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Grand Market at the Atlantic City Food and Wine Festival

Grand Market at the Atlantic City Food and Wine Festival

by Patricia Mack


Atlantic City knows a thing or two about summer, and what would summer be without celebrating food and wine?


Its showy casinos, sandy beaches, appealing restaurants and dazzling theaters set the stage for the 4th Annual Atlantic City Food and Wine Festival that runs from July 26 through 29.


The event, the largest food and wine festival of its kind in the Northeast, takes place across Caesars Entertainment Atlantic City casinos and resorts — Caesars, Harrah’s, Showboat and Bally’s. The program offers cooking demonstrations, panel discussions and wine seminars, dinners, tastings and entertainments hosted by some of the country’s most lauded chefs and culinary personalities. This year the lineup includes Anne Burrell, Paula Deen, Tyler Florence, Nadia G., Robert Irvine, Buddy Valastro and recent James Beard award winner Andrew Zimmern.

Continue reading “The 4th Annual Atlantic City Food and Wine Festival” »



17

Jul

Screw caps or corks?

Screw caps or corks?

by Sophie Gayot


Back in June, I had the pleasure of being a guest on David Wilson’s radio show, Grape Encounters Radio. Wilson’s show is all about wine and the love of it, but he insists he wants it to be fun. A long-time wine enthusiast, his main objective is to tell you how to get the most from your drinking experience. You will not hear him discussing tasting notes, but rather guidance on finding some non-traditional uses for wine, like pairing wine with music.


After a very kind introduction about GAYOT.com, which Wilson called “a website that has enough material to keep you busy for the rest of your life,” we discussed the somewhat controversial topic of cork versus screw cap.

Continue reading “The Romance of the Cork” »



Take a hot air balloon ride, followed by a day of tastings at the area’s top wineries, with Paso Robles Inn's travel special

Take a hot air balloon ride, followed by a day of tastings at the area’s top wineries, with Paso Robles Inn's travel special

Sipping and Soaring in Paso Robles Wine Country


For travelers seeking a one-of-a-kind central California wine country experience, Paso Robles Inn and The Wine Wrangler have created the Hot Air Balloon and Wine Tour Package.


Need to slip away from the rat race for a few days? Then make plans to visit the romantic Paso Robles Inn, situated in a tranquil wine country. Add in an early morning hot air balloon flight, followed by a day of tastings at the area’s top wineries, and you have this memorable escape, which features Continue reading “Paso Robles Inn Hot Air Balloon and Wine Tour Package – Travel Special” »



06

Jul

Tasting the summer wines of Italy

Tasting the summer wines of Italy

by Michelle Kwan


The varietals that encompass the wines of Italy are as diverse as the regions from which they are produced. It seems that there is an Italian wine for every occasion, cuisine and season. This year’s Summer Wines of Italy tasting, held at New York’s Italian Trade Commission on June 26, emphasized all that is indicative of summer, namely wines that were fruity, refreshing, light and effervescent.


The event, co-sponsored by the Italian Wine & Food Institute, featured 30 wines. Moscatos, Chardonnays, Proseccos and sparkling rosés dominated, although a number of reds, including Pinot Noir, Merlot blends and Chianti, were also represented.

Continue reading “Summer Wines of Italy Tasting” »



29

Jun

Brewery Tours of San Diego minibus

Brewery Tours of San Diego minibus

by Barnaby Hughes


When you think of where American beers are made, your thoughts may go to Milwaukee, but San Diego? This Southern California city has more than 30 craft breweries, as well as multiple tour operators whose mission it is to provide safe and convenient access to them.


My friends and I joined Brewery Tours of San Diego for a Saturday excursion which included nearly unlimited beer samples and a pub lunch. Once we caught up with the minibus at 10:30 a.m. — they offer multiple pick-up points including downtown San Diego and Mission Bay — we were quickly delivered to Ballast Point Brewing & Spirits for a brewery tour. We saw the mashing tuns, fermenting tanks and kegs waiting to be shipped to a pub near you. Our bus driver and tour guide, Mae, gave us a brief lesson in how beer is made and then escorted us back into the tasting room.

Continue reading “San Diego Brewery Tours” »



A 1986 Arbois Vin Jaune, showing the wine's golden color and distinctive bottle shape (Photo: PRA)

A 1986 Arbois Vin Jaune, showing the wine's golden color and distinctive bottle shape (Photo: PRA)

Most wines are intended for consumption within the first year or two after purchase. Few improve after more than a decade of aging. Yet, periodically wine collectors uncork bottles more than one hundred years old and discover that the contents are not only drinkable, but exquisite. Although the market for old wines is small, wealthy collectors are willing to part with large sums of cash in order to acquire them.


Last month at Christie’s in Geneva, an anonymous bidder purchased a 1774 Arbois Vin Jaune for 46,000 Swiss francs. That’s nearly $50,000 American for a bottle older than the US. This might seem like a high price to pay for a bottle that could very well have passed its prime before the buyer was born, but a bottle of the same vintage and collection sold for much more at auction last year — $77,270.

Continue reading “Two-Century-Old Bottle of Wine Sold at Auction – Wine News” »



20

Jun

Award-winning wines of Chile

Award-winning wines of Chile

by Michelle Kwan


The diverse terroir of Chile makes the region ideal for winemaking, producing varietals such as Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Malbec and Carmenère. The “Tapestry of Terroir” comprised the theme of this year’s Wines of Chile Tasting Event held recently at the New York City Metropolitan Pavilion and refers to the natural adaptability of the Chilean landscape towards wine production. Yet, Chile has only recently seen a proliferation of wineries; the necessary investment of considerable time, capital and effort has impeded the development of winemaking in Chile in the past.


But the growing interest in New World wines has placed the country on the map among the world’s wine producers and drinkers alike. Many of Chile’s wineries are only a few decades old, but their present vintages attest to the quality of their wine production methods.

Continue reading “Wines of Chile Tasting Event” »



11

Jun

Sean John Combs, brand ambassador for Ciroc Vodka

Sean John Combs, brand ambassador for Ciroc Vodka

by Jeff Hoyt


Most personalities do their best to make their name a household one, reinforcing their “brand” repeatedly by getting their name out there, via their performances, TV appearances, CDs, DVDs, clothing lines and every media that will have them. But singer/rapper/actor/ producer/mogul/businessman Sean John Combs has bucked that trend, changing his name over and over again while continually staying in the public eye: Diddy; P. Diddy; Puff; Puffy; Puff Daddy; King Combs. Even his clothing lines utilize two different names based on his birth name: Sean John and “Sean by Sean Combs.”


But the multiple Grammy Award winner has only one name for his vodka: Ciroc. When he became a brand ambassador in 2007, the French vodka was only selling about 10,000 cases per month. With the entrepreneur pushing the product, and sharing in the brand’s profits, sales were about 400,000 cases in 2009, and reportedly close to 1,000,000 cases last year. No wonder the singer now refers to himself jokingly as “Ciroc Obama.”

Continue reading “Ciroc Vodka with Sean Combs” »



Front side of Inglenook 2009 CASK Cabernet Sauvignon, featuring 1941 label design

Front side of Inglenook 2009 CASK Cabernet Sauvignon, featuring 1941 label design


If you avoid Inglenook wines because of their subpar reputation, it’s time to rethink that notion. Founded in 1880 by Finnish sea captain Gustave Niebaum, Inglenook was actually one of the earliest and greatest of Napa Valley wine estates. But in 1964, it was broken up and sold off, and the brand became associated with cheap box wines.


Over the past few decades, filmmaker/wine entrepreneur Francis Ford Coppola has devoted a tremendous amount of money and energy to reviving this historic brand. He began buying up parts of the 235-acre estate in 1975, issuing wines under the Niebaum-Coppola label. In 2006, he changed the label to Rubicon Estate, and five years later to Inglenook when he finally completed the estate’s reunification. He also hired Château Margaux winemaker Philippe Bascaules to change the public perception of the Inglenook brand and restore it to its former glory.

Continue reading “Historic Inglenook Winery Restored to Former Glory – Wine News” »



08

Jun

by Sophie Gayot


Throughout 2012, restaurateur Piero Selvaggio will be celebrating the 40th anniversary of Valentino, one of Los Angeles’ first fine dining restaurants, featuring Italian cuisine. Watch my exclusive video interview above with Selvaggio to learn some culinary history. You can also watch another video with Valentino chef Nico Chessa
. Valentino will celebrate Father’s Day by offering three “No Corkage Nights” on Thursday, June 14, Friday, June 15, and Saturday, June 16, so diners can bring in their own wine for no additional charge. (Valentino is closed on Sundays.)

Continue reading “Celebrate Father’s Day” »



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