The Tasting Panel magazine

May 2015

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10  /  the tasting panel  /  may 2015 INDUSTRY SPOTLIGHT BOOK REPORT It's Beer O'Clock Somewhere! With the craft beer craze in full swing, everyone is looking for ways to learn more about the liquid inside the pint glass (or tulip, stein, etc.). To expand their knowledge, your consumers need to look no further than the comprehensive guide Beer O'Clock: An Insider's Guide to History, Craft, and Culture (Skyhorse Publishing, $14.99) by 2014's U.K. Beer Sommelier of the Year, Jane Peyton. The book covers topics from the linguistic roots of the word "beer," to styles and glassware, to food pairings to beer trivia—it's the perfect in-depth introduction to this growing industry. Beertails Altering beer is not a new concept, but many people don't dare to tread near the topic. To ease the concerns of these folks, Jacob Grier has masterfully walked through how to properly blend your two favorite craft categories—cocktails and beer—in his book Cocktails on Tap: The Art of Mixing Spirits and Beer (Stweart, Tabori & Chang, $24.95). After a hearty helping of general tips, tricks and info, it dives into over 50 recipes, split into three catego- ries: Vintage Drinks, Hot Helpers and Contemporary Cocktails. No matter the season, no matter the bar program, it has a little something for everyone. A New Deal Epic Wines and Signorello Estate recently announced their distribution partner- ship; Epic will exclusively represent Signorello Estate's portfolio of Napa wines in California. The "Wines by Ray Signorello" portfolio consists of four brands, encompassing a total of five Cabernet Sauvignon bottlings and one old vine Napa Valley Chardonnay. The six wines are made by the Signorello Estate winemaker, Pierre Birebent, who has been with the property since 1998. Wines available to whole- sale include Signorello Padrone, Estate Cabernet Sauvignon and Hope's Cuvée Chardonnay—all are single-vineyard, artisan- produced, estate wines in limited quantities. IN MEMORIAM: Joseph Phelps (1927–2015) V isionary Napa Valley vintner Joseph Phelps passed away on April 15 at the age of 87 at his home in St. Helena. While working at his father's large Colorado construction com- pany, Joe became fascinated with wine. He established an office in the San Francisco Bay Area in 1966 and began to explore Napa and Sonoma wine countries. As his interests in construction and wine converged, he became involved in various winery construction projects. Sensing the boundless potential of Napa Valley to grow the world's finest wines, Joe founded Joseph Phelps Vineyards in 1973. He produced the first varietally-labeled Syrah in California, and Phelps's inaugural 1974 Insignia marked the creation of an entirely new category of California wine: the proprietary Bordeaux-style blend. Insignia represented the best wine that he could produce in any given vintage and remains a benchmark for Napa Valley. Joe's four children were at his side at his passing. He also had eight grandchildren and two great-granddaughters.

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