Web Exclusives

Who's Got Bossa?

Who's Got Bossa?


RIO DE JANEIRO-BORN COSME GOMES EXPLAINS HOW PREMIUM SPIRIT BRAND BOSSA CAPTURES THE SOOTHING AND SOPHISTICATED BEAT OF BRAZIL, WHILE CELEBRATING HIS COUNTRY'S ACHIEVEMENTS IN MODERN ART, MUSIC AND ITS LONG HISTORY OF CACHAÇA-MAKING

Rio de Janeiro is having its moment, with the World Cup slated for 2014, the Olympic Summer Games for 2016, renewed chic as a travel destination and even a discovery of oil reserves large enough to last centuries.

Cosme Gomes, however, saw this new era coming for a very long time. Over the years, he has seen his native city's image evolve internationally from the usual sun, fun and bikinis into a more complete picture of a thriving tropical urban center with a laid-back yet sophisticated lifestyle, the cultural soul of the newest powerhouse of premium consumers in the Western Hemisphere—Brazil.

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Sparklers for the Fourth

Sparklers for the Fourth

Lots of people set off sparklers for the Fourth of July . . . so why not pop open a few sparkling wines to add to the national festivities. Don't limit your holiday to cheap beer. Declare your independence from backyard tradition with a bottle of all-American sparkling wine.

An excellent place to explore some of the finest, yet most underrated, American sparklers? None other than the Pacific Northwest. Gifted wineries dedicated to painstaking precision and supreme-quality sparkling wines are sprinkled throughout Oregon and Washington, and, believe me, they deserve a closer look.

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Chilean Today, Cool Forever

Chilean Today, Cool Forever


JUST IN TIME FOR SUMMER, CHILEAN PISCO IS POISED TO DISTINGUISH ITSELF AT THE BAR AND ON RETAIL SHELVES

Though the origins and cultural "ownership" of pisco have been a subject of debate between Chileans and Peruvians for generations, the category's emergence in the 21st century is piquing interest stateside. In 2010, sales of pisco from both Peru and Chile skyrocketed by 101 percent, which according to the Comisión Nacional del Pisco of Peru, makes it the fastest growing spirit in the U.S.

Chilean pisco distillers, not surprisingly, are using this opportunity to define their market share by explaining to beverage buyers and the public what makes Chilean pisco "real pisco". . . and really Chilean.


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TY KU: Saké's Warrior Brand

TY KU: Saké's Warrior Brand


WITH INNOVATIVE MARKETING, PRECISELY-EXECUTED PARTNERSHIPS AND A PASSIONATE TEAM WORKING IN SUPPORT OF A BRAND—AND CATEGORY—THEY LOVE, TY KU IS LEADING THE CHARGE FOR SAKÉ AND INVITING THE WORLD TO “DRINK EXTRAORDINARY”

Saké, perhaps more than any other beverage category in the United States, has been patient on the path to stardom. Despite a rich and ancient heritage, saké has remained largely misunderstood, served warm in ceramic carafes at sushi joints, overshadowed as a mere bombing partner for beer and mislabeled as everything from a spirit to a rice wine on its path to the spotlight (Extraordinary Tip Number One: Saké is actually brewed in a process similar to that used in beer production and is therefore more like rice beer). Read More ==>

A Family Affair

A Family Affair


WHILE CHILEAN WINE HAS EVOLVED INTO BIG INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS, MARIA LUZ MARIN SEEKS LONG-TERM SUCCESS AT CASA MARIN BY STAYING TRUE TO HER PERSONAL WINEMAKING ROOTS

Like a crisp Sauvignon Blanc, Chile's wine industry has clearly and briskly arrived, evidenced by its increased presence in restaurants and retailers worldwide as well as its eno-tourism boom. However, winemaker Maria-Luz Marin has never lost sight of her own reality. She believes, no matter how big Chile's wine industry gets, wines evolving from her vineyards need to stand on their own. It is a point of pride for her that the winery is not defined by sales volume, but by unique soils and climatic conditions that only a vineyard two and a half miles from the Pacific Ocean can offer. Read More ==>

The Road to MCC

The Road to MCC

With the Manhattan Cocktail Classic a few weeks away, bartenders, brands, writers and connoisseurs are preparing to descend upon the Big Apple, shakers in hand and ready to sip and savor. THE TASTING PANEL is as excited as you are, and to get in the swing of things, we're starting the countdown to MCC with a little road trip.

In the tradition of
Easy Rider, one man will swap his jigger for the open road, and we'll be here to capture it all. Meet Dylan Regan, a man who spends most of the year working behind the stick as the Bar Manager at Aspen's Jimmy's Restaurant , and a guy who is going on the adventure of a lifetime, hopping on his motorcycle to drive across country, with MCC as his ultimate destination.
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Walk on the Wild Side

Walk on the Wild Side


EMBRACING SYRAH AND OTHER TASTY VARIETALS WITH THE RHÔNE RANGERS

Simple wines are for wimps. Just ask the growing number of talented American winemakers who are crafting world-class wines with intriguing red and white grape varietals originally brought over from the Rhône Valley of France.

It’s an art that starts with devotion to the hallowed grape Syrah. Since the early 1990s, the popularity of this grape has been on the rise with boutique producers in the United States. Today, it is used to make elegant, complex and powerful still wines, sophisticated Rhône-style blends, proprietary red wines, refreshing pink wines and flavorful ports.
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Brightest Africa

Brightest Africa


SOUTH AFRICA RADIATES WITH NATURAL WONDERS FOR THE SENSES, ENHANCED DISTINCTIVE WINE, SPIRITS CUISINE AND A MULTICULTURAL OUTLOOK

In order to appreciate South Africa's sensory bounty in earnest, a traveler should dedicate equal time to a game lodge stay and a well-planned week in Cape Town, dubbed "The Mother City" for its prime coastal location kissing the Atlantic and Indian oceans.

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Dreaming Big with The Glenfiddich

Dreaming Big with The Glenfiddich

The opportunity to enjoy a dram of The Glenfiddich with its globe-trotting West Coast Brand Ambassador, Mitch Bechard, is a rare treat, since fitting into the Scotch Superstar's crazy-packed schedule is like trying to find room in Justin Beiber's lyrics for one more "Baby:" It's a tight squeeze, but the spirited Scot will make it work. Read More ==>

Puglia Is On A Roll

Puglia Is On A Roll

photos by Lana Bortolot

The Tasting Panel swapped out the predictable Pinot Noir for Primitivo over Thanksgiving as New York Editor Lana Bortolot and contributor David Ransom attended the Apulia Wine Identity in Southern Italy.  They joined 60 wine professionals from 21 countries in a symposium, organized by the Puglia Best Wine consortium, for the express purpose of getting up close and personal with southern grapes. Two years ago, Lana and London correspondent Steven Spurrier attended the inaugural event. The grassroots consortium—and the region—have made significant strides since then.


When Puglia Best Wine launched its education and promotion initiative two years ago, it fell to four of the founding consortium wineries—all of them co-ops—to introduce the region and its wines. It was hardly a fair representation of the "can do" of this province (also known as Apulia), tucked into the heel of Italy's boot and long ignored.

Pictured above, Luigi Rubino, President of the consortium Puglia Best Wine.
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The True Sommelier

The True Sommelier

I remember the story of a newly appointed food critic arriving with friends at a brand new, über high‐end restaurant in New York City and after pondering the menus, he felt certain he had uncovered the perfect wine to match the chosen dishes. When the selection was suggested to the sommelier as a possible pairing, the sommelier simply responded with a single word, "No". As rude as this might seem, the sommelier really did know his stuff and demonstrated as much by steering the group towards an even more appropriate selection, thus bringing their dining experience to another level.

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An Evening Behind Bars

An Evening Behind Bars


story and photos by Tim Teichgraeber

The end of Prohibition was the theme as William Grant & Sons hosted San Francisco trade guests on Alcatraz Island last November 8. Now a national park, Alcatraz is famous for having held some famous troublemakers of the Prohibition era. Partygoers were ferried out to the former prison, were led up the hill by park rangers, and treated to an audio tour of the prison before the party. Read More ==>

Purity Vodka Red Carpet Challenge

Purity Vodka Red Carpet Challenge

THE TASTING PANEL and Purity Vodka have teamed up to put nine of the nation’s top bartenders to the test in our Red Carpet Cocktail Challenge, open now until Dec 15, 2011. Visit the Purity Vodka Facebook page to view all of the entries and vote for your favorite today! Read More ==>

Purity Vodka Red Carpet Challenge: Marita Esteva

Purity Vodka Red Carpet Challenge: Marita Esteva

THE TASTING PANEL and Purity Vodka have teamed up to put nine of the nation’s top bartenders to the test in our Red Carpet Cocktail Challenge, open now until Dec 15, 2011. Visit the Purity Vodka Facebook page to view all of the entries and vote for your favorite today!

At San Francisco’s chic Parc 55 Wyndham hotel, travelers from all over the world belly up to cityhouse, a restaurant whose innovative takes on the classics have made it a mainstay for gastronomically-inclined SFers. Bartender Marita Esteva serves her patrons modern takes on classic cocktails, and devised the A Dab Behind the Ears cocktail, made with Purity Vodka and fresh ingredients from the cityhouse fifth floor garden. Read More ==>

Purity Vodka Red Carpet Challenge: Stephanie Sanders

Purity Vodka Red Carpet Challenge: Stephanie Sanders

THE TASTING PANEL and Purity Vodka have teamed up to put nine of the nation’s top bartenders to the test in our Red Carpet Cocktail Challenge, open now until Dec 15, 2011. Visit the Purity Vodka Facebook page to view all of the entries and vote for your favorite today!

Moments away from the UCLA campus and the bustling Westwood Village college town, the W Hotel Westwood is a bastion of calm along frat row. There, business meetings are de rigueur and classic California cuisine and cocktails reign. There, mixologist Stephanie Sanders goes the all-natural CA-health route with her Purity Vodka cocktail, the G-Sprout. Read More ==>

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