Randy Caparoso's Blog (77)

Praying for salvation: when will we be rid of stinky corks?



Originally published in Sommelier Journal (January 2010):



The fall of 2009 was not a particularly kind on my longtime love/hate relationship with natural corks. It started with attendance an East Coast wine festival, where I was asked to judge 24 chardonnays. Two of them are badly… Continue

Added by Randy Caparoso on May 28, 2010 at 1:00pm — 2 Comments

Syrah, Syrah, Syrahs at Hospice du Rhône (and in Santa Barbara)

When we talk about “Rhône” grapes, we usually mean more than syrah; but also grenache, mourvèdre, viognier, roussanne, marsanne, and some sixteen other varieties, as well as blends of such, associated with the vast expanse of Southern France, from the Riviera to the Bay of Biscay (in this sense, these aren’t nearly so much Rhône Valley grapes as they are Southern French grapes).…



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Added by Randy Caparoso on May 13, 2010 at 6:30am — No Comments

Culinary matching 101: wines for classic blackened tuna

In the mid-eighties Paul Prudhomme’s blackened redfish permanently entered the vocabulary of the average American restaurant-goer, but you can argue that all the variations of blackened tuna have become even more ubiquitous in restaurants and bars, and practiced by adventurous home cooks.





For over thirteen years I worked with one of America’s… Continue

Added by Randy Caparoso on March 28, 2010 at 7:18pm — No Comments

When service is spelled stupid (trials & tribulations of restaurant wine professionals in other restaurants)

(originally published in Sommelier Journal (Dec. 2009) as Bottom Line column called Gotta Serve Somebody:





We knew things would get rough early in 2009 when we read about the poor slobs on Wall Street taking 50% cuts in their million dollar bonuses. Which meant the working… Continue

Added by Randy Caparoso on March 26, 2010 at 9:05am — 5 Comments

The war between the greens (sustainable vs. organic vs. Biodynamic® viticulture)

Green wines have become more plentiful and better than ever, which is good news for all of us, and the environment.



One of the unseemly aspects of this inexorable movement, on the other hand, is the public sniping between the various sustainable, certified organic, and Biodynamic® camps; and I have to say, what’s even more disappointing are sides taken by individuals… Continue

Added by Randy Caparoso on September 22, 2009 at 7:00pm — No Comments

The green wars part 2 (organic, Biodynamic® & sustainable tasting notes)

Here’s the lowdown on some of the more notable – if not fantastic – organic, Biodynamic®, and sustainably grown wines tasted during (and just after) my most recent jaunt (August 2009) through the West Coast. For an explication of the green delineations, please refer to previous pieces on… Continue

Added by Randy Caparoso on September 22, 2009 at 6:59pm — No Comments

Was my old man in Hawai`i a Biodynamic pioneer?

Say what you will about Biodynamic® grape growing and winemaking, the methodology makes for entertaining thought. Especially if you're a Pinot Noir lover. One sip of the unique, supple, nostril tingling Pinot Noirs by, say, Marcel Deiss in Alsace, Meinklang in Austria, Porter-Bass in California, or Maysara in Willamette Valley tells you that, loud and… Continue

Added by Randy Caparoso on September 17, 2009 at 7:28am — 1 Comment

A wine buyer's precise guide: taking it green

Green Wines Today



In California over 5% of the state’s total plantings of wine grapes (over 12,000 acres) are now certified organic by third party organizations like California Certified Organic Farms (CCOF). In a recent study of organic growers in Napa Valley, I found that percentage to be closer to +7%. Some industry analysts have it that over 90% of vineyards on the West Coast are… Continue

Added by Randy Caparoso on July 31, 2009 at 3:40pm — 2 Comments

Organic wine & food matching: Neal Cabernet Sauvignon & braised lamb with mint gremolata

“When I told my dad we were going to take the company organic,” says Mark Neal, “he drove over to Sonoma and came back with a tray of rotten apples and peaches and said, ‘this is how our grapes will look when you grow organic.’”



Not to be dissuaded, Mark initiated the transition of vineyards owned or… Continue

Added by Randy Caparoso on July 1, 2009 at 3:32pm — No Comments

My best from 2009's Hospice du Rhône

This past spring I attended two massive tasting events: the Hospice du Rhône (May 1-2) in Paso Robles, and World of Pinot Noir (March 6-7) in Shell Beach.



As much for myself as for your possible interest, here are some of the highlights from the Hospice du Rhône – all exceptional wines, worthy of a place in any wine list or cellar – out of about 100 wines tasted, listed in order of my personal favorites:



HOSPICE DU… Continue

Added by Randy Caparoso on June 21, 2009 at 12:44pm — No Comments

More great Pinots than you can shake a stick at (World of Pinot Noir 2009)

This past spring I attended two massive tasting events: the Hospice du Rhône (May 1-2) in Paso Robles, and World of Pinot Noir (March 6-7) in Shell Beach.



The upshot: there are now more great Pinot Noirs being made than you can shake a stick at. Pinot lovers these days feel like kids in a candy shop at venues like World of Pinot Noir. So as much for myself as for your possible interest, here are some of the highlights from that weekend in… Continue

Added by Randy Caparoso on June 21, 2009 at 12:19pm — No Comments

How can we love 'em (i.e. organic wines) when stores & restaurants won't tell us what is what?

"How can I miss you when you won't go away?" goes the old Dan Hicks song. When it comes to merchandising organic wines in stores and restaurants, the song is more like: how can we appreciate them when you don't even tell us what they are?



One thing we do know: like organic foods twenty, thirty years ago, wines produced in organic, Biodynamic®, as well as vegan and sustainable fashions are emerging out of the fringe elements of commercial… Continue

Added by Randy Caparoso on June 18, 2009 at 8:07pm — No Comments

This is no social crisis: Beckman Purisima & summer grilling

Randy Caparoso is an award winning wine professional and journalist, living in Denver, Colorado. For a free subscription to Randy's Organic Wine Match of the Day, visit the… Continue

Added by Randy Caparoso on June 14, 2009 at 2:11pm — No Comments

Organic wine & food matching: Tres Sabores Perspective and gnocchi with pig's feet ragout & chanterelles

Randy Caparoso is an award winning wine professional and journalist, living in Denver, Colorado. For a free subscription to Randy's Organic Wine Match of the Day, visit the… Continue

Added by Randy Caparoso on June 9, 2009 at 11:28pm — No Comments

Organic wine & food match: Robert Sinskey Marcien & Maria Helm's braised veal shanks

Randy Caparoso is an award winning wine professional and journalist, living in Denver, Colorado. For a free subscription to Randy's Organic Wine Match of the Day, visit the… Continue

Added by Randy Caparoso on June 7, 2009 at 7:14pm — No Comments

Wine the Grand Illusion (or, The Myth of "Breathing" Wine)

Does price affect the "quality" of wine? Yes, indeed it do.

At least according to…

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Added by Randy Caparoso on May 19, 2009 at 1:45pm — No Comments

Organic wine & food matching: Quivira "Wine Creek" Zinfandel and cheeses-to-die-for

Randy Caparoso is an award winning wine professional and journalist, living in Denver, Colorado. For a free subscription to Randy's Organic Wine Match of the Day, visit the Denver Wine Examiner… Continue

Added by Randy Caparoso on April 17, 2009 at 5:18pm — No Comments

Organic wine & food matching: Domaine Vigneau-Chevreau Vouvray and artisanal cheeses

Randy Caparoso is an award winning wine professional and journalist, living in Denver, Colorado. For a free subscription to Randy's Organic Wine Match of the Day, visit the… Continue

Added by Randy Caparoso on March 29, 2009 at 10:05pm — No Comments

Organic wine & food matching: Tres Sabores Porque No and pasta with giblets & mushrooms

Randy Caparoso is an award winning wine professional and journalist, living in Denver, Colorado. For a free subscription to Randy's Organic Wine Match of the Day, visit the… Continue

Added by Randy Caparoso on March 26, 2009 at 8:42pm — No Comments

Organic wine & food matching: Quivira Sauvignon Blancs & fresh herbed pastas

Randy Caparoso is an award winning wine professional and journalist, living in Denver, Colorado. For a free subscription to Randy's Organic Wine Match of the Day, visit the… Continue

Added by Randy Caparoso on March 24, 2009 at 7:34pm — No Comments

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Smartbrief

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National News

Dunkin' Brands Reports First Quarter 2014 Results

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Hurricane Grill & Wings Signs Franchise And Multi-Unit Development Agreements For Additional 22 Units

Hurricane Grill & Wings, a restaurant franchise known for its never-frozen jumbo wings and more than 35 signature flavors, announced today the signing of five multi-unit development agreements, representing 22 new locations. The Florida-based brand opened two locations in early 2014, with plans for a total of 14 new units by the end of the year.

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Dunkin' Donuts announced today the signing of multi-unit store development agreements with two new franchise groups to develop 20 new restaurants in South Orange County and the San Fernando Valley area over the next several years.

Brinker International Reports Increases In Third Quarter Fiscal 2014 EPS And Comparable Restaurant Sales

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CROWD FUNDING

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TED TALKS VIDEO

TED: James Patten: The best computer interface? Maybe ... your hands - James Patten (2013)

"The computer is an incredibly powerful means of creative expression," says designer and TED Fellow James Patten. But right now, we interact with computers, mainly, by typing and tapping. In this nifty talk and demo, Patten imagines a more visceral, physical way to bring your thoughts and ideas to life in the digital world, taking the computer interface off the screen and putting it into your hands.

TED: Hamish Jolly: A shark-deterrent wetsuit (and it's not what you think) - Hamish Jolly (2013)

Hamish Jolly, an ocean swimmer in Australia, wanted a wetsuit that would deter a curious shark from mistaking him for a potential source of nourishment. (Which, statistically, is rare, but certainly a fate worth avoiding.) Working with a team of scientists, he and his friends came up with a fresh approach — not a shark cage, not a suit of chain-mail, but a sleek suit that taps our growing understanding of shark vision.

TED: Michel Laberge: How synchronized hammer strikes could generate nuclear fusion - Michel Laberge (2014)

Our energy future depends on nuclear fusion, says Michel Laberge. The plasma physicist runs a small company with a big idea for a new type of nuclear reactor that could produce clean, cheap energy. His secret recipe? High speeds, scorching temperatures and crushing pressure. In this hopeful talk, he explains how nuclear fusion might be just around the corner.

TED: Sarah Lewis: Embrace the near win - Sarah Lewis (2014)

At her first museum job, art historian Sarah Lewis noticed something important about an artist she was studying: Not every artwork was a total masterpiece. She asks us to consider the role of the almost-failure, the near win, in our own lives. In our pursuit of success and mastery, is it actually our near wins that push us forward?

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