The Tasting Panel magazine

October 2013

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Page 61 of 152

Food & Wine Director/Sommelier: Mindy Reed PHOTO: GREGG FELSEN Zin American Bistro and Alicante are hotspots with locals and tourists, where multi-tasking epicure Mindy Reed engages as owner, food & wine director and somm at both. "I know—call it insanity," she says, "but I've always loved wine, food, and cooking and, hey, I'm a workaholic!" Zin has attracted a serious following of foodies since its opening in 2005, where it spear-headed the local movement towards organic and sustainable farm cuisine. "Giving our guests a superior product using simple quality ingredients, prepared with integrity and served at a fair price is what we're all about. No shortcuts!" Zin recently received its eighth consecutive Wine Spectator Award for Excellence for wine, maintainMindy Reed. ing more than 2,500 bottles and 350 selections." I think real foodies tend to love wines, so I don't mark mine up like other restaurants. My cellar is not for show; I want you to drink great wine here. My high-end wines are actually marked up less so you can open a bottle any day of the week instead for a special occasion." The restaurants are only two short blocks away from each other and everyone tries to find comparisons between them. "I usually tell people they differ in every way but me!" says Reed. "At Zin, we're a little more high-end without being fancy or expensive. The food is a little more complex, the wine list much bigger; linen tablecloths but topped with paper for that bistro feeling. Alicante feels more like a little European sidewalk café—casual; you can stop in for a drink and tapas or stay for dinner. Unique to the late-night crowd, we serve food till 11, 12 at night. The wine list is mostly Spanish, Italian and French and we have over 30 wines available." Mixologist: Daniel Thomas PHOTO: GREGG FELSEN The fact that an international bon vivant mixologist—"bartender to the stars"—continues to work the beautiful bars of Palm Springs and calls this place his home conveys how inviting this desert community really is. Daniel Thomas has been rubbing elbows with a circuit of celebs from the time he was a featured mixologist at Bellagio in Las Vegas. More recently, he was Executive Beverage Manager at Fantasy Springs Resort Daniel Thomas. & Casino, where he was in charge of the 11 restaurant bars and cocktail lounges and all beverage service for the casino floor. With a 6'7" frame, he dominates literally and figuratively the bar and the bar scene all around town. Given the nickname Dan Dan the Beverage Man by Queen Latifah, who became spoiled by his creative libations at Bellagio, Dan now utilizes the name for his beverage consulting company, which has gone international in its reach, with clients such as Coca-Cola, Capital Brands and the French-Mexican resort conglomerate Mayan Resorts. But he's not all corporate. He continues to mix it up with the inventive line of cocktails he pours at illustrious private Palm Springs events and is a welcomed mixologist-about-town at many popular bars and lounges. Catch him autographing his latest publication, Sometimes You Just Want a Quickie: A Whimsical Guide for the Happy Drinker, or check his website,, for videos as well as info about the professional services he provides. marks the spot... leading to the dark, dangerous taste of Hook's Black Caribbean Spiced Rum. At 92 proof, this premium rum gives a kick worthy of the mightiest swordsman—with rich notes of cinnamon, clove and sweet vanilla, overlaid with an oaky charred finish. Sip it straight or mix it up. Either way, adventure lies ahead. ©2013 Produced and Bottled By Hook's Rum Import Co., Weston, MO. october 2013  /  the tasting panel  /  61 46% alc./vol. (92 PROOF)   Drink Responsibly. Drive Responsibly. TP1013_034-65.indd 61 9/23/13 10:34 PM

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