Archive for June, 2010

Australian Wine for Sommeliers with Suzanne Barros

June 26th, 2010 • 1 Comment

I recently attended a really great Australian Beef Tasting in Washington, D.C. at the Ronald Reagan Building on Monday, June 21st, 2010. It was an incredible luncheon menu of Wagyu beef (related to Kobe Beef) and Angus beef all paired with great wines! Below is the Menu as well as a short video interview of Suzanne Barros who is the East Coast’s Director of Trade programs for Wine Australia.

Tasting Menu (Our Chef for this event was Xavier Deshayes who represents the Ronald Reagan Building):
1st Course: Assortment of Australian Cheeses
Wine: Coldstream Hills Yarra Valley Pinot Noir 2008

2nd Course: Grilled Wagyu STrip Loin Tataki – Seaweed Salad, Soy Glazed Shiitake Mushroom and Jalapeno Chili Dressing
Wine: Robert Oatley Mudgee Shiraz 2007

3rd Course: “Sous Vide” Poached Wagyu Brisket of Beef – Roasted Fingerling Potatoes, Sweet and Sour Oregon Cherry Sauce
Wine: Yalumba “Bush Vine” Barossa Grenache 2008

4th Course: Pan Seared Angus Pure Grass Fed Beef Tenderloin – Oregon Morel Mushroom Fricasee, Port Shallot Beurre Matre d’hotel
Wine: Wakefield Estate Clare Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2007

A Lombardy Perspective on Wine

June 23rd, 2010 • 1 Comment

Yesterday, I stopped by the Wines of Lombardy Tasting in Washington, D.C. to taste a wine region I knew little about. I love Italian wines – especially because I love the way Italian’s see food and wine as part of their culture. Lombardy is considered one of the more industrious parts of Italy with Milan as its center, but it is still a part of Italy – the meal is still a central part of daily life, and yes, wine is consumed with daily meals!
My first video interview was with Gianpetro Poletti who is sort of Chamber of Commerce for the Lombardy region:

One point to note is that Gianpetro considers the Nebbiolo – the noble varietal used to make Barolo and Barbaresco in neighboring Piemonte – as native to the Lombardy region! I really enjoyed his Nebbiolos, particularly one that was made from dried grapes also known as the “appassimento” method. As the translator explained to me, wines produced using the appassimento process are known as passito wines. This is the same process that Amarone is made in neighboring Veneto, but with different grape varietals. The Sforzato di Valtellina DOCG Tinaia 2005 had 14.5% alcohol and the concentrated flavors of a rich wine, but was amazingly balanced by the acidity of Nebbiolo and the tannins as well. It wasn’t nearly as “beefy” as an Amarone, much more refreshing in comparison and I think therefore a year-round wine.

My next interview was Daniele Travi of Sorsasso, a wine maker and Agriturismo in the Lake Como region. His specialty is a wine made from a unique grape which he called “Verdesa”, but it is probably related in some way to the Spanish “Verdelho”, but it’s hard to say. He mentioned to me a dried fish unique to the region that I had never heard of before – Missoltini, a type of salted and dried shad, here’s a very hard to understand recipe for it: Missultitt Recipe. As they say, you should eat and drink the region, here what he has to say:


MacKenzie Limited – An Epicurean Stand-By

June 18th, 2010 • No Comments

I love marketing–there is nothing more thrilling to me than when I meet an entrepreneur in the food business promoting his or her passion! I met Laura McManus, President and owner of MacKenzie Limited at a recent Sante Baltimore event on Sunday, June 13th, 2010 at the American Visionary Art Museum. MacKenzie Limited is a purveyor very high end smoked salmon – well, more than that, here’s what the website says:

Mackenzie Limited was founded by an Englishman with a passion for gourmet food and a penchant for Scottish smoked salmon. Our 44-page catalog features more than 350 items available online and through mail-order including decadent desserts, premium seafood such as Maine lobster and traditional aged balsamic vinegar from Italy.

I’m including my short interview of Laura discussing her “foodie” philosophy and McKenzie’s “flavor profile” and then I added her fun appearance on QVC:
(for some reason it repeats itself??)

Ben Giliberti Post Chablis Tasting

June 16th, 2010 • No Comments

I’ve always enjoyed talking with Ben Giliberti – even when he was the Washington Post wine critic (which lasted for 22 years, he followed the venerable Robert Parker!), he was always accessible in person and frankly, quite humorous! We were walking away from a Chablis tasting in Washington, D.C. and we were discussing his new role as Director of Wine Education at Calvert Woodley when I posed to him the question “how would he use Social Media and the internet to promote wine education?” We went back and forth for a few moments talking about how things had changed in wine over the last few years and then I pulled out the mini HD video camera and filmed him for about 3 minutes or so, see how he did:

Maryland Wineries Big Growth

June 14th, 2010 • 1 Comment

I had a phenomenal weekend of tasting, tasting and tasting – from beer, to gourmet dishes and even over 50 Maryland wines – yes, wines made in the state of Maryland! I saw Kevin Atticks the Executive Director of the Maryland Wineries Association twice this weekend, so I decided to get his take on the incredible growth of Maryland wineries from both a quality and quantity perspective – enjoy the short 3 minute video, it was taken at a great event – Sante Baltimore at the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore, Maryland on Sunday, June 13th, 2010.