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Casa Dragones Tequila Raises The Bar

Casa Dragones Tequila Raises The Bar
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    She’s called “The First Lady of Tequila” and is the first female “Maestra Tequila” certified by the Academia Mexicana de Catadores de Tequila. And she makes a pretty amazing tequila called Casa Dragones. After years building the Cuervo brand globally, Bertha Gonzáles Nieves stepped out in 2009 to create her own style of tequila to rave reviews. Casa Dragones is an ultra premium, 100% Blue Agave, hand -crafted sipping tequila that’s smooth, soft and warm with no bite – the way a good tequila should taste. From the sea blue blue packaging and perfume bottle design to the platinum-hued liquid inside, everything […]

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Distilling’s Whisky Master – Dave Pickerell

Distilling's Whisky Master - Dave Pickerell
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There’s probably nobody in the world today with a better handle on the pulse of the whisky industry than Dave Pickerell.   A veteran of the industry, Dave has spent a career moving the craft of making whisky forward through his knowledge and expertise in distilling. First at Makers Mark, where as Master Distiller for 14 years, he was in charge of making sure that the legacy of the Samuels family’s 19 barrel-at-a-time distillation recipe was kept true, and then as head of Oak View Consulting, the company he founded upon his departure from Makers Mark to help bring his […]

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Drinking Aloha: Carta Coffee’s Scott Burr

Drinking Aloha: Carta Coffee's Scott Burr
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A lot of people yearn to get into the wine business, where aside from the pretty hard work (winemaking is not romantic, only drinking wine is), a life of good food, good wine, travel, and mostly beautiful surroundings carry the day, pretty much every day. It’s rare, however, to find someone who leaves it. Carta Coffee Merchants Founder Scott Burr is one of those people. A longtime member of the wine industry, Scott grew up in a agriculturally focused family that had grown grapes and farmed its Northern California land for generations. Always interested in wine and winemaking, Scott eventually got a […]

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South Africa’s Simonsig Wine Estate – Johan Malan

South Africa's Simonsig Wine Estate - Johan Malan
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    South Africa has a winemaking industry that dates back to the 1600s, and the Malan family, whose Simonsig Wine Estate in that country’s renowned Stellenbosch region in the Cape Winelands is one of the most recognized names in the world of wine, helped create it. Grape growers in South Africa since Jacques Malan first planted vines in 1688. The Malan family has been involved in the wine industry on many levels in the ensuing years, and Simonsig, which takes its name from the region’s Simonsig Mountain range, in whose foothills descendent Frans Malan planted a vineyard in De Hoop […]

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Tawny Times with Port’s George Sandeman

Tawny Times with Port's George Sandeman
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  Think about this fact: every minute, 18 bottles of Sandeman wine are sold. That’s just under 26,000 bottles per day, or somewhere north of 9 million bottles per year. One of the truly iconic names in the world of wine, the Sandeman family started trading in Port and Sherry in 1790 and is considered one of the first global wine brands, with exports to 75 countries. Sandeman was one of the first to put its name on its barrels and advertise its wines as coming from the House of Sandeman. It was also one of the first companies, in any […]

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Voyage To Alaska with Kirsten and Mandy Dixon

Voyage To Alaska with Kirsten and Mandy Dixon
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To be honest, we had to look up Tutka Bay on the map. FYI: it’s in Alaska. That said, it was with pleasure that we did so. For when “The Tutka Bay Lodge Cookbook” came across our desk and we started flipping through the pages of this wonderful tome, we knew that not only did we want to know more about it, but we also needed to find a way to get its authors, the mother/daughter culinary team of Kirsten and Mandy Dixon, on our show.

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The Wizard of Cheese- MaxMcCalman

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Some people crave chocolate. Others love smoky bacon. Admittedly, I go weak at the knees over cheese. My love for cheese is so intense that at home David often hides the cheese from me. Once I start slathering a runny Camembert over toasted pieces of baguette, slivering Stilton to pair with my pears, putting slices of English Cheddar with a crisp country apple or shaving Parmigiano-Reggiano over my pasta, I cannot stop. I’m crazy for all goat cheeses, especially in a salad chevre chaud. I’ll take a few pieces of cheese with my wine at the end of a meal over anything […]

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Baking a Difference- Hot Bread Kitchen’s Jessamyn Waldman Rodriguez

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Wandering through the Union Square Greenmarket in New York City, you’ll discover a stand with a range of international breads made by a community of women who work at Hot Bread Kitchen in East Harlem. Hot Bread Kitchen is more than just baking great breads. It’s about building lives, fighting poverty and changing the food landscape. This not-for-profit builds lasting economic security for low-income, immigrant and minority individuals by creating pathways to professional opportunities for women and men in the culinary industry. Its programs include employer-driven workforce development and business incubation programs, Bakers in Training and HBK Incubates. But back to the breads. They raise […]

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Toddy Tales

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When the cold or flu hits me (as it did last October), I crave a warm Toddy. By definition a Toddy is a hot drink of  whiskey, sugar and water. But in the right hands, it is much more. It’s hot magic in a glass. According to cocktail historian and author, Dave Wondrich, the Toddy originated in 18th century Scotland. You can read more in this article he wrote in Saveur magazine entitled “Thank God for Toddies!” Thank God, indeed! Drinking a Toddy when you feel like hell can be a heavenly thing. The whiskey opens the sinuses; the warm liquid soothes the […]

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A Beer That Is Good for What Ales You

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Remember that college mantra  “beer makes you smarter?” Memory hint: it was usually uttered by someone with beer goggles on. We did a little research asking if drinking beer made you smarter. A 2012 study at Oregon State University reported that xanthohumol in hops, a main ingredient in beer, has been found to increase brain function in high doses. Here’s the catch: “High doses” equals about 3,520 pints or 2,000 litres of beer. And, the study was conducted on “young animals” and not “young men.” Maybe the folks in Oregon should stick to studying coffee. You can read this article on the subject Here’s a […]

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His Wine Reporting Rates 100 Points- Tom Matthews- Oct 7 The Connected Table LIVE

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What’s it like to oversee one of the world’s most read wine magazines? How much wine can you taste in a week? Wine Spectator Executive Editor Thomas (Tom) Matthews has spent the better part of thirty years reporting on the wine industry. He joined the magazine in 1988 starting as a reporter in the London office and moved to New York in 1989.  Appointed to executive editor in 1999, Tom oversees the magazine’s staff of writers, editors and art directors for both the print and online operation. He is the lead taster for Spanish wines and one of the magazine’s principal restaurant reviews […]

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Joanne Weir: Kitchen Gypsy. Global Culinary Ambassador

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Waiter! There’s a fly in my wine!  This is just one of the serendipitous stories in Joanne Weir ‘s new memoir, “Kitchen Gypsy: Recipes and Stories from a Lifelong Romance with Food.” I particularly loved this story because Joanne ends up in her tender 20s as a guest at a famous Bordeaux Chateau as a result of mailing the dead fly to the producer. That’s gumption! I’ve known Joanne for years. We connected annually at The James Beard Awards where her PBS TV series such as “Weir Cooking in the Wine Country” and “Joanne Weir’s Cooking School” were honored.  I enjoy […]

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