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SIPS  .  .  .

Coast Wine Classic August 10 - 14

Wining and Dining at the Highest Level

Santa Barbara locations added to the venerable Central


The Central Coast Wine Classic is excited to announce major enhancements to its consistently comprehensive schedule as one of the most educational charity wine auction weeks in America. According to Central Coast Wine Classic Founder & Chairman, Archie McLaren, “Our array of culinary and wine symposia has been highly praised by our Wine Classic patrons over the years. We want to heighten our educational mission by embracing an even greater depth and breadth of edifying wine and cuisine related topics. In the process, the Wine Classic will be presented in an even broader array of special venues, including San Simeon, Paso Robles, Templeton, Santa Margarita, San Luis Obispo including the Edna Valley, Shell Beach, Avila Beach, Arroyo Grande, Santa Maria, Los Olivos, Buellton, Santa Ynez, Santa Barbara and Montecito, a far cry from when the original Wine Classic in 1985 took place over a single day.”

Founder & Chairman, Archie McLaren - Chef Michael Hutchins

The Wine Classic has evolved in so many ways from that single date in ’85 to this 31st edition which covers two counties, over five days with 19 events, including six symposia, in addition to making its’ debut in Santa Barbara with a dozen events planned. The center attraction, the auction, will be on the striking Bella Vista polo estate with views of the Pacific and Channel Islands. Wines from San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara County will be in some rare and expensive company as there will be wines from all the major wine growing regions of the world. In fact, Wine Spector rated this five-day event as on of the Top Ten Wine Classics.

Generosity is all embracing at the Wine Classic. Since 2004, when McLaren initiated the Central Coast Wine Classic Foundation it has been a patron to 125 arts centric non-profits in Santa Barbara and San Luis Obisbo Counties. Raising an incredible $2.5 million for these vital healing arts, studio arts and performing arts organizations.

In addition to wining and dining, this Wine Classic has some terrific symposiums lined up. This is a great opportunity to gain a greater appreciation of this ‘liquid of the gods’ by learning more about the grape and its varieties. From how it’s grown and in what soil; to the careful production steps each wine demands. Symposiums on Paso Robles Bordeaux Varietals, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, Australian Wines, Louis Roderer Champagne, and even Black River Caviar dot the landscape of choices. Pinot Noir gets two meetings on Friday August 12 in the afternoon: The Santa Barbara Wine Collective meets in the Funk Zone and the Central Coast Pinot Noir Symposium will be at the newly opened Santa Barbara Inn.

For details & reservations visit: www.centralcoastwineclassic.org



by Bonnie Carroll

Recapturing the spirit of the quintessential cocktail days in the 1800s, Maison Ferrand offers Pierre Ferrand Cognac 1840, a revival of the classic thee-star Cognac. Pierre Ferrand President Alexandre Gabriel, with help from cocktail historian David Wondrich have revived the historic Cognac that was launched in New Orleans in honor of their renowned cocktails during the heyday of the old Sazerac saloon and earlier to celebrate the Big Easy's Tales of the Cocktil, where it had it “official” first U.S. pour.

Jerry Thomas, author of the first bartender's guide, renowned technician Harry Johnson, Leo Engel, who brought American bar-tending to England, and William Schmidt favored Cognac-based Cocktails, Sours, Punches, Daisies and others. The Mint Julep was primarily a Cognac drink in the early days.

Tasting notes for Pierre Ferrand 1840 describe it as a fresh and floral, with darker tannic notes to blend well into a cocktail, punch or julep.

Cognac Pot Still

The grapes used for Cognac are from the “Golden Triangle” of the Grand Champagne region, an area that gives greater elegance and unparalleled mouth feel. Ferrand distills leaving skins, stems and some fleshy fruit which insuring both fine body and bouquet. Double distilling in tiny copper pot stills reduce harshness, and aging is done in Limousin oak, which allows lush grape character without an oak taste.

The region authorized to produce cognac is divided into six zones, including five crus broadly covering the department of Charente-Maritime, a large part of the department of Charente and a few areas in Duex-Sevres and the Dordogne. The six zones are: Grand Champagne, Petite Champagne, Borderlines, Fins Bois, BonBois and Bois Ordinaire. A blend of Grand and Petite Champagne Cognacs, with at least half coming from Grand Champagne, is known as Fine Champagne.

Cognac-producing regions should not be confused with the northeastern region of Champagne, a wine region that produces sparkling wine by that name, although they do share a common etymology – both being derivations of a French term for chalky soil.

Gastronomique blending is paramount:

Creating a match is what works. Not unlike tequila the lighter flavored go with lighter fare, and bolder cognac's work with richer dishes.

Textures are vital in perfect Cognac pairing, and seafood shines with cold Cognac's. Cold lobster, seafood and caviar come alive with a glass of Cognac. Try finding a dish that focuses on a note in the Cognac, such as Sea Scallops and Citrus notes of the Cognac will highlight the shellfish’s delicate freshness. The butter brings out the hazelnut in the Cognac. Ham, sausage and duck and pate dishes also blend well with Cognac. Beware of using spices that are to strong to avoid spoiling the Cognac.

The Pierre Ferrand Ambre Cocktail

Ambre Cocktail

Ingredients: Slice lime peel, 4 slices Fresh Ginger, 1.5 oz Pierre Ferrand Ambre Cognac, divided, 2 oz lemon flavored club soda (San Pellegrino Limonata), 1 slice cucumber peel. Serve in a glass tumbler.

Place the lime peel and ginger slices in a short tumbler. Add half of the cognac. Lightly press the lime and ginger 2 or 3 times using a muddler or the back of a spoon. Fill the glass halfway with ice. Stir for 5 seconds. Add the remaining cognac, club soda and cucumber peel. Stir for another 5 seconds.

Maison Ferrand Mathilde Liquers

Fruit flavored liquers. The result of a more than 100-year-old French recipe. It comes in five flavors, poire, casis, franbois, peche and orange. with champagne or prosecco make a sophisticated paring for light brunch plates or fruit and cheese dishes. This combination is ideal with quiche or eggs Benedict. Flavored Cognac's also are wonderful with sweet chocolate dessert endings, and don't forget to include a Cognac coffee drink.

Matilda Flavored Liquer Champagne Cocktail Recipe

Ingredients: .75 oz lemon juice, .75 oz simple syrup, 1.5 oz Frambois Cognac Liquor, 1 oz Champagne, Garnish with a raspberry or long ribbon lemon peel. Serve in a champagne flute. Add all ingredients except champagne to shaker filled with ice. Shake well and strain into champagne flute. Top wih chamagne and garnish choice.

Additional popular Cognac-based favorites include:




During my trip to Thailand I found the most popular drink at the 2014 Thailand Happiness Expo in Bangkok was the spirit of Thailand created by Mekhong. The THAI SABAI cocktail was being served by makers of Mekhong company, and enjoyed by guests from around the world, who were attending the prestigious international event.

Mekhong, a whiskey that tastes more like rum, was created in 1941 to compete with popular whiskey products from the West that were available in Thailand, and is considered the official spirit of Thailand. Below please find the recipe for Thai Sabai to create your own Thai spirit experience. Cheers!



45 ml. Mekhong

25 ml squeezed lime

30 ml. Sugar syrup (1 water – 1 sugar)

4-5 sweet basil leaves

Splash Soda


Tear basil leaves and put in blender

Blend or shake all ingredients except soda

Double strain and pour in glass on ice and soda

Garnish with basil & lime



Chef Kaori Endo (far left) and her husband Michael Lemasle
opened just in time for the start of men’s fashion shows (and soon, couture) in Paris, the two-month-old restaurant Le Petit Keller offers a fresh perspective on healthy cuisine. The Japanese menu was designed by Kaori Endo, who was a chef at Rose Carrarini’s Rose Bakery in the late aughts before launching Nanashi in 2010, a Parisian bento empire that drew in an equally fashionable crowd for its wholesome bentos and delicate desserts. And Endo co-owns Le Petit Keller with her husband, the wine shop owner Michael Lemasle, who curated the restaurant’s list of small-production, natural French bottles.

Endo explains that the kind of winemakers they support “extract something interesting and alive” from the land and the natural environment. “I like to cook like that, too,” she says. “I like to stay very simple.” In the gently refurbished space on rue Keller, plates include mackerel donburi sprinkled with bluebottle flowers, cucumbers beside a miso mayo dip and shittake mushrooms marinated in syrah vinegar. Meats, like tender beef nerves or roasted lamb shoulder, are plated to share and play a mostly supporting role to the vegetables. “I think of cuisine first as something beneficial, not as a method of explaining one’s art or one’s ego,” Endo says. “I think always of the person who’s eating, and I’d like it to do him or her well.” It’s a sentiment shared by her husband: “I like wines that are simple and digestible, which work well with Kaori’s cuisine,” he says.

In the 13 years since opening his cramped wine shop Crus & Découvertes, Lemasle has seen steadily growing interest in the additive-free, unfiltered, low-sulfur wines he began to champion in the early 2000s. He rarely has to explain what natural wine is anymore. At Le Petit Keller, his more than 40 selections — all sourced directly from the winemakers — are as light as Endo’s simple, French-inflected Japanese home cooking.


A diploma for wine industry professions at Le Cordon Bleu Paris

Le Cordon Bleu, the leading Global Network of Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management Institutes, presents the Art, Science & Management du Vin Diploma.


Le Cordon Bleu, the leading Global Network of Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management Institutes, presents the Art, Science & Management du Vin Diploma. This programme enables a passion for the wine industry to be turned into a profession, and trains the managers, sommeliers, consultants and entrepreneurs of the future.
During a 10 month period, students acquire the techniques, rigour, aptitudes and network which are necessary for a career in the wine sector, thanks to intensive theory and practical training:
-        Theory: this programme enables the student to develop the skills necessary to assess the quality of a wine, in-depth knowledge of viticulture and vineyards, managerial and financial expertise, an informed understanding of sector trends and also to discover and make food and wine pairings.
-        Practical: the student’s educational training also includes 4 vineyard visits, numerous opportunities to meet professionals and 3 work placements with career prospects:
  • 2 weeks in a viticultural business during the grape-harvesting period
  • 6 weeks in a company in the wine sector to give students a taste of the professional world
  • 8 weeks of integration into the professional world at the end of the programme
This Le Cordon Bleu training programme is aimed at both inquisitive amateurs and true connoisseurs. Amongst the students following the programme, Le Cordon Bleu welcomes a number of individuals carrying out professional retraining.
For example, after 25 years as an employee in the pharmaceutical industry, Stéphane Lecenes - Art, Science & Management du Vin Diploma 2014 alumnus – recently opened La Cave à Riton, in Vauréal (95). He states: “Today in my business I am reaping the rewards of the programme and using everything I learnt in the different modules, such as marketing, sales, communication, finance, etc. as well as a thorough understanding of vineyards, tasting techniques and food and wine pairing”.
The next Art, Science & Management du Vin Diploma intake is on 12 September 2016, and will take place at the institute’s new campus. Le Cordon Bleu Paris, which will be located alongside the river Seine from June 2016, provides the perfect innovative learning environment in which to study for a future career in the fields of gastronomy, hospitality, tourism and wine.
To discover all Hospitality Management programmes at Le Cordon Bleu Paris, click on the following link: https://youtu.be/iJBkqCSVLsw
Practical information:
Applications will be examined by the admissions jury who will interview the short-listed candidates.
Further information about the open houses: https://www.cordonbleu.edu/paris/journees-portes-ouvertes/en
Interview with Wine Department Manager Franck Ramage about the programme: http://www.cordonbleu.edu/news/reasons-to-choose-wine-management-programme/en
About Le Cordon Bleu International
With more than 120 years of teaching experience, Le Cordon Bleu is the leading Global Network of Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management Institutes, training 20 000 students of more than 100 nationalities every year. Le Cordon Bleu offers a range of widely-recognized training programmes in the fields of gastronomy, wine, hospitality and tourism, from initiation in culinary techniques through to MBA.


For the second year running, California’s largest travelling beer festival is expanding to two days at the beautiful Frank G. Bonelli Park in San Dimas. California Beer Festival will showcase over 80 ice-cold craft beers on tap, live musical performances, fleets of food trucks and more!
This exciting two-day festival celebrates the best microbrews in California and will feature fun, sun and suds. While Saturday is known as “Craft Beer Heaven” for its wide array of craft beers samples, Sunday is designated as “Sunday Funday”, a family-friendly outdoor event where attendees are invited to pull up blankets, umbrellas and chairs as they enjoy mouthwatering food and electrifying performances from a dynamic musical lineup to be announced.
Date:                     Saturday and Sunday, September 10-11, 2016
Saturday:              12:30-5:00 PM
Sunday:                11:30 AM-6:00 PM
Location:                Frank G. Bonelli Park
                              120 Via Verde
                              San Dimas, CA 91773

Tickets are available for purchase online now. Tickets will also be sold at the door while supplies last. Saturday tickets range from $25 to $40 and Sunday tickets are $10. A two-day VIP pass comes with early admission, an exclusive Saturday tasting, and food/souvenir freebies at $70. Individuals must be 21 years of age or older with a valid ID to enter the California Beer Festival on Saturday and to consume alcohol.
For more information, please visit the California Beer Festival website.



A Perfect Compliment To Cocktail Time

Either for divine cocktail olives or take along snacks GAEA Olives are simply delicious. To include in a perfect martini or enjoy with hors d'oeuvre these 'grown with love' olives bring a new and exciting taste sensation. Visit Www.Gaea.com for locations near you.



Enjoy a Messhall Kitchen Olympic Cup cocktail while  you watch the Olympics from August 5-21. Bar director bar Austin Mendez, has created this delicious cocktail celebrating the host country of Brazil.  The drink is made with Cachaça (also known as aguardente), the most popular distilled spirit in Brazil (distilled from sugarcane juice) and also has muddled lime & cucumber, sugar and is garnished with a pinch of sea salt!  Messhall Kitchen, 4500 Los Feliz Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90027.

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© 2008 Bonnie Carroll, All Rights Reserved