The SOMM Journal

October / November 2015

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10 { THE SOMM JOURNAL } OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2015 { letter from the publisher } Keeping Up with Your Jonesing WHEN I AM INVITED TO MEET WITH a winemaker or attend a seminar, it's not always just about what my calendar looks like that day. Even if I am booked with conference calls, client lunches or other predictable obligations, that may not nec- essarily cause me to excuse myself from one more outside project—or even a short flight to wherever. Only I know what will lure me away from my busy office, so I wonder what magic words, what intriguing value we can offer to you—our wine buying/impor ting/distribut - ing readers—that will instigate your craving to taste a cer tain category of wines, that will entice you to network with your indus- try peers, and that will create a jonesing in you so irresistible that you would refocus your plans and add one of our events to your busy calendar. We are in the planning stages for so many exciting events in the next year—on such a wide variety of topics, at so many diverse locations and with such a range of important tastemakers—that it is nearly overwhelming (those of you who have met me know I'm a competitive multi-tasker). And we want to maintain a sense of uniqueness for each one. From adventuresome SOMM Camps (Lodi, Stags Leap, Champagne and beyond) to our informative Cru Artisan College tour across the country (March 7–11), from the trend-setting Paso Robles CAB Collective (April 12–14) to the fascinating International Chardonnay Symposium (May 13–15), we'll be calling on many of you to join us. We prom - ise valuable educational experiences that will also have sure-fire networking potential. In this issue, you'll be able to look at our "unpredictable" events from the past couple of months. We met South African Wine Ambassador Jean Engelbrecht in San Francisco, who led a Master Class on some stellar Stellenbosch and Franschhoek wines. He perked our ears when he revealed that it has only been in the last ten years or so that a new wave of winemakers have upped their game and changed the profiles of many signature offerings from this 300-year-old wine-producing country. We'll take you to Silverado Vineyards in Napa Valley, where Fred Dame, MS tasted us through the 2012 vintages of the winery's new releases, to beachy Los Angeles to have a meal cooked by a Loire Valley chef while sipping wines from Touraine, and to NYC's now upscale Harlem for a world-class lunch while tasting and talking about Roussillon. We may not be able to conjure up an epiphany at every event, where you'll be mentally transported into uncharted medi - tative territory (although that does happen on occasion!), but what we do set out to do—whether in our ink-soaked pages or in real-life, terroir-driven 3D—is to enrich you, entertain you . . . and hopefully have you hungering for more. selected contributors Christine Havens is a wine writer and former winemaker who has become a Vivino power user with nearly 30,000 followers largely thanks to her wine ratings. In addition to her reviews, she frequently contributes to Vivino, and is a Network Advisory Ambassador for Christine has deep roots in the Washington state wine industry. Having worked as a profes- sional winemaker or nearly a decade in Southeastern Washington, she's sourced fruit from some of the most distinctive AVAs in the state, including Walla Walla Valley, Snipes Mountain and Yakima Valley. Of note, she was the first winemaker to have created a private label for Washington State University. Noah Singerman has been working in wine and spirits for over 15 years. The wines of Sonoma County, where has born and raised, not only shaped and inspired his early palate, but also instilled a passion for wine that has lead him to form his career as an educator and sommelier. He moved to New York City almost a decade ago to expand his food and beverage knowledge. He has served as a Beverage Director at both Five Points in NOHO and Walter Foods in Williamsburg, Assistant Wine Director and Sommelier at The Standard Hotel West, and has most recently worked as a Sommelier at The Dutch in SOHO. He also teaches wine classes on his free time, and has been a member of the Guild of Sommeliers since 2007. Dan Vogel, CSW & Certified Sommelier, is currently Food & Beverage Director for Lake McDonald Lodge, Glacier National Park, Xanterra Parks & Resorts. A native Eastern Washingtonian, he grew up with the Washington wine industry. Having developed hundreds of wine pro- grams across the Pacific Northwest and Hawaii, his influence has been applied to retail, restaurant and distributor sections of the industry. Specializing in wine sales through story-telling he is a free-lance contributor to The SOMM Journal as well as several regional lifestyle magazines, and served as a guest sommelier for the 2015 International Chardonnay Symposium in Pismo, Beach, CA. He lives and writes from Whitefish, Montana. Jim McMahon is a Sydney based wine consultant and consults for Accor Hotels, Australia. Jim is also a national and international wine show judge and writes articles on food, wine and travel. For more information, visit his website www. or contact him at Contributing photographer Stephanie Secrest has been entrenched in the Bay Area journalism scene for 19 years, having received her Master's degree in photojournalism from Ohio University. She lives happily in the Bay Area in her teeny cottage near San Francisco Bay. Fred Swan is a San Francisco Bay Area-based wine writer, judge and an instructor for the San Francisco Wine School. He holds the WSET Diploma and is a Certified Sommelier, California Wine Appellation Specialist and Certified Specialist of Wine. In 2009, he was inducted into the Éschansonnerie des Papes, the hon- orary society of the Châteauneuf-du- Pape AOC, and awarded a fellowship by the Symposium for Professional Wine Writers. Meridith May with South African Wine Ambassador Jean Engelbrecht, who led a Master Class on the country's wine regions at The Ritz-Carlton in San Francisco. PHOTO: STEPHANIE SECREST

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