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KENWOOD, SONOMA VALLEY, CA, November 10, 2006 – Pinot Noir is widely recognized as one of the most difficult grapes to grow and wines to make. To succeed with Pinot Noir, sometimes one has to take risks and that is exactly the approach Kenwood Vineyards took with its sumptuous new 2005 Russian River Valley Pinot. A little envelope-pushing – and a little luck – has produced a Pinot Noir of impressive fruit, depth and elegance.

Kenwood PinotPinot Noir expresses itself best in very cool vineyard locations, where the grapes mature slowly and have plenty of time on the vine to develop their unique combination of complex fruit and graceful texture. For Kenwood Vineyards, that cool vineyard location is Russian River Valley, Sonoma County’s most marine-influenced appellation. The downside of very cool vineyards comes during very cool growing seasons, when there is the real possibility that the grapes won’t ripen at all. The 2005 growing season was – in large measure – such a year, but instead of picking before full maturity, Kenwood winemaker Pat Henderson decided to wait. His patience was rewarded with warm, dry weather in September and October that matured the grapes beautifully, but a full month later than usual. Eleven months in seasoned French oak barrels added polish and delicate wood nuances to the 2005 Kenwood Pinot Noir’s full fruit.

The 2005 Kenwood Russian River Valley Pinot Noir displays forward aromas of fresh black raspberry, strawberry and just-picked rose, with subtle forest earth notes in the background. Black raspberry and strawberry also dominate the generous flavors, complemented by hints of spice. Deliciously soft and smooth on the palate, this Pinot Noir shows a bright beam of natural acidity that keeps the fruit front and center through the long, elegant finish. In this unusually bountiful vintage, 44,700 cases of 2005 Kenwood Vineyards Russian River Valley Pinot Noir were produced. It is available nationally at a suggested retail of $18.

Established in 1970 in the heart of the Sonoma Valley, Kenwood Vineyards handcrafts premium Sonoma County wines that showcase the excellence of its world class vineyards.

Chicago’s Finest Chefs Compete To Create
The Most Sumptuous Mathilde Dish

Chefs created sensational recipes with Mathilde Raspberry Liqueur and Mathilde XO Cognac Liqueur

Mathilde Liqueur, from the renowned house of Cognac Ferrand, recently sponsored a special contest for star Chicago Chefs. Those who accepted this culinary challenge were asked to create an innovative dish incorporating Mathilde Raspberry Liqueur and the exclusive Mathilde XO, a cognac based orange liqueur, as the main ingredients.

The contest created quite a stir in the gastronomic community, bringing out renowned Chefs from some of Chicago’s top restaurants. The culmination of the event was marked with a tasting of the dishes from desserts to entrees by a panel of judges. A few of the participating Chefs and the sweet treats they submitted include Martial Noguier, of One Sixty Blue, who presented Baba made with Mathilde XO, Kevin Provenzano, of Carlucci’s Rosemont, who presented a duo Chocolate Raspberry Mousse with Mathilde Raspberry, Antonio Bassotto, of Brazzas, who presented Ipanema Supreme Pave with Mathilde Peach, Chris Harvey, of Butter, who presented 24-hour Oranges with Mathilde XO and Brad Philips of Saltaus, who presented a Lemon tart and a Raspberry Salad made with Mathilde Raspberry. Chefs who doled out entree dishes include Maneet Chauhan, of Vermilion, who presented Shrimp with palms made with Mathilde XO, Kevin Shikami of Kevin, who presented poached Lobster with Mathilde XO and Grilled Sea Scallop with Mathilde Raspberry, Roxanne Spruance, of Stone Lotus, who presented Bay Scallops with Mathilde Pear, and the winner of the contest, Hiroshi Takaishi, of Bluewater Grill, who presented Maine Lobster Raspberry Mojito Rolls. Chef Takaishi won the judges over with the luscious lobster dish and earned himself a coveted bottle of Pierre Ferrand Cognac 1914, signed by co-owner of Cognac Ferrand, Alexandre Gabriel.

Each of the sensational dishes created with Mathilde Raspberry Liqueur and Mathilde XO are available on the menu of the participating Chef’s restaurant.

People Instead of Points:
The MyWinesDirect.com Home Tasting Party Kit

MyWinesDirect.com’s Home Tasting Party Kit helps consumers decipher what they like. Instead of using points, all you need are taste buds and opinions. Complete with 6 wines, a how-to guide, bottle wrappers and tasting mats, any holiday party can become a wine tasting, and any wine drinker can become a critic!

Intimidated by pretentious wine-speak? Not sure how to tell an 89 from a 91? Then use the MyWinesDirect.com way to taste wine. MyWinesDirect.com, a leading online destination for wines from undiscovered vineyards is proud to announce the arrival of the Home Tasting Party Kit. The Home Tasting Party Kit contains 3 red wines 3 white wines, a how-to guide, bottle wrappers and tasting mats, enough for 10 people to enjoy wine tasting.

Instead of relying solely on experts to select their wine, MyWinesDirect uses actual customers. Their selection process starts with an expert wine buyer who scours the world each month looking for great wines from small production wineries to sell on the site. Twenty-five winners are picked and their consumer tasting panels in New York and California made up of 10 people taste the contenders. Only top winners move on for sale on the site. After doing panels for over 2 years, the positive reactions from panelists spurred the Home Tasting Party idea.

“MyWinesDirect.com is excited to offer customers yet another way to learn about and discover wine,” said President and CEO Bryan Dougherty. “One doesn’t have to be an expert or connoisseur to throw a wine tasting party, and once they’ve tasted our wines, they can share comments and not feel intimidated. We want feedback, and with additions like the Home Tasting Party Kit, we hope to continue to find new ways to keep making wine simple and fun.”

Zen Martini


1 1/2 oz. Charbay Green Tea Vodka
1 oz. Junmai premium Sake
1 oz. Green tea
splash of simple syrup
squeeze lime
4 cucumber slices

In a shaker tin, muddle the cucumber slices well, then add ice, Green tea vodka, Sake, and green tea as well as the simple syrup and squeeze of lime. Shake well. Strain into chilled martini glass and garnish with a jagged slice of cucumber skin.

Serve and repeat!

Experience the fusion of hollywood glamour with european elegance.
So different. So LA.

From Michael Morgan
SimonLA Dining Room Manager
Sofitel Los Angeles


Cheese SticksJohn WM Macy's Cheese Sticks in a variety of tempting flavors. This is a perfect compliment to a good glass of wine. Pairing suggestions include:original cheddar-Merlot, Romano garlic-Valpolicella, Dijo Swiss-Chardonnay, Cheddar Scallion-Riesling, Tuscam Swiss-Red Burgundy, Melting Parmesan-Barbera, Asiago & Cheddar-Zinfandel, Melting Romano-Chianti Classico, White Onion-Beaujolais, Smoked Jalapeno-Shiraz, Sesame Gruyere-Pinot Grigio!

For information visit: www.cheesesticks.com.

© 2008 Bonnie Carroll, All Rights Reserved