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The Great Aussie Wine Mutiny: Margaret River 2


Video by Alan Kropf, Mutineer Magazine

We’re back with another installment of The Great Aussie Wine Mutiny. In the last TGAWM, we took a broad look at Margaret River in southwest Australia near Perth. The wines burst with character that is the reflection of the cool climate terroir, and the local shiraz takes on a very different personality from the bombastic shiraz of Barossa Valley. Now, as a God-fearing wine writer I will drink bombastic Barossa Valley shiraz with great enthusiasm, but these Margaret River shiraz wines are layered and complex works of elegance with an identity all their own.

“The styles that we’re trying to produce here, and certainly at Xanadu, are a lot finer, more elegant, and in my opinion, a little bit more food friendly,” says Glenn Goodall, winemaker at Xanadu Wines. “Margaret River is probably most well recognized by its cabernet, its chardonnay and its sauvignon blanc/semillon blends. Shiraz, historically over the last few years, has probably played second fiddle to those other varieties.”

Video courtesy of Xanadu Wines

Cabernet sauvignon is the flagship red of the region, with the region’s top producers making cabs that can hang with the best in the world. Moss Wood, Cullen, Cape Mentelle and Leeuwin Estate all come to mind.

Beyond the brilliant cabernet sauvignon monologues, Bordeaux-style meritage blends are also pretty damn amazing, and the inspired use of petit verdot and malbec by winemaker Virginia Willcock in Vasse Velix’s Heytesbury red resulted in something of a fine beverage religious experience for me. I’m talking about a wide-eyed and giggly symphony of complex aromas that are all familiar to me from the countless meritage blends I’ve consumed in my days, yet expressed in a very spectacular way.

As crucial as the petit verdot and malbec are to this blend, for Willcock they are really supporting actors to the lead that is cabernet sauvignon:

“Cabernet [sauvignon] is king in Margaret River and all I want to do is find something that is going to bring cabernet to wonderful heights, and I think petit verdot and malbec can do it. Petit verdot brings violets, orange peel, acid structure and incredibly intense tannins. Malbec spice, voluptuousness and beauty.”

Video by Alan Kropf, Mutineer Magazine

Comments Off on The Great Aussie Wine Mutiny: Margaret River 2 11.15.2011 |

Napa Valley Film Festival TasteLive / CellarPass Streaming Broadcast Schedule Hosted by Mutineer Magazine’s Alan Kropf


Napa Valley Film Festival

TasteLive!, Napa Valley Film Festival, CellarPass, Mutineer Magazine

CellarPass and TasteLive have announced its live streaming broadcast schedule for the 2011 Napa Valley Film Festival. Hosted by Editor-in-Chief Alan Kropf of Mutineer magazine, the one-hour daily broadcasts from marquee Napa Valley Film Festival events will take place on November 10th, 11th and 12th and feature a who’s who in regional winemaking, the culinary arts and special guests. Wine bloggers from around the U.S. will join the shows virtually to taste wines, post comments, and ask questions of guests.

“We’ll be producing five shows in three days,” said Kropf, “so we’ll be running the gauntlet of tight timelines and pushing the threshold of live-stream broadcasting. Along with our scheduled line up, we’ll be inviting talent off the red carpet for spontaneous interviews, and responding to questions posted by our blogger panelists. It’s going to be a bit of a thrill ride that should deliver some sweet surprises.”

Guests wishing to join the conversation can create an account in advance at TasteLive. Visitors traveling to the Napa Valley Film Festival are encouraged to use CellarPass’ industry-leading winery reservation system to book movie-inspired wine tasting itineraries and experiences and enter its sweepstakes to win an exclusive VIP trip to Napa Valley.

Napa Valley Film Festival TasteLive / CellarPass Streaming Broadcast Schedule


Robert Mondavi Winery, Oakville
8:00pm to 9:00pm
Go to TasteLive Event Page

Featured Winery & Wines
Robert Mondavi Winery
2009 Fume Blanc Reserve – $40
2008 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve – $135

Blogger Panelists
Bean Fairbanks, @WineBeerWA
Beau Carufel, @ucbeau
Dennis Atick, @decaturwinedude
Dezel Quillen, @myvinespot
Grace Hoffman, @cellarmistress
Lain Bradford, @winereview
Matthew Horbund, @mmwine
Megan Kenney, @sonadora
Thea Dwelle, @winebratsf
See the full post »

Banana Republic and Clos du Bois Winery Unveil Limited-Edition Holiday Bottles


Banana Republic and Clos du Bois Winery Unveil Limited-Edition Holiday BottlesIn an unlikely partnership, Banana Republic and Clos du Bois Winery have joined forces to create limited-edition holiday bottles for the Clos du Bois North Coast Chardonnay and North Coast Cabernet Sauvignon. Designed by Banana Republic Creative Director Simon Kneen, the festive hand-sketched labels are designed to bring cheer to holiday parties, stockings and evenings by the fire.

On each bottle there is a QR code which will instantly give consumers access to a holiday party soundtrack, style tips from Banana Republic’s Simon Kneen, entertaining advice from lifestyle expert Katie Lee and food and wine recommendations from Clos du Bois Winemaker Gary Sitton.

“Inspired by the glamour of the holidays, the bottles illustrate the brands’ shared passion for effortless sophistication. Each sketch is a perfect fit for the wine it adorns—the ‘go-to’ little black dress is particularly fitting for a universal favorite like Chardonnay, while a red full-skirted frock made for romance and dancing the night away makes a bold statement on the Cabernet Sauvignon,” the press release read. Kneen continues, “What really excites me about this creation is that it offers our consumers a completely different option for holiday gifts this year. Everything deserves a little extra sparkle and glamour over the holiday season, so why not your wine too? It’s safe to say everyone on my list knows what they’re getting this year!”

The Chardonnay retails for $16.99 and the Cabernet Sauvignon for $18.99, available for purchase on www.ClosduBois.com starting November 1, 2011.

Comments Off on Banana Republic and Clos du Bois Winery Unveil Limited-Edition Holiday Bottles 10.20.2011 |

OpenTable Diners Reveal the Top 50 Wine Lists in the U.S.


OpenTable recently released a Top 50 Wine List of restaurants in the United States. The list, which was compiled from feedback from over 10 million OpenTable users between October 2010 and September 2011, had California on top earning 11 spots on the list, followed by establishments in New York, Maryland and Virginia, each of which earned 4 spots. In all, 21 states were represented with restaurants earning an award.

The restaurants named were (in alphabetical order):

20 Brix – Milford, Ohio

The 3rd Corner Wine Shop & Bistro – Palm Desert, California

4 Olives Restaurant – Manhattan, Kansas

Accademia Di Vino – New York, New York

Addison at The Grand Del Mar – San Diego, California

Artisanal Restaurant – Banner Elk, North Carolina

Aureole – Las Vegas, Nevada

bacaro – Champaign, Illinois

Bin 36 – Chicago, Illinois

BIN 38 – San Francisco, California

Bistro Blanc – Glenelg, Maryland

Bonterra – Charlotte, North Carolina

Carpe Vino – Auburn, California

Cinghiale-Enoteca (Wine Bar) – Baltimore, Maryland

Domaine Hudson wine bar & eatery – Wilmington, Delaware

Eno Vino Wine Bar and Bistro – Madison, Wisconsin

Enotria – Sacramento, California

Evo Bistro – McLean, Virginia

Frasca Food and Wine – Boulder, Colorado

Grand Cru Wine Bar & Bistro – Arlington, Virginia

The Hobbit – Orange, California

Iron Bridge Wine Company – Columbia, Maryland

Iron Bridge Wine Company – Warrenton, Virginia

Left Bank at Stonehedge Inn and Spa – Tyngsboro, Massachusetts

Los Olivos Wine Merchant and Wine Cafe – Los Olivos, California
See the full post »

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Napa Valley Vintners Presents Harvest Live 2011


Napa Valley Vintners

Starting today, The Napa Valley Vintners non-profit trade association is bringing the 2011 Napa Valley harvest to people around the world with Harvest Live 2011. Each day throughout the week-long live webcast, follow the Harvest Live crew as they visit a different winery throughout the Napa Valley AVA. The press release can be found below.

St Helena, CA–The Napa Valley Vintners (NVV) non-profit trade association is excited to bring “Harvest Live 2011,” the Napa Valley’s first week-long, live harvest webcast that will allow viewers to interact in real time with winemakers, vineyard managers and special wine industry co-hosts to hear and see all that’s news with this year’s crush in America”s premier wine region.

“These innovative, interactive webcast will be breaking new ground in social media wine education,” said Linda Reiff, NVV executive director. “It will be a terrific opportunity to have a conversation with these renowned vintners in real time, all week long.”

“Harvest Live provides an opportunity for anyone, anywhere, to experience a Napa Valley harvest–even on their phone via the Ustream mobile application,” explained Christophe Smith of Titus Vineyards. “This is a chance for wine lovers to connect with the Napa Valley beyond what they have tasted in the bottle and have a behind the scenes look into the 2011 vintage. We look forward to a great exchange between wine enthusiasts and those of us in the winemaking business during this most exciting and important time of year.”

Produced by Christophe Smith along with David Gowdy of Dirt on the Vine, Randy Hall of VOM Productions and the NVV, Harvest Live offers participants a behind the scenes view into the Napa Valley harvest that even many locals don’t get a chance to see. During the morning broadcasts viewers will be taken outside into the vineyard to learn about picking decisions and what’s current in the field, then during the afternoon journey into the cellars to follow those grapes through the winemaking process. Capitalizing on the real-time webcast, viewers will have the ability to ask questions of winemakers and hosts via the Ustream webcast and receive answers instantly. For Twitter and Facebook users, questions will be monitored and answered via the #HL11 hashtag.

The interactive, one-hour webcasts will occur daily October 17th through 22nd at 9am PDT and 2:30pm PDT, and will be hosted at a different winery each day, showcasing varied winemaking techniques as well as multiple American Viticultural Areas (AVAs) throughout the Napa Valley AVA.

The winery participants by day are as follows:

Monday, October 17: Robert Mondavi Winery with Keith Horn, director of vineyards and Genevieve Janssens, director of winemaking

Tuesday, October 18: Staglin Family Vineyards with Garen Staglin, owner, along with Fredrik Johansson, winemaker and Chris Platt, assistant winemaker

Wednesday, October 19: William Hill Estate Winery with Raif Holdenried, winemaker

Thursday, October 20: Round Pond Estate with Chris Pedemonte, vineyard manager and Brian Brown, winemaker

Friday, October 21: Titus Vineyards with brothers Eric and Phillip Titus

Saturday, October 22: Chappellet Vineyard & Winery with Phillip Titus, winemaker

To access the interactive webcast, visit the NVV’s Harvest 2011 website at www.napavintners.com/harvest. A detailed schedule including on-camera talent and topics can be viewed online in advance of broadcast, and sessions will be archived here as well so viewers can watch and hear all the sessions.

About the Napa Valley Vintners
The Napa Valley Vintners is the non-profit trade association responsible for promoting and protecting the Napa Valley appellation as the premier winegrowing region. From seven founding members in 1944, today the association represents more than 420 Napa Valley wineries and collectively is a leader in the world-wide wine industry. To learn more about our region and its legendary American wines, visit www.napavintners.com.

1 comment 10.17.2011 |

Mutineer Magazine Partners With CellarPass and TasteLive for Napa Valley Film Festival


TasteLive!, Napa Valley Film Festival, CellarPass, Mutineer Magazine

CellarPass, the leading online destination to explore, book and share wine country experiences has announced that it is partnering with TasteLive.com, the world’s premier online wine tasting community and social network, to produce live streaming broadcasts from the inaugural Napa Valley Film Festival on November 9th through the 13th.

“CellarPass and TasteLive have a complementary relationship in reaching new audiences and engaging them in conversation,” said Sarah Elliman of CellarPass. “CellarPass brings people to wine country, while TasteLive exports wine country virtually. So while CellarPass is making it easy for visitors to book their Napa Valley Film Festival experiences, TasteLive’s platform will promote the valley and festival to wine and film lovers across the country.”

Hosted by Mutineer Magazine’s Editor-in-Chief Alan Kropf, the one-hour daily broadcasts from marquee Napa Valley Film Festival events will feature a who’s who in regional winemaking and culinary arts. Wine bloggers from around the United States will join the shows virtually to taste wines, post comments, and ask questions. TasteLive’s fully independent platform, which is integrated with Twitter, Facebook and other Social Media sites to provide extended “reach” across multiple networks, will push the content to the bloggers’ combined followers numbering in the tens-of-thousands.

Mutineer Magazine is proud to be a marketing sponsor for the inaugural Napa Valley Film Festival. For more information on the Napa Valley Film Festival, visit their website.

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Re-Cap: Indulgence and Deliciousness at LA’s The Taste


The Taste

Sometimes my fellow food bloggers and I roll our eyes and bemoan having to attend yet another extravagant dinner or indulgent food festival. Even while recognizing the enormous calorie counts and coma-inducing properties of cream, bacon, butter and simple carbohydrates (frequently coexisting in the same dish) friends and loved ones are completely appalled when those of us in the bite-it-n-write-it circles get bitchy about a free lunch.

If you are one of those people, don’t read this.

“But it was thirty hamburgers!” That was the most common complaint I heard about The Taste’s Burgers & Beer event, the kickoff to four days of indulgent wining and dining. A huge expanse of parking lot had been taken over behind the Beverly Hilton. Astroturf rolled out, tents erected, gleaming luxury cars (courtesy of Infiniti) were put on display in all their self-conscious opulence. And in that space, from September 2 – 5, The Taste took over – at least for some of the events.

“Thirty! That’s a lot of burgers.”

True. That is a lot of burgers (the number of restaurants was actually thirty-two; the crowd’s favorite burger was from Santa Monica’s Rustic Canyon). At the Taco Tequila Tryst event, spread out on the New York City backlot at Paramount Studios in Hollywood, there were a lot of tacos. And tequila, too.

But, then again, what else should one expect from events called Burgers & Beer and Taco Tequila Tryst? In their defense, the meat spanned the spectrum from beef to pork to sheep and goat and fish, and even the taco party was influenced by a host of different cultures.

See? Sometimes a taco is more than just a taco. Even when there are seventeen different purveyors, all distributing their goods (twenty-seven different tacos in all), wrapped up in a warm tortilla (or a large, circular slice of jicama – from both Taberna Mexicana and Red O).

There was a lot of wine at The Taste, too, but I didn’t hear as much complaining that the bulk of it appeared to be Cabernet Sauvignon (and most of that was poured at Saturday’s Secrets from the Kitchen & Cellar…although, given the name, that’s probably not much of a surprise). What was a surprise was that the wine of the day was actually poured by Ray’s and Stark Bar and it was a sparkling from Westport, Massachusetts: Westport Rivers 2006 Westport Brut “RJR.” Sommelier Paul Sanguinetti said a friend from the area had introduced him to it. Great sparkling from MA? That’s a secret worth sharing.

The Taste

Another secret from the cellar was that Chateau D’Esclans had all four of their Rosés on hand (Whispering Angel, Chateau d’Esclans, Les Clans and Garrus), and they were all gorgeous.

Back at Paramount, Street Eats (Sept 4) took it to…well…the street, with an assortment of finger foods from a variety of kitchens – including the wheeled kind. There were food trucks, a few dessert stalls and – cheese ‘n’ rice – more tacos. Despite feeling under the weather, I ended up going balls-out at this event: Two of my favorites were Great Balls On Tires’ Ballywood balls (garam masala chicken, coconut madras curry, crispy fried onions, tomato and cilantro chutneys, saffron basmati rice), and the tiny wheels of cream puff goodness from TiroVino wine bar. Pitfire Artisan Pizza got rave reviews from the crowd.

The Taste

Perhaps the most inventive of the events was DTLA’s Food Noir. Many of the festival’s previous vendors returned for the final night (Giada De Laurentiis hosted Picnic in the Hills the next afternoon to close the festival, for the second year in a row). Restaurants served everything from pan-seared sea scallops (The Raymond) and hand-sliced prosciutto (Terroni) to…more burgers (The Counter) and more tacos (Pinches).

The Taste

In addition to a great show by the LA local band Dengue Fever, The Orpheum showed clips of old black & white films to support the evening’s theme. That (and the cocktails (The Varnish, Mas Malo, Seven Grand) and the prosciutto…and the cocktails) were my favorite part of the evening.

Actually, Food Noir was probably my favorite part of the entire event (the cocktails: Caña Rum Bar, Las Perlas) certainly helped (but I hadn’t made it to Friday’s Art of Mixing, so that might’ve been a game changer). I also had to skip Fashion Bites Brunch and Desserts After Dark; although it probably would’ve been amazing to see Rodeo Drive closed off and lined with loaded tables of decadent treats…

But, then again, how many desserts can a blogger actually be expected to eat in a weekend? I mean, honestly.

Second Glass and Mutineer Magazine Present Wine Riot New York


Second Glass

Wine, food, seminars, and a ton of enthusiastic millenials being enthusiastic about wine is what Wine Riot is all about. Tomorrow Second Glass’ Wine Riot will take over Brooklyn, New York’s Skylight One Hanson for three sessions where novice and experiences winos alike will have the opportunity to learn about and enjoy wine like never has been done before in an environment where learning and having fun is emphasized through 20 minute wine crash course seminars, a mobile app designed specifically for the event, photoboots, live DJs and so much more.

If you are in New York, we hope to see you there.

WHO: Second Glass, Mutineer Magazine, and wine lovers.

WHAT: Wine Riot New York

WHERE: Skylight One Hanson
Former Williamsburgh Savings Bank, Brooklyn, NY

Opening Night: Friday, Sept. 23, 7-11 PM
Riot One: Saturday, Sept. 24, 1-5 PM
Riot Two: Saturday, Sept. 24, 7-11 PM

WHY: To party and learn about and explore wine.

COST: $60 per ticket for opening night, $50 per session. Get your tickets here.

To learn more about Wine Riot and our sponsorship, read more here.

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