Monday, August 30, 2010

8/30-Kevin Zraly, Honore Comfort

Kevin Zraly-Windows on the World Wine School

Author and TeacherWindows on The World Complete Wine Course

  • Wine Director of Windows on the World from 1976 - 2001
  • Author of the Windows on the World Complete Wine Course book. Over 3 million copies sold.
  • Founder and instructor of the Windows on the World Wine School, with over 500 students per year. Almost 20,000 students have completed the course to date.
  • Culinary Institute of America's Board of Trustees member since 1990.
  • Recipient of the James Beard Award for Wine and Spirits Professional of the Year.
  • 2009 recipient of Sante's Wine Professional of the Year Award.
  • Recipient of the European Wine Council Lifetime Achievement Award.
  • Kevin has been featured in The New York Times, People Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, GQ Magazine, and Newsweek.
  • Kevin has appeared on the major television networks in the United States including The Early Show on CBS andLive! with Regis and Kelly on ABC.

By combining the Sonoma County Showcase of Wine & Food with the Sonoma Valley Harvest Wine Auction, food and wine lovers can revel in the style and sophistication of the popular Taste of Sonoma event before spending an afternoon unlike any other at the 18th Annual Sonoma Valley Harvest Wine Auction – all in one weekend! It’s an unprecedented partnership of two great events with one goal: Celebrating Sonoma’s incredible bounty of food, wine and fun while raising much needed funds for Sonoma's local charities. Participants experience first-hand the diversity and world-class quality of the region’s artisanal wine and food and distinctive epicurean experiences. Two main events, Taste of Sonoma at MacMurray Ranch on Saturday, September 4 and Sonoma Valley Harvest Wine Auction, presented by Trilogy Glass & Packaging, at Cline Cellars on Sunday, September 5 are the signature attractions. More than 150 wineries and 60 chefs offer their wines and food for sampling at Taste of Sonoma, which also includes wine seminars, chef demonstrations, vineyard experiences and a top chef competition.  
The always over-the-top Sonoma Valley Harvest Wine Auction, renowned for its irreverent themes and hilarious winemaker performances, continues the tradition with a California Beach Party theme to raise funds for local charities. Winemaker lunches and dinners on Friday, September 3 and additional dinners on Saturday, September 4 offer a select group of ticket holders a more intimate Sonoma food and wine experience.

Monday, August 23, 2010

8/23-Matt Young, Robin Kelley O’Connor,

Matt Young-Former Major League Pitcher and now Sommelier
Matthew Richard Young (born August 9, 1958) is a former American Major Leaguebaseball player. Young played for a variety of teams over his career, and is best known for his unofficial no-hitter against the Cleveland Indians while a member of the Boston Red Sox. Young would pitch for the Red Sox for two seasons  before being released days before the start of the 1993 season. He became part of baseball history during his tenure with the Red Sox. On April 12, 1992, Young faced the Cleveland Indians in the first game of a doubleheader, allowed two runs on seven walks and an error by shortstop Luis Rivera  en route to the fourth no-hitter by a losing pitcher. On that day Roger Clemens pitched a two-hit shutout in the second game of the double header, giving Young and Clemens the Major League Baseball record for the least number of hits (2) allowed in a doubleheader.

Robin Kelley O’Connor - Director of Sales & Education
Sherry-Lehmann Wine Merchants

In the autumn of 2008, Robin Kelley O’Connor joined Sherry-Lehmann Wine Merchants, the Manhattan wine and spirits retailer, as Director of Sales and Education. This new position was created to promote learning opportunities for staff and clientele. In 2009, O’Connor will begin developing a consumer-friendly schedule of educational events at Sherry-Lehmann’s store. This fortuitous move will coincide with Sherry-Lehmann’s 75th Anniversary 1934-2009. He is an active member in many wine and food societies, including several professional sommelier associations and the Commanderie de Bordeaux. O’Connor has been inducted into the prestigious Commanderie du Bontemps de M├ędoc des Graves et de Sauternes-Barsac, the Jurade de Saint-Emilion and Les Hospitaliers de Pomerol. He worked at Chateau Petrus thirty years ago for Christian Moueix

Monday, August 16, 2010

8/16 - Jayce Milstead, Linda Jordan,

Firestone Walker Brewing Company began in 1996, at a small, private facility on a corner of the Firestone Vineyard estate in Santa Barbara County. In 2002 owners Adam Firestone and David Walker purchased SLO Brewing Company located in Paso Robles, CA. The original SLO Brew, built in 1998, featured seven 200-barrel JV Northwest unitanks and a 200 barrel JV Northwest bright beer tank. We have since added to the original brewery, now featuring 17 interior fermenters, four 500bbl exterior fermenters, a KHS keg line and Krones bottling line among other improvements. Firestone Walker’s ales are also selectively fermented in the patented Firestone Union oak barrel brewing system. The Firestone Union incorporates 60-gallon, medium and heavy toast American oak barrels Firestone Walker Brewing Company has grown to become one of the “Top 50″ largest craft breweries in the U.S. brewing over 60,000 barrels of beer in 2009.

Linda Jordan - GM Ruth's Chris Steak House
Ruth's Chris Steak House is a chain of over 120 steakhouses across the United States and in several international locations. The restaurant is regarded as an upscale fine dining establishment, marking a gradual elevation in its status since its founding in the 1960s. Ruth's Chris is currently the largest luxury steak company, larger than other restaurants such as The Palm and Morton's chains in number of locations, The group has its headquarters in Heathrow, Florida[ The chain was founded by Ruth Fertel, a single mother of two, in 1965, after she bought the existing Chris Steak House in New Orleans. In buying the restaurant, Fertel had to agree that the restaurant keep the "Chris" name for a specified period of time. After the original location sustained a kitchen fire, she relocated the restaurant about one-half mile (0.9 km) to the west on Broad Street and renamed the rebuilt establishment "Ruth's Chris." Under the purchase agreement, the name "Chris Steak House" could not be used at any other location, and she did not want to lose customers already familiar with the Chris name. Fertel started to franchise the restaurant in the 1970s to locations throughout the United States and the world. Advertising efforts are primarily focused in the talk radio market and its male demographic. The chain has cultivated paid endorsements from several radio celebrities, including Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity, with the latter proclaiming Ruth's to be his favorite restaurant. Ruth's won the 2006–2007 Golden Icon Award for "Best Steak House Chain"; the Golden Icon Awards are presented annually by Travolta Family Entertainment.

Monday, August 9, 2010

8/9-Andy Crouch

Andy Crouch-Great American Craft Beer
Great American Craft Beer takes readers on a passionate and informative journey through the most palate pleasing ales and lagers produced in America today. Built on the inalienable truth that there is a beer out there for everyone, the book directs readers to focus on the flavors they already enjoy tasting, such as sweet fruits, roasted coffee, or bitter hops. More than 80 styles and 340 beer profiles are accompanied by full-color photographs and illustrations of the beers and beer labels. This unconventional approach allows drinkers of all experience levels to step right up to the bar and order their next pint with confidence.
Both a personal guide and companion to the exciting world of American craft beer, this unique book touches upon several subject areas, including not only beer, but food, travel, history, and the stories and personalities of those who brew America’s best beers. It includes 25 perfect pairing recipes and profiles of some of the best brewpubs in the country.

Andy Crouch is an award-winning freelance writer whose articles on beer have appeared in Ale Street NewsAmerican Brewer, and New Brewer Magazine, among others. He presently writes the monthly “Unfiltered” column for the Beer Advocate and a bi-monthly column for Beverage Magazine. His first book, The Good Beer Guide to New England, was published by the University Press of New England. He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Monday, August 2, 2010

8/2-Patrick Melley

Patrick Melley-Russian Hill Winery
Winemaker Patrick Melley gave up a career in the restaurant business to join his uncle Ed in the pursuit of making great wine. A largely self taught winemaker, Patrick has already shown great talent in making the Merlot, Chardonnay and Cabernet sauvignon that were our production prior to moving to Russian Hill. He is now excelling in the production of Pinot noir and Syrah. The key ingredient to Patrick's success is his discriminating palate; his level disposition and great personality don't hurt either. What does Patrick love most about a wine (and therefore works hardest to attain) - is mouthfeel. You'll see what this means when you try some of his wines.