The 2012 Sofia Chardonnay from Francis Ford Coppola Winery comes from a tradition that began with sparkling Blanc de Blancs, a gift from Francis Ford Coppola to his daughter Sofia. The latest release comes with a peach-colored label and was celebrated at a Mother’s Day event complete with indoor and outdoor peach balloon installations, samples and hand-made French, peach-colored macaroons.
Sofia blends 75 percent Chardonnay and 25 percent Pinot Blanc, well balanced, bright and crisp. Fruit flavors include green apples, white peaches, pairs, spices and a touch of citrus. The wine was vinifed in stainless seel to preserve the fruit’s flavors, while the remainder fermented in used French oak barrels. Sofia has a suggested retail price of $19. From the design of the label to the style of the wine, Sofia Coppola played a part in the fine tuning of the blend, Winemaker Corey Beck points out.
Holman Ranch, in California’s Carmel Valley, has a long, rich history. In the late 1920′s, the estate was a ‘hideaway’ for such silent film stars as Charlie Chaplin and Theda Bara. It became a winery when Dorothy McEwen bought the property in 1989 and planted grapes. In 2006, the winery was sold to Tom and Jarman Lowder. This particular wine, aged for 12 months in French oak, is bright, fruity (cherry and blackberry), with hints of tobacco. The light bodied vintage is drinking well and worth setting aside to age. Suggested retail price is $33.
Ken Forrester’s vision is to improve the lives of those who work for him, while providing “maximum job opportunities in a market that is desperate for support.” At the same time, he’s farming sustainably, pruning and harvesting by hand.
The wines reflect his care for what he does, the land, and those who work with him. The Petit Chenin Blanc 2012 represents South Africa well – a clean, fresh, fruity (quince, pear, green apple and grapefruit) and accessible wine, reasonably priced ($11.99 SRP) and perfect for everyday sipping or wine by the glass lists. Under its Aging Potential, the vintage is deemed “half an hour with the cap off and reach for the next bottle”!
Grown in fine sandy loam with a clay base, the grapes yield a wine (100 percent Chenin Blanc) that complements many types of foods.
A former hotelman, Forrester’s goal is to make Chenin Blanc that can rival any white wine in the world. Go to http://www.kenforresterwines.com for more information, but the way to understand his success lies in tasting the wines.
Charlie Wagner II, the eldest member of a fifth generation Napa Valley winemaking family at Wagner Family of Wine, where he’s the red winemaker, knew he’d follow the family business early on, dividing his time after high school between the family winery in Rutherford, CA and the vineyards and winery in Monterey.
This wine was inspired by his memories of his grandfather, for whom he was named, blending the wines based on “taste rather than tradition” at the dining room table.
The ’09 red blends California red grapes for a fruit forward, velvety, full bodied and satisfying wine. Visit http://www.conundrumwine.com
From a vineyard in the south of Germany, the Franz Keller 2010 Pinot Blanc began its journey on small, steep terraces in soil and volcanic ash. The grapes were hand picked. The wine, dry and elegant, has 13 percent alcohol and hints of citrus, almonds and elderberries. The full, round wine has a lingering finish and pairs well with shellfish, poultry, and pastas with rich sauces. Visit http://www.franz-keller.de/en/home/weingut/kaiserstuhl/
CHICAGO – Foodservice operators head to Chicago May 18-21 for the annual National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show and the International Beer, Wine and Spirits Event May 19-20.
This year’s event at McCormick Place has a major focus on sustainability, offering a series of seminars on the topic and looking at the facts and fiction of food sustainability, saving money through sustainable best practices, sustainable foodservice design, how global leaders address sustainability in the food chain, and how to save money and create alternative revenue stream through recycling and composting waste material, says Jeff Clark, director of the association’s Conserve Sustainability Education Program.
The goal is to help operators improve their bottom line as well the bottom lines of their and communities.
On May 21, Ted Turner and his business partner, George McKerrow Jr., co-founder and CEO of the 44-unit Ted’s Montana Grill, will discuss “The Evolution of Sustainability” and highlight the environmental challenges threatening the planet. They’ll look at voluntary initiatives that could help conserve valuable natural resources.
McKerror will discuss what operators can do in their everyday operations to lessen the carbon footprint and create more sustainable businesses. The partners will be joined by Todd Wilkinson, an environmental journalist, during the presentation.
At another event this year, operators will join NRA and McCormick for Chefs on May 20 at 3:30 p.m. when the winner of the first annual Kids Recipe Contest will be announced. The program complements the Kids LiveWell effort launched last year and will highlight award-winning recipes from restaurants around the US that offer tasty, healthful menu options for young people. Celebrity Chef Marc Murphy will kick off the event.
The Show’s special keynote speaker on May 19 at 3 p.m. will be Howard Schultz, chairman, president and CEO of Starbucks.
Other special events include the Kitchen Innovations awards for equipment manufacturers and the FABI Food and Beverage Innovation Awards) plus the Operators Innovations Award. This year’s honorees for innovation include several Northeast operators, among them, Ninety Nine Restaurants, Woburn, MA, in the Food Safety category for an allergy alert system; Overlook Medical Center in Summit, NJ, in the Health and Nutrition program for an initiative that rewards customer for healthier food choices; Aramark Higher Education, Philadelphia, PA in Menu Development for a new menu with 100 choices, inspired by such trends as healthy options, seafood, vegan/vegetarian entrees and international cuisine; and Pret a Manger, New York, NY in the Sustainability category for working with a third party to create a sustainability program they share with the industry. It includes four-stream front of the house recycling, additional recycling, and back of the house composting plus waste diversion that diverts 55 percent of waste from landfills and results in 40 percent of excess food being donated to the homeless.
Rustenberg, from Stellenbosch in South Africa, markets the wine under the Ida or Rustenberg 1682 labels. Designed for easy, accessible drinking, the wine is a blend comprised of 62.1 percent Sauvignon Blanc, 21.7 percent Chardonnay, 7.6 percent Semillon, 15.6 percent Vigonier, 1.9 percent Grenache Blanc and 1.1 percent Roussane. They blend together, offering fruity notes of melon, passion fruit, and peach – a bouquet of delicate flavors. The vineyard dates to 1682 and was purchased by the Barlow Family in 1941 and lovingly passed on to the next generation which, in 1981, reinvigorated it with a new winery and imported virus-free clones and grapes to replant the vineyards. As South Africa left behind the isolation of the Apartheid years, Rustenberg took its place, growing grapes on the slopes, creating blends according to the vintage, and last year, naming Indigo Wine Group as its US importer. The wine is available in MA from Ruby Wines. Go to http://www.rustenberg.co.za