CONSULTANT & AUTHOR KAREN MACNEIL – HALLOWEEN CANDY/WINE PAIRINGS
HERE ARE SOME OF HER PAIRING TIPS
Candy Corn + Moscato
• Moscato and candy corn are a fantasmagorica of sweetness. Think candyland on steroids. The sugar in the candy corn amps up the fruitiness in the Moscato. Both taste better as a result.
Almond Joy + Madeira
• The rich, caramelized, brown sugar nuttiness of Madeira is just waiting for coconut to come into its life. Both the Almond Joy and the wine have a certain weight and gravitas and they need each other the way Humphrey Bogart needed Lauren Bacall.
M&MS + Port
• The dark, sweet, black fig and dried fruit character of Port is a great counterpoint to the milk chocolate in M&Ms. The hard crunch of the candy shell is perfect with the soft pillow of lavishly textured Port.
ABOUT KAREN MACNEIL
Karen MacNeil is the only American to have won every major wine award given in the English language.
These include the Wine and Spirits Professional of the Year (James Beard Foundation) and the Global Wine Communicator of the Year (International Wine and Spirits Association). In a full-page profile on her, TIME Magazine called Karen “America’s Missionary of the Vine.”
But deep global wine knowledge is only part of the story. Karen is considered America’s foremost wine presenter–a speaker who can enchant audiences from 5 to 500, and from wine novices to wine collectors alike. Her customized TED-like talks are accompanied by extraordinary wines which she personally selects for the event.
Karen is also the author of the award-winning book, THE WINE BIBLE, the single best- selling wine book in the United States, praised as “The most informative and entertaining book I’ve ever seen on the subject” (Danny Meyer), “Astounding” (Thomas Keller), and “A masterpiece of wine writing…the single best wine book written in years…” (Kevin Zraly).
The former wine correspondent for the Today Show, Karen was the host of the PBS series Wine, Food and Friends with Karen MacNeil, for which she won an Emmy. Her articles on wine and food have been published in more than 50 newspapers and magazines including The New York Times, Town & Country, Elle, and Worth. She was the first Food and Wine Editor of USA Today when that publication began. Karen currently hosts #SipWithKaren, the leading Twitter tasting in the global wine sphere, which each month reaches 20+ million timelines from Indiana to India.
Karen’s firm, Karen MacNeil & Company, creates customized corporate events and wine tours around the world for companies and individual groups. Among Karen’s corporate clients are Lexus, Merrill Lynch, Disney, General Electric, UBS, and Singapore Airlines, as well as numerous law and biotech firms.
Karen is the creator and Chairman Emeritus of the Rudd Center for Professional Wine Studies at the Culinary Institute of America in the Napa Valley, which has been called “the Harvard of wine education.”
THE WINE BIBLE
The best-selling wine book in the U.S., THE WINE BIBLE is used and recommended by every top wine school, every hospitality management school, every wine diploma program, and the Court of Master Sommeliers in the U.S.
Like a lively course from an expert teacher, THE WINE BIBLE grounds the reader deeply in the fundamentals while layering on informative asides, tips, amusing anecdotes, definitions, glossaries, photos, maps, labels, and recommended bottles. Information in THE WINE BIBLE comes directly from Karen’s extensive primary research. She has visited every major wine region in the world and, for this second edition alone, tasted more than 10,000 wines.
MIKE SINOR - DIRECTOR OF WINEMAKING, ANCIENT PEAKS WINERY & WINEMAKER/PROPRIETOR, SINOR LAVALLEE
ABOUT MIKE SINOR
Mike Sinor is recognized as one of the Central Coast's highest-rated winemakers. Wines made by Mike have scored 96 points in the WineSpectator™, 95 points in Connoiseur's Guide™, 92 points in Robert Parker's The Wine Advocate™ and 95 points in Wine Enthusiast™. In 2012 Mike was voted as Winemaker of the Year for San Luis Obispo County. The word that best describes Mike is "Fanatical." He is a self-made winemaker with no formal winemaking education who worked his way up from "cellar rat" through grit, determination and sheer love of wine.
Raised in Visalia, CA, Mike attended California Polythechnic State University at San Luis Obispo with the objective of becoming a high school shop teacher. He financed his college education by working at several local wineries -- an experience that ignited his passion for the craft of making wine. Mike met his future wife, Cheri LaVallee, in a chemistry class at CalPoly (now that's Chemistry 101).
Mike has traveled to France on numerous occasions, delving into the winemaking experiences of Burgunday, Bordeaux and the Rhone Valley. He also took a winemaking sabbatical to Australia's Margaret River in 2001. These travels are integral to his winemaking fabric and outlook.
ABOUT ANCIENT PEAKS WINERY
Ancient Peaks Winery represents the shared vision of three longtime local winegrowing and ranching families—the Filipponis, Rossis and Wittstroms. Two generations are actively involved in the winery’s daily operations, all dedicated to producing extraordinary wines from Margarita Vineyard.
• Karl Wittstrom Owner
• Doug Filipponi Owner
• Rob Rossi Owner
ORIGINS OF ANCIENT PEAKS
Rob Rossi acquired Santa Margarita Ranch in 1999. His friends Doug Filipponi and Karl Wittstrom soon joined him as partners in the ownership of the ranch, which they had all regarded as a special property for many years. That same year, the Robert Mondavi family planted Margarita Vineyard on the ranch under a lease agreement (click here for more background on the Mondavi connection).
In 2005, the three families acquired ownership and control of Margarita Vineyard. The obvious potential of the vineyard ultimately inspired the three families to become vintners as well as winegrowers. They knew that they could cherry-pick their favorite blocks and make distinctive wines with a strong sense of place. The name Ancient Peaks was chosen to honor the towering Santa Lucia Mountains that border Margarita Vineyard. These peaks define the land’s complex geology and regulate the vineyard’s climate, ultimately shaping the character of the wines.
ABOUT SINOR LAVALLEE
Mike Sinor has always been a grinder, a way of life he learned at a young age while working in his father’s auto wrecking yard. He brought that mentality to his first wine harvest in 1993 and never looked back. Through grit and determination, and without formal training, he ultimately became one of the Central Coast’s most decorated winemakers.
Mike married Cheri LaVallee in 1996 in Burgundy, soon after the started their own label. In 2013, Mike and Cheri put everything on the line to acquire the ocean-view Bassi Vineyard near Avila Beach. It was the destination they’d always been seeking—a singular vineyard that they could steward with holistic and meticulous viticulture.
The estate wines of Sinor-LaVallee are the outcome of this journey, and an emblem of this place.