The Tasting Panel magazine

May 2016

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4  /  the tasting panel  /  may 2016 When I interviewed actor, producer, dancer and new vodka entrepreneur Channing Tatum at this year's WSWA convention in Las Vegas, I intimated that we consider our business—wine and spirits—as the glamor industry. He chuckled and didn't disagree, attesting that waiting around while sets are built, broken down and then reconstructed was anything but glamorous. I nodded, adding the fact that we only have to do one take, demonstrating that fact as I took a sip of his Born and Bred vodka. Making Channing Tatum laugh (for the second time) was quite fulfilling to me. He was in my territory, and I felt elated. But what really impressed me about him— besides his obvious good looks and Southern gentlemanly fine manners—was the recognizable passion he had for his new vodka. Sure, we've seen this emotion before from winemakers, distillers and brand own- ers, but he was genuine in his down-to-earth explanation about what he loved about this Idaho potato–based spirit. This was its debut in our arena. I also had the opportunity to interview model and actress Christie Brinkley, who was also launching a new product: her 100% Glera grape Proseccos. She went beyond the QVC-type pitch and spoke charmingly about the wines' attributes, from flavor profiles to organic ingredients. She believes in her Bellissima wines. Truly, we are so lucky to be the insiders in an industry that celebrities long to fit into. Sure, there are some servers in L.A. who long to become actors, but for most of our readers, yours is a life-long commitment to your field without the desire to make it on the silver screen. You, my friends, are OUR celebrities, and The Tasting Panel is always thrilled to have retailers, restaurateurs, mixologists, F&B Directors, distributors and brand folks grace the pages of our magazine. Meridith May Publisher/Editorial Director LETTER FROM THE PUBLISHER I interviewed actor Channing Tatum about his new vodka, Born and Bred, at the WSWA convention in Las Vegas. PHOTO: MONA SHIELD PAYNE The Insiders

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