The Tasting Panel magazine

December 2013

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FROM THE EDITOR CONTRIBUTORS After spending a decade producing Emmy Award Winning Television for The Oprah Winfrey Show and TLC, Leigh Castelli decided it was time to pursue her true calling in life, a full-time career in photography. With her keen eye and relaxed style, Leigh manages to convey the simplicity of the moment in every photograph she takes. Whether shooting with world-renowned chefs and sommeliers or a casual family of four, Leigh's passion for photography extends far beyond the lens and is evident in her work. When she isn't snapping away in her professional life, she can be found traveling and relaxing on the gorgeous beaches of San Diego with her husband and their two young children.  Holiday Thoughts You are holding the 78th issue of PHOTO: COURTNEY GRANT WINSTON PHOTO: DOUG YOUNG Elizabeth Kate is a freelance writer specializing in wine and spirits. She recently completed the WSET Diploma (DWS) with Distinction at the top of her class and is the first graduate of the Los Angeles program. Elizabeth speaks five languages and was the In-House Wine Consultant to KSFO Radio's "Edible Escapes" in San Francisco. A graduate of the Epicurean school of Culinary Arts, Elizabeth is no stranger to the art of daring food and wine pairings. Wordsmith and marketing consultant David Lincoln Ross, who loves to drink rosés year-round, is a wine, spirits and beer writer based in New York City. He blogs regularly, consults for high-profile restaurant groups and writes speeches for the likes of Fortune 500 executives. His background in marketing gives him unique insight into his clients' needs. For more information, go to www. PHOTO: CHRISTINE TOMLINSON THE TASTING PANEL Magazine in your hands. Pretty impressive isn't it? If you could compare it to the first issue, May 2007, you would really see a dramatic display of how far we've come in just six and a half years. When Meridith and I started out, we never imagined the remarkable success we would experience. We bought a marginal California trade magazine that had been, since the advent of the internet, limping along, having lost its purpose, its focus and most of its audience. We saw the need for a national publication that told the story of the people in our industry and how their talent and hard work have brought forth a torrent of unique and idiosyncratic creations. We wanted to go behind the products and learn more about the people who create them. I have been writing about wine for nearly 40 years. After all that time, how many different ways can I describe a Cabernet? It is the people whose characters delineate the style and personality of what they make. They make this industry interesting. We are gratified by the enormous positive response from the readers of THE TASTING PANEL. Not a day goes by without someone (often several people) telling us how much they love our magazine. "I read it cover to cover," is a frequent comment. We are delighted to hear that we are helping people who buy wine and spirits to be well-informed and to do their jobs better while at the same time entertaining them. We also appreciate the loyalty and support of our advertisers who have believed in us right from the beginning. They recognize that we are the most efficient way to reach the people who are important to their businesses. So here, in the holiday season, I wanted to drop my usual curmudgeonly tone and get all mushy and emotional. On behalf of Meridith and myself, David Gadd and our hard-working and ever growing staff —thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your support and trust. We labor every day to earn that trust, to be better this month than we were last month. We wish all of you a well-deserved joyous holiday season, full of profits and great rewards and, especially, full of love and personal fulfillment. Balancing work and play in vibrant Las Vegas can be daunting—even after 12 years. But the search for balanced cocktails is what drives award-winning writer/ editor Xania Woodman. In addition to curating Vegas Seven's dining, beverage and nightlife coverage, the magazine's Senior Editor contributes regularly to Vegas Rated, Forbes Travel Guide and the annual Unofficial Guide to Las Vegas. Her work has also appeared in Saveur and on Expedia Australia. When Woodman (a United States Bartenders' Guild member since 2009) isn't judging a cocktail competition, she's blogging about them for her new site, 4  /  the tasting panel  /  december 2013 TP1213_001-33.indd 4 11/22/13 8:37 PM

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