MERRY CHRISTMAS FROM CRN DIGITAL TALK RADIO AND "WHAT'S COOKIN' ON WINE"
Larry O'Brien - Master Sommelier
Larry has over 18 years of experience in the restaurant and wine businesses, including positions at two Wine Spectator Grand Award winning establishments, The Wine Merchant Restaurant in Akron, Ohio and Bern's Steakhouse in Tampa, Florida. Additionally, he served as sommelier for celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse's Orlando restaurant. His career led him to Stations Casinos in Las Vegas in 2005 where he created the wine programs for Red Rock Resort and guided the makeover and modernization of the company's corporate wine program. Currently, Larry is the Western Division Wine Specialist for Vine One, a division of Constellation Wines. Larry represented the United States in the prestigious international sommelier competition Meilleur Sommelier du Monde Concours Mondial in 2000 after winning the title of Best Sommelier in America earlier that same year. In 2001 Larry became one of approximately 135 Master Sommeliers in the world and the first Master Sommelier in Florida. Early in 2008, he was elected to the Board of Directors of the Court of Master Sommeliers. He has served as a judge for the Confrerie de la Chaine des Rotisseurs' Jeuene Sommelier Competition at the national and regional levels. He has participated as a wine judge, with other internationally recognized experts, at the Starwine International Wine Competition held in Philadelphia in 2004, 2005 and 2006.
John Downing - European Wine Expert
Bob Cabral Executive Winemaker Williams Selyem
"If you wouldn't want to eat it, then I don't want to make wine out of it." That is Bob Cabral's rule of thumb for harvest workers hand-sorting grapes as they arrive from the vineyards. After nearly thirty commercial harvests, Bob is an experienced winemaker whose meticulousness and patience yield wines that are authentic expressions of each vineyard site. Bob Cabral has been involved in growing and making wine professionally since 1979 and has had an interest in wine and farming since his childhood helping his grandfather make wine in his barn. A fourth generation family farmer and grape grower, he took all he learned at the family farm and applied it to his studies at Fresno State University, ultimately earning a Master's Degree in Enology. Heading into his twelfth vintage at Williams Selyem, his winemaking philosophy has not changed: "The key is to respect the vineyard and respect the fruit. Working with some of the best growers and vineyards in the world allows us to farm to the highest possible standards and provides us with the finest fruit available. That's more than half the battle in working with Pinot Noir. Once the fruit is taken care of, then we try to intervene as little as possible. While there is no shortage of hard work in the cellar and you must pay careful attention to detail, great wines are really made in the vineyard. My job is to just guide it along and allow the individual vineyard to be expressed in every bottle." Bob, his wife Heather and daughter Paige, make their home in the Russian River Valley.
Felicia Montemayor Director at World Of Pinot Noir
2010 marks the Tenth Anniversary of the World of Pinot Noir. Come celebrate with us! Our mission is to bring extraordinary Pinot Noir producers from around the globe together with Pinot Noir enthusiasts for a weekend celebration and education about our collective passion…Pinot Noir! Our annual event takes place the first full weekend in March and includes two days of in-depth Tasting Seminars, Grand Tastings (each with a unique roster of wineries), a Featured Tasting with a guest Burgundian producer, two Gala Pinot Noir Dinners featuring prominent guest chefs and culminates with a Santa Barbara style Paulée. These extraordinary food and wine extravaganzas will be hosted by participating wineries and feature an outstanding panel of Sommeliers from across the U.S. Our mission is to bring extraordinary Pinot Noir producers from around the globe together with Pinot Noir enthusiasts for a weekend celebration and education about our collective passion…Pinot Noir! Our annual event takes place the first full weekend in March and includes two days of in-depth Tasting Seminars, Grand Tastings (each with a unique roster of wineries), a Featured Tasting with a guest Burgundian producer and two Gala Pinot Noir Dinners featuring prominent guest chefs. These extraordinary food and wine extravaganzas will be hosted by participating wineries and feature an outstanding panel of sommeliers from across the U.S.
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