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Murphys, Mutineers and Mineral


Mutineer Magazine Staff Retreat 2011

A couple of weeks ago our motley crew of Mutineers from Washington to Virginia descended upon Murphys, California for the first annual Mutineer Magazine Staff Retreat. We tasted wine, played bocce and strengthened bonds over long meals and forty-two year old Scotch. It was a great weekend and I am excited to share some of it here with you.

Mutineer Magazine Staff Retreat 2011

Raising a glass at the Tanner Vineyards Tasting Room. The Syrah and Viognier here were just lovely, though a little dangerous on my empty stomach.

Mutineer Magazine Staff Retreat 2011

The historic Murphy’s Hotel.

Mutineer Magazine Staff Retreat 2011

Mutineers Brian, Julie and Ryan getting their bocce on.

Mutineer Magazine Staff Retreat 2011

Ashley Teplin of Media-ANT doing her part to secure victory for the women’s team. She also makes a mean pan of shiitake laced breakfast potatoes.

Mutineer Magazine Staff Retreat 2011

Mutineers walking the trail to Natural Bridges just outside of Murphys, California.

Mutineer Magazine Staff Retreat 2011

Friend of Mutineer Corbie and Mutineer design wizard Julie looking for creatures.

Mineral Restaurant

The Aphrodisiac cocktail, an intoxicating blend of sparkling wine, hibiscus, coriander, anise and ginger from Mineral.

Some fellow Mutineers have been living in Murphys since last September. If I’ve heard about one thing since they arrived, it has been the vegatarian restaurant Mineral. The thing that intrigued me about this restaurant is that only one of the guys is vegetarian and yet, they all rave about it. I knew that if a group of bacon loving young men loved this place, than it must be somewhere worth checking out. On our last day in Murphys, my Editor in Chief Alan set up lunch for me, Phil our designer Julie and her boyfriend Ryan. I have to tell you, that this is one of the best meals I have ever had the pleasure to sit down to.

Also, this is not a review, simply an account of one incredible lunch.

Mineral Restaurant

The Cherry Bombs were my second favorite dish of the meal. I can’t find a proper description, but as far as I could tell it is chile and cheese that has been battered, fried, topped with a cherry and served with balsamic jam. That description seems too simple. I feel like something as vibrant and exciting as this was deserves to be written about with neon and punctuated with sparklers.

Mineral Restaurant

The cheese and cracker plate consisted of delicious thin toasts served with Bellwether Farms Crescenza, olive oil and olive dust. It was creamy with lovely bitter olive notes and the toasts had a pleasing snap.

Mineral Restaurant

This Kumquat Sparkler was just delicious. I wish I knew what was in it, because I think I’d like to make it at home.

Mineral Restaurant See the full post »

From The Barrel: A Firestone Walker Fairy Tale


Firestone Walker From The Barrel

Once upon a time, in a land known as Paso Robles, there was a little craft brewery called Firestone Walker. They made beer. And by making beer, they made people happy.

One day, in addition to making beer, Firestone Walker also made a decision. They decided to throw a party –  a party celebrating some of the best barrel-aged brews coming out of California. This made people really happy.

So on Friday, April 8, Ballast Point, Russian River, The Bruery, New Belgium, Stone and Lost Abbey all converged on Historic Santa Margarita Ranch, and poured their finest for the people. Rich and malty, frothy cups of barrel-aged bliss.

No one expected the 32 degree nighttime lows, so there was rejoicing throughout the land at the abundance of bourbon. Oh, the bourbon. Buffalo Trace, Eagle Rare, Makers Mark, Jim Beam, Woodford Reserve, Knob Creek, Blanton’s. A delicious spread of barrel-aged, 51% corn goodness.

Party-goers were also treated to Paso port wines from Roxo Cellars, Cass Winery, Paso Port, EOS, Eberle and Le Vigne. A selection of cigars was available for purchase, to really help revelers feel like royalty.

And then there was food. Artisan, Mee Heng Low Noodle House, The Grill at Avila Beach Resort, Novo, Buona Tavola.

It was like a dream come true.

And we lived happily ever after (at least ’til the morning hangovers kicked in…).

Comments Off on From The Barrel: A Firestone Walker Fairy Tale 05.06.2011 |

Think Outside the Box With Bagged Wine


Indulge Wine

The whole Mutineer crew are pretty big advocates for sustainability and making environmentally sound choices when possible. Our Issue #16 of Mutineer is testament to this as nearly the entire issue was focused around Earth day with sustainability in mind pertaining to all aspects of the beverage industry. This brings me to bagged wine. We have seen boxed wine. We have seen wines such as FLASQ that comes in cans. We have even seen wine that comes in a keg, as seen with MAS Wine Company. We’ve even seen wine coming in small juice like boxes. Now, we have Indulge Wine which features a large Capri Sun (beverage, yeah!) type pouch that holds the equivalent of two bottles of wine. Some people might be turned off from wine not coming in a traditional bottle and they might think this is just Franzia in different packaging, but what Indulge is offering is premium world class wine in environmentally friendly packaging and that’s something we can get on board with pretty easily.

What are some of the pros of Indulge Wine? Compared to bottled and boxed wine, it has the:

  • Lowest carbon footprint
  • Highest wine to packaging ratio
  • Lowest transportation cost
  • Lowest landfill pressure by weight
  • Lowest energy input to chill

And on top of this, it stays fresh once opened for up to 30 days as air isn’t introduced to the 2009 Pinot Noir Central Coast or the 2009 Sauvignon Blanc North Coast inside.

I personally haven’t had the opportunity to try Indulge Wine, but I look forward to the opportunity and innovating ideas such as this excite me.

2 comments 05.02.2011 |

King Estate Winery and Oregon Farms Need Your Support


After King Estate Winery was attacked by Goal One Coalition for the approval to operate their full-service restaurant and host special events, King Estate decided it was time to find a permanent solution to allow their restaurant and winery to co-exist. With this came the creation of House Bill 3280 and Senate Bill 829, sponsored by local representatives, Representative Paul Holvey and Senator Floyd Prozanski. Here is a letter from Mr. Ed King, founder of King Estate Winery that we would like to share with you about House Bill 3280 and Senate Bill 829. At the end, if you agree with Mr. King there is a link to a petition that you can sign to show your support.

Dear Friends,

My family’s winery has been involved in a lengthy and ongoing appeals process to maintain the special use permit that allows us to operate the restaurant on our property. With so much uncertainty, we have decided to seek a permanent solution for our winery and other landmark wineries through House Bill
3280 and Senate Bill 829, sponsored by our local representatives, Representative Paul Holvey and Senator Floyd Prozanski.

Our restaurant features organic produce grown right here on the property and also showcases the agricultural products of other local farms grown with great care right here in our community. We try our best to source as much of our meats and produce as close to our property as possible and we have developed wonderful relationships with many farms and ranches here in Lane County and around Oregon. For many of these small farms and ranches we are their largest customer and provide them with a venue to promote their products here in their own backyard.

First-class wine deserves to be paired with first-class food. I’ve always believed this and I’ve found it true the world over. Our winery is special, but its business model is similar to the other major wineries around the world. Internationally and throughout California and Washington, wineries are paired with high-end rural restaurants.

Oregon is in a global competition for wine tourism and we have a real opportunity to rise to the top. We compete for global tourists with Napa Valley, Bordeaux, Champagne, and Tuscany. We know that our wine, Oregon’s breathtaking countryside and our local foods offer an experience that few can match. We believe our winery and restaurant, are a platform and showcase for Oregon agriculture.

I am asking for your support for House Bill 3280 & Senate Bill 829 which will allow my winery and restaurant to co-exist. Please sign this petition and add your name to a list of supporters of HB 3280 and SB 829. We are not only fighting for the restaurant, but for the local farmers who supply our food and the jobs of our restaurant employees.

Thank you for your support.
Ed King

To show your support of King Estate Winery, House Bill 3280 and Senate Bill 829, and to local farmers in Lane County, Oregon, please sign this petition.

Comments Off on King Estate Winery and Oregon Farms Need Your Support 04.26.2011 |

Jess Stonestreet Jackson February 18, 1930 – April 21, 2011


Jess Stonestreet Jackson

Jess Stonestreet Jackson, visionary winemaker noted for popularizing Chardonnay with his Kendall-Jackson Winery and one of the most successful independent winery owners in the world, died today at his home in Geyserville, California. He was 81.

The cause was complications from cancer said Caroline Shaw, Chief Communications Officer at Jackson’s company, Jackson Family Wines.

Known for his fearless, iconoclastic approach to business, Jackson became one of the world’s most successful self-made men by taking chances in businesses that were anything but a sure thing; first by selecting grapes from the best vineyards in California and turning them into a small bottling of Kendall-Jackson Vintner’s Reserve that soon became the most popular Chardonnay in America, and later when he purchased two racehorses that are among the most lauded thoroughbreds in decades.

A one-time longshoreman and police officer who put himself through University of California Berkeley’s Boalt Hall School of Law, Jackson became one of the best-known figures in American viticulture, as Kendall-Jackson became the best-selling Chardonnay in America for over two decades. He went on to found Jackson Family Wines, a winery holding company that, in addition to Kendall-Jackson Wine Estates, owns and operates more than 35 individual wineries located around the world.

Raised in San Francisco during the Great Depression, Jackson worked as a farmer, policeman, and later as a land-use attorney. The law firm he founded went on to argue several cases before the Supreme Court. He started the Kendall-Jackson wine business with the family’s 1974 purchase of an 80-acre pear and walnut orchard in Lakeport, California that he converted to a vineyard. In 1982, he produced his first bottle of wine under the Kendall-Jackson label. This decidedly unique Chardonnay was an instant hit with consumers. In 1983 the wine won the first double Platinum Award ever presented by the American Wine Competition.

Jackson’s vision and outspoken manner often ran counter to conventional industry practices. When he realized that the quality of the French oak barrels used to age his wine was inconsistent, he invested in his own mill in France to provide barrel staves, and became a partner in a cooperage located in Missouri. He created his own California distribution company to remain free of industry consolidation there. He was a leader in the sustainable farming movement within the wine industry, implementing dozens of environmentally-friendly farming innovations throughout the vineyards of Jackson Family Wines. As a philanthropist, he and his wife Barbara Banke quietly donated millions of dollars in support of local and national charitable organizations. Jackson was a founding member of Family Winemakers of California.

In 2009, Jackson was inducted into the Vintners Hall of Fame. At that time he remarked, “Wine is entirely different from liquor and beer, and I’d like to see our industry free itself from the images that are used to sell those products. Wine is a part of our cultural heritage. It has always been the traditional partner with food. Wine celebrates friends, family, and love — all of the best things in life.

“When my family and I founded Kendall-Jackson in 1982, we simply wanted to create extraordinary wine from California’s best vineyards,” Jackson wrote in his biographical notes. “We grow grapes on our own 14,000 acres of California coastal vineyards. We take the no-compromise, high road approach to quality required to grow our world-class grapes and produce acclaimed award-winning wines.

“From day one we have been a family-owned and family-run business. It is a distinction that is rapidly becoming a rarity in our industry. Our family culture is built on the time-honored principles of hard work, integrity, and uncompromising desire for quality and the long-term stewardship of the land.”

Among the wines made in the Jackson Family collection are Kendall-Jackson Wine Estates, Cambria, Stonestreet, Edmeades, La Crema, Cardinale, Lokoya, Hartford Family Winery, Vérité, Atalon, Carmel Road, Murphy-Goode, La Jota, Freemark Abbey, Bryon Estates, Arrowood in the United States; Chateau Lassegue in France; Tenuta di Arceno in Italy; Yangarra in Australia; and Calina in Chile. Jackson Family Wines is one of California’s few remaining family-owned winery groups, with family members working full-time in a variety of positions.

In recent years, Jackson’s passion for farming and horses led him into horse breeding and racing. In 2007, he became majority stakeholder in the racehorse Curlin who then won Horse of the Year for two consecutive years. The following year, Jackson’s filly, Rachel Alexandra was the first filly to win the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico in 85 years. Rachel Alexandra also won 2009 Horse of the Year. An outspoken leader in the reform of racing, Jackson won the Sportsman of the Year 2008 Insider Award.

He is survived by his wife, Barbara Banke; five children, Jennifer Hartford, Laura Giron, Katie Jackson, Julia Jackson and Christopher Jackson; and two grandchildren Hailey Hartford and MacLean Hartford.

Comments Off on Jess Stonestreet Jackson February 18, 1930 – April 21, 2011 04.21.2011 |

Bill 10 Passes Through House in Georgia, One Step Closer to Sunday Alcohol Sales


As we reported back in February with “Could Georgia See Sunday Alcohol Sales” …. well, the answer is YES! Bill 10 just passed through the House with a vote of 127-44 after passing through the Senate last month where it had failed to hold up for the last 5 years. All that is left is for Governor Nathan Deal to sign it into law and he has already indicated that he would sign it if it passed. The bill has faced intense opposition in the past from not only religious groups, but from teetotaler and former governor of Georgia Sonny Perdue who threatened to use his veto power against it. The current governor, Governor Deal has stated that while he doesn’t drink, he believes in democracy and that it should be up to the people to decide if they want alcohol available in their communities on Sundays.

Bill 10 in itself doesn’t make off-premise Sunday alcohol sales legal, rather it leaves it up to local Georgia communities to decide whether they should be allowed. Also important noting, alcohol is currently sold in restaurants and bars on Sundays … meaning that if people want to go out and drink and possibly overindulge (which we at Mutineer do not encourage or condone), they aren’t allowed to do so in the safety and privacy of their home unless they purchase it the day before. To me, that is very important. Religious groups and even politicians who oppose Bill 10 claim that it will “encourage and promote greater alcohol availability” according to Representative Randy Nix which, in my opinion, isn’t true. If you’re an alcoholic and have lived in Georgia all of your life, I think it’s safe to assume you know there are 6 other days of the week where they can buy all the alcohol they want or they can go to their local sports bar on Sunday and get plastered.

Of course, with religious groups such as the Georgia Christian Coalition losing their cause, they have planned to find the referendum on a local level.

To Georgians everywhere, welcome to the 21st century and congratulations on being treated like adults.

“We are out of the dark ages” said Representative Joe Heckstall and we agree.

Comments Off on Bill 10 Passes Through House in Georgia, One Step Closer to Sunday Alcohol Sales 04.14.2011 |

2011 Winners of the 11th Annual Finger Lakes International Wine Competition


2011 Winners Announced for the 11th Annual Finger Lakes International Wine Competition
The Largest Charitable Wine Competition in North America Celebrates Record Turnout

11th Annual Finger Lakes International Wine Competition

Best-in-class winners photo below: from left, Chardonnay, Riesling, Cabernet, Icewine

ROCHESTER, N.Y., Wednesday, March 30, 2011 – A total of 3,298 wines from 788 wineries, 19 countries, 6 Canadian provinces, and all 50 states entered to compete for awards in the 11th Annual Finger Lakes International Wine Competition (FLIWC) – the most wines entered to-date in the history of this competition.

“The Finger Lakes International Wine Competition is the largest wine competition in the world supporting a single charity,” said event founder, Peter Parts. “This year, we reached a milestone in entries. If you put all the wine that was sent in for this competition end-to-end, it would extend more than 2 and a half miles. This is the best turnout we have received to-date and what’s more is all proceeds benefit Camp Good Days & Special Times — more support to people who need it most.”

Sixty renowned national and international judges from 15 countries participated in the two-day competition March 26 and 27, which took place in Rochester, N.Y., about 45 minutes from the heart of Upstate New York’s Finger Lakes wine region. David G. Male, of Buffalo, N.Y., certified international judge, served as the competition chairman. Ron Dougherty of Rochester, N.Y., was the Assistant Competition Chairman.

The judges awarded 76 Double Gold, 261 Gold, 1,028 Silver and 1,326 Bronze medals. Special award categories include: the John Rose Award for the best in class Riesling and the Crystal Grape Award for the best in class Icewine. Awards are also given for the highest-scoring Double Gold Chardonnay and for the highest-scoring Double Gold Cabernet Sauvignon.

The highest honors were awarded to:

JOHN ROSE AWARD: Zugibe 2009 Finger Lakes Late Harvest Riesling
CRYSTAL GRAPE AWARD: Vignoble Riviére du Chêne, 2009 Monde Vidal
BEST CABERNET: J. Lohr 2007 Hilltop Cabernet Sauvignon
BEST CHARDONNAY: Santa Barbara Winery 2008 Chardonnay

A complete list of the 2011 medal winners is listed on www.fliwc.com.

The event culminates with the Annual Camp Good Days Wine Auction & Dinner on Saturday, May 7, at the Rochester Plaza, Rochester, N.Y. The largest medal winning wine dinner and wine auction in Rochester’s history features 250 Double Gold, Gold and Silver Medal winners of the competition from around the world. In addition, 60 live auction lots and more than 200 silent auction lots include FLIWC medal winning wines, plus rare wines from private collections, and other fabulous items.

The beneficiary of the event, Camp Good Days and Special Times, is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for children and families all over the world, whose lives have been touched by cancer and other life-threatening challenges. Located in the heart of New York State’s Finger Lakes wine country, the Camp offers residential programs, year-round activities, and events for adults and children.

“Out of 33 major commercial wine competitions in North America, this is the second-largest,” said Parts. “But, the best part is, from the money we raised last year over 350 kids were able to go to Camp Good Days & Special Times free of charge.”

Comments Off on 2011 Winners of the 11th Annual Finger Lakes International Wine Competition 04.13.2011 |

America The Most Wine Consuming Country


Red Wine

Myth: The French consume more wine than anyone else in the world.

Fact: In 2010, the French consumed 321 million cases of wine all the while Team America drunk 330 million cases of wine.

This could be attributed to a number of reasons, according to Time.com:

“Wine consulting firm Gomberg, Fredrikson & Associates chalked up the increase to a shift in Americans’ tastes. Are we acquiring an air of sophistication? It could be explained by a simple generational shift in the U.S. As Generation Y – the Millenials – comes of age, they are turning to the complexity of wine when looking for a tipple.

And in a recession, wine provides a solid bang-for-the-buck. The proof is in the numbers: the average American drinks three gallons of wine a year, a huge spike from one gallon per person in 1970.

Of course, there’s the obvious population disparity between the two nations. And Frenchmen (and women) outdrink Americans on an individual level: the average French wine lover downs 5 bottles for every one by an American. But the numbers don’t lie: the French have been upended as the world’s largest wine consumers.”

America, #@&$ yea!

4 comments 04.11.2011 |

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