Tag Archives: Tasting Panel

Whisky, Women and Song…

Well, maybe not so much song. But the Universal Whisky Experience, which gathered together dozens of distilled malt beverages from around the world at the Wynn resort in Las Vegas March 19-20 2010, was both educational and entertaining. Covering for The Tasting Panel, I took some candid snaps. Here’s the album:

And here’s my Tasting Panel Magazine story:

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

The Napa of Mexico: Monte Xanic and El Valle de Guadalupe

One of the best kept secrets of the wine world is the fact that there is a steadily growing high-quality wine industry right across the US border in Baja, Mexico’s Valle de Guadalupe, just outside Ensenada. Owing to Mexican government export tariffs favoring tequilas, and a general disbelief in Mexican dedication to quality, most of these wines never make it out of their country. But things are changing, aided by growing attention to the Valle de Guadalupe’s annual Fiestas de la Vendimia every August. I got the opportunity to visit one of the top producers, Monte Xanic, and taste many of its competitors during a crush season visit a few months ago for a story in The Tasting Panel. Here are some ¬†candid photos (many taken by Kelly Duckhorn) from the visit. Xanic owner¬†Hans Backhoff Sr, Jr, Viticulturalist Kelly Maher and consulting winemaker Scott McLeod are depicted most prominently :

Click above to read

Click above to read

A Creative Club Chef and Chateau St. Michelle

With Indian Ridge Country Club Chef Ralph Fernandez

With Indian Ridge Country Club Chef Ralph Fernandez

Would you believe me if I told you one of the most creative, satisfying and entertaining dinners I’ve had so far this year was at a country club? In Palm Desert, no less? I’ll avoid repeating what I wrote in the article for The Tasting Panel (see below) and just post some pics… Chef Ralph Fernandez, I like your style.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

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