Author Archives: Susan Holaday/Foodservice East Online

About Susan Holaday/Foodservice East Online

Longtime foodservice journalist - edit and publish 90+ years old which just went digital at with news, new products, personnel information, trends and stories.

Wine(s) of the Week

Soon it will be Fall and time for hearty rich red wines but this week, we are still sipping lighter options, so here are a few to put on your list!

Lustra Central Chardonnay 2016 comes from the Central Coast area of California, an area this winemaker describes as warm and “all about hedonistic pleasure.” This wine offers rich notes of tropical fruit. Sip and enjoy the end of summer and the flavors of Chardonnay.

Les Hauts de Janeil Rosé de Syrah 2018, a French wine from the Carcassone region in the Languedoc, sings of the Mediterranean. From Winemaker Francois Lurton, it is 12 percent ABV and comes from vines that are an average of 30 years old. Imported by Cape Classics, it offers hints of lemon, white flowers, grapefruit and red currants. The Syrah grapes are hand harvested and the wine is round and rich with spicy notes.

Loon Steelbird Unoaked Chardonnay 2017 from Smoking Loon in Napa, CA offers citrus acidity and a tropical finish of melon, pear, pineapple and apple. It is aged in 100 percent stainless steel and is silky and creamy.

Western Cape Heuningby 2017 from the Western Cape of South Africa is a rich Chenin Blanc that can be enjoyed with seafood and pork dishes. Heuningby is the Afrikaans word for honeybee and the wine offers honeyed aromatics. It comes from Wellington and is rich in texture. Imported and produced by TR Wines in Napa, CA, it’s texture is one you will not forget. It is 12.5 percent ABV.


News in Brief – Sazerac Canadian whiskies honored at LA event

MONTREAL – High River Canadian whiskey took home a Gold Medal and a special award at the 2019 Los Angeles International Spirits Competition, winning Best of Category with 91 points. Another Gold Medal was awarded to Royal Canadian Small Batch, and Caribou Crossing was awarded a Silver Medal.

The event received 399 spirits from 147 producers and 24 different countries, all evaluated by 21 judges from around the world comprised of mixologists, spirits journalists, top bar owners and educators. Judges tasted spirits and looked at packaging label designs over two days at Fairplex and determined winners using a point system.

Every brand Sazerac entered garnered a medal.


The Spirit(s) World

More LA Spirits event awards presented

 FREDERICKSBURG, VA – The Los Angeles International Spirits competition presented five A. Smith Bowman Gold Medals and one, John J. Bowman Single Barrel Straight Virginia Bourbon, took home a Silver Medal.

Isaac Bowman Port Barrel Finished Virginia Straight

also was named a “Best Category Bourbon with a Unique Finish” and also too home a Gold Medal, earning 91 points. Other A. Smith Bowman spirits winning Gold Medals were:

  • Bowman Brothers Small Batch Virginia Straight Bourbon (90 points)
  • Tinkerman’s Gin – Curiously Bright & Complex (90 points)
  • Tinkerman’s Gin – Sweet Spice (91 points)
  • Tinkerman’s Gin – Citrus Supreme (90 points)

Go to

  1. Smith Bowman’s distilling roots date to pre-Prohibition. Check out

The Spirit(s) World – 6 Bourbons win medals

BARDSTOWN, KY  -At the Los Angeles International Spirits Competition six bourbons from Barton 1792 Distillery have earned Gold Medals, and one was named “Best of Category.”

Those Gold winners include:

  • 1792 Small Batch Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
  • 1792 Full Proof Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey – also named “Best of Category” in the Bourbon-Overproof Category with 92 points
  • Very Old Barton 80 proof Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
  • Very Old Barton 90 proof Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
  • Kentucky Tavern Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
  • Zackariah Harris Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

The competition, now in its thirteenth year, is judged by a panel of well respected judges including award-winning authors, buyers, journalists, educators and bar owners, who rate each spirit on a 100-point scale.

Complete results for the 2019 Los Angeles International Spirits Competition can be found at


Buffalo Trace wins big in Spirits competition

FRANKFORT, KY – Three Buffalo Trace Distillery spirits took home “Best of Category” honors at the 2019 Los Angeles International Spirits Competition.  Eagle Rare 10 Year Old Bourbon won in the category of Small Batch Bourbon 10 years or less, Col. E. H. Taylor, Jr. Small Batch Bourbon was named Best Straight Bourbon 6 years or older, and Wheatley Vodka won the category title for Best Small Batch Vodka. All also were awarded Gold Medals, as were the following spirits:

  • Buffalo Trace Kentucky Straight Bourbon
  • Weller Special Reserve Kentucky Straight Bourbon
  • Weller CYPB Kentucky Straight Bourbon
  • Old Weller Antique Kentucky Straight Bourbon
  • William Larue Weller Kentucky Straight Bourbon
  • George T. Stagg Kentucky Straight Bourbon
  • Stagg Jr. Kentucky Straight Bourbon
  • Thomas H. Handy Sazerac Straight Rye
  • Elmer T. Lee Kentucky Straight Bourbon
  • Blanton’s Single Barrel Kentucky Straight Bourbon (no age)
  • Benchmark Kentucky Straight Bourbon

 Silver Medals were awarded to:

  • W.L. Weller 12 Year Kentucky Straight Bourbon
  • Colonel E.H. Taylor Single Barrel Kentucky Straight Bourbon
  • Colonel E. H. Taylor, Jr. Straight Rye Whiskey

This competition, now 13 years old,  was judged by a panel of there top industry judges including renowned authors, buyers, journalists, educators and bar owners. The spirits were rated on a 100-point scale.

For more results at the 2019 Los Angeles International Spirits Competition go to


“Pig out” at event at Cambridge’s Pagu

CAMBRIDGE, MA – Tracy Chang’s critically acclaimed Pagu, a Japanese/Spanish tapas restaurant in Central Square marks its third anniversary August 15 from 6 to 10 p.m. The date is also Chef Chang’s 32nd birthday as well as her pug dog, Pearl’s second.

The Suckling Pig Roast will offer two styles of pig served by friends Priscilla Capistrano and Amanda Ryan who will cook two Philippine style along with Jonathan Cardona and Jose Jiminez who will prepare two more, Mexican style.

Guests will feast on both styles with sides and desserts (including the Filipino shaved ice sundae halo-halo). In addition, Chef Chang will serve two popular soft serve flavors — Matcha with Chocolate Nibs and Black Sesame Seed. Beverages will be a la carte  and will feature such specials as a $30 Rose Porron served in a traditional spanish glass Porron pitcher.

Tickets are $45 dollars apiece — pictures with Pearl the pug on the patio are free! 

Walk-ins are welcome but with only four pigs and finite seating indoors and on the patio, the event is expected to sell out quickly.  Tickets are $45 apiece. For reservations, go to