The Spirit(s) World – Double Cross Vodka

This handsomely bottled vodka represents the intersection of tradition and technology, taking the spring water from Tatra Mountain in Slovakia to be distilled seven times, creating a pure, clean distinctive taste. The back of each bottle is inscribed with lines of Slovakian poetry. The Double Cross symbol pays tribute to 12th century Byzantine monks who brought the symbol to the region. Wine Enthusiast gives this spirit a whopping 95 points. Cocktail recipes are available at http://doublecrossvodka.com/cocktails/. By itself, it offers a distinctive and delicious experience, straight up or on the rocks with a twist.


Wine of the Week – Wines of Southwest France

The wines of Southwest France share a unique group of geographic influences from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pyrenees, to the Mediterranean. These cross influences help shape honest, rustic wines that happen also to be heart healthy.
We were introduced to five, ranging in price from $11.99 to $25.99. Our favorites of the five were the “Les Rials,” mis en Bouteile au Domaine de la Chanade. With pale straw color and salty,grapefruit and tropical flavors, it reflects the influence of proximity to the ocean.
Of all five, our number one favorite was the Aydie Madiran 2012.
Tannat is the native grape of Madiran and this wine is well balanced, rich and full bodied. Chateau Aydie has been making wine for three generations. This wine is ripe, chewy and has been called “brutish and feral”! It’s around 14.5% ABV. We agree with those who’ve called Tannat “magic in a bottle.”


5th Annual Boston Local Food Festival this weekend

On Sunday, the 5th Annual Boston Local Food Festival kicks off at noon on the Greenway (Atlantic Ave. and Milk St.) with 100 vendors and this year, the presentation of a special new report, “A New England Food Vision,” that challenges Massachusetts and the New England region to ensure that 50% of food consumed is locally produced by 2060. This “50 by 60” vision launch will include remarks from representatives who are collectively working towards the goal.
Speakers will include:
• Laury Hammel, Executive Director, Sustainable Businesses Network of Massachusetts
• Brian Donahue, Brandeis University, Food Solutions New England
• Gregory C. Watson, Commissioner, Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources
• Mary B. Griffin, Commissioner, Massachusetts Department of Fish & Game
• Karen Spiller, Principal, KAS Consulting
• John Lee, General Manager, Allandale Farm and President, MA Society for Promoting Agriculture
• Sam Anderson, New Entry Sustainable Farming Project
• Brett Tolley, Community Organizer, Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance
• Liz Morningstar, CEO, Boston Public Market
The comprehensive report challenges the region to produce 50% of the food consumed locally by 2060, or “50 by 60.” Today, only about 10% of what New Englanders consume is produced within the region. Together, with SBN and the Boston Local Food Festival, Food Solutions New England seeks to raise awareness about the report and encourage consumers to “eat local first”. The Festival celebrates Healthy, Local Food For All by introducing 25,000+ eaters to local food producers, farmers, retailers and non-profit food related organizations each year. Highlights of this year’s vendors include Cape Ann Fresh Catch from MA, Valicenti Farms from NH, Daniele Foods from RI, Sustainable America from CT and Backyard Farms from ME.


Wine of the Week – Marchese Fumanelli Amarone 2008

Marchese Fumanelli in Verona, Italy dates way back to the 14th century and has been making wines since the 17th century when the Marquis Fumanelli family built the estate which stands today in the hear of Valpolicella on Roman ruins.
Today, those wines are now distributed by Pasternak Wine Imports in the U.S. and include this delicious, rich Amarone 2008.
It blends Cortavina (40%), Corvinone (40%) and Rondinella (20%).The wines grown in the traditional Veronese Pergola system, grown and placed on plateaux where they rest for 120 days before drying. They’re de-stemmed and soft pressed and macerated for 25 days, then fermented in stainless steel tanks. The resulting wine is a deep red with vanilla notes and hints of nutmeg along with berry flavors. It’s a rich and well balanced wine that goes well with steaks and aged cheeses, as well as making a deeply flavorful beverage all by itself. As summer turns to fall and the days turn cooler, this is a wine to sip and savor.


Wine of the Week – Chateau De Lancyre 2013 Rosé

Chateau De Lancyre dates to 1550 as a winery, but the chateau itself was built in the 1200 on the ruins of an old fort on limestone.
In the heart of Pic Saint Loup, a mild winter followed by a rainy Spring and later, a mild fall allowed for a perfectly ripe harvest. This rosé is not one to be lightly dismissed! Serious and balanced, it offers good minerality and earthiness.
Salmon pink in hue, it’s a blend of 50% Syrah, 40% Grenache and 10% Cinsault. The resulting wine offers notes of cherry, raspberry and melon, and pairs well with dishes such as roast chicken. It has 13.5 abv and a suggested retail price of around $15.
We like rosés year-round and this one is a good choice for any time you want a delicious taste of Languedoc rosé!


Tork Sweepstakes introduced to support Share Our Strength

SCA, maker of the Tork® brand of Away-from-Home professional hygiene products in North America, is extending its ongoing partnership with Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign, continuing its support with two interactive campaigns targeted to raise awareness and generate support in the fight against childhood hunger in America.

To underscore its commitment to solving childhood hunger, SCA joins forces with corporations across the country to support the seventh annual Food Network New York City Wine & Food Festival presented by FOOD & WINE (NYCWFF), as the official napkin of this year’s Grand Tasting presented by ShopRite Featuring KitchenAid® Culinary Demonstrations presented by MasterCard®. The Festival brings together culinary icons and Food Network star chefs in an effort to raise awareness of the ongoing hunger crisis in the United States. One hundred percent of the proceeds benefit Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry and the Food Bank For New York City. Last year, NYCWFF hosted more than 55,000 guests at 130 events and has raised more than $7.5 million to date for these hunger-relief organizations.

As the official napkin supplier, SCA will provide custom printed Tork napkins, Tork Xpressnap Napkin Dispensers and the recently introduced Tork Foodservice Cleaning and Sanitizing Wet Wipes for all presenting exhibitors at the Grand Tasting event presented by ShopRite featuring KitchenAid® Culinary Demonstrations presented by MasterCard® as well as the Southern Wine & Spirits of New York Trade Tasting presented by Beverage Media Group. By using Tork’s unique One Napkin, Every Time™ Xpressnap napkin dispensers at each sampling station throughout the weekend, attendees are expected to use fewer napkins and reduce waste throughout the entire festival.

“Eliminating childhood hunger is a cause both the public and the restaurant industry are passionate about,” says Suzanne Cohen, foodservice marketing director for SCA’s North American Away-From-Home Professional Hygiene business. “As part of our strong brand presence in restaurants and foodservice establishments across the US, we are proud to be able to continue our support of No Kid Hungry at such a large-scale event. We hope this event further spotlights the issue of childhood hunger and inspires action across the country to get involved with No Kid Hungry and its critical work.”

Tork will bring No Kid Hungry’s message to life by collecting “Autographs for Access” on Friday, October 17, during the Southern Wine & Spirits of New York Trade Tasting. For each attendee who signs their name on an Xpressnap napkin, Tork will donate $1 to No Kid Hungry, which can provide a child access to 10 nutritious meals. The autographs will be collected and displayed on cork sculptures at the Tork booth.

For each eligible entry in the sweepstakes, Tork will donate $1 to the No Kid Hungry campaign, helping to connect a child to up to 10 meals. For each entry that is shared via Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn, Tork will make an additional contribution of $1. With the potential to connect children in need with up to 40 meals per entry, Tork will donate up to 150,000 meals through a financial donation to No Kid Hungry. Not only will each entry generate meals for those who need it most, each entrant will also be automatically entered for a chance to win a trip for two to attend the NYCWFF including:

· A three-night stay at Hudson, the Festival’s Headquarter hotel
· $50 Hudson food and beverage credit
· Two tickets to Rock & Roll Night Market presented by Eater with Hot Bread Kitchen hosted by Masaharu Morimoto
· Two tickets to one Celebrity Cruises® Wine or Pairing Seminars hosted by FOOD & WINE
· Two tickets to Stacked: A Sandwich Showdown presented by Martin’s Famous Potato Rolls hosted by Restaurant: Impossible’s Robert Irvine
· Two tickets to Grand Tasting presented by ShopRite featuring KitchenAid® Culinary Demonstrations presented by MasterCard®
· Two tickets to an exclusive invite-only Chef After Party
· A voucher to accommodate travel costs

Additional prizes include Forbes Wine Club Wine Tasting Kits, four-month subscriptions to Pastoral’s Cheese of the Month program and gift cards to Dine Out for No Kid Hungry restaurant participants. The sweepstakes will run from August 14 through September 30, 2014, and the winner will be announced on or around October 3, 2014. Visit www.torkusa.com/dineout for a full list of eligibility requirements.

Restaurants can learn more about Dine Out For No Kid Hungry at http://www.dineoutfornokidhungry.org and pledge their support of this year’s fundraising program. For a full list of restaurants participating in Dine Out For No Kid Hungry, visit http://www.dineoutfornokidhungry.org/maps.


Wine of the Week – Quinta da Aveleda, 2013

From Aveleda S.A., a family-owned winery that is Portugal’s largest exporter of Vinho Verde, this new vintage of Quinta da Aveleda from winemaker Manuel Soares blends the Loureiro and Alvarinho varieties of grapes at low pressure, then ferments the blend which goes into stainless steel tanks to be aged. From the Loureiro we taste floral notes which merge with the hints of citrus and grapefruit. Wine & Spirits rated the wine “Best Buy” with 92 points out of 100. The wine is fruity with good minerality and a long finish, bringing refreshing notes on hot summer days.
Portugal today is a feast for wine lovers, offering many great vintages at value prices. This one, 11.5% ABV, brings elegance and complexity to the table.