The Tasting Panel magazine

December 2013

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OVER THE TABLE PHOTO: JONATHAN CRISTALDI Tequila and Tamales with Bartender Edwin Cruz Mixologist Edwin Cruz of The Spare Room at the Hollywood Roosevelt visits THE TASTING PANEL's offices. B artender Edwin Cruz of the Hollywood Roosevelt's The Spare Room glanced up from cutting a lime to offer up a wry smile: "Right now is a good time to start pairing tequila with more exotic seasonal ingredients, rather than a bunch of lime juice and calling it a day." His jocular mood and tone was devilishly taunting to our editorial team, as we sat patiently in THE TASTING PANEL Los Angeles offices while Cruz whipped up three intricate cocktails with Tequila Don Julio using the Blanco, Reposado and Añjeo. The room was full of fresh citrusy and savory aromas as the cocktails were paired with a delicious assortment of Mexican tamales. Though traditionally Mexicans drink tequila on its own, Cruz notes that the trend among his young contemporaries is to pair craft cocktails with food—one drink, dubbed "Seven Peaks" made with the Tequila Don Julio Añejo, provided a gastronomical home-run, pairing superbly well with pork tamales. "The vanilla, peppery and cinnamon notes from the Añejo works perfectly with fall/winter ingredients," said Cruz to a room silent save for the sounds of "oohs" and "yumms." —Jonathan Cristaldi Seven Peaks ◗ 1¼ oz. Tequila Don Julio Añejo ◗ ¼ oz. Grand Marnier ◗ 1 oz. fresh lime juice ◗ 1 oz. simple syrup ◗ 1 ginger slice ◗ 1 apple wedge ◗ 1 persimmon wedge ◗ Apple and persimmon fan for garnish ◗ Muddle ginger, apple and persimmon with the lime and simple syrup in a cocktail shaker. Add Tequila Don Julio Añejo and Grand Marnier to the shaker with ice and shake well. Double-strain into double rocks glass filled with ice. Garnish with an apple and persimmon fan. VOICE OF FIVE GENERATIONS Holiday Cooking with the Wente Family Our family has a longstanding tradition of entertaining at home, especially during the holidays. Like most, the kitchen is where the entire family gathers around to help with the preparation of the meal. I invite you to visit to get an insider's look at Carolyn's kitchen. I will show you all the steps to prepare a delicious pot roast and homemade cornbread stuffing with sage and pears. My secret to the pot roast is, of course, wine! First I brown the meat, which is marinated overnight with rosemary, salt and pepper, and then deglaze the pan with a generous addition of Wente Vineyards Southern Hills Cabernet Sauvignon before letting it roast in the oven for two hours. My stuffing recipe harkens back to my mother's Southern roots. My maternal grandmother was from the South and to this day I consider cornbread one of my favorite comfort foods. In this recipe, homemade cornbread is the key to the richness of the dish. The holidays are all about sharing, and we hope you share these delicious recipes with your loved ones. This holiday season we raise a glass with you to toast to great wine, good food, family and friends! Cheers, Carolyn Wente, 4th Generation Winegrower 50  /  the tasting panel  /  december 2013 TP1213_034-63.indd 50 11/23/13 8:26 PM

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