wine pairing

April Cooks: A Del Frisco’s Sommelier Smackdown and Much More

jeffrey-mayfield
Sommelier Jeffrey Mayfield

Wow,  April Cooks at the Wine School! Every month, we run a full week of cooking classes, food & wine pairing classes, and –of course– the Sommelier Smackdown!

In this post, we have supplied you with all the details, from bios of our competing sommeliers to the BEST wine pairings of the week (as voted by our students), and recipes for all the tasty dishes I created especially for the week. Cheers!

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Philadelphia Daily News: Get a taste, and degree, for wine

If you don’t know a pinot gris from a pinot noir, resolve this year to become a wine pro.

With the popularity of movies like “Sideways,” a film about love and marriage set in southern California’s Santa Barbara County wine district, as well as increased interest among young professionals who are starting wine clubs and going to tastings, there’s no better time to sip and learn.

Wine 101

Philadelphia Inquirer: The newlywed cellar

Making those choices would be a challenge for even a well-seasoned wine drinker. So I turned to several Philadelphia wine experts for advice – plus specifics on how they would spend that $500 – and discovered a wide range of strategies, styles, and considerations for tackling such a happy conundrum.
The first question each one asked, though, was probably the least sexy: What is the storage situation?

“If wines are not stored in a reasonably cool, dark environment, they’re not going to hold very well,” says Keith Wallace, founder of the Wine School of Philadelphia. “Even two years out, bottles can be compromised.”

Dealing with wine fridges or a genuine basement wine cellar is a project of its own that can easily devour hundreds of dollars. But it’s a necessary evil if you plan to lay an expensive bottle down for a decade or two.

Philadelphia Inquirer

Philadelphia Inquirer: Not all are toasting changes uncorked by LCB

It is a case of vintage revenge. Wine merchants in Delaware and South Jersey are now clearing shelf space for their old nemesis: Jonathan Newman, former chairman of the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board.

The “xChairman Selections,” as one shop calls them, are the discounted wines that Newman’s new company will introduce in Pennsylvania border states this month.

Newman had risen to the unlikely status of folk hero among Pennsylvania wine lovers, partly because of his celebrated Chairman’s Selection specials. But one year ago, he resigned in protest after Gov. Rendell’s controversial appointment of Joe Conti as chief executive officer of the LCB.

While Newman’s entry into the private sector is intriguing the sip-and-swirl crowd, it also casts a spotlight back on the LCB. The $1.69 billion-a-year agency has been the subject of skepticism and upheaval since Newman left.

Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles Times: Rasslers ready to stomp on wine snoots

Vince McMahon doesn’t want anyone thinking his wrestling superstars are a bunch of wine-tasting wimps.
McMahon’s World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. has told the American Wine Foundation, owner of the Wine School of Philadelphia with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, that it is infringing on its copyright by calling one of its wine classes “Sommelier Smackdown.” As any WWE fan knows, “Smackdown” is the name of one of its most popular franchises.
In a letter to the Wine School of Philadelphia, the WWE told the wine sippers that its use of the word “smackdown” is “likely to create consumer confusion as to WWE’s affiliation, sponsorship and/or approval” of the class. Yes, because we all know how similar wine snobs are to wrestling fanatics.

Philadelphia Inquirer

Philadelphia Inquirer: The Wine School vs. WWE

World Wrestling Entertainment is going to the mat against the Wine School of Philadelphia. WWE, which trademarked the term Smackdown years ago, is fighting the Wine School’s attempt to register Sommelier Smackdown for its grape-centric competitions.

Last month, WWE law firm K&L Gates sent a cease-and-desist letter to the Fairmount business, which started Sommelier Smackdowns in 2007.”I feel kind of special,” said Keith Wallace. “I am being picked on by Vince McMahon. I better start working out.” In a note to friends, he wrote that he was calling out McMahon and wrestlerChris Jericho to a wine-tasting double-team cage match.

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