S.F. somm Tonya Pitts on perseverance, mentorship | Female brewers are changing the world of sake in Japan | Garagiste winemaker community centers on creativity
July 8, 2020
Wine & Beverage Edition
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What’s on Tap
Wine Director Tonya Pitts of San Francisco's One Market Restaurant has advocated for women and diversity in the industry throughout her 20-year career in wine, which has included stints at top S.F. eateries such as Stars, Bizou and Zuni Cafe. She advises young women and Black people who have their eyes set on the industry to ask questions and seek out mentorship, and to remember that "...if you're in the room you deserve to be there. Period." she said, recollecting her first wine tasting and prejudices she experienced.
Full Story: The Daily Beast (7/7) 
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Beverage Buzz
Female brewers are changing the world of sake in Japan
Women sake brewers are making their mark in Japan, with an estimated 20 female toji -- sake-makers -- now working in an industry historically dominated almost exclusively by men, said Shuso Imada, general manager for Japan Sake and Shochu Makers Association's JSS Information Center. The experimental mindset embraced by Imada Shuzo Honten sake brewmaster Miho Imada has garnered international accolades at events such as France's 2017 Kura Master, the UK's 2017 International Wine Challenge and Japan's 2016 Annual Sake Awards.
Full Story: Forbes (7/5) 
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An independent-minded movement of winemakers called garagistes, whose roots stem from a band of Bordeaux vintners who chafed under the region's strict winemaking rules and began selling their own wines from garages in the 1990s, has taken hold around the US. Among them are garagiste Dieter Cronje, who produces a skin-fermented chenin blanc at Santa Maria, Calif.'s Riding Monkey wines, and Scott Sampler's Central Coast Grape Project, which he runs from an industrial park in Buellton, Calif.
Full Story: Wine Enthusiast Magazine online (7/2) 
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Some Oregon vintners are calling for more diversity in the state's wine industry, which is largely populated by white men, Ryan Clarke writes. The diversity of the industry's consumers should be reflected in its workforce, marketing and supply chain choices, advises Jessica Mozeico, Et Fille Wines winemaker and Willamette Valley Wineries Association's diversity task force chairwoman, noting that the organization is creating a diversity pledge for members and an "equity toolkit" to bring more underrepresented groups into the industry.
Full Story: The Newberg Graphic (Ore.) (7/5) 
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Behind the Bar
Bartenders riff on what defines a classic cocktail
A classic cocktail is one that is memorable and easily recognized, appeals to a wide swath of people and transcends location beyond one specific bar, writes Kara Newman, based on an informal survey of leading bartenders. For example, she adds the Negroni can be ordered nearly anywhere in the world with reliable results, even though it was created in Italy.
Full Story: Wine Enthusiast Magazine online (7/7) 
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SmartBrief Originals
Restaurants face challenges as they reopen their dining rooms with new safety practices in place to reassure customers and new rules on mask wearing and social distancing that can be difficult to force diners to follow. "Consumer demand for restaurant dining is there as well as a want for normalcy, but there is nothing normal about this situation," NPD Group's David Portalatin said.
Full Story: SmartBrief/Food & Travel (7/8) 
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Laws and Licensing
Texas Department of Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller has asked Gov. Abbott to immediately reopen wineries and tasting rooms, which were closed by executive order June 26. In a July 1 letter to the governor, Miller wrote that tasting rooms can accommodate social distancing measures and that 95% of all Texas wine is sold in tasting rooms, adding that their closure brings "a damaging downstream effect on the grape producers, wineries and surrounding communities, wine manufacturers and retail outlets."
Full Story: KEYE-TV (Austin, Texas) (7/2),  Fredericksburg Standard-Radio Post (Texas) (7/2),  San Antonio Current (7/3) 
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The Wine Cellar
An unnamed buyer paid roughly $72,000 at a Langton's auction for a bottle of 1951 Penfolds Grange, the highest price ever paid for an Australia-produced wine. Fewer than 20 bottles of this vintage remain in circulation.
Full Story: Decanter online (7/6) 
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CIA Association News
Grape kombucha
(The Culinary Institute of America)
Kombucha is a fermented beverage that has found its way to store shelves everywhere, thanks to its probiotic health benefits and tasty tart flavor. Grapes provide an additional healthy boost to this refreshing kombucha. Chef Rebecca Peizer from The Culinary Institute of America shows us how to make this kombucha using fresh green grape juice.
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Courage isn't something you are born with. It comes to you with experience.
Patricia Neal,
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