July 30, 2021
Wine & Beverage Edition
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What’s on Tap
Sommeliers share their favorite aperitifs
(David Silverman/Getty Images)
Seven sommeliers from Wine Spectator's Restaurant Award winners reveal their summer picks for the perfect before- or after-dinner drink -- and share how to prepare some of them -- in this roundtable. Will Jones, wine director at The Hope Farm in Fairhope, Ala., recommends a spritzer combining Mata Blanco vermouth, a dry sparkling white such as prosecco or cava, ice and a lemon twist, while Jody Davis, wine director at Aretsky's Patroon in New York, praises the "slightly sweet and aromatic" Marenco Brachetto d'Acqui Pineto 2020.
Full Story: Wine Spectator (7/28) 
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Beverage Buzz
Champagne region fights mildew fungus after heavy rains
(Tim Graham/Getty Images)
Growers and vintners in the Champagne region are working nonstop to keep mildew fungus from damaging the grapes and vines of their 2021 harvests, a perennial threat that has been exacerbated by this summer's heavy rains. Champagne industry experts still remain optimistic about this year's yield, pointing to the rebounding global demand for Champagne as restaurants and retailers restock after a weak 2020.
Full Story: Decanter (7/29) 
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Fruit farmers in Washington state are bracing for millions of dollars in losses due to the heat wave that took a steep toll on crops, including cherries, berries and wine grapes. It's possible the heat will also cause damage for potato crops, but the extent of that won't be known until harvests begin in September.
Full Story: The Bellingham Herald (Wash.) (7/27) 
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Behind the Bar
Thanks to a 2019 Texas law change, Jester King Brewery in Austin, Texas, has ventured beyond beer and started producing its own wine, making it the only Texas brewery to get into the winemaking game, according to co-founder Jeffrey Stuffings. The brewery, which released a carbonic black Spanish and a jammy cabernet sauvignon this summer, has even planted 1,800 grapevines and expects to pour its first estate-grown wines by 2024, and Stuffings says Jester King has "the chance to do something that is truly unique and special" in the decades to come.
Full Story: Austin 360 (Texas) (7/28) 
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Several bartenders in the suburban Chicago area are mixing up unconventional cocktails, hoping to "change people's idea of what should go in a drink," said Sarah Geist, the general manager of Barrel + Rye in Geneva, Ill., where the Life's a Beach combines passion fruit puree, vodka, Greek yogurt, lemon, honey and vanilla. A blend of avocado and cilantro gives a creamy mouthfeel to The Guac's Extra, a cocktail at Mexican restaurant Bar Chido in Downers Grove that also features Patron Silver, agave and lime.
Full Story: Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, Ill.) (7/28) 
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Wine pick of the week from Decanter
Font Mars, Picpoul de Pinet, Languedoc-Roussillon, France 2020
Subtle on the initial nose, with yellow apple skin and white pepper emerging gracefully. This evolves into green apple, pomelo, grapefruit and yuzu, with some white peach. The acid structure is enticing -- so tempting and lip-puckering, in fact, that you can't help but take another sip. Crying out for oysters. Decanter score: 92 points. Drink: 2021-2022. Alc: 13%
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SmartBrief Originals
Most Clicked: Take a look at this week's hottest food and beverage industry stories with SmartBrief's Top 10 list.
McDonald's creation of a customer experience team to focus on growth and the promotion of longtime executive Manu Steijaert to lead it caught SmartBrief readers' attention this week. Campbell's Soup's redesigned labels and its sale of 100 nonfungible tokens to support Feeding America topped this week's Top 10 list.
Full Story: SmartBrief/Food & Travel (7/30) 
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Laws and Licensing
Amid reports that the UK's international trade secretary is considering implementing a 25% tariff on US wine imports as part of an ongoing trade war, industry insiders are warning that such action could make the popular US wines unfeasible to import. "Simply put, they will disappear from supermarket shelves and pubs," said Ed Baker, managing director of wine and spirits supplier Kingsland Drinks.
Full Story: Morning Advertiser (U.K.) (7/28),  Drinks International online (7/28) 
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Star Ingredient
A Scottish farm's strawberry vodka is blowing minds
The family-owned Arbikie Highland Estate on the east coast of Scotland has created a flavored vodka for people who don't like flavored vodka, writes Aaron Goldfarb, who calls the distillery's Strawberry Vodka "one of the best-tasting, most cult-ish spirits in the entire drinks world at the moment." A sipping spirit that also works well in cocktails, the strawberry vodka is the result of two years of experimentation, and the spirit has different vintages because the berries' flavor profile changes from year to year.
Full Story: VinePair (7/29) 
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What's Shaking
  • The Washington Post (tiered subscription model) (7/27) 
CIA Association News
Real wine education. Online.
(The Culinary Institute of America)
Want to take your food career to the next level, but don't want to disrupt your life? Then the CIA's online program in wine and beverage management is just what you've been waiting for! Our flexible online courses are paired with at-home tasting kits and short, intensive residences. Learn more.
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Start planning your culinary journey
(The Culinary Institute of America)
The best restaurants don't just exist in metropolises. In recent years, entrepreneurial chefs have been building their now booming businesses in smaller cities. This year's Worlds of Flavor International Conference and Festival explores innovation across cities of all sizes in the Americas and will help bring to light the trends that are shaping the industry. Join us, in person at The CIA at Copia, Nov. 3 to 5, to explore an eye-opening blend of cultures, ingredients, techniques and cuisines from throughout the Americas. Register today to take advantage of early-bird pricing.
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It is a time in which we will redefine what it means to be human, for this is not just the start of a revolution, it is the start of an evolution.
David A. Sinclair,
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