Web Exclusives

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.
Read More ==>

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.

Read More ==>

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.
Read More ==>

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.

Read More ==>

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 ==>

Purity Vodka Red Carpet Challenge: Rich Stradtman

Purity Vodka Red Carpet Challenge: Rich Stradtman

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!

In Atlanta’s happening Midtown neighborhood, locals have flocked to Baraonda (www.baraondaatlanta.com) for over a decade to satisfy their cravings for fresh, authentic Italian fare. With the warmth of Southern charm mingling with Old World flare, mixologist Rich Stradtman went a slightly herbal route in his Pure Bliss cocktail, made with Purity Vodka. Read More ==>

Purity Vodka Red Carpet Challenge: Jonathan Trevor

Purity Vodka Red Carpet Challenge: Jonathan Trevor

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!

For the people of Los Angeles who find themselves making the ever-frequent North-South trip along the 405 Freeway, the Hotel Angeleno is a veritable landmark, a tower that rises above the trafficked pavement beneath L.A.’s Getty Center. There, mixologist Jonathan Trevor/b gives us a Purity Vodka take on a classic Bloody Mary.

Read More ==>

Purity Vodka Red Carpet Challenge: Colleen Ford Morales

Purity Vodka Red Carpet Challenge: Colleen Ford Morales

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!

For a decade, Los Angelenos have explored Chef Josie Le Balch’s fine dining side at her eponymous restaurant, Josie. Now, Westsiders have a whole new reason to fall in love with the Chef, whose new casual dining concept, Next Door by Josie offers fresh, sophisticated food and spirits. Bartender Colleen Ford Morales brings us a savory and spicy Purity Vodka cocktail called The Impure Virgin of the Desert.
Read More ==>

Purity Vodka Red Carpet Challenge: Jennifer Russick

Purity Vodka Red Carpet Challenge: Jennifer Russick

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!

Celebrity Chef Michael Mina has become internationally renowned for his bold, balanced flavors and small-plate style, and at Michael Mina, San Francisco, the chef's sensibilities are merged with Japanese and French influences, resulting in one of the City by the Bay's best restaurants. There, bartender Jennifer Russick translates Mina's playful approach to balanced flavors in the Pineapple Express, made with Purity Vodka. Read More ==>

Purity Vodka Red Carpet Cocktail Challenge: Matt Abshire

Purity Vodka Red Carpet Cocktail Challenge: Matt Abshire

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!

L.A. foodie mainstay Hatfield’s has won over the City of Angels with fabulous fresh fare from husband-and-wife duo Quinn and Karen Hatfield since its inception, and the cocktails are equally innovative. Bartender Matt Abshire offers the punny The King’s Peach, inspired by Purity Vodka’s complex personality. Read More ==>

Purity Vodka Red Carpet Cocktail Challenge: Jenny Pedraza

Purity Vodka Red Carpet Cocktail Challenge: Jenny Pedraza

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!

NoBar BKNY may call Brooklyn home, but its roots are thoroughly rooted in NOLA, with craft domestic brews and classic cocktails making this one of the neighborhood's hottest hotspots. It doesn't hurt that the bar is owned by actor Anthony Mackie, who has starred in such films as Million Dollar Baby and The Hurt Locker. Bartender Jenny Pedraza is a Purity Vodka fan, and created Purity on Nostrand, in homage to Nostrand Ave, the bar's street.

Read More ==>

THE TASTING PANEL, 17203 Ventura Blvd, Ste. 5, Encino, CA 91316
Content ©2014 THE TASTING PANEL magazine. All rights reserved