The Tasting Panel magazine

June 2015

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10  /  the tasting panel  /  june 2015 INDUSTRY SPOTLIGHT BOOK REPORT Stepping Up L ast month, Step Up For Students and Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc., the nation's leading wine and spirits distribu- tor, announced that Southern has committed $100 million to the Step Up For Students Scholarship Program for the 2015–16 school year. This monumental redirection is the largest to the program—by far—of any contributor since the program launched in 2001. Southern's contribution will provide nearly a quarter of the total funding for Step Up For Students scholarships in the 2015–16 school year. Step Up For Students helps administer the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program, which provides scholarships to qualified low-income K-12 schoolchildren throughout Florida. Scholarships are funded by corporations that receive a dollar-for-dollar tax credit for their contributions. C hef Christopher Kostow's A New Napa Cuisine (Ten Speed Press, $50), with photographs by Peden+Munk, is a powerful and sweet ode to the Napa Valley and all it has to offer—from local farmers and artisans to the myriad opportunities for foraging—a place that this Illinois native has come to fully embrace. "I see The Restaurant [at Meadowood] as existing within the traditions of the grand restaurants of the past," writes Kostow, as a way of saying that while nodding to certain ingredients like truffle and caviar for their "historical value," he's not afraid to take his three-Michelin-starred restau- rant into high-end cooking "from a different place—and with fewer constraints." To that end, "I never wanted foraging to be the focus of my work," he says, adding, "a few months in the valley changed my thinking." If you really take the time to read this book, which was recently named Cookbook of the Year by The International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP), it might inspire your artisan spirit within—be it a chef, winemaker, distiller brewer or farmer—to dig deeper into your own roots, to discover what exists locally that may give rise to some newfound passion. —Jonathan Cristaldi Drinking Responsibly F or the second year in a row, Pernod Ricard USA's full salesforce teamed up with more than 1,000 Southern Wine & Spirits of America salespeople to distribute information to retail accounts which can be shared with consumers about key programs from The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility (, including helpful tips on how to be a responsible host during the occasion-filled summer months. The team covered thousands of stores nationwide. "Pernod Ricard USA and Southern Wine & Spirits are committed to being leaders—not only in the sales of our premium portfolio, but also in the fight against the abuse of our products," says Bryan Fry, President and CEO, Pernod Ricard USA. "That's why we brought this program back for another year in partnership with the Southern team."

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