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.

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.

 

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.

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.”  

 

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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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.  

 
 

James Beard Award-winning wine journalist Lyn Farmer on: Garnacha from Carinena; the next great wine

 
 

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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