Browsing articles tagged with " wine festivals"
Apr 27, 2013
Terri Judson

Nurturing a wine culture

Bobby Lee Lawrence Wine Academy opens

By Alta LeCompteLas Cruces Bulletin

The word “wine” is on the tip of many Las Crucens’ tongues this week as New Mexico State University holds two major events – the grand opening of the Bobby Lee Lawrence Wine Academy and a wine conference students are planning for Saturday, April 27. (See story on page B8.) Both events celebrate a strong and growing wine culture on campus and in the community.

On Saturday, April 20, about 150 guests of NMSU’s School of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management stepped into a laboratory unlike any other on campus, the Bobby Lee Lawrence Academy of Wine laboratory.

They gathered to celebrate the grand opening of the academy and to remember Lawrence, a nationally known food and wine expert.

There is no stainless steel in this laboratory, and instead of glass beakers, there are wine glasses housed in dark wood cabinets reminiscent of a Tuscan wine cellar. The cabinet hardware, hand-hewn woodwork and natural travertine floors evoke the mellow look of a centuries-old wine cellar.

Everywhere the eye lights in the windowless room, it is treated to architectural details carefully overseen by Lawrence’s widow Marion Lawrence.

Asked how the project began, HRTM Director Janet Green, said: “Wine showed up on our doorstop.”

The academy was born when Marion Lawrence walked in and expressed a desire to make a memorial gift.

“Mrs. Lawrence had thought about endowing a golf scholarship, but a friend reminded her of his love of wine,” Green said.

“I met with her and we discussed creating a scholarship or an endowed chair. She really liked the idea of a tangible environment to honor his commitment to education.”

Green said Bobby Lee Lawrence would give “boot camps for people who didn’t know a thing about wine.”

“He had a national presence as a sommelier,” she said.

Lawrence trained at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris and the Culinary Institute of America. Through his career as head of engineering at NBC News, Lawrence traveled the world, building his knowledge of wines.

He wrote a wine column for the Southwest food magazine, Sabroso!, presented and taught courses at local and regional wine festivals and was celebrated for his blog “Southwest Wine Guy.”

When Marion Lawrence next visited campus in summer 2010, she told Green she wanted to do a wine education classroom.

In November 2010, Lawrence made a $250,000 memorial gift and she and Green started re-energizing plans for the space, which previously was conceived as a retrostyle lounge where bar management, merchandizing and inventory and spirits would be the curriculum.

After demolition of the space, formerly a food tech lab, the buildout began in March 2012. Construction was completed in September.

Occupying the space was delayed, however,due to a wait for two wine coolers, each with a capacity to protect 440 bottles.

One cooler will be devoted to building a special Lawrence collection initially established with 200 bottles from Marion Lawrence’s private collection, Green said.

HRTM students had an opportunity to catalogue the collection, she said.

The other cooler will be for working wines, those served at events such as HRTM’s international dinner series.

With generous cooler space available, the program can take advantage of opportunities to buy wines at a discount and keep them at the required temperature, Green said.

“We’re probably the only venue in Las Cruces with two 440 bottle coolers,” she said.

Working on the project were architect Cesar Molina with Nine Degrees Architecture Design Inc. in Santa Teresa and ESA Construction of Las Cruces.

“Midway into the project, Mrs. Lawrence brought in (Las Cruces decorator) Connie Hines, who had traveled to Tuscany and had a real sense of what Mrs. Lawrence wanted to achieve,” Green said.

“The room itself – and who Bobby Lee was all about – is people learning to use wine to enhance their lives while improving theirknowledge.”

“This facility is a great addition to the School of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management,” said Garrey Carruthers, NMSU’s vice president for economic development. “In particular, it provides an opportunity to expand students’ knowledge of how wine fits into the hospitality management business.”

Carruthers and his wife, Katherine, are matching all donations made to the academy, up to $10,000, to help create an educational program to accompany the facility.

AT NMSU, wine education is an evolving aspect of the curriculum.

HRTM has a beverage management class and a basic wine education course, Green said.

She said the Lawrence gift and others will help build on these courses in the recently completed academy of wine.

“We hope to grow into sommelier training,” she said.

Elsewhere on campus, there are viticulturists in agriculture, wine and culture experts in anthropology and other faculty members with an interest in the many aspects of producing and understanding wine who also may contributeto the work of the Bobby Lee LawrenceWine Academy.

Janet Green, director of the School of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management at New Mexico State University describes architectural features in the new Bobby Lee Lawrence Wine Academy.

Las Cruces Bulletin photo by Alta LeCompte

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Apr 26, 2013
Terri Judson

South Walton Beaches Wine & Food Festival to benefit charity

MIRAMAR BEACH – The first South Walton Beaches Wine Food Festival will take place today through Sunday in Grand Boulevard at Sandestin, located along South Walton’s picturesque Northwest Florida beaches.

This new charity wine festival will feature major wine industry partners and exciting wine celebrities from around the world.

Presented by Visit South Walton, more than 800 wines and a culinary village will enhance this year’s event. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Destin Charity Wine Auction Foundation for children in need in Northwest Florida.

“We will have the best wines and an amazing culinary village, all in a stunning location to make this an incredible wine festival,” said Chan Cox, founder of other successful wine festivals in Northwest Florida and owner of Wine World located throughout Northwest Florida.

Peter Mondavi Jr. has a long history with Cox and will attend to formally christen the new festival.

“I am looking forward to helping you kick off the first annual South Walton Beaches Wine Food Festival in Grand Boulevard at Sandestin,” said Mondavi, co-proprietor of Charles Krug-Peter Mondavi Family Winery.
Nationally and internationally well-known wine personalities and industry experts will provide festive entertainment and educational tastings for attendees.

There are dozens of confirmed winemakers participating in the festival including: Charles J. “Chuck” Wagner, owner of Caymus Vineyards; Koerner “KR” Rombauer III of Rombauer Vineyards; Hélène Garcin-Lévêque, owner of Chateau Clos L Église; Pomerol and Joe Davis, Winegrower and Winemaker of Arcadian Winery, Lompoc, California.

The Culinary Village, featuring the Savor South Walton Culinary Pavilion, will showcase an array of food tastings, wine pairings, and access to the professionals who make these amazing wines and food.

Wine seminars are planned for those wishing for more focused and in-depth tastings. For those who enjoy the culinary arts, there will be cooking demonstrations and the latest in high-quality cookware, glassware and kitchen accessories.

In addition, a who’s who of Nashville songwriters will play and tell stories about the hit songs they wrote for the biggest stars in the music business, including Rascal Flatts, Faith Hill, Vince Gill and many others.
Festival partners include Destin Charity Wine Auction Foundation, Visit South Walton Tourist Development Council, Florida Restaurant Lodging Association, Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort Spa, Wine World of Northwest Florida and Grand Boulevard at Sandestin.

For more information, including a list of attending winemakers and to purchase tickets, visit the website

Schedule and ticket prices from the website Click on Tickets link

Vibrant Rioja Exclusive Tasting Food Pairing: $100
6 – 9 p.m.
Grand Park

Winemakers Shakers: $30
4 – 6 p.m.
Wine World Destin

VIP Grand Tasting One Day Ticket: $150
11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Includes SATURDAY Grand Tasting
* Limited tickets

One Day of Grand Tasting:
1 – 5 p.m.

One Day of Grand Tasting:
1 – 5 p.m.

Two Days of Grand Tasting:
1 – 5 p.m.

April 27 – After-Party Party Concert
7 p.m.
Culinary Village at North Park
Cost: $60

Tickets are non-refundable. Event presented rain or shine.

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Apr 25, 2013
Terri Judson

The strength and value of volunteers

Posted: Wednesday, April 24, 2013 3:27 pm

The strength and value of volunteers

Orange News Staff

The Daily Progress

When we think of the fabric of our community and the wonderful, varied colors and patterns that enrich it, we seldom consider the fibers that hold that fabric together.

Most often, those fibers are volunteers. They’re moms and dads, retirees and young people eager to make a difference, help others, lend experience and create opportunities.

National Volunteer Week is April 21-27 and reminds us of the countless contributions volunteers play in our community.

Let’s think for a moment: who coaches our youth league sports teams? Who leads our local scout troops? Who participates in our PTAs? Who plays in our community band and chorus? Who runs hundreds of fire and rescue calls? Who stages the plays at Four County Players or the LOW Players? Who staffs the Exchange Hotel or Ellwood or the visitors center? Who leads our 4-H clubs and helps stage our county fair? Who builds our Habitat houses? Who helps care for our shelter pets? Who donates blood? Who raises money for worthy causes like the March of Dimes, American Cancer Society and American Heart Association? Who collects funds for dozens of high school scholarships? Who organizes the Somerset Steam Gas Pasture Party or the Dolley Madison Garden Tour?

What about our signature community events or activities? Street festivals and wine festivals and the Edible Food Fest, Trashy Ribs and Blues, Breakfast Buddies, parades, dinners and dances for the free clinic, dental clinic or Boys Girls Club? What about Arts Center exhibits or museum programs? Certainly the Orange Downtown Alliance, Arts Center In Orange, James Madison Museum, Chamber of Commerce, Orange County Free Clinic, Piedmont Regional Dental Clinic, Boys Girls Club and others have excellent paid staff, but these events and others all succeed for the same reasons–volunteer support.

What about the dozens of municipal boards and commissions that rely on volunteer participation and representation?

What about the volunteer contributions of our churches in the community?

National Volunteer Week is a time to celebrate people doing extraordinary things through service. Established in 1974, National Volunteer Week focuses national attention on the impact and power of volunteerism and service as an integral aspect of our civic leadership. The week draws the support and endorsement of the president and Congress, governors, mayors and municipal leaders, as well as corporate and community groups across the country–and for good reason.

We’d argue that our community would fail to exist without the contributions of volunteers. Certainly, it wouldn’t be very much of a community–nor one we’d enjoy very much.

Remove these thousands of volunteers from our community and its fabric rips. Then, there are huge holes that can only be mended by citizens reaching out a hand to help one another.

Take some time. Share your talent. Help others. Contribute. We each have something to offer. And since we all comprise the fabric of our community it’s up to us to keep it colorful, vibrant and strong.

© 2013 The Daily Progress. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Apr 25, 2013
Terri Judson

4 reasons to hold a conference in Ballarat

Looking to take the team out of town? The rich history and heritage of Ballarat, and its easy driving distance from Melbourne, make it a great choice for those looking to hold an affordable event, conference or team-building weekend. 

With great business facilities as well as a colourful art and cuisine scene and great local wineries, Ballarat is a great destination for corporate travellers from Melbourne, Victoria, and beyond.


Ballarat is constantly entertaining with international exhibitions, world class sporting events, historical and arts events, food and wine festivals and more. The brilliance of Ballarat for a conference, workshop or event is the relaxed approach to business, flexibility and best of all, availability. With such a great selection of accommodation and function spaces to entertain, Ballarat has more than enough options to host your group or incentive, no matter what time of year it is.


With all ranges of accommodation available in Ballarat, the region is a great value option for conference planners, and boasts a team of event organisers who can assist with meeting your specific budget requirements and numbers of participants.

Size of conference space 

Ballarat Lodge is more than just an accommodation option – it’s a complete conference destination in its own right. Not only in walking distance to Sovereign Hill, the hotel features an extensive on-site convention and exhibition centre which can host up to 1,000 delegates standing, and 700 seated. Versatility is no problem, with the space able to be adapted into two rooms. In totality, Ballarat Lodge offers 23 different function rooms, conference spaces, class room configurations and a ballroom. A commanding pre-function space sets the tone for a professional event on arrival, no matter how big or small your event is.

Distance from Melbourne

Ballarat is just 75 minutes drive north-west of Melbourne, and also an hours drive from Victoria’s two biggest airports, the Melbourne Domestic International (Tullamarine) and Geelong’s domestic Avalon Airport.

A regular Melbourne Airport shuttle service to and from Ballarat is run by Ballarat Coach Lines

Or to take the stress and effort out of travelling, a train service is also an option, with 166 services between Melbourne and Ballarat during the week and 51 services on the weekend.


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Apr 25, 2013
Terri Judson

Germany Wine Tours: Mosel and Rheingau Regions Offer Unique Tasting …

Wine tasting is a fun and delicious way to explore a region, and in Germany, the Mosel region, the most famous area for wine, as well as the Rheingau region, offer multiple options.

In the 1960s, the majority of German wine was the sweeter varieties, the edelsuss and lieblich varieties. In the 1990s, more trocken and halbtrocken dry wines began to be exported to the U.S. This gave many people their first taste of non-sweet German wines.

In Germany, most wine tours are self-guided and virtually all wine producers are small-scale, producing less than 5,000 cases annually.

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Guided tours are much less common in Germany than in Italy or France, and generally emphasize the Mosel region, often even a specific varietal. If you don’t speak German or have your own transportation, the guided tours are a great option. They range in duration from two hours to full eight-hour days. There aren’t any companies specializing in English-speaking tours, but most guides do speak some English.

For those who prefer a self-guided tour, each region has a tourism board available to assist you, even if you don’t speak German. Larger wine regions have their own wine-related tourism branches and can help you choose the wineries that best suit your taste preferences. At certain times of year, there are wine festivals that are open to tourists. They’re held during harvest time, beginning in early fall and lasting through early winter.

There are two major wine-growing regions in Germany, the Mosel and Rheingau. The Mosel is the better-known region, and covers the Moselle, Saar and Ruwer rivers. The Mosel region produces primarily Riesling wines, which are generally low-alcohol, fruity wines that range from off dry to very sweet.

The Rheingau region runs alongside the Rhine River and produces wines that are commonly exported. Rheingau wines are also predominantly Rieslings, though about one-fifth of the grapes grown in the region are pinot noir.

There are 11 additional wine growing regions in Germany. The Baden is the most distinctive of them, located across the Rhine River from French Alsace. This region grows mainly pinot noir and is the only region in Germany that shares a temperature profile with France. The other regions include Palatinate, or Pfalz, best known for dry Rieslings, Franconia, known for its silvaner, and Saxony, known for its muller-thurgau.

Social drinking is a large part of the culture in Germany, and going during festival season may be the best way to taste the different regions, meet the winemakers and learn the culture of winemaking that is inherent in German tradition.

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Apr 24, 2013
Terri Judson

A few tips on attending wine festivals

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Wine festivals can be daunting affairs. The amount of information and variety of wines available can be overwhelming if you don’t devise a strategy ahead of time. But they’re also a great way to try new releases and learn what is going on regionally in the industry.

Let’s look at how best to navigate these wonderful venues.

Be selective. I focus on either an appellation or one or two grape varietals and keep my tastings to a maximum of four or so winemakers.

This allows me to make good use of my time at festivals. It is difficult, especially at larger festivals such as JPR’s or Newport’s, to taste all of the releases being shown. I generally focus on a particular vintage date, tasting a variety of releases and evaluating the depth and beauty of that year. I found this particularly helpful when tasting the stunning 2008 Oregon pinot noirs released from a variety of Oregon winemakers. I tasted the wines from the barrel as well as when they had matured. What a great experience it turned out to be.

Do your homework. Take care to understand what is being released to taste. For example, with the 2008 pinot, I spent a great deal of time studying the different winemakers and what styles to anticipate. I am not a fan of the lighter releases, but I knew exactly where to go for the deeper, more profound releases that were being poured.

I am a fan of going to specific vineyard sites for specific varietals. For the Applegate Valley Uncorked tastings, for example, it was quite easy to go online and see what the participating wineries were pouring that weekend.

Get information and be a good listener. Nothing is worse for wine pourers than to begin a talk on their offerings and have the attendees stand there, stupidly, paying little or no attention to what they are saying. All winemakers and their representatives are proud of their wines, and I think a modicum of respect for effort expended and willingness to share is important.

Wine fairs are all about sharing, saying what you prefer and why and listening to what is said in return. I simply cannot tell you how many professional wine folks get turned off by inattentive ticketholders. Much of this happens because of overindulgence.

About wine consumption and festivals: Please, always try to be on your best behavior around professional wine folks. It is about learning, communicating and having fun. Believe me when I tell you that winery professionals are looking for instructive feedback to take back to the winery.

Regardless of how much you will be drinking, bring a designated driver. Period.

Lorn Razzano is former owner of the Wine Cellar in Ashland and still works there part time. Reach him at

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Apr 22, 2013
Terri Judson

Frisky’s and fire station will both have yard sales

The upcoming weekend promises to be a big one for yard sale enthusiasts.

Saturday, April 27, and Sunday, April 28, mark the final days of the annual month-long garage sale fundraiser at Frisky’s Wildlife Primate Sanctuary, at 10790 Old Frederick Road (Route 99), in Woodstock.

The hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (no early birds), and the variety of merchandise is vast and ever-changing. All proceeds go toward caring for the animals at Frisky’s.

To learn more about the sanctuary, go to

Down the road from Frisky’s, at the intersection of Routes 32 and 99 in Sykesville, the West Friendship Volunteer Fire Department Auxiliary will also host a yard sale on Saturday, April 27, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Vendors and sellers will set up behind the station and inside the building. Come check out the selection, rain or shine! For more information, go to, or call Sandi Hawkins at 410-442-1471.

Do you know a disadvantaged Howard or Carroll County adult who requires routine dental care? On Saturday, April 27, Roschella Zinger Dental Group will host a day of free dentistry for those in need, at 2500 Wallington Way, Suite 204, in Marriottsville. The office is located in the Silo Building, at the intersection of Marriottsville Road and Warwick Way.

The first 100 adult patients to register between the hours of 7 a.m. and 1 p.m. may choose a free cleaning, filling or simple extraction by a local volunteer dentist or hygienist. To learn more, go to and select “Dentistry from the Heart.”

St Andrew’s Episcopal Church invites the community to an evening of fun, food, and fundraising on Saturday, May 4, 7 to 10 p.m., at 2892 Route 97, in Glenwood. Tickets cost $30 per person, and proceeds will benefit missions near and far, such as the church’s Honduras outreach program and Rainbow Camp, a summer camp for Baltimore children impacted by HIV and AIDS. Call 410-489-4035 to purchase tickets, or go to to learn more about the event.

Although the month of May is best known for spring flowers, it also brings wine festivals to our community. The first will be the Sykesville Fine Art and Wine Festival on Sunday, May 5, noon to 5 p.m.

This event will feature live music and entertainment; juried artwork in a variety of mediums, including jewelry, paintings, and finely-crafted housewares; and, naturally, wine tasting.

To peek at this year’s entertainment schedule or examples of previous artwork, go to Still have questions? Email, or call 410-795-8959.

Of course, May also brings spring concerts, and Marriotts Ridge High School has scheduled two dates — Tuesday, April 30, and Wednesday, May 1. Both concerts will begin at 7 p.m.

The first performance will showcase the Women’s Ensemble, the Men’s Ensemble, Madrigals, the Percussion Ensemble, and Concert Band. Look for the Mustang Chorale, the String Ensemble, Orchestra and the Symphonic Wind Ensemble on the second night.

Tickets cost $5 each, with a maximum of $20 per family for both nights.

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Apr 22, 2013
Terri Judson

San Diego County Fair to host beer and wine festivals

The San Diego County Fair will treat guests to fine wines from around California and crafted beers from around the world during two different events, and is inviting the public to come enjoy a glass or pint of their favorite beverage.



The San Diego County Fair Wine Competition will be hosted on June 15 and will feature a wide variety of premium, award-winning wines.

Tickets to the wine competition will come with free admission to the fair, a free souvenir wine glass and unlimited one-ounce samples of the many award-winning varietals.

Guests can get $6 off admission by using the promo code “Merlot” when ordering tickets.

The 2013 San Diego International Beer Festival will take place from June 21-23 and will feature hundreds of different beer varieties from multiple breweries.

The festival will also  come with free admission to  the fair, a free souvenir tasting cup and unlimited one ounce samples of over 300 different varieties of beer.

Guests can get $10 off general admission by using the promo code “Cheers” or $10 dollars off entrance to the VIP Brewers Lounge — which offers early admission, six ounce samplings and unlimited food combinations at craft beer stations for the first two hours –  by using the promo code “Salud” when ordering tickets.


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Apr 20, 2013
Terri Judson

Thirsty work

Thirsty work

Thirsty work

Fancy a drink? Our drinks columnist Sam Wylie-Harris champions Argentina’s flagship grape and uncorks some big red malbecs.


The mighty malbec

A high-flyer at more than 1,000 metres above sea level, Mendoza is the birthplace of Argentian malbec and World Malbec Day (April 17) is a great excuse to paint the town red.

Originally a grape native to south-west France, World Malbec Day commemorates the time in 1853 when the Argentinian president pledged to transform the country’s wine industry and tasked a French soil expert to propagate some new vines.

With a head for heights, the high altitude, abundant sunshine and low humidity suited malbec down to the ground.

So much so, the effect of cold nights at these high altitudes extended the growing season and rewarded winemakers with super ripe reds displaying fine tannins and well-balanced acidity.

It’s a style we’ve fallen in love with and the past 10 years has seen Argentina rise to the A-list with both consumers and trade.

To champion its world-wide appeal, more than 50 countries will be hosting wine festivals and events, with the Gaucho chain of steak restaurants headlining five malbecs in London, Manchester and Leeds for a week-long celebration.

For amigos thirsty for a taste of Argentina’s rich soils and ripening sun, here are some suggestions to ignite the tastebuds.

One of the country’s top producers, trophy and medal winner Vinalba is promoting some of its best-selling labels to mark the occasion, including entry-level Vinalba Malbec 2010, Mendoza (reduced to £5.99 from £6.99 until April 23, The Co-operative). Ripe and round with defining spice and dark berry fruits without excess weight, there’s a hint of dark chocolate lingering on the finish and firm tannins to make it a good all-rounder alongside tomato-based pasta dishes and tender red meat.

A juicy red with a sweet raspberry nose, Dona Paula ‘Paula’ Malbec 2012, Mendoza (£7.99, is soft and smooth with dark cherry fruits, a lick of kirsch on the finish and spicy tongue-tingling tannins. Stylish and graceful, it’s the younger sister to the Dona Paula Estate wine and fresh enough to enjoy on its own.

To step into a world of blueberry and perfectly ripened damson fruit, try Argento Malbec 2012, Mendoza (£8.99; £7.99 each if you buy two, Majestic). Firm and dense with velvety smooth tannins, it maintains its juicy acidity at 13.5% abv, and is slightly lower in alcohol than the average 14% for malbec.

By law, Argentinian winemakers are allowed to tweak malbec with up to 20% of other grapes in the blend, but most like to showcase their signature red in all its unadulterated purple glory.

However, adventurous drinkers fond of an up-front style should try experimenting with Trivento Amado Sur Malbec 2010, Mendoza (£8.99, Morrisons), which has 10% bonarda and 10% syrah. Opulent and truly flavoursome with deeply textured fruit and a riot of cherries, plums, prunes, vanilla, chocolate and grippy tannins, it’s a great choice with chorizo sausage and a juicy steak.

Unlike French wine harvests, vintage doesn’t seem to matter in South America and, according to experts, the country hasn’t had a poor harvest in 15 years.

Bottled at optimum ripeness, the wines have no need to age and every year, thanks to improved viticulture, they seem to get better and better.

Indeed, consistency of quality at different price points is all part of malbec’s manifesto and Manos Negras Malbec 2009, Mendoza (£11.90, has a textbook violet nose with bold, black-fruit flavours, bright cherry and a hint of mocha on the savoury, lengthy finish that maintains a delightful freshness.

A wine that greets you with arms wide open, Fincas del Sur Malbec 2011, Mendoza (£12.99, is delicious from beginning to end. Another violet beauty with seductive, soft, plummy fruit and a natural ripeness, the vibrant fruit aromas excite the tastebuds before the very first sip and never seem to wane… with or without steak.

A big gun that hails from Gaucho’s own vineyard, Vina Patricia Malbec 2010, Mendoza (£44.65, is made from low-yielding old vines. Rich and robust, as well as invitingly soft, there’s a hint of cigar box and a silky veil of mocha and chocolate to tame the tannins on the powerful finish.

Gaucho boasts the greatest malbec collection outside of South America, and Vina Patricia is a great introduction to the best of Argentinian terroir.

:: Best buy

A grape escape to Europe… Waitrose is encouraging wine lovers to explore the continent with up to 25% off selected wines (until April 30).

Featuring 11 countries with wines from traditional and lesser-known regions, the tasting journey is split into four categories: Party Perfect, Everyday Classic, Off The Beaten Track and Treat Yourself.

:: Liquid news

Malibu enjoys a makeover… For the first time in more than 30 years, Malibu Coconut Rum (£14.99, major supermarkets nationwide) has been given a new look.

The diamond white bottle is still branded with a palm tree, but it has a slimmer shape to make it easier to hold and a clear cut-out window at the bottom of the bottle to showcase the white rum.

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Apr 20, 2013
Terri Judson

Editorial: We owe a debt to our festival boards

By Patric Hedlund

As I write this column today, and as you read it, there are people in the Mountain Communities who are hatching brilliant ideas at this very moment about how to make our mountain festivals this year the best ever.

There are people making plans for Lilac Festival—chalking out booth spaces, calling up kiddie ride owners, talking with food vendors and band managers.

The Lilac Festival parade managers are calling for participants in the first event of our annual festival season. And you know how much this mountain loves its parades. If you’re feeling silly and creative, grab an application and jump into the fun.

Fiesta Days is the wonderful three-day party tradition on the first weekend of August that defines summer for residents and former residents who come for reunions with dear old friends and stay to make new friends while listening to music and enjoying old-fashioned country fun. The Mountain Memories board works behind the scenes during much of the year to make this event a success.

Center of the World Festival has been active all year, preparing for its COWfest that celebrates the power of creativity, music and storytelling to mobilize social change.

The Chamber of Commerce is about to form a committee to make plans for the Festival of Lights parade and Holiday Faire. In between, there is the Ridge Route Run classic car event on Memorial Day weekend, Run to the Pines, two wine festivals and the Fall Festival in Pine Mountain Village. The Mountain Shakespeare Festival is another event with an honored track record, put on by creative volunteers. Local arts groups are developing an additional arts festival for August.

Festivals help power our local economy and sustain the local culture of the mountain. But it is hard work, often thankless.

Festival Board Members Are our ‘Smart Boards’ Guests of Honor
Festival board members will be our guests of honor for the “Smart Boards” Workshop Thursday, April 25, 7-9 p.m. at the Frazier Park Library. If you are on a festival board, or considering becoming a festival board member, please call today to save your spot (The Mountain Enterprise 245-3794; or email with subject line: Smart Boards).

$30-$60 in Bakersfield, a Free Gift to the Mountain
Putting together an effective board for a nonprofit organization—plus keeping board members functioning together as a dynamic team—is a behind-the-scenes science in which Steve Sanders is an expert.

This is a rare invitation coordinated by The Mountain Enterprise, the Friends of the Library and the Mountain Communities Chamber of Commerce. All nonprofit board members on the mountain—current or prospective—are invited to come to learn about the smart tools Sanders wants to bring to our community next week.

Sanders speaks from vigorous experience, as chief of staff for the Kern County Superintendent of Schools’ office, the director of CALM (California Living Museum), former director of United Way, four-time member of the Kern Community Foundation, and that is the short list. This is also his eighth year as adjunct lecturer at Cal State Bakersfield, teaching nonprofit management and grant writing.

Sanders insisted that the same workshop that 60 people in Bakersfield paid $30 to $60 to hear in February be made available to the Mountain Communities for free, next week, right here on the mountain. See you there!

This is part of the April 19, 2013 online edition of The Mountain Enterprise.

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