Wine of the Week — Chateau La Nerthe, Chateauneuf-Du-Pape, 2013

This French winemaker, Chateau La Nerthe, produced some of the country’s finest wines in the 1700s, When Phylloxera struck, new owner, Joseph Dacuse, replanted the vines and taught others to graft onto American rootstock that was resistant to Phylloxera, and helped raise standards for higher quality. The 2013 vintage, in the $40 retail price range, is one expected to age beautifully. Light yellow with hints of green, it us rich, creamy,crisp and offers notes of white fruits such as grapefruit and lemon, and white flowers and us well balanced and toasty. The grapes are 38% Roussane, 31% Grenache blanc, 16% Clairette and 15% Bourboulenc, with13.5% ABV. For more information, go to http://pasternakwine.com/

ultimate spirits challenge

Ultimate Spirits Challenge® names 2015 winners

Hawthorne, NY – Ultimate Spirits Challenge®, said to be the world’s platinum standard for spirits competitions, announces the winners and full results for the 2015 Challenge. Now in its sixth year, it celebrates 33 Chairman Trophy winners, the highest award, along with 162 Finalists and the Tried & True Awards and Great Values. The Challenge, which grew by 14% from 2014, was held in its specially designed evaluation center in Hawthorne, NY.

“For 2015 we have moved Ultimate Spirits Challenge into our new state-of-the-art evaluation center and also moved to a new rolling judging schedule,” says USC founder F. Paul Pacult. “We broke up the Challenges into smaller categories so we are able to give each grouping of spirits greater in-depth attention, with the inclusion of cocktail evaluations. All our judges agree that this hyper-focus allows USC to provide the most trusted and sought after testimonials that help companies build their brands.”

Tried & True Award (T&TA): Spirit brands are eligible for the Tried & True Award if they have scored 85 points or above in at least two Ultimate Spirits Challenges since 2010.
Great Values (GV): is awarded to products with a favorable relationship between their price and final USC score. They are the finest spirits within their respective price points.

Unflavored: Russian Standard Original (GV)
Flavored: Van Gogh Dutch Caramel (GV)

Cold River (GV, T&TA)

Opthimus Finished in Port Casks 25 Years Old

Blanco: El Tesoro Platinum (T&TA)
Reposado: Blue Nectar (GV)
Añejo: Siete Leguas (GV, T&TA) HAWTHORNE, NY – The Ultimate Spirits Challenge® named the winners in the annual competition, now six years old.
Tried & True Award (T&TA): Spirit brands are eligible for the Tried & True Award if they have scored 85 points or above in at least two Ultimate Spirits Challenges since 2010.
Great Values (GV): is awarded to products with a favorable relationship between their price and final USC score. They are the finest spirits within their respective price points.

Unflavored: Russian Standard Original (GV)
Flavored: Van Gogh Dutch Caramel (GV)

Cold River (GV, T&TA)

Opthimus Finished in Port Casks 25 Years Old

Blanco: El Tesoro Platinum (T&TA)
Reposado: Blue Nectar (GV)
Añejo: Siete Leguas (GV, T&TA)
Extra Añejo: Malinalli (T&TA)

Amaras (GV)

American: Lone Elm Texas Wheat
Kentucky Straight Bourbon: Pappy Van Winkle Family Reserve 20 Years Old (T&TA)
Rye: Thomas H. Handy Sazerac Straight 6 Years Old (T&TA)
Tennessee: George Dickel No. 12 (GV, T&TA)

Blended: Jameson 18 Years Old (T&TA)
Irish Pot Still: Redbreast 15 Years Old (T&TA)
Single Malt: Bushmills 16 Years Old (T&TA)

Blended Malt: Sheep Dip (T&TA)
Blended: Dewar’s 18 Years Old (T&TA)
Single Malt: Aberlour A’bunadh Single Malt (GV, T&TA)

Tap Rye Sherry Finished 8 Years Old (GV)

Armorik Single Malt Sherry Finish (T&TA)

Penderyn Single Malt (T&TA)

Armagnac: Chateau de Laubade Cask Strength 1989 25 Years Old Bas-Armagnac
Calvados: Boulard XO Auguste
Cognac: ABK6 XO Family Reserve (GV)
Grappa: Candolini Bianca (GV)
Pisco: Pisco Porton Mosto Verde Italia
Spanish Brandy: Cardenal Mendoza Solera Gran Reserva (T&TA)
Grape Brandy:Asbach Gothe Vintage Reserve 1952 Cask No. 1777

Grand Marnier Cuvee du Centenaire
Grand Marnier Cuvee du Centenaire

Noilly Prat Rouge (GV)

iichiko BLŪ

Foro Amaro (GV)

All products are rated on the 100-point scale by the spirits industry’s most renowned judges including award-winning authors, buyers, journalists, educators and bar owners. The judges for USC 2015: Founder/Judging Chairman F. Paul Pacult, James Conley, Tad Carducci, Dale DeGroff, Gregg Glaser, Geoffrey Kleinman, Douglass Miller, Dan Nicolaescu, Steve Olson, Will Shine, Francis Schott, Andy Seymour and Jennifer Simonetti-Bryan, MW.

All spirits rated 80 points and higher have a “FULL RESULTS” page which provides downloadable marketing materials and a bottle image for easy consumer identification. Spirits rated 85 points and higher also receive a “FULL RESULTS” page plus tasting notes, downloadable certificates and shelf-talkers. New for 2015 — cocktail evaluation for suitable spirits categories has been added and results will be released in April.

USC results are promoted globally via email and web publication to both trade buyers and consumers. In addition, high scoring products are featured in the Ultimate Beverage Challenge Guide published each year in the October issue of Beverage Media reaching more than 70,000 on- and off-premise spirits buyers.


The Spirit(s) World – Don Q Pasión

The heat and excitement of passion fruit are captured in this lovely rum from Don Q Rum – Pasión, aged a year to a year and a half and redolent of the passion fruit juice with which it is infused plus hints of guava and peach nectar. You’ll want to play with flavorful cocktail opportunities although it’s perfect by itself on the rocks and would probably be tasty with club soda and some sliced peaches. Here’s one suggestion from Don Q:

White Passion
1 1/2 oz. Pasión
1/2 oz. DonQ Cristal
1/2 oz. passion fruit puree
1/2 oz. simple syrup
Combine, mix, top with Club Soda


What’s Brewin’ – Innis & Gunn Original

Innis & Gunn’s Original came about accidentally when Brewmaster Dougal Sharp was contacted by a whisky distiller about creating an ale-finished whisky. The master brewer came up with an ale to offer a “beery” taste to the oak barrels and the resultant Ale Reserve Whisky was deemed a success. Workers in the brewery who tasted the beer discovered it had been transformed during its time in the Bourbon barrels and tol the master brewer. The brew was rated a nine out of nine, a first for the brewery, and the Original was born.
Creamy and malty, it has a lovely honey color and notes of vanilla. It ages for 77 days in in Bourbon casks andover Bourbon-infused hearted. We found it a refreshing way to toast the first days of Spring.

Fonseca BIN 27

Wine of the Week – Fonseca Port celebrates 200 years

A leading Portuguese Port producer, Fonseca celebrates 200 years of family tradition and achievement this year, an historic occasion for the house shaped by four families, the Fonsecas and and Monteiros, who founded the business; the Guimaraens dynasty, which led the Port house for more than a century and have made its wines since the 1860s to the present day, and the Yeatmans, who have steered the company successfully through the second half of the 20th century and into the new millennium.
The wines were acclaimed by leading wine write James Suckland in Vintage Port: The Wine Spectator’s Ultimate Guide for Consumers, Collectors, and Investors (Wine Spectator, 1990).
The winery is perhaps best known for its Fonseca BIN 27m a reserve blend. In the U.S., Fonseca Ports are imported by Kobrand Corp.
Visit http://fonseca.pt/image001fonseca


Wine of the Week – Domaine Vincent Caréme Spring 2013

This lovely white, 100 percent Chenin Blanc, come from grapes that grew on trellised bushes averaging 30 years of age and stemming from soils of clay, flint and limestone.
The wine is aged in French oak barrels and fermentation is with all natural yeast. It aged on the fine lees for five months in the barrel.
You will detect fruity hints of apple, lemon and lime and a refreshing minerality. Well balanced and 12% ABV, it is imported by Cape Classics, no strangers to Chenin Blanc as they are a major importer of South African wines.

2013-03-11 12.51.02

New England Food Show is harbinger of Spring

BOSTON – Snow, sleet or rain, the New England Food Show, taking place this year March 15-17 at BCEC in the Seaport, is a sure sign of Spring, offering foodservice operators a look at new products and services together with a lineup of events, keynote speeches, exhibits, and more. Over 14,000 foodservice industry professionals are expected to attend this year’s NEFS. Program highlights for this year’s show, which features over 500 booths showcasing the latest industry trends, equipment, products and more, include:

· Keynote speeches by hospitality industry training expert and author Jim Sullivan (March 15) and Boston auto industry leader Herb Chambers (March 16)
· A mixology competition featuring top bartenders from Trina’s Starlite Lounge, Eastern Standard, Audubon, and Brick & Mortar (March 15)
· An Iron Chef-style competition between Executive Sous Chef David Ladner of Rialto, Chef and Owner Jason Bond of Bondir Cambridge and Bondir Concord, and Chief Culinary Officer Bill Brodsky of Boston Nightlife Ventures (March 16)
The Show kicks off with hospitality industry training expert and best-selling author Jim Sullivan who will offer industry insights during the show’s inaugural keynote speech, titled “Fundamentals 2015: Nine Ways to Be Brilliant at the New Basics of Leadership & Profitability.” At 2:30 p.m., Yelp Boston Community Manager and Marketing Director Damien Smith gives a keynote presentation on the fundamentals of user review sites.

NEFS’s first day will wrap up at 3:45 p.m. with a Mixology Competition featuring four of Boston’s best bartenders—Naomi Levy (Eastern Standard), Tainah Soares (Trina’s Starlite Lounge), Tyler Wang (Audubon), and Matthew Schrage (Brick & Mortar). Using craft spirits donated by MS Walker and a secret ingredient of their choosing, these master mixologists will go head-to-head to create three rounds of original cocktails. Three local media experts will taste and critique their creations to decide who takes home the $500 first prize.

On Monday, March 16 at 1 p.m., keynote speaker Herb Chambers, president and CEO of The Herb Chambers Companies, will present “Copier Repairman – Hard Work, Passion, Integrity and Great Customer Service Can Take You Anywhere.” During his speech, he will share the story of his career and how a focus on customer service can help drive prosperity in all industries, including foodservice.

Also on Monday is the second annual New England Food Show Greater Boston Culinary Cook-Off, featuring three top local chefs using produce donated by Costa Produce. At 3:15 p.m., Boston chefs David Ladner (Executive Sous Chef, Rialto), Jason Bond (Chef and Owner, Bondir Cambridge and Bondir Concord), and Bill Brodsky (Chief Culinary Officer, Boston Nightlife Ventures), will prepare three dishes highlighting a mystery ingredient revealed onstage. After an intense hour of slicing, dicing, searing, and plating, the final dishes will be judged by a panel of Boston food media.

On Monday night at 6 p.m., Massachusetts dining and foodservice professionals will gather to celebrate the industry’s standout leaders at the MRA Annual Awards Dinner, taking place at the Renaissance Boston Waterfront Hotel (606 Congress St., Boston). This year’s honorees are Business Partner of the Year Ed Doyle (Real Food Consulting), Business Partner Associate of the Year Karen Coleman (ARF Financial), Executive Chef of the Year Nick Calias (The Colonnade Hotel), Limited Service Restaurateur of the Year Brian McCarthy (Kelly’s Roast Beef), and Restaurateur of the Year Chris Coombs (Boston Urban Hospitality). To register to attend or learn more, please visit the Awards Dinner event page.

On Tuesday, March 17 at noon, attendees are invited to a St. Patrick’s Day Celebration featuring Irish music, coffee creations, and more sponsored by New England Coffee Company.

NEFS 2015 offers educational seminars and culinary demonstrations on Sunday, March 15 and Monday, March 16 from 10:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. and on Tuesday, March 17 from 11 a.m. – 12 p.m. Top chefs representing every New England state including Chef Billy Grant of Restaurant Bricco, Grants, and Bricco Tattoria (CT); Chef and Owner Andy Husbands of Tremont 647 and Sister Sorel (Boston, MA); Chef Shannon Bard of Zapoteca (Portland, ME); Chef and Owner Nick Rabar of Avenue N American Kitchen (Rumford, RI); and Chef and Owner Kevin Halligan of Local Eatery (Laconia, NH) will cook up signature dishes on the SnapChef Center Stage each day. At the MRA Info Theater, experts will offer educational sessions covering many aspects of foodservice operations, from craft wine and beer, service fundamentals, and finances, to social media.

The New England Food Show exhibit hall at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center (415 Summer St., Boston) will be open to ticketholders on Sunday, March 15 and Monday, March 16 from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., and on Tuesday, March 17 from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. All keynote sessions and competitions will take place on the SnapChef Center Stage.
Visit Foodservice East-
#3537 – leave your card in our basket
to win a copy of “The Professional