The Tasting Panel magazine

September 2011

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Page 34 of 124

SAN FRAN INSIDER Champions S Healdsburg winemaker Daryl Groom and his 13-year-old son Colby, a survivor of multiple open-heart surgeries. Groom has created Colby Red; from which a percentage of sales will benefit charities that support heart health. for Charity DEBORAH PARKER WONG'S NEW SAN FRANCISCO COLUMN CAPTURES THE ONGOING GOINGS ON IN THE CITY Master Distiller Joanne Moore, G&J Greenall CEO Christian Rose and Chef Elizabeth Falkner of SF's Orson restaurant. ummers in San Francisco are notoriously cool, a micro-climate that fuels my desire for brown spirits and red wine, but the City heats up in early August with a week-long food, wine and spirits extravaganza known as SF Chefs. The main attraction of this culinary three-ring circus is a Grand Tasting that takes place over the course of three days under a big-top tent in Union Square. Hundreds of purveyors serve up tastes of Northern California's largess while a non-stop schedule of seminars, demonstrations and competitions take place at the nearby Westin St. Francis hotel. For the third year running, Beverage Director Rebecca Chapa has juggled the star-studded cast of local mixologists, winemakers, distillers, brewers and sommeliers who make certain that no one goes thirsty. Martin Cate, Steven Liles, Marco Dionysos, H. Joseph Erhmann, Duggan McDonnell, Jacques Bezuidenhout, Jeff Hollinger, Jonny Raglin, Daniel Hyatt and Jon Gasparini were among the mixologists who created cocktails for the Grand Tastings, while wine gurus Rajat Parr, Jordan Mackay and Christie Dufault kept the wine flowing with the help of sommeliers Johnny Slamon, Aengus Wagner, Jillian Dowler, Chelsea Bahr, Joe Law and Terah Bajjalieh. At the opening-night afterparty, we roamed through The City Club indulg- ing in postprandial treats, Wente wines and the house dance mix by none other than celebrity DJ Chef Hubert Keller. All of this star power means that ticket prices start at $100 for general admission, with proceeds benefiting the Golden Gate Restaurant Association's Scholarship Foundation. The connection between red wine and heart health has an even greater significance to us now that Healdsburg winemaker Daryl Groom and his 13-year-old son Colby, a survivor of multiple open-heart surgeries, have cre- ated Colby Red. With the support of Treasury Wine Estates and retail partner Walgreens, Groom made 250,000 cases of the delicious five-variety red blend that sells for $10–$12, with a percentage of sales benefiting charities that sup- port heart health. Colby's appearance on The Today Show earlier this year sent Colby Red flying off the shelves and across tables with sales racking up more than $115,000 in donations. With the 2010 vintage of Colby Red headed to bottle and plans in place for 2011, Colby's story will continue touching hearts across the nation one bottle at a time. Summer went from gloom to bloom within moments after I arrived at the Boothby Center for the Beverage Arts for the San Francisco launch of Bloom Gin. G&J Greenall Master Distiller Joanne Moore, one of the few women with this title, makes 70% percent of the gin sold in the United Kingdom, and she created Bloom specifically to appeal to women. Moore used an English country garden as her inspiration for the chamomile, honeysuckle and pomelo notes that give this traditional London dry gin its floral twist. One best-kept secret about products such as Bloom that are created for women: they have strong cross-over appeal to men as well. 34 / the tasting panel / september 201 1 PHOTO: DEBORAH PARKER WONG PHOTO: CHRISTOPHER CHUNG

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