New York State wines take major gold medal awards

CANANDAIGUA, NY – Hazlitt 1852 Vidal Ice Wine took Best of Show at the International Eastern Wine Competition/East Meets West, in Sonoma, CA recently, and more recently, won Best of Class at the Great American International Wine Competition in Rochester, NY, Jim Trezise at the New York Wine & Grape Foundation reports.

He adds that: “Another Best of Class winner was Wagner Vineyards 2015 Semi-Dry Riesling, with Wagner’s 2015 Dry Riesling winning a Double Gold as well. Other Double Gold winners were Hazlitt Light Port, Merritt Estate Bella Ice, and Silver Springs Merlot.
Gold medals were awarded to 240 Days 2015 Rose; Atwater 2014 Dry Riesling; Chateau Lafayette Reneau 2015 Late Harvest Riesling; Coyote Moon Fire Boat Red; Glenora 2015 Vidal Blanc Iced Wine; Hazlitt Red Cat, 2013 Gewurztraminer, and Cider Tree; Idol Ridge 2014 Vidal Blanc Ice Wine; Knapp 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon, and 2014 Dry Riesling; Long Point 2014 Syrah; Montezuma Ice Apple Cider; Schulze Catawba; Silver Springs Pinot Grigio; Swedish Hill 2015 Vidal Blanc; and The Winery at Marjim Manor Heart of Gold.
New York wines won a total of 122 medals.”

As one who grew up in New York State and loved visiting the Finger Lakes as a child, we applaud the region’s development as a producer of great vintages.


New Homewood Suites opens at Boston’s Logan Airport

BOSTON -Homewood Suites by Hilton, part of Hilton’s (NYSE: HLT) All Suites portfolio, opened its newest property, Homewood Suites by Hilton Boston Logan Airport Chelsea at 145 Beech St.  Designed for guests who “want to travel on their own terms,” the new property offers guests the comforts of home, whether they are traveling for work or enjoying a well-earned getaway, says Hilton.

Highlights from International Restaurant & Foodservice Show of New York

NEW YORK  – 18,000-plus foodservice operators attended the International Restaurant & Foodservice Show at the Javits Center here. One of the many events, the Innovative New Product Showcase, named Allie’s GF Goodies, LLC the overall winner for the best new product, certified gluten free and certified kosher baked goods. Second place went to Brooklyn Organics for beverages including Bruce Cost Ginger Ale and Bruce Cost Ginger Beer. The Best New Product honors in the Food Trends Experience went to Gus-Grown-Up Soda for its line of all natural premium sodas and sparkling cocktail mixers.

Fifteen exhibitors were chosen by a panel of media judges to Pitch the Press, and present their new product or service to editors, buyers, restaurateurs and others. Best in Show for Pitch the Press was awarded to Catering Stone for their Revolutionary Catering Stones keeping food hot or cold for hours without ice, electricity or open flame using 100% food-safe technology. The judges included Michael Scinto from Total Foodservice, Jeffrey Dryfoos formerly with Dessert Professional, Barbara Castaglia from Restaurant Management, and Dave Turner from Tabletop Journal.

Paris Gourmet congratulated John Cook, Norman Love Confections (FL), the winner of the 28th Annual U.S. Pastry Competition for his highly technical chocolate sculpted showpiece based on the theme Modern Masters Come to Chocolate. Chef Cook won a $10,000 grand prize, a silver plaque, and gold medal certificate.

The Spirit(s) World – Death’s Door Gin


Death’s Door Spirits takes its name from the most treacherous waterway in the Great Lakes – Death’s Door Passage which separates Washington Island in Lake Michigan from the Door County peninsula of the Wisconsin mainland.

A leader in the craft spirits movement, Death’s Door distills premium spirits from grain with a base that includes hard red winter wheat, corn and malted barley.

The company began as an economic development project with founder Brian Ellison working with neighbors to bring sustainable agriculture to their 22-sq. mile island’s economy. He worked with farmers to grow the organic hard red winter wheat and at first, made bread and other baked goods before moving to beer. Today, what began as five acres is 1,200.

The gin was the first product. Today, Death’s Door also makes vodka and white whiskey. For the gin, he uses a mix of wild juniper, coriander and fennel. The end result is a taste of all three botanicals – the juniper berries, coriander seeds and then the fennel seed for a soft finish. It undergoes three separate distillations. None of the botanicals are crushed or macerated, and it contains no citrus.

Located in Middleton, WI, the distillery, completed in 2012, is one of the region’s largest and has a capacity of more than 250,000 cases of finished product. In 2014, Nielsen reported that it was the top selling domestic gin in the U.S. Last year, new packaging – bottle made in the U.S. and ergonomically friendly to bartenders – was introduced. Visit for more information.

Team Scotland gears up for Seafood Expo North America

BOSTON – Seafood Expo North America opens in Boston at BCEC March 19-21, bringing more than double the usual number of Scotland’s top fish and seafood companies to join Seafood Scotland and Chef Mark Greenaway at the exposition.

The U.S. is Scotland’s largest market for combined food and beverage exports, says Trade Marketing Manager Clare MacDougall of Seafood Scotland.

The Boston show will also see the official launch of fishermen-owned brand, Scottish Seas, a new co-operative bringing together Scottish fishermen from multiple ports across Scotland, combining forces and bringing the best of wild caught Scottish seafood to the world in a way that sustains home communities and the seas the industry depends upon, she points out.

The partnership formed after Scottish industry bodies attended a strategic workshop at last year’s Expo in Boston in a bid to combine efforts to provide the appropriate quantities, varieties and the volume needed to tackle the US market while keeping sustainability a priority and carefully managing stocks.

Scottish chef Mark Greenaway, an ambassador for Scotland Food and Drink, will pair seafood dishes with Scottish gin, whisky and craft beers. He recently won the national cookbook award in the Chef category by World Gourmand Awards and is competing to win ‘Best Cookbook in the World’ this year.


A Taste of Iceland returns to Boston

BOSTON – A Taste of Iceland comes back to Boston this week with Chef Siggi Helga from Grillio restaurant flying in to create an Icelandic dinner menu at The Merchant at 60 Franklin St. here.

The four course meal is priced at $68 per person. Chef Helga will present the meal with Chef Edwin Morales and Brennevin’s 2015 cocktail champion, Kari Sigurosson, will also join the restaurant’s Bryan Ames to create special cocktails with an Icelandic vodka, Reyka and Brennevin aquavit.

A four course dinner is available from 4 to 11 p.m. March 17-20 and may be reserved by calling 617-482-6060 or by going to

The Boston culture festival highlights the best of the country’s culture from Nordic cuisine to music, art, film and literature. On March 18 at The Middle East, Boston hosts the free Reykjavik Calling concert with WERS in Cambridge. It will feature artists such as Fufanu, who just released a new album, and Mammut who received a best album of the year award and best song at the Icelandic Music Awards. A pop-Motown band, Dirty Dottys, will also perform and the concert will be live streamed over IcelandNaturally’s Facebook page.

On Thursday, March 16, the country’s rich tradition of storytelling is featured in a talk with Iceland’s first lady, Eliza Reid who is also co-founder of the Iceland Writers Retreat , taking place from 5:30-7 p.m. at WBUR, 890 Commonwealth Ave. in Boston.

Other events include a Premier Shot Film Festival, Stockfish, on March 19 at the Brattle Theater in Harvard Square, highlighting the works of up and coming Icelandic filmmakers from noon to 2 p.m., free. RSVP at Eventbrite. And on the 17th the Icelandic Art Center presents offer insights into how Iceland (with a population of 340,000) is able to sustain a thriving contemporary art scene. Hear how Icelandic art has spread across the world, through the artist-driven community and The Icelandic Art Center at the event at SoWa Open Market at 460 Harrison Ave., No. 43.









Products on Parade

Camanchaca Inc. celebrates sustainability at Seafood Expo North America

BOSTON – Taking part in the Seafood Expo North America March 19-21, Camanchaca Inc. displays new products under its Pier 33 Gourment Label. This year’s are Ocean Raised® Blackened Salmon & Bourbon Glazed Salmon. Pier 33 Gourmet also introduces a new line of top-quality “Wild Argentine Red Shrimp” that will be caught and packaged through an exclusive joint venture with Spanish industry leader, Krustagroup. “Pier 33 Gourmet by Grand Krust” will be the brand name for the new product offering. The company also  recently earned the MSC certification from the Marine Stewardship Council for its commitment to sustainability. booth 1657. For more information, please visit Chef Tim Fahy will be preparing samples at the show of the three new items.

The Spirit(s) World -Ginger & Vanilla Fizz

The Perfect Purée of Napa Valley offers this delicious drink by Mixologist Manny Hinojosa-

Ginger & Vanilla Fizz

• 1 1/2 oz. Cazadores Reposado tequila
• 1 oz. The Perfect Purée Ginger Sour blend, thawed
• 1/2 oz. simple syrup
• 1/2 oz. lime juice
• 3 slices of cucumber
• Top with cream soda
• cucumber and slice of ginger (garnish)
1. In a mixing glass, muddle cucumber. Add the rest of the ingredients with ice, except cream soda, shake and serve over the rocks. Top with cream soda. Garnish with a cucumber and slice of ginger.

The Perfect Purée has a wide network of some 500 foodservice distributors throughout the country who offer their kitchen and bar staples. Call them for details at 800-556-3707. Go to their website -to request complimentary samples using the Sample Request Form. All products are certified Kosher and gluten-free. The line consists of premium frozen purees, concentrates, zests and blends are made from the finest field-ripened fruits and consists of some 40 flavors.