vintners Hall of Fame.
Labor Day weekend 2009, immerse yourself in the food and wine culture of Sonoma County during the Sonoma Wine Country Weekend Getaway from September 4-6, 2009. On Saturday, September 5th from 1-4 pm, take this rare opportunity to tour the MacMurray Ranch, usually not open to the public, while tasting the offerings of more than 150 wineries and sampling the cuisine of over 60 local chefs.
As Irish tradition would have it, mead is wine made from honey and for centuries was the drink of royalty. Mead can be regarded as the ancestor of all fermented drinks. Wine made of grape and honey called Pyment has been around for thousands of years.
Claude Lévi-Strauss makes a case for the invention of mead as a marker of the passage "from nature to culture." Here in the US , though nowhere near as popular as grape wine, mead does have its place. Unlike grape-originated wine, it can originate from places where it may be difficult to grow grapes, due to climate or region issues.
But what is different here is really where it's at. Let's start with the bees. Honey bees, aka apis mellifera, are responsible for the end product. What they ingest in pollinizing flowers imparts specific floral favors and esters. So if orange trees are being pollinized, this will impart orange flower esters. Different flowers impart different esters. The bees intake the flower nectar, then regurgitate it and the enzymes in their digestive system produces honey. They then place it in the honeycomb, followed by blowing their wings which removes the moisture, increasing the viscosity. Lastly, they seal the honeycomb with wax, much like wine is sealed with a cork.
Was Absinthe the "Devil in a Bottle" or Miracle "Cure-All"? December 23rd marked the anniversary of Vincent van Gogh's infamous act of cutting off his ear and sending it to his beloved in 1888. Today, we speculate whether he committed this bizarre act after drinking his favorite elixir Absinthe.
Banned for almost 100 years, this complex vivid green potion of herbs and alcohol was said to make one crazy, have hallucinations, convulsions and even expire. Just why would anyone risk drinking it? T.A. (Ted) Breaux, a scientist and the master distiller of Lucid Absinthe Supérieure, set out to answer this question. After 10 years of scientific study, historical research, recipe experimentation and reverse engineering, he found that the mysterious properties of this spirit had gotten a bad rap.
First launched in 1797 in Couvet, Switzerland, Absinthe was originally lauded as a medicinal "cure-all." Today, Lucid Absinthe Supérieure is a traditional, French-made absinthe verte (green absinthe), whose formula was first approved in 2006. It was granted a COLA (Certificate of Label Approval) in the United States on March 5, 2007, making it the first genuine absinthe to gain approval for legal commercial distribution in the U.S. since 1912.
Produced in France for the Viridian Spirits company of New York, Lucid Absinthe Supérieure is distilled in the very same copper pots and by the very same methods used over 100 years ago.
The "crazy-making" ingredient of Absinthe was blamed on thujone. The U.S. Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau mandates that any finished food or beverage tests less than 10ppm (equal to 10mg/kg) thujone in order to be considered legal (i.e. "thujone-free") pursuant to 21 CFR 172.510. Speculation about the extent to which thujone was important persisted for more than a century,but any lingering notions that thujone was an 'active ingredient' of absinthe has been conclusively debunked by modern science.
The Lucid brand revived the antique term "Absinthe Supérieure" to differentiate itself from the negative connotations of absinthe that persisted. Ted Breaux's recipe includes Grande Wormwood (Artemisia absinthium), along with green anise, sweet fennel, and other herbs.
By early 2008, Lucid became available through most distributors in the U.S. The campaign to restore the reputation of Absinthe continues today.
Click here to view the traditional French way to serve Absinthe, and the ritual that Van Gogh would have performed before savoring every drop of this precious spirit.
Bring in the New Year with something different. Celebrate with Segura Viudas Artisan Cava Sparkling Wine according to Spanish traditions.
From the renowned cava region in Spain, Segura Viudas estate sparkling wines known as "Cava," reflect the history and passionate winemaking of the Ferrer family.
Segura Viudas has earned a reputation as one of the top producers of cava (caves). The Spanish winery has been noted for its high production standards, its labor-intensive approach to winemaking, and its penchant for releasing some of Europe's finest artisan sparkling wines. Segura Viudas has earned many honors over the past five decades, including being named "Winery of the Year" by Wine & Spirits magazine and a Wine & Spirits 2010 Value Brand of the Year.
On Thursday, December 30th, Gina Snow talks with Eva Bertran of Ferrer Wine Estates producers of Segura Viudas Cava. Listen to Epicurean Corner this week for a chance to win a Segura Viudas New Year's Celebration Kit containing:
· 13 Red Top Hats
· 12 Red Tiaras
· 24 Red Foil Horns
· 12 Gold Beaded Necklaces
· 24 Red Balloons
· 1 Gold Ribbon Egg
· 100 Red & Gold Confetti Stars (3 inch)
Visit Segura Viudas Sparkling Wines for more information.
Celebrating the holidays with a night on the town or having a party at home? Why take a chance and ruin an otherwise picture perfect holiday night with family and friends? Be a good host and ensure your guests a safe and reliable trip home with their own vehicles. MySoberDrivers.Org offers a “Safe Party” service during which a team arrives to pick up your guests and their automobiles at the end of the night.
MySoberDrivers, also known as Designated Driver Services of California, is a nonprofit, public benefit organization that was created with the mission and purpose of making Bay Area roadways safer by proactively treating and preventing the intensifying conundrum posed by impaired driving. Sober Drivers is dedicated to aggressively advancing their mission through traditional and innovative channels. This amazing non-profit strives to realize our purpose by providing safe, courteous, and reliable designated driver services, by promoting sober driving, increasing public awareness, and contributing to, or collaborating with, like intentioned organizations.
Serving 17 cities in 3 Bay Area counties of San Francisco, San Mateo and Santa Clara, Sober Drivers is open by appointment 24 hours 7 days a week. Convenient and affordable pick-ups can be scheduled by calling 1-800-787-6617, or by making a reservation online at www.mysoberdrivers.org. Phone lines are open from 6:00 pm until 2:30am.
Listen to Gina Snow interview Lawrence Michelson, founder of MySoberDrivers.org in the Radio Gallery.
As proclaimed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, 2010 is the sixth consecutive year that California Wine Month is celebrated in September. This week on Epicurean Corner, master sommelier Evan Goldstein talked about California's wine industry and the fact that it is the undisputed leader of wine production in the U.S. Nine out of 10 bottles of wine across the country are produced in the Golden State. While Napa and Sonoma counties are the most well-known, forty-eight of California's 50 counties grow grapes. For more information about events and wine regions, visit: www.discovercaliforniawine.com. Listen to an inteview with Evan Goldstein in Radio Gallery I.
Millions of Americans across the country celebrated the 4th of July weekend with the ancient fire ritual of barbeque. And, just in time, Tequila Avion, was launched on July 1st to help compliment and quench BBQ fires throughout California.
Jenna Fagnan, President of Tequila Avion, talks about Tequila Avion, an ultra premium tequila that defines a new standard of quality and taste - “Taste Elevated.” Produced by fifth generation agave growers from among the finest Blue Weber agave found in the highest regions of Jalisco, Mexico, Tequila Avion’s distinct flavors are achieved through a combination of slow-roasting at lower temperatures to protect the natural flavors of the agave plant and an ultra-slow filtration process which creates an unusually smooth taste profile. Tequila Avion is available in Silver, Reposado and Anejo varietals.
Paso Robles Wine Country, one of the nation’s preeminent wine producing regions, will host their first Grand Tasting Tour in the Mid-Peninsula areas of Menlo Park, Palo Alto and Redwood City, California from April 21-23, 2010.
"This three-day visit to the San Francisco Bay Area brings the world of Paso Robles wines to locals’ doorsteps with numerous opportunities at different value levels to taste the celebrated varietals and meet the winemakers from Paso Robles Wine Country,” said Stacie Jacob, executive director of the Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance. “We invite everyone to visit Paso Robles and explore our beautiful wine country, but if you can’t make the trip, this is the next best thing.”
Listen to an inteview with Stacie Jacbos in Radio Gallery I.
In addition to a series of exciting winemaker dinners and wine retailer tastings throughout the area, more than 30 Paso Robles winemakers will converge at Quadrus Conference Center in Menlo Park (2400 San Hill Road, Menlo Park, www.quadrusconference.com to present a series of exciting events for consumers and those in the wine trade.
The schedule of events includes:
April 21: Winemaker Dinners
Experience hand-selected wines paired with food from some of the most acclaimed restaurants in the Mid-Peninsula areas of Menlo Park, Palo Alto and Redwood City. For a listing of winemaker dinners, visit www.pasowine.com/events/grand-tasting-tour-mid-peninsula.php .
April 22, 6-8 pm: Paso Robles Wine Country Grand Tasting
This flow-through tasting event highlights more than 150 Paso Robles-area wines accompanied by gourmet hors d’oeuvres, prepared to complement the wines showcased. On April 22, the Grand Tasting will showcase more than 30 vintners from California’s third largest winemaking region featuring over 150 wines and exemplifying the 40+ premier varietals and blends from Paso Robles Wine Country. This is an excellent opportunity for consumers and those in the wine trade and media to meet the winemakers and taste renowned wines from the area.
A sampling of participating wineries and hospitality partners includes: Alta Colina Vineyard & Winery, Ancient Peaks Winery, Anglim Winery, Caliza Winery, Clavo Cellars, Clayhouse Wines, Derby Wine Estates, Four Vines Winery, Halter Ranch Vineyard, Hope Family Wines / Treana, J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines, Kenneth Volk Vineyards, kukkula, L'Aventure Winery, Maloy O'Neill Vineyards, Opolo Vineyards, Peachy Canyon Winery, Pomar Junction Vineyard & Winery, RN Estate Vineyard & Winery, Robert Hall Winery, Rotta Winery, Silver Horse Winery, STANGER Vineyards, Tablas Creek Vineyard,Terry Hoage Vineyards, Vina Robles and Wild Horse Winery & Vineyards.
Sunset Wine Club Exclusive: At 5:30 pm, before the doors open to the public, Sunset Wine Club members will have the unique opportunity to take a private tour of the event with Sunset Magazine Wine Editor Sara Schneider and discover some of her favorite Paso Robles wines and winemakers. Sunset Wine Club members also receive $5 off admission. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
April 23, 5-6:30 pm: In-store tasting at K & L Wine Merchants, Redwood City
At this intimate retailer tasting, guests will have the opportunity to taste wines from six Paso Robles wineries hand-selected by K & L.
For more information, visit www.pasowine.com, or call, the Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance for more information at (800) 549-WINE (9463).
Sonoma County's Frei Brothers winery will be featured on Saturday, May 3oth as part of Gourmet Magazine's Green Market Tour, a traveling event promoting sustainable viticulture and organic foods at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market in San Francisco.
Listen to the interview with Jim Collins, Chief Viticulturist, in the Radio Gallery.
Established in 1890, Frei Brothers is a California winemaking institution committed to showcasing the remarkable diversity exhibited by Sonoma County's distinct wine growing regions. From the cool and misty climate of the Russian River Valley to the sun-drenched days and warm evenings in Alexander Valley, Frei Brothers' family of wines are a true expression of their source. For more information on Frei Brothers, visit: www.FreiBrothers.com.
The 2009 San Francisco Chronicle's Wine Competition Public Tasting at Fort Mason Center on February 28th was a "Sold Out" success. Nearly 5,000 participated in the event from the wineries to the food artisans, sponsors and the consumers. An estimated 1,000 award winning and best of show wines were poured as judged in the largest Wine Tasting Competition of American Wines in The World. A panel of over 60 professional wine judges tasted over 4,000 wines at the Cloverdale Citrus Fairgrounds over a period of four days in January to select the best. Ray Johnson, Assistant Director of the SFCWC talks about the competition and what it takes to put together the public tasting. Listen to interview in the Radio Gallery.