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BITS AND PIECES FROM THE WINE RAGS

The April issue of Wine Enthusiast had an article describing the contributions that Kevin Zraly has made toward wine education through his Windows on the World Wine School.  As many of you know, the restaurant was destroyed on September 11, but fortunately Kevin Zraly survived.  He has resumed his courses at the Marriott Marquis in NYC.  It is not widely known that Wino Bob is a graduate of Kevinís esteemed wine courses.  However, the fact that few people are aware of that has to change.  Andrea Immer, a master sommelier and author and Dean of Wine Studies at the French Culinary Institute in New York (www.frenchculinary.com), was portrayed on the cover of the April Wine Enthusiast.  Wino Bob, where have your publicists been during this time?!    Publicists who are avid visitors to our site, please help Bob get the word out.  Heís probably Kevinís best and least known pupil!  By the way, Zraly is also credited with inventing the sliding scale of wine pricing for restaurants.  Simply put, the cheaper the wineís cost the higher the markup and the more expensive the wine, the lower the markup.  A bottle that costs the restaurant $10 may be marked up 300% whereas a bottle that costs $50 may only be marked up 200%.  The scale makes it more affordable for restaurants to offer wide varieties of wines at decent prices (or so they sayÖIíve been thinking about creating a list of wine price rip off restaurants to memorialize the greedy ones).

There are a number of big time wine tastings scheduled over the next few months.  Wine Spectator has several scheduled on both coasts and in Chicago.  The good thing about a Spec tasting is that many times its sister publication, Cigar Aficionado, has a cigar tasting the following evening in the same city.  Just the type of event that weíd like to cover here at Winostuff.com, so if thereís a chance for comp tickets, let us know.  Meanwhile, if any of you attend one of these and would like to provide journalistic material for winostuff, let us know and weíll see if we can get you journalistic credentials.  Itís not exactly wine-related, but Malt Advocate magazine is hosting its Whiskyfest across the country this year.  You can find out more info about the whiskey events at www.maltadvocate.com.  Another big event in the San Francisco Bay area is the Zap Zin Fest which hosted its 11th annual event in January.  For the first time, this event dedicated to anything but white zinfandel, is going on the road.  For more information, go to its web site at www.zinfandel.org.  For travelers, the Miami International Wine Fair (May 10-12) at www.miamiwinefair.com, Wine Enthusiast Toast of the Town in New York (May 13) at www.wineenthusiast.com/tot, Nantucket Wine Festival (May 13-19) at www.nantucketwinetasting.com, the London International Wine and Spirits Fair (May 21-23) at www.londonwinefair.com, the New Orleans Wine and Food Experience (May 22-26) at www.nowfe.com, Napa Valley Wine Auction (June 6-9) at www.napavintners.com, and Food and Wine Classic at Aspen (June 14-16) at 877-900-9463 look like interesting events to hit.

I knew that there were organizations that certified folks desiring to be sommeliers and colleges (U of California at Davis) that provided degrees in enology, but I was unaware of two organizations, The Society of Wine Educators (www.winegurus.com) and the Institute of Masters of Wine, that certify people who educate others on aspects of wine.  Certified Wine Educator (CWE) and Certified Wine Specialist (CWS) are two titles from the former organization.  The London-based IMW presides over the Master of Wine (MW) exam which is considered to be the most difficult and highest achievement in the world of wine appreciation (In 1999, 69 candidates took the test worldwide and only 6 passed).  Another entity that has certification classes is the British Wine and Spirit Education Trust (www.learnwine.com).  Their classes can be taken in various locations or self-taught at home.  An organization has been formed for Generation Xers to appreciation wine.  Called the WineBrats, membership in this organization is free and info is available at www.winebrats.org.  Then there are courses hosted in major cities across the country, some by local wine writers for the local newspaper.  I even found an online wine education site run by the fine wine director for a Baltimore-based liquor distributor, www.thewinekey.com.  Lisa Airey is the owner and director of education at this site.

Scuttlebutt has it that Angelbecks is the hottest wine retailer in New Jersey.  I guess the rest of the staff needs to research it and report back.  I donít know where it is, but its proprietor is a former Wall Streeter who purchased several major case lots at the February Napa Valley charity auction.

The April 30, 2002 Wine Spectator features New York City.  I donít live there, I donít work there, but I love to visit NYC and this article provides a lot of info on dining and wining.  There are also 1,000 wines rated in this issue as well.

The May 15, 2002 Wine Spectator features the major destinations in Italy.  If youíre headed there anytime soon, check this issue out.  You can always check out the Spec online as well (www.winespectator.com). 

 Wino Wally
April 26, 2002

 

 


 

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