The Tasting Panel magazine

April 2010

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Page 14 of 116

THE MESSAgE Whether THE TASTING PANEL goes to the brand execs or the brands call us, there is an abundance of news to report, from the latest releases to behind-the-scenes experiences with some of the world’s most infl uential importers, winemakers, distillers . . . well, you name it. Brief Encounters We may not have enough pages in each issue to devote as much attention as we would like to each person whose path we cross, but please note that if it’s in the publication, we deem it noteworthy —Meridith May, Publisher & Executive Editor Absinthe dreams in Old L.A. n the evening of February 17, Pernod-Ricard turned the clock back in downtown Los Angeles to what many believe was a more romantic era in mixology. The semi-deserted and dark- ened streets echoed with the hollow clop of horses’ hooves as a group of spirits writers were transported by carriages to three Depression era–inspired gastro-pubs to rendezvous with “The Green Fairy”—the original Pernod Absinthe and the cocktails it inspired. O The evening began at Cole’s, founded in 1908 and located in the old Pacifi c Electric building. But the 40-foot-long mahogany bar at the front of the house was bypassed in favor of The Varnish, a speakeasy- style back room restored to its clandestine allure. There, absinthe- inspired cocktails including the Sea Fizz, Corpse Reviver and Death in the Afternoon, were served. Next stop was L.A.’s newest “1940s supper club,” First & Hope. While a “canary” warbled in the restaurant’s Fedora cabaret-lounge, Beverage Director Aidan Demarest and Lead Bartender Marcos Tello conjured up cocktails laced with Pernod Absinthe, including The Drip. And fi nally, The Edison, a multi-level homage to L.A.’s fi rst private power plant, where a bowl of Pernod absinthe punch was offered alongside a silver platter of chocolate truffl es—a decadent fi nish to a journey that proved Pernod Absinthe transcends time. —Richard Carleton Hacker At The Varnish, Eric Alperin, who established their cocktail menu, serves a chilled Remember The Maine, made with Old Overholt rye, Cherry Herring, Dolin Rouge vermouth and Pernod Absinthe. Wente’s Legacy Awards T he Second Annual Wente Family Estates Legacy Awards took place last month to honor the distributor and importers who have continued to grow the winery’s brands, even in the challenging economic climate of 2009. See more on these honors on page 78. Larry DiPietro (VP National Sales, Wente), Carolyn Wente (President, Wente Family Estates), Steve Slater (VP/GM SW&S of SoCal) and Marc Gutierrez (CA State Mgr, Wente). 14 / the tasting panel / april 2010 PHOTO: RICHARD CARLETON HACKER PHOTO: PETER GRIFFITH

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