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Washington’s Quest for Privatized Liquor Sales – Initiative 1183

Spirits

Washington State Liquor StoreIt’s no surprise that people in Washington state want liquor reform and the privatization of liquor sales, and that is made evident with the support of two initiatives, Costco backed Initiative 1100 and Initiative 1105, both of which failed last year with 53% and 65% of voters voting against them, but with how close I-1100 was is proof that people are tired of the monopoly that the Washington State Liquor Control Board has on liquor within the state. Even with people being tired of that monopoly and wanting privatization, many didn’t agree with the manner in which I-1100 and I-1105 proposed it be done, which is why it may not have passed. Washington Governor Chris Gregoire herself was opposed to both I-1100 and I-1105, but she went on to say “Do I think that we should reform liquor? Yes. And I would expect the legislature to pick up where the voters left off and still do something important in that area.”

With that said, sponsors for Initiative 1183 announced today that they estimated they turned in nearly 350,000 signatures to qualify the the new liquor privatization initiative for the November ballot. According to The Seattle Times, “I-1183 would close state liquor stores and sell their assets, including the liquor-distribution center. It would allow private stores to sell liquor and create licensing fees for sale and distribution of liquor based on sales revenues. Costco is the main backer, providing most of the more than $950,000 in cash and in-kind contributions raised so far.” Like last year’s Costco Wholesale Corp. backed I-1100, Costco is promoting I-1183 along with the Washington Restaurant Association, the Northwest Grocery Association and the Washington Retail Association.

As with last year, a group called Protect Our Communities will campaign against the measure and they will use scare tactics and false figures of how readily attainable hard liquor will be for minors and the increased amount of drunk drivers on the road. I’m already looking forward to their campaigns …

Mutineer will be watching this one with interest. Stay tuned.


8 comments 07.08.2011 |

What’s going on in the fine beverage blogosphere?

BeerSpiritsWine

Six Point Brewing Barcode

What’s going on out there in the blogosphere? Here’s a few things that caught our attention.


1 comment 07.08.2011 |

Event Recap: The Maui Film Festival Taste of Wailea featured Ocean Vodka, Stella Artois

Spirits

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The participating restaurants included Ruth Chris, Mala Ocean Tavern, Monkeypod (@petermerriman), Matteo’s, Gannon’s (@bevgannonmaui ), Joe’s, Bistro Molokini (@grandwailea), Four Seasons (@FSMaui ), Pita Paradise Wailea, Capische, Spago, Mulligan’s on the Blue, and Ko (@fairmontkealani).  The menu was incredible–seafood, lamb, beef, pork, pasta, salad, Greek, asian, Italian, American and desserts, if its delicious it was here. These tasting dishes were artfully plated, hearty, refined, and plentiful. I tried to get to every booth but it simply wasn’t possible.

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The fine beverage spread somehow kept up, too. The wine table by Southern Wine and Spirits, the Ocean Vodka tent and the Stella Artois tent were serving extraordinary pairings to the tasty small plates and dishes from 13 of the regions finest restaurants. Ocean’s Vodka was particularly exhilarating with Watermelon Martinis with fresh watermelon, and the Lemon Blossom that featured fresh lavender from the slopes of Haleakala on Maui. Bistro Molokini from the Grand Wailea made an adult shave ice in mojito, mai tai and lava flow that were fresh, imaginative and just perfect to take the edge off the South Maui heat.

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Taste of Wailea is held at the top of the Wailea golf course overlooking the Gold and Blue courses. All attendees are treated to the evening celestial cinema with their tickets, so comfortable shoes and beach chairs are necessary. As mother nature gave everyone a sunset show folks meander down to the outdoor theatre set up to catch the evening’s double feature of films. The after party at Spago’s featured the spit roasted pig Chef Cameron Lewark prepared during the Taste of Wailea, and Bombay Sapphire cocktails.

 



The Cocktail Spirit With Robert Hess: Bitter Truth E**X**R and Ginger

Spirits

This week’s installment of The Cocktail Spirit with Robert Hess brought to you by the Small Screen Network brings you the Bitter Truth E**X**R and Ginger. According to Robert Hess, “The Bitter Truth E*X*R is wonderfully sweet with characteristics of an Italian amaro. It pairs perfectly with a spicy ginger beer!”

Bitter Truth E**X**R and Ginger

  • 2oz Bitter Truth E**X**R
  • 1/4 oz lime juice
  • ~4 oz Ginger Beer

Instructions

  • Build in a tall glass with ice
  • Stir
  • Garnish with an orange peel


Recap: Pebble Beach Food & Wine Festival

FoodSpiritsWine

Pebble Beach Food & Wine

Pebble Beach Food & Wine is perhaps the glitziest of the gadjillion or so culinary festivals in the United States right now. Every year for the past five years and counting, the event has borrowed the inimitable Inn at Spanish Bay for a spring weekend; draping itself across the grounds like a glittering evening dress you can’t afford or a royal picnic blanket most people only get to feast on in pictures.

Pebble Beach Food & Wine

Thanks to Lexus – a major sponsor of the event – from April 28 to May 1, 2011, sleek luxury cars navigated from the resort to neighboring Carmel and beyond, and back again. The right event pass earned attendants carriage service from sun-up ’til long after sundown; either the beginning of the day or the end of it, depending on which side of the table celebrants stood on.

Pebble Beach Food & Wine

And which was the better side of the table? In a sea of food and wine luminaries, that’s hard to say. It would’ve been great to be a guest; but lucky diners, servers and sommeliers alike, got to share space (and Lexus rides) with the likes of Jacques Pepin, Charlie Trotter, Thomas Keller, Tom Colicchio, Roy Yamaguchi, Graham Elliot, Daniel Boulud, Michel Richard and Stephan Pyles – 100 chefs, in total, pulled out their knives for the gala. While an elite team of wine professionals (many were specially invited, based on knowledge and reputation), slaved away for 16+ hours/day, what they had the pleasure of pouring was, literally, without equal: The very best of Burgundy, Premier Cru Bordeaux, Cult Cabernet, a flight of prestige Champagnes from 1990, and a Port vertical dating back to 1880, to name just a few.

Pebble Beach Food & Wine

Attendees selected seminars, dinners and tastings before the celebration as part of event packages ($995 to $4,750) and add-ons ($150 to $2000). With a little time off between indulgences, there was golf (of course). Shopping, horseback riding. Some of us learned the hard way that the food festival’s only sustenance was served during specific events (chef demos, meals or pairing workshops, the Lexus Grand Tasting). We Dwellers of the Lower Tax Bracket and Woefully Unprepared Seat-of-Pants Fliers survived between sessions on water, crackers and a fruit-and-cheese basket thankfully left in our ocean-view press room the first night, at the ultra-luxurious Monterey Plaza Hotel (a little far from the festival, but worth a weekend in its own right).

And then there were cocktails. After a long day of foie gras, king crab, caviar and Grand Marque Champagne, chefs, sommeliers and civilians gathered on the same piece of real estate to cleanse their palates with scotch and stogies. A lone bagpipe player serenaded the 18th hole as strangers became friends over Rob Roys and margaritas, and the rolling ocean caught and cast back the last, dying rays of sunlight. Although the crowds dispersed for dinner, they came together again for the after parties. The music pulsed as a new line up of chefs served small bits to beautiful people. Bartenders came out of hiding to mix caipirinhas, tin cups and an unpalatable combination of root beer liquor, club soda and whipped cream. New friends embraced or ignored each other and the night poured on.

And then, the next morning, bacon sizzled, corks popped, and hangovers were artfully hidden behind Prada sunglasses or a perfectly pressed suit and tie, and everyone took their places and did everything all over again.



WIRED Magazine: The Mystery of the Canadian Whiskey Fungus

Spirits

WIRED magazine

I love it when mainstream magazines publish fine beverage features. Esquire, GQ, and this case, WIRED, put together some of the best fine beverage content on the planet.

“The Mystery of the Canadian Whiskey Fungus” by Adam Rogers appears in the current issue of Wired and can be read in its entirety online. The piece explores a mysterious black fungus connected to Canadian Club whiskey’s barrel aging warehouses and it’s impact on local residents.

From the article:
Standing at a black-stained fence, Doyle explained that the distillery had been trying to solve the mystery for more than a decade. Mycologists at the University of Windsor were stumped. A team from the Scotch Whisky Association’s Research Institute had taken samples and concluded it was just a thick layer of normal environmental fungi: Aspergillus, Exophiala, stuff like that. Ubiquitous and—maybe most important—in no way the distillery’s fault.

Scott shook his head. “David,” he said, “that’s not what it is. It’s something completely different.”

Click here to continue reading this article.



The Cocktail Spirit With Robert Hess: How to Make a Caipirinha

Spirits

This week’s installment of The Cocktail Spirit with Robert Hess brought to you by the Small Screen Network teaches you how to make a Caipirinha. According to Robert Hess, “Cachaça is the national spirit of Brazil. From that spirit comes the national cocktail of Brazil, the Caipirinha.”

Caipirinha

  • 2 ounces cachaça (If cachaça is not available in your area, you can substitute a good white rum.)
  • 2 Tbs. sugar
  • 1/2 lime, quartered

Instructions

  • Wash the lime, and cut it into quarters.
  • Put the lime pieces into a heavy tumbler and then add the sugar.
  • Muddle hard to extract juices and dissolve the sugar.
  • Fill the glass with ice, then add the cachaça. Stir to mix and chill.


The Cocktail Spirit With Robert Hess: The Americano Cocktail

Spirits

This week’s installment of The Cocktail Spirit with Robert Hess brought to you by the Small Screen Network brings you the Americano Cocktail. According to Robert Hess, “a beautifully simple and refreshing drink, the Americano was popularized by American tourists in Italy in the 1960s. Try one with your antipasto!”

AMERICANO COCKTAIL

  • 1 oz Campari
  • 1 oz sweet vermouth
  • soda

Instructions

  • stir Campari and sweet vermouth with ice
  • top with soda


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