Monday, November 4, 2013

11/4-Michael Horn & Nicole Nielsen talk with Fred Dame & Doug Margerum

Fred Dame - Master Sommelier, San Diego Food & Wine Festival
Frederick L. Dame, Master Sommelier brings an impressive blend of experience, expertise and enthusiasm to the world of wine and cuisine. He is the first American to have served as President of the Court of Master Sommeliers Worldwide and assists restaurateurs and hoteliers in developing their wine programs in his role as Vice-President of Prestige Accounts, American Wine & Spirits of California. He is currently the President of the Guild of Sommeliers Education Foundation. He holds Honorary Professorships at Purdue University and The University of South Carolina.

Dame's ability to transmit his passionate interest in wine make him a natural teacher. One of just seventy-three Americans to have passed the Master Sommelier Examination, Dame was the first to successfully pass all three parts in a single year. This feat and his high score won him the coveted Krug Cup of the British Guild of Sommeliers in 1984. Dame founded the American Branch of The Court of Master Sommeliers in 1986 and has played an active role in the expansion of the Master Sommelier program throughout America since that time.

As Cellarmaster of The Sardine Factory in Monterey, California for twelve years, Dame created a wine list which won the Wine Spectator Grand Award. With the many wine events held in the brick and wine lined Wine Cellar, Dame turned The Sardine Factory into a wine destination restaurant of world renown. He is also active in the culinary arts serving as an Honorary Trustee of The American Academy of Chefs, the honor society of The American Culinary Federation. He was awarded the Antonin Careme Medal and was made a Supreme Knight of the Knights of the Vine in 2000. He was elected to the prestigious National Restaurant Association College of Diplomates in 2004. In 2006 he received Sante Magazine’s Wine Professional of the Year as well as Starwine’s Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2010 he was elected to the American Academy of Chefs Hall of Fame.

A sixth generation Californian, Dame graduated from Washington and Lee University with a degree in journalism and communications. A European trip after high school piqued his curiosity about wine and food. Since then, he has applied his considerable persuasive skills to the service and appreciation of fine wine.

San Diego Food & Wine Festival - As one of the largest wine and food festivals in the nation, the San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival has helped shine the light on San Diego's thriving food scene. We've got our eyes and ears peeled for the city's most drool-worthy restaurants and newest food trends to hit the streets, bringing you an epicurean experience unlike any other. The magnitude of culinary talent in San Diego combined with an international showcase of the world's premiere wines and spirits, and the nation's trendsetting culinary masters, makes attendance at the San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival a mouthwatering feast and precursor to the Thankgiving holiday.

Margerum Wine Company is committed to creating handcrafted wines using only the highest quality grapes so that we can make wines that are indicative of the place where they are grown.  We strive to make wines naturally, to make wines that have individual characteristics and to make wines with personality.  The scale of production is kept at a level where we can touch and know the wine as it is raised to the bottle – the antithesis of mass production. The standards of quality are measured by our criteria – not by external sources.  We make wines we personally enjoy – some to drink young, all for the table, and others for long aging in cool cellars for our children to enjoy. I started my food and wine explorations at a young age while traveling with my parents in France. My passion for food and wine was enhanced as I worked in restaurants as a cook and server throughout my high school and college years.

Coinciding with my graduation from UCSB with a degree in Business Economics in 1981, my family purchased WINE CASK - an existing wine store. We quickly expanded to include a simple bistro adjacent to wine store. In 1991, the restaurant expanded to the “Gold Room” in Santa Barbara’s legendary El Paseo and the adjacent Intermezzo cafe opened in 1996. The two restaurants and the wine store became a Santa Barbara destination of choice among food and wine cognoscenti.

Our cuisine and wine program was a combination of diverse influences I experienced in my long exploration of food and wine. the myriad of flavors from the world with California’s Asian/Mexican influences. This mix was the recipe for creative, simple and refined food paired with appropriate wines in a congenial atmosphere. We garnered critical success from the outset with praise from Gourmet, Bon Appetite, and the Los Angeles Times. Then, in 1994, the WINE CASK became one of 74 restaurants in the world to earn the Wine Spectator Grand Award; an award we have claimed every year since. I sold the WINE CASK in 2007 after deciding to devote all of my energies to wine making.

In 2009 we re-opened the Wine Cask with new partners Mitchell Sjerven (bouchon) and Anda Askar. We opened to immediate critical acclaim and were warmly greeted by the eager to return Santa Barbara community.  Margerum Wine Company began in 2001. My philosophy is a return to wine making in its previous form of production – handcrafted and personal. We currently produce 6,000 cases of wine.

I am the wine maker for Happy Canyon Vineyards. We produce under the BARRACK label, a luxury Cabernet Sauvignon called  Ten~Goal and an elegant Merlot called Brand, a blend of Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon; a Merlot based blend; PIOCHO
blend of all three varietals grown on the property Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Merlot; and a new approach to varietal Cabernet Franc called CHUKKER.

I am the consulting wine maker for CENT’ANNI. A new vineyard planted to a variety of clones of Sangiovese and located in the heart of the Santa Ynez. This small estate is dedicated to producing world class, old-world Sangiovese.  I also consult for Chêne Bleu wines located in small village of Crestet in the southern Rhône.  MWC imports wine: from Champagne, J.L. Vergnon; from Tuscany, Castello di Tornano and Casa al Vento; from Slovenija, Goriska Brda; from Burgundy, Domaine Sabre and from the south of France Chêne Bleu wines.

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