Whole Foods Market  is launching a nationwide effort to trigger awareness and action to remedy the problems facing the U.S. food system. And to celebrate Earth Day, Whole Foods Market will host more than 150 screenings in 20 major markets across the U.S. during April followed by discussions on how today’s food choices have an effect on the environment, health and the future of food. Films that will be shown locally include King Corn/Big River, Fast Food Nation, The Garden and Food, Inc.

 Whole Foods Market in Aventura will air the movies on  Sat. April 17 ( 2:30pm – King Corn/Big River;   4:30pm – Fast Food Nation ) and Sun. April 18 (12pm – The Garden; 2pm – Food, Inc.) at Cinema Paradiso, 503 SE 6th Street, Ft. Lauderdale.  Admission is $7 per film and the net proceeds will be donated to Slow Food Glades to Coast, a local non-profit organization that is committed to local sustainability, better eating for children and organics.

 Les Vins Georges Duboeuf has selected Daniel Burstein, 31,  of Jacksonville, Florida, as the grand prize winner of "Is Fashion your Bag"™, a national competition to design a wine tote.

Mr. Burstein's design (featured on the left) was selected by a panel of judges including Julie Brosterman, founder and ceo of Women & Wine®, Kimberly Fasting-Berg, associate publisher of marketing of Marie Claire and Georges Duboeuf, founder and owner of Les Vins Georges Duboeuf, Beaujolais, France. The grand prize is three-night/four day stay for four people at Paris Las Vegas and a $2000 shopping spree.

For the list of finalists and to view their designs visit http://womenwine.com  or www.marieclairepromotions.com  (live April 9th through May 5th).

The Wine Academy of Spain offers a comprehensive two-day Spanish Wine Education Certification Program presented by Pancho Campo, the first Master of Wine of Spain, for wine professionals, educators, critics, writers, journalists, distributors, importers, sommeliers, wine buyers and enthusiasts who are interested in getting to know Spanish wines in-depth.  The intensive course includes more than 60 wines and covers Spain's main D.O.s, wine laws, wine styles, grape varieties, etc. The course ends with an exam (theory and blind tasting of 6 wines).

The dates: May 7 – 8: Miami, Fla.(Four Points Sheraton) and May 10 – 11: Orlando, Fla. (Lakeside Restaurant)  Course fee:  $465. To register and for additional  information visit:  www.spainwines.es or contact  The Wine Academy of Spain, Tel. +34 680 707 032 info@thewineacademy.es

 

Food Network and Galavision/Univision Celebrity Cook  Ingrid Hoffman to judge chefs' battle at a Florida Heart event for the entire family
At the Miami Science Museum Miami Science Museum
3280 South Miami Avenue, Miami  www.miamisci.org  
Bring your family and friends and plan to spend a delightful afternoon of food and fun at Heart of a Chef on Sunday April 11, from 4-7pm.

A unique, fun and heart-healthy event for children of all ages and their parents with tastings from more  than 10 local restaurants, stroll through the Whole Foods Market Farmer's Market,  hands-on Sushi 101 class with Sushi Maki chefs, cup cake decorating with Sweet Art by Lucila, chef hats decorating and more activities for children; Wine with the Wildlife seminars (adults only); Battle of Chefs; Laser show in the Planetarium; energy dance floor; scavenger hunt; a Broadway-like production…

There will be a vegetable and fruit carving contest between all junior high schools in Miami-Dade and a cook-off from the top two high schools… and watch as local chefs battle in a mystery cook off judged by Food Network and Galavision/Univision Celebrity Cook Ingrid Hoffmann.

Tickets include visit to the Museum of Science: $25 online or in advance, $30 at the door; children 18 - 4 years: $10 online; $12 at the door; free for children 3 and under. To purchase tickets online: https://www.heartofachef.org/hoacf.html. To buy in advance Contact Staci at (305)586-7025 or staci@floridaheart.org

 

 

Sunday April 11,  from 5:00 PM to 8 PM (VIP Preview Party on the Point begins at 4:00 PM). The 16th annual Bali Ha’i Party at the Kampong, an AIWF (The South Florida Chapter of the American Institute of Wine and Food) event.

A cornucopia of food and wine in a movie setting with the participation of 30 of South Florida’s top chefs and  a selection of more than 80 wines, beers and libations, including Sake.

 

Main event tickets are 125.00 per person and VIP tickets (which include main event entrance) are 200.00 per person. For ticket information: www.balihaiparty.com or call 305-442-7169

The Kampong of the National Tropical Botanical Gardens, 4013 South Douglas Road, Coconut Grove, www.balihaiparty.com

 

If you go:
Vintner Dinners
-Friday,  March 19, 7:00 p.m.
Each vintner dinner features an acclaimed chef and renowned vintner and is served in a magnificent private setting. Please visit the website for parings and venues.
Tickets:  $ 275
The Bacchanal & Auction – Saturday, March 20, 6:00 PM
Boca Raton Resort & Club
Champagne Taittinger reception, sumptuous dinner, silent and live auctions
Tickets:  $ 225

 

The Grand Tasting – Sunday, March 21
Centre for the Arts at Mizner Park Amphitheatre
Wine Seminar:   11:00 AM  $25
 
Grand Tasting - Noon to 3:00 p.m.  
Stroll, sip and savor specialties of 30 restaurants and 140 wines
Tickets:  Grand Tasting - $85 per person   $100 at the gate

 

Let the revelry begin! A weekend of great wine matched with delectable culinary delightsat the Eighth Annual Boca Bacchanal Winefest & Auction. Supporters are preparing to sip, savor and bid at the event's world-class silent and live auctions. The tasty event, presented by the Boca Raton Historical Society along with partners Boca Raton Magazine, Florida Table, Boca Raton Resort & Club and Republic National Distributing Company, will be uncorked March 19-21 at various sites in the Boca Raton area.

On tap are Friday evening Vintner Dinners, created by internationally acclaimed chefs and vintners, set at magnificent private residences and on board a 100-foot luxury yacht; a Saturday evening Bacchanal & Auction, at the Boca Raton Resort & Club, and a Sunday Grand Tasting, consisting of an outdoor food and wine "revelry on the green" at the Centre for the Arts at Mizner Park Amphitheatre, which showcases the specialties of 25 top local restaurants and more than 140 wines.

The Bacchanal & Auction spotlights a sumptuous reception, leading to offerings of wine and dynamic lifestyle lots at the auctions, and a delectable dinner feast displaying the culinary talents of the Vintner Dinner Chefs and Vintners.

 The lineup of top auction prizes features wine country tours, vacations to Europe and South Africa as well as coveted vintage wines. Early auction "shoppers" may view a list of select auction lots on the event website (or by visiting the Boca Raton Historical Society).

Boca Bacchanal benefits the Boca Raton Historical Society's Historic Preservation and Heritage Education Programs.

Ticket information for all events and the pairings descriptions of the Vintner Dinner Chefs and Vintners for the Vintner Dinners are available at www.bocabacchanal.com , or by calling               561-395-6766         561-395-6766, extension 101.

 

Argentine estate winery Doña Paula is proud to announce the Argentina Wine Awards presented Doña Paula with the highest award given, for their Estate Malbec 2009.  From the  650 wines entered the 2010 competition, now in its fourth year, it was the only Malbec in the $10 to $20 price point awarded a Trophy.  

Doña Paula Estate Malbec stands out for its superior concentration, aromatic intensity, complexity and New World style.  Offering an intense violet color with plums, black cherries, licorice and dried herbs basket aromas. It is sweet, round and ample in the mouth with a lingering finish. $17.00

About Doña Paula

With vineyards planted in 1999, Doña Paula, the Claro Group winery, is one of Argentina’s fastest growing wine exporters. Selectively planted in the premium regions of Mendoza, it is recognized as an estate winery because 100% of the grapes that go into its wines are sourced from its own vineyards, which are operated under sustainable practices.   www.DonaPaula.com .  

Our sympathy to  Chile for the losses and devastation caused by the earthquake  

 

wine_450x337_maule_clay_house 

Jancis Robinson has just uploaded a very moving account from Derek Mossman Knapp of Garage Wine Co in Alto Maipo to www.jancisrobinson.com.  See Post-quake news from Chile:  http://www.jancisrobinson.com/articles/a20100228.html

 After six days of the 8.8 richter´s scale earthquake impacted Chile, the country is moving forward to recover from the devastation. Food and water started to be delivered along Constitución, Talca, Concepción, Dichato, Pichilemu and several small cities and villages. Seems like will never be enough, however, international and local help started to arrive providing some hope to the people. Report from http://www.AndesWines.cl
The damage to wine industry’s infrastructure varies among the different wineries and valleys and has not been fully measured. Wine valleys like Curico, Maule, Rapel (Colchagua) and Itata are the most affected in the wine industry´s points of view.
“The main concern of winemakers right now is to evaluate how much grape they can receive the next couple of weeks considering that the white grapes are close to being picked up. The majority of wineries decided to move the harvest one week because fortunately was a little bit delayed also, and also, they are taking care of the needs of their workers in the countryside first” said CEO of AndesWines.cl, Maximiliano Morales.
Most of rural areas do not have electricity, so the winemakers are fixing all minor and major problems in the cellar to be prepared to the harvest. Since Thursday, the power came back to some areas of Concepcion and other areas in different valleys and according to official sources, rural areas will take 3 to 5 days to have electricity back.
The majority of vineyards in the coast and central valley are safe and did not get affected by earthquake, however, the damages were very different from one valley to the other. In some areas like Maule and Curicó most of the “adobe” cellars are down, some barrels and wine in the floor, said http://www.AndesWines.cl
The bottling lines are working with no trouble and the barrels on the floor are being counted to define how many are lost along the wineries. Highways and ports in San Antonio and Valparaiso are fine and returning to the normal movement, and no delayed should be an issue from orders from overseas.
Most of the “grape harvest celebrations” along the country were suspended in Santa Cruz, San Fernando, Curicó and Talca, because most of the harvest workers and agricultures have serious damage in their “adobe” homes and also, most of the wineries have to clean and fix the cellars and damage constructions to start the white grape harvest along the countryside.
Thanks to reports made by mosto.cl, the coast area of Leyda and San Antonio are in general fine, however, Casa Marin´s Casona from Lo Abarca is falling down after 2 prior earthquakes in the past, and will start the repair as soon as they can. They did not have major wine losses, so they will have no problem to respond to importers and distributors orders internationally. In the case of Casas del Bosque in Casablanca Valley, they lost approximately 5.000 lts. from some barrels falling down, and the touristic facilities are 100% working. In Maipo valley, the reports confirm no major losses, considering the vineyards are fine and the constructions survived.
In Curicó Valley, Miguel Torres winery informed that 300 barrels were smashed, as well as a 100.000 liters´ tanks got broken. Miguel Torres Maczassek, the fifth generation in charge of the winery in Chile started to collect data to help their workers and according to local press donated 50.000 euros to the municipality of Curico to help the devastation of the area.
According to vinorama, the sommelier in charge informed that Francisco Gillmore´s sister died in a terrible moment of the earthquake and they had 20% of loss. In the case of Louise-Antoine Luyt –from Clos Ouvert, in Cauquenes, Maule–, calculates a 70% loss. “All barrels and some tanks are down, however the cellar stayed ok. His house was destroyed”
The movement of independent vinters MOVI informed that Polkura lost part of 2009 wine; Erasmo from Francesco Marone is with minor damage.
After a desperate request from viticulturalist Renan Cancino to get help in the wake of the tragedy to Sauzal, Garage Wine Co., lead by the owner Derek Mossman started a “Carignan Crusade” to help the growers and the neighbouring town of Sauzal, which is next to Cauquenes. This area is precisely the zone where the dry-farmed old-vine Carignan grows. These vines are part of Chilean wine history. They decided to donate the remaining stocks of Carignan 2008 that had kept for counter samples and posterity and send these funds to the people who need them.
Darué Bernard, owner of "Las Niñas Winery" in Apalta in the Colchagua Valley said to La Tercera newspaper that lost 160.000 lits. of wine and 11 years of work due to the major damage in tanks, barrels and infrastructure.
The total loss of wine according to wine association “Vinos de Chile” is approximately 125 million liters, including bulk, bottled, and aging wine, which means about US$ 250 million, which represents a loss of just 12.5% compared to 2009.

The National Association of Catering Executives (NACE) announces the 2010 Vince DeFinis Scholarship program for undergraduate students which will award two, $10,000 scholarships in summer 2010.  The money will be distributed in two payments.

Students must maintain a 3.0 GPA and be enrolled as a full-time student to be eligible for the scholarship. The recipient will also receive complimentary student membership in the National Association of Catering Executives. 

Applicants must be currently enrolled as a full-time student (12 credits or more) in an accredited hospitality, culinary or related program. Students must have completed 60 credits to be eligible. Judging will be based on an essay and two letters of reference, which must be included in the application. All applications must be submitted by April 1. The winners will be selected April 30 and announced at the NACE Experience! conference, July 25-28, in Austin, TX. 

Students who are interested in applying for the scholarship may find more information at http://www.nace.net/cs/foundation_scholarship_2009.

joseph drouhinThe Estate-grown grapes of Maison Joseph Drouhin’s 2009 vintage are now officially organic .  Twenty years after Philippe Drouhin first began introducing organic practices to the vineyards , Maison Joseph Drouhin (MJD), the highly regarded producer of Burgundy wines, has been awarded organic certification for all grapes grown within its vineyards beginning with the 2009 vintage. Announcement of the certification was made by Frédéric Drouhin, chief executive officer and president of Joseph Drouhin.

Although the Drouhin vineyards have been organic for years, official regulations require a three-year “conversion” period during which the rules of organic production are applied and verified in the vineyards. The certification process began in August 2006 with a lengthy application to Ecocert, one of several registered companies documenting organic production.

While 2009 is the official vintage year for organic certification, Philippe Drouhin, one of the four siblings running MJD and the one in charge of the company‘s 73-hectare (182.5-acre) estate, including 38 hectares (just under 93 acres) of Chablis, now known as Chablis Drouhin Vaudon, began introducing organic practices back in 1990, shortly after joining the family firm. His father, Robert, had already returned to “culture raisonnée,” more traditional viticultural practices, in the late ‘70s, but, as he says, “Philippe went further than I.”

Since he took over, Philippe has moved away from all but the most simple and natural treatments of the vine toward a non-interventionist approach and, beginning in 1997, has instituted many of the practices of biodynamie. Considered a leader in the field by fellow Burgundians, Philippe’s credo – and that of the entire family and company – is to bring natural responses to natural problems. Some vineyards are plowed by horses in the steepest areas; grass grows between vines to keep down weeds, fertilization is with natural compost; and treatments are done with herb infusions.

 Starting Saturday March 6, and on the first Saturday of every month  Acqualina is offering a  new monthly wine dinner  program featuring a wine tasting from 6-8 pm followed by a cooking demo and a three course meal paired with wines  prepared by Acqualina’s Executive Chef Marc Debas.   $85 per person.
    
The weekly Wine Tasting Series will continue to be held every Saturday night at Acqualina’s Aaria Bar & Lounge .   $35 per person.  Complimentary valet parking is included. Advanced reservations for the dinner program is required: 305.918.6860.  17875 Collins Avenue, Sunny Isles Beach  www.acqualina.com

Monday, March 8, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The French Malbec:  Cahors Malbec Tour. A Walk-Around Tasting for Trade and Press ONLY. Holiday Inn, across from UM,1350 South Dixie Hway, Coral Gables. RSVP contact@sommelierconsultants.com This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it 954-360-9933

March 8, from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Portuguese Wine Tasting :  Fenadegas, the national association of wine cooperatives in Portugual, is offering an unlimited sampling of approximately 100 whites, reds and rosés,  Ports, White Vinho Verdes and Moscatels  at Smith and Wollensky’s scenic terrace at 1 Washington Avenue, Miami Beach.   Event is open to consumers and tickets are $25 per person available at www.localwineevents.com . Proceeds will benefit the South Florida Chapter of the American Institute of Food and Wine (AIWF).

From May 5 to 9, the largest gathering of rum enthusiasts, professionals and international rum experts in the Western Hemisphere kicks off with a series of outstanding VIP parties and cocktail competitions, followed by the Grand Tasting event on Saturday, May 8th, featuring more than 100 of the world's finest rums and cane spirits.

Tickets are now on sale at www.RumRenaissance.com.  The Grand Tasting Event  ($65) includes a series of free Celebrity Seminars;  VIP Tickets ($195)  include full access to all VIP parties on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, plus early VIP admission to the Grand Tasting.

The Beach and Pool Party on Sunday, May 9th from noon to 5pm is free to all participants.  For more information, visit www.RumRenaissance.com.

wine press

Israeli archaeologists said that they've discovered an exceptionally large and unusually shaped 1,400-year-old wine press that reflects a sophisticated level of technology for its time, a period in history when the region was part of the Byzantine Empire.  

 

wine press2The octagonal press was discovered about 25 miles (40 kilometers) south of both Jerusalem and Tel Aviv in an area earmarked to be farmland and a new community for settlers evacuated from the Gaza Strip in 2005. It is now an archeological site open to the public

The press measures 21 feet by 54 feet (6.5 meters by 16.5 meters), which leads to believe that the wine was not meant for local consumption but was probably intended for export to Egypt, then a major export market, according to excavation director Uzi Ad of the Israel Antiquities Authority. An identical wine press was previously uncovered 12 miles (20 kilometers) away, north of Ashkelon, he added.

The complex wine press has a central treading floor with a mosaic pavement. The juice extracted from the grapes would flow from the treading floor to a distributing vat and from there through holes into two collecting vats located on either side, he said. Rectangular surfaces originally paved with a mosaic floor were also discovered around the treading floor. The grapes were probably placed there before being trod on, and the initial fermentation of the grapes would sometimes begin there, he said.

Finally organic food is paying off.

The Austin, Texas-based grocery chain Whole Foods Market Inc.  reported a profit of $49.7 million, or 32 cents a share, compared with $27.8 million, or 20 cents a share, a year ago.

Fiscal first-quarter earnings soared 79% and  sales at stores open at least a year rose for the first time in six quarters.   Total sales for the quarter ending  Jan. 17 climbed 7% to $2.6 billion from $2.47 billion, the company said on Tuesday.

 

The Court of Carcassonne in southwest France found 13 wine producers and traders guilty of fraud.

Thirteen wine producers and traders from the Languedoc-Roussillon in southern France, a region famous for its vineyards, were found guilty and 6 were sentenced  to 6 months suspended prison and fines for  selling 18 million bottles of fake Pinot Noir to USA winemakers, including America’s E. & J. Gallo Winery, and passing cheaper Merlot and Syrah as Pinot Noir - which is twice as expensive.  

The wine was sold under Gallo's popular "Red Bicyclette" Pinot Noir label.

Claude Courset of the Ducasse wine traders was sentenced to six-month suspended prison  with a fine of €45,000. Five other people were sentenced to fines of between €3,000 and 6,000 and the remaining six for less. The trading firm of Limoux was ordered to pay €180,000 in penalties, according to the BBC.

According to the BBC, French  fraud squad, the General Directorate for Competition Policy, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Control (DGCCRF), figured out the scam when they noted that the amount of Pinot Noir being sold to Gallo exceeded the amount produced in the region and  when an audit at Ducasse revealed that he had been buying Pinot Noir at €58 per hL when the official market price was €97 .

The scheme ran from 2006 to 2008; 18 million of bottles were sold for € 7 million. 

But, as one French winemaker’s lawyer sniffed to the BBC: “Not a single American consumer complained.”  

 

The 10th anniversary of the Naples Winter Wine Festival, held Jan. 29-31, raised a grand total of more than $8.1 million, which was 60 percent more than was raised at the 2009 festival. The live auction of 60 one-of-a-kind lots totaled $7.1 million; the raffle of a Lexus IS C, the first-ever Lexus IS convertible, brought in $342,000; and Lot No. 50, a fund-a-need lot in which patrons dropped on-the-spot cash donations into buckets for a new children’s behavioral health initiative, amassed the most of any single auction lot: $647,850.

The festival has been ranked the most successful charity wine auction in the nation for the past six years by Wine Spectator. 

Since 2001, the festival has raised $82.6 million for underprivileged and at-risk children in Collier County, Fla., with proceeds distributed through the Naples Children & Education Foundation. Thanks to festival patrons’ generosity, nearly 100,000 children have been helped over 10 years through grants to children’s charities.

An NCEF check presentation and community celebration will be held April 18 to distribute funds raised at the 2010 festival. The 2011 festival will be held Jan. 28-30. For more information about the Naples Winter Wine Festival, go to www.napleswinefestival.com. 

Food & Wine Talk Radio

 GELATO WORLD TOUR, RIMINI 2014, ITALY
 
Achile Sassoli, Director of Gelato World Tour
and Gelato Artisans:
James Coleridge, Vancouver, B.C., Canada
Abdelrahman Al Teneji, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates
Matthew Lee, Austin, Texas
Ahmed Abdullatif, Kingdom of Bahrain
Stefano Versace, Miami, Florida
 
 
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Wine On Harvest Moon-Spirits, Spells & American Lore, Sat 10/24, with Veronica Litton,Crown Wine & Spirits, Chef Julia Ning, Station 5 Table and Bar  

 
 

Chef Scott Conant: Scarpetta

 
 

Mark Schatzker, author of The Dorito Effect, The Surprising New Truth About Food and Flavor

 
 

Elizabeth Minchilli, author of  Eating Rome: Living the Good Life in the Eternal City.  

 
 

Cindy Hutson,chef/owner, Ortanique and Zest, author of From the Tip of My Tongue

 
 

Lidia Batianich, celebrity chef, TV host, author and restaurateur 

 

 

 

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