Tag Archive for 'cooking'

The Art of Blending

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Welcome to our video podcast – The Art of Blending – Video Show #54.

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Blending, or the combining of multiple ingredients, has always been part of the art of cooking. So too has it always been a part of wine making and the creation of exotic mixed drinks. So, it should be no surprise that blending the flavors and aromas of Cognac with the culinary arts results in a sum greater than its parts. In fact, this beautiful marriage of components is likely to elicit a gastronomical delight. But, as with cooking, it is all about the quality of the ingredients.

There is a familiar saying, “All Cognac is brandy, but not all brandy is Cognac”, and the Cognac region of France is rightly famous for its brandy, a spirit made by double-distilling wine to create an eau-de-vie, a colorless liquid of about 70% alcohol. After years of aging in large oak barrels, the spirit takes on additional complexities and various shades of amber-gold color depending upon age. During this aging process much of the alcohol is lost through evaporation (called the “angel’s share”), and after final blending the spirit is reduced to about 40% alcohol. Cognac is usually consumed on its own as an aperitif (before dinner), as a digestif (after dinner drink), or used in cooking. In addition, it has also become very popular as an ingredient in many cocktails.

GrapeRadio is pleased to present, “The Art of Blending”, a tribute to the artistic efforts of master blenders, chefs, and mixologists who use palettes of flavors to create passion in the world of wine, food and cocktails.

For More Info on Cognac: www.bnic.fr

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Stewards of the Land: Russian River Valley

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Welcome to our video podcast – Stewards of the Land Russian River Valley, Sonoma – Video Show #24.


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When you think of the Russian River Valley, what comes to mind? Pinot Noir and Chardonnay? Well, right now, yes, but it wasn’t always that way.

Trappers and hunters predominated in the early 1800s, as Russian settlers moved into this area just north of San Francisco giving the river and the surrounding watershed its colorful name. By the 1870s, viticulture had been firmly established in the valley, only to be completely de-railed by prohibition in the 1920s. What followed, even after the repeal of prohibition in 1933, was a steady growth in normal agricultural crops and orchards for many years to come. It would take a 30-year incubation period for the re-birth of vineyards.

The true wine Renaissance finally arrived in the 1960s, when pioneers like Charles Bacigalupi and Joe Rochioli began planting Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. And later, when Chateau Montelena took the French by surprise at the 1976 Paris tasting (with a Chardonnay made from Bacigalupi fruit), and Williams Selyem began to win accolades for its Russian River Valley Pinot Noirs, the valley found its rightful place as a world-class (and world famous) wine growing region.

GrapeRadio is proud to present a brief look at the Russian River Valley, including interviews with Joe Rochioli, Howie Allen, Helen Bacigalupi, Burt Williams, John Haeger, James Laube, and many more. Join us for a close-up of this beautiful area, including highlights of its history, its agriculture, its foods, and most importantly, its people.


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GrapeRadio is a wine talk show. Show topics cover issues such as the enjoyment of wine, wine news and industry trends - the hallmark of the show is interviews with world class guest (winemakers, vineyards owners, wine retail / wholesale leaders, restaurateurs and sommeliers). The scope of the show is international so expect to hear many guests from around the world.

GrapeRadio has received numerous awards and honors including the 2008 James Beard Award for excellence in Journalism.

GrapeRadio has been the subject of numerous news reports by: The New York Times, Business Week, CNN, The Financial Times of London, and Wired Magazine.