Former pro basketball player Yao Ming has not been idle since retiring from the Houston Rockets in July 2011. In addition to enrolling at the Shanghai Jaio Tong University and working on behalf of elephant conservation, the thirty-year old has begun producing a pair of premium Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignons.
Yao Ming and Tom Hinde, President and Director of Winemaking of Yao Family Wines, presented the portfolio at the historic Millennium Biltmore Hotel in downtown Los Angeles recently. The grapes are sourced from multiple Napa sub-appellations and include small amounts of Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot.
The fifth-century priest who is credited with banishing snakes from Ireland, converting multitudes by using the shamrock to symbolize the Holy Trinity, and having an ashwood walking stick that miraculously transformed into a living tree would no doubt be stunned to know that his annual feast day — March 17 — is now celebrated largely in bars. But he could at least draw comfort from the fact that all this glass-raising has kept his name very much alive, which is more than we can say for St. Narcissus, St. Mathilda and St. Julian of Antioch, who also have feast days this week.
The patron saint of Ireland has also inspired mixologists to devise astounding St. Patrick’s Day cocktails, served only on or around March 17.
Samurais and winemakers traveling with their equipment still have to check their sabres and bottles, but starting April 25, small knives, novelty bats, golf clubs and other sports equipment currently banned from planes will be allowed on board, according to the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) new carry-on rules.
During two challenges, The Mystery Basket yesterday, and The Signature Dish today, ten competitors had to prove to the judges that they can cook. The chef judges were Rick Moonen, Tony Mantuano, Jean Joho (2012 GAYOT.com Best Restaurateur in the US), Michel Richard, Susur Lee, and Mark McEwan; the media judges Dana Cowin, Mitchell Davis, Jacob Richler, Betsy Andrews, and me.