Browsing articles tagged with " wine festivals"
Mar 22, 2015
Terri Judson

Red Hook zoning board to discuss Greig Farm Inn and eatery plan



RED HOOK Town Zoning Board of Appeals members will meet to discuss whether Greig Farm is seeking an area variance or special use permit in its request to convert a barn to a 14-room inn and 80-seat restaurant.

The session is scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday in Town Hall at 7340 South Broadway.

“Some of it might be attorney-client session,” board Chairman Nick Annas said.

“We’ll come out of that session and the objective of the meeting is to determine whether or not the board wants to change that area variance,” he said. “In all due respect to the applicant we want to tell him what it is we want him to do, what information we want him to get us.

“We don’t want him to come before the board and present him with another hoop to jump through.”

Owner Norman Greig filed the request for a variance because the town limits the number of special permitted uses to one, with the farm already approved for an airplane landing strip.

He is also is seeking to have access through Pitcher Lane instead of a state road and the 80 seats requested exceeds the town limit by 30 seats.

Approval for variance request was granted earlier this year but zoning board members rescinded their 4-2 decision after agreeing with opponents that state Environmental Quality Review Act requirements were not followed.

A public hearing on the new application has been recessed until 7 p.m. April 8 in Town Hall.

“The procedures weren’t done correctly and we didn’t file a SEQR,” Annas said. “As a consequence the adjacent neighbors who were fighting this filed an Article 78 petition and we read that and agreed with it.

“What we’ve done is reopen the hearings and now to file the SEQR form we’re asking for far more detail.”

Concerns have also been raised about the inn and restaurant because it will add to a list of activities on the 93-acres farm. Resident Linda Keeling in a March 11 letter submitted for the public hearing contends that the property is receiving tax break for being farmland but hosts numerous commercial activities.

“The property is designated farmland first … yet it presently houses various commercial ventures (such as an) air strip, nursery, greenhouses, Halloween scare events, hot air balloon and wine festivals, and apartment rental units,” she wrote.

Keeling added that Greig Farm has a history of opening new businesses or changing land use before receiving town approvals.

“The farmers market was in operation prior to being given the officials site plan approval by the Planning Board,” she wrote. “I had to attend meetings and give supporting documentation of the problems encountered.”

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Mar 20, 2015
Terri Judson

Wine geeks get their own Con – U

Put away the lightsabers and break out the decanters: Wine geeks are getting their own Con.

SommCon, an educational summit and expo for wine professionals, is being launched this fall with the aim of establishing San Diego — already known for comics and craft brew — as a hub for oenophilic expertise.

The confab will bring together a blend of nationally known industry names and a cluster of some of the buzziest local rising stars for four days of training, seminars, lectures, speed dating-style blind tastings and lots and lots of spitting.

The event, which will be open to sommeliers of all levels, restaurant and hotel beverage directors, winemakers, retailers, importers, distributors and wine enthusiasts willing to pay to taste and learn along with the pros, will be held Nov. 18-21 at downtown San Diego’s Manchester Grand Hyatt.

From 200 to 300 attendees are expected, and the inaugural con will draw primarily from San Diego, as well as Orange County, Los Angeles and Santa Barbara, organizers said.

SommCon will send a strong signal that San Diego is harvesting major wine cred, said Brian Donegan, an advanced sommelier and one of the event’s advisers.

“It’s more about what San Diego is bringing to the table,” said Donegan, who works in retail and wine education with the local companies My Cellar Master and Truly Fine Wine.

“There’s an amazing talent pool of knowledgeable wine and beverage people in this city, and it’s only getting stronger and stronger. I think (SommCon) will bring a lot of people here and put San Diego on the map as a wine and education hub.”

Though there are wine festivals, competitions and trade expos all over the globe and a dizzying number of educational programs affiliated with various certification exams, SommCon’s comprehensive approach — encompassing everything from one-on-one tastings with master sommeliers to customized career development tracks and in-depth explorations of specific grapes or regions — makes it a unique entry on the professional wine scene. A somewhat similar industry confab is the annual TexSom, held outside of Dallas, though its main focus is a wine competition.

SommCon will be held in conjunction with the popular San Diego Bay Wine Food Festival, which attracts close to 10,000 people for a week’s worth of dining and drinking. The festival’s massive Grand Tasting — last year’s featured 70 chefs, 150 wine and spirits purveyors, 30 gourmet food companies, a Chef of the Fest competition, live entertainment and cooking demos — will serve as the closing event of SommCon.

For the wine pros attending SommCon, including master sommeliers, masters of wine, sommelier candidates, Wine Spirit Education Trust certificate holders, Certified Specialists of Wine and Certified Wine Educators, the three days before the festival will be decidedly more intimate and scholarly.

“What they did was think beyond the traditional wine festival idea,” said Joe Spellman, a Chicago-based SommCon adviser and master sommelier, considered to be the most prestigious title in the wine industry.

“Southern California is such a broad market for consuming great wine, and the opportunity to be educated by master sommeliers, to develop your palate, to develop service techniques … would be of great value to the local trade.”

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Mar 19, 2015
Terri Judson

Wine dinner kicks off Sugar Land food festival

“La Dolce Vita” wine dinner, which kicks off the five-day Sugar Land Wine Food Affair, will be 6:30-9:30 p.m. April 8 at the Sugar Land Marriott Town Square. The five-course meal will be a collaboration of the chefs of Coppa Osteria, Cavour, Arcodoro, Quattro and Radio Milano Each course will be paired with Banfi wines. Cost of the dinner is $150.

Among the other festivities at the 12th annual Wine Food Affair are the casual Sip Stroll, a high-energy Bartender Challenger and the Grand Tasting.

Find event details and tickets at sugarlandwineandfoodaffair.com.

Wine festivals

The wines of Argentina and Chile will be in the spotlight at the International Wine Festival 1-4 p.m. April 11 on the Kemah Boardwalk, 215 Kipp in Kemah. Festivalgoers will be able to sample more than 40 wines, along with appetizers. Tickets are $45 at the door or purchase online at kemahwine.com.

Sample wines from more than 25 wineries and enjoy small bites by Grotto, McCormick Schmick’s and Vic Anthony’s at Brenner’s Wine Fest 3-6 p.m. April 11. The outdoor event is held on the grounds of Brenner’s on the Bayou, 1 Birdsall. Advance tickets are $65; $75 at the door. A VIP ticket that includes early entry and premium wines is $125. Purchase tickets at brennersfest.com.

Openings

Pollo Tropical will mark the grand opening of its fifth Houston-area store 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Friday. The event will include giveaways, games and calypso music. The Miami-based chain specializes in flame-grilled chicken and Caribbean-inspired sides, such as red beans with ham, corn souffle and balsamic tomatoes. 13347 Westheimer, 281-920-9121

Dish Society has opened a second location in the Katy retail complex LaCenterra at Cinco Ranch. The restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner and features a full bar. The seasonal menu includes items such as roasted beet salad, brisket-stuffed sweet potato and chicken pot pie. 23501 Cinco Ranch Blvd., Katy, 281-394-7555.

Harris County Smokehouse is set to open its new store Thursday along the Northwest Freeway. The restaurant replaces their 20-year-old smokehouse located less than a mile away on FM 1960. That location was abandoned because of highway expansion. 19811 U.S. 290, 281-890-5735

Grafittis at Union Street has opened in the historical Sixth Ward. The burger joint is decorated in colorful Americana murals. There’s a spacious covered patio up front and cozy bar tucked away in the back. The family-friendly menu includes fresh-cut fries, panko-crusted onion rings and chicken-fried chicken. 2003 Union, 713-869-7000

 

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Mar 18, 2015
Terri Judson

Rolls-Royce’s barrier to cool is mustard ad from ’80s

Most companies would pay handsomely to have an advertisement remembered for decades. Rolls-Royce, however, is trying to get people to forget one, something it has been trying to do with varying degrees of success for 30 years.

Members of Generations X and earlier probably remember the ad clearly. Two stuffy gents ride in sumptuous Rolls-Royces in the back seats, of course. The window lowers: “Pardon me, would you have any Grey Poupon?” The response: “But, of course.”

In an instant, Rolls-Royce was no longer the paradigm of classic, Hollywood-style luxury, a favored prop for Elvis, Omar Sharif and Sammy Davis Jr. It became a symbol of entitlement and old money, rather than entrepreneurship and entertainment.

“That commercial caused more damage to the brand than any good it could have done,” says Eric Shepherd, president of Rolls-Royce North America. “We’re still influenced in the public eye by this particular ad that came out in 1984.”

Shepherd, in fact, keeps a bottle of Grey Poupon on his desk as a reminder — a sort of totem to avoid as he steers the brand. Crusty, old heirs are all well and good, but the few who are left won’t be driving much longer.

Rolls-Royce is now focused on projecting “cool, modern luxury.” It wants to woo Silicon Valley royalty and the self-made millionaires of China.

The shift away from the staid and stately came primarily from BMW, which bought the badge in 2003. The sensibility is evident in the product line. In 2013, Rolls-Royce unveiled the Wraith, a car unlike any it had made. The Wraith had only two doors, a sleek, “fastback” roofline, and a massive, 12-cylinder engine.

The Wraith started selling in late 2013.

“Wraith really changed peoples’ opinions about what Rolls-Royce was,” Shepherd says.

Meanwhile, Grey Poupon, a Kraft condiment, didn’t let up. It reprised its Rolls-Royce spot for a campaign in 2007 and again in 2013.

The Rolls-Royce strategy appears to be keeping the brand fresh. In the past five years, global registrations for the brand have surged almost fivefold, to 3,545 according to IHS Automotive.

Much of that momentum came from the Wraith and the traction the company got in such places as Vietnam and Dubai. The Middle East and Africa is now almost as large a Rolls-Royce market as Europe.

Also helpful has been implicit endorsements from celebrities such as Michael Strahan, Lady Gaga and David Beckham — a bit of counter-programming to the Poupon smear.

Rolls-Royce still doesn’t do much in the way of traditional advertising. It parks its cars at wine festivals and yacht shows. These days, it doesn’t have to remind consumers that it’s not just for elderly aristocrats; customers do that for it.

When Rick Ross’s Wraith rolled off the truck, the rapper marked the occasion with a four-minute video, including a discourse on success, aspiration and “new money.”

There was no mustard involved, just a really big cigar.

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Mar 17, 2015
Terri Judson

EL PASO BLUES & JAZZ FESTIVAL


  The El Paso Blues Jazz Festival returns to the Chamizal!  http://www.epbluesandjazz.org/ and on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/epbluesandjazz 

  • Saturday, May 16th

Workshops at the Indoor Theater

  • 1:30-2:15pm Harmonica Master Class with Mark Hummel. Grammy Award nominee and winner of two Blues Music Awards this year, Mark Hummel started playing harmonica in 1970 and is one of the premier blues harmonica players in the world.
  • 2:30-3:15pm The Guitar according to Charlie Baty. Guitar World declares, “Baty’s straight blues playing is eye-popping…he stretches solos to the breaking point.

Main Stage Performance Schedule

  • 3:30-4:15pm: 24/7 Blues Band is based out of Las Cruces and T or C. They perform regularly at blues festivals, wine festivals and casinos. 24/7 is a high energy band that gets the crowd up and dancing. These brothers from different mothers are guaranteed to entertain you. They’ve recently released a CD recorded live at Las Cruces’ Hotel Encanto.
  • 4:30-5:15pm El Paso’s Austin Jimmy Murphy is an award winning musician, singer/songwriter and author who now calls El Paso his home. His CD box set, A History of Blues, took home the SAMMY (Syracuse Area Music Award) for Best Blues CD in 2013. A lover of traditional blues styles, Murphy has performed at many area festivals, bars, juke joints and street corners. www.jamesrobertmurphy.com
  • 5:30-6:30pm From Texas - Smokin’ Joe Kubek and Bnois King have been performing together for twenty-five years. They are a dynamic musical tour de force with Joe’s flamethrowing guitar work complemented by Bnois’ cool, jazz-inflected playing and soulful vocals. Their incendiary live shows feature two top flight guitarists intuitively locked in with each other and backed by a firepower rhythm section, making for a powerful and irresistible combination. http://www.smokinjoekubek.com
  • 6:45-8pm From California – Mark Hummel / Charlie Baty Combo. 2014 Grammy nominated for his Remembering Little Walter CD, Mark also won Best Blues CD and Best Traditional Blues CD at Blues Music Awards in Memphis. Hummel’s book BIG ROAD BLUES: 12 Bars on I-80, has garnered rave reviews around the U.S. and was nominated for best Independent Book release. Little Charlie Baty is the former leader/guitarist from Alligator Records recording act Little Charlie the Nightcats. The Nightcats recorded 12 albums and were one of the West Coast’s most successful blues acts touring the globe for over 25 years.  Rounding out the Combo is RW Grigsby on bass, and famed Texas drummer Wes Starr. Between these two Rome, GA musicians they’ve played with a who’s who of musicians including Jimmy Vaughn, Asleep at the Wheel, Kim Wilson, James Cotton and many more. www.markhummel.com 
  • 8:15-9:30pm England’s Kim Simmonds and Savoy Brown. Legendary…a blues/rock institution…true innovators. These are just a few of the ways Savoy Brown has been described over the past forty years by music critics and fans. One of the earliest of British blues bands, Savoy Brown, with founder guitarist Kim Simmonds at the helm, helped launch the 1967 UK blues boom movement that brought blues music back to the USA invigorating the style forever. In the process, the band became part of the framework that launched the rock and roll music of the 1970’s. Their influence now stretches into modern rock as we know it today. http://www.savoybrown.com/#

 May 17: Jazz performances featuring Billy Townes Mike Hamilton, Marty Olivas Case Closed, Nick Colionne, Matias Carbajal, Jesse J.

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Mar 14, 2015
Terri Judson

Move over Kingfisher. Indians are now thirsting after craft beer

This post has been corrected.

Not too long ago, the ordinary Indian tippler typically only had a handful of options for a refreshing, cold pint: Kingfisher, Haywards or Kalyani.

And even as these stalwarts of India’s booze scene remain firmly in place, young and affluent beer drinkers in the country are turning to newer, more exotic brews—and opening up a whole new marketplace.

Consider, for instance, microbreweries, establishments that usually brew limited amounts of beer for consumption within their own outlets. From just two in 2008, Gregory Kroitzsh of Mumbai’s Barking Deer brewpub reckons, there are now some 45 of them across the country. And most are centered around just three cities: Bangalore (18), Gurgaon (13) and Pune (6).

Microbreweries, however, aren’t the only one challenging domestic beer manufacturers. Between 2008 and 2011, more than 20 international beer companies have launched in India, each trying to convince India’s massive population of young people to try their brew.

“India is like how the US was 30 years ago when there were about 100 breweries only selling homogenous macro-brewed pilsner lager,” Kroitzsh said. “Indians drink only about two litres of beer per capita per year, which is well below the international average. However, the middle class is growing fast as is the taste for better quality foods and drinks.”

Big beer

The numbers back this enthusiasm for attracting India’s beer aficionados: Between 2012 and 2016, India’s beer market is expected to double to about $9 billion.

Much of this will be dominated by strong beers, still the favourite among most Indian consumers. Domestic premium lagers, as strong beers are also known, comprise about 80% of the total volume of beer sold in India, according to Euromonitor International.

But some things are changing.

For one, foreign brands are making deeper inroads. Between 2009 and 2013, Kingfisher—from Bangalore’s United Breweries—saw its market share slide from 54% to 50.4%, while Copenhagen-headquartered Carlsberg increased its share from 2% to 7% during this period, according to Euromonitor International.

The other big market player is SAB Miller, which launched their India operations in 2000, and has gained traction significant progress in 2006 after acquiring Fosters. It now controls over 26% of the Indian beer market.

And from 2013 to 2018, the overall market is forecasted to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8%. Strong beers, the mainstay, are also likely to grow at that rate.

Small is beautiful

The other big change is the emergence of microbreweries and a strong appetite for imported beers.

Although much smaller in size compared to their domestic counterparts, the imported premium lager segment is expected to expand at a CAGR of 11% between 2013 and 2018, estimates Euromonitor International.

“Consumers in urban India are slowly getting adventurous and trying new beers,” Euromonitor said in a report last year. “With microbreweries and brewpubs expanding their footprints in metro cities, people have also started to appreciate wheat beers, ales and many imported beer brands.”

A significant factor in this change in beer taste is the growing number of Indians who travel abroad and experience quality foreign beers.

Ankur Jain, managing director of Cerana beverages is among them. Like Kroitzsh of Barking Deer, Ankur spent a considerable time in the US before moving back to India and launching his own brand of craft beer.

“I decided to set up a company to import some of the best beers from Belgium,” he said. “The Indian customer wants change and there is a sizeable population who actually want to enjoy their beer rather getting high.”

But it’s not an easy business—and competition is getting fiercer.

“What is going to happen is consolidation,” Ram Vaidyanathan of the Yeast India Company, which imports craft beer, told Quartz. “It will be very interesting to see how the big players react to smaller breweries. As such, doing business has gotten tough over the past years, but the big companies have been acquiring microbreweries in the US and will replicate the same model in India.”

Microbreweries especially don’t have it easy with the law. Getting hold of necessary licenses can be difficult since the idea of microbreweries is alien to some state governments.

“That is changing now,” Vaidyanathan explained. “The government has decided that they can make more money now that this business has picked up. The last time we had gone for licenses, we had to pay double the price. Also, the bigger brands continue to play a crucial role in policy making.”

“Given that alcohol laws are different in each state and the rules are different, it is not an easy business to scale,” Sibi Venkataraj, director at Bangalore’s Toit brewpub said. “One way to scale—if the laws are made easier—is to set up production craft breweries and supply beer to bars and shops.” And breaking into traditional distribution networks can be tough.

“Around ten years ago, nobody knew about wine in India. Now, with wine festivals, everybody has become aware of it,”said Vaidyanathan. “We need to replicate the same model here.”

Correction: A previous version of this post incorrectly stated that India’s microbreweries are concentrated around Mumbai, Gurgaon and Pune. They are, in fact, centered around Bangalore, Gurgaon and Pune.

This article is a part of Quartz India. For more, follow this link.

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Mar 14, 2015
Terri Judson

Reflections: American Society of Marine Artists

“Humpback Whales 3D” at the Challenger Learning Center

February 20, 2015-February 20, 2016

200 S Duval St Tallahassee, FL 32301
Starting Friday, February 20 at the Challenger Learning Center of Tallahassee, experience an extraordinary journey into the hidden world of nature’s most awe-inspiring marine mammal. Humpback Whales takes audiences to Alaska, Hawaii and the Kingdom of Tonga for a close-up look at how these whales communicate, sing, feed, play and take care of their young. Captured for the first time with IMAX® 3D cameras, and found in every ocean on Earth, humpbacks were nearly driven to extinction 50 years ago, but today are making a steady recovery. Join a team of researchers as they unlock the secrets of the humpback and find out what makes humpbacks the most acrobatic of all whales, why only the males sing, and why these intelligent 50-foot, 48-ton animals migrate more than 6,000 miles every year.

Humpback Whales is produced and distributed by MacGillivray Freeman Films and presented by Pacific Life. A One World One Ocean production, Humpback Whales is directed by two-time Academy Award®-nominated filmmaker Greg MacGillivray (The Living Sea, Dolphins) and produced by Shaun MacGillivray (To The Arctic, Journey to the South Pacific). Filmed in 15/70mm, Humpback Whales is written and edited by Stephen Judson (Everest, Journey to the South Pacific). The musical score is by Steve Wood (Journey to the South Pacific, To The Arctic).

For more information, visit http://www.challengertlh.com/.

Emily Brown, (850) 645-7796, ebrown@challengertlh.com

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Mar 13, 2015
Terri Judson

Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort. Destin, FL

“Humpback Whales 3D” at the Challenger Learning Center

February 20, 2015-February 20, 2016

200 S Duval St Tallahassee, FL 32301
Starting Friday, February 20 at the Challenger Learning Center of Tallahassee, experience an extraordinary journey into the hidden world of nature’s most awe-inspiring marine mammal. Humpback Whales takes audiences to Alaska, Hawaii and the Kingdom of Tonga for a close-up look at how these whales communicate, sing, feed, play and take care of their young. Captured for the first time with IMAX® 3D cameras, and found in every ocean on Earth, humpbacks were nearly driven to extinction 50 years ago, but today are making a steady recovery. Join a team of researchers as they unlock the secrets of the humpback and find out what makes humpbacks the most acrobatic of all whales, why only the males sing, and why these intelligent 50-foot, 48-ton animals migrate more than 6,000 miles every year.

Humpback Whales is produced and distributed by MacGillivray Freeman Films and presented by Pacific Life. A One World One Ocean production, Humpback Whales is directed by two-time Academy Award®-nominated filmmaker Greg MacGillivray (The Living Sea, Dolphins) and produced by Shaun MacGillivray (To The Arctic, Journey to the South Pacific). Filmed in 15/70mm, Humpback Whales is written and edited by Stephen Judson (Everest, Journey to the South Pacific). The musical score is by Steve Wood (Journey to the South Pacific, To The Arctic).

For more information, visit http://www.challengertlh.com/.

Emily Brown, (850) 645-7796, ebrown@challengertlh.com

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