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Monday, January 23, 2012

01/24/2012 - Coffee and Wine Myths Exploded


Slow Living Radio's guests tonight, Ritual Roaster's Coffee Educator, Christopher Cassasa, and Oxbow Wine Merchant's Master Sommelier, Peter Granoff, will bring us the low down on their arts!  Does Espresso have more caffeine than drip coffee? Is Verdhello the same as Verdejo? Where did the cappuccino originate? Why do Australians call Syrah, Shiraz?  Our show will be sure to shed new light on ancient old arts, and give you a new appreciation for these delightful beverages.  Listen in and blog us with your own curiosities about the culture of coffee and wine.





Christopher Casassa
Coffee Educator
Ritual Coffee Roasters, Oxbow Public Market
 
What is so special about the coffee, you ask? It's the precise care Ritual take with every step: their uncompromising selection of green coffee, unflagging attention to roasting; rigid freshness standards and intensive barista training program.

You may be inclined to laugh when you hear that they taste a coffee no fewer than 20 times before it makes it into the coffee bars.


Sourcing

Ritual is unique in its commitment to buying coffee direct from coffee producers. Of the 166,000 pounds of coffee we roasted last year, nearly 90% came from producers we work with directly.

Buying direct enables us to get our hands on the very best coffees while ensuring that the quality-focused producers are rewarded for their hard work. It also means that when you're drinking our coffee, you're only one step away from the producer responsible for this exquisite treat.



 


Peter Granoff, M.S.
Co-Owner, Oxbow Wine and Cheese Merchant
 
In 1991 Peter Granoff was the 13th American to earn the coveted title Master Sommelier, and is one of the 16 Americans to date that have earned the Krug Champagne Cup by passing all three parts of the exam on the first attempt. He is active today as an examiner and lecturer for the Court of Master Sommeliers Introductory, Advanced and Masters level programs. In 1991 Peter also received the James Beard Foundation Sommelier of the year Award.
 
In January of 1995 Peter and his brother-in-law Robert Olson, a software engineer, launched Virtual Vineyards, an ecommerce pioneer and the first US entity to sell wine on the Internet. According to Wells Fargo Bank, Virtual Vineyards was the first business ever to process a secure credit card transaction over the Internet. It was also the subject of a Harvard Business School Case Study, and was cited in numerous business and e-commerce marketing journals & texts as a pioneer during that heady (headless?) era. The company had a good six-year run and grew to $28 million in annual sales before what Peter calls “the dot.com era of ludicrous expectations” caught up with it.

Prior to Virtual Vineyards Peter spent 25 years in the hospitality industry as a food & beverage director, wine buyer, sommelier, bartender, waiter, box schlepper, dishwasher, and busboy, including two years in the Burgundy region of France, and a year with a Relaix & Chateaux hotel in Switzerland. He even “faked it as a chef” on several occasions. He is active as a speaker, panelist, judge, and educator in numerous consumer and industry settings, and has presented at professional wine and e-commerce conferences at American universities such as Harvard, Wharton, Rhodes, and UC Berkeley, and as far away as Switzerland, France, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa.

In 2002 Peter joined the Adjunct Faculty at the Culinary Institute of America’s new Professional Wine Studies Program, and was an active instructor until the demands of his latest business ventures forced him to take a hiatus.

Since 2003 Peter has been co-proprietor of Ferry Plaza Wine Merchant & Wine Bar in San Francisco’s acclaimed Ferry Building Marketplace. In January of 2008 Peter and his current business partners opened Oxbow Wine Merchant & Wine Bar, and Oxbow Cheese Merchant, in the newly created Oxbow Public Market in downtown Napa, California. These three businesses benefit from Peter’s accumulated business experience, down to earth perspective on wine, great sense of humor and thoroughly gray hair.

Twitter: @oxbowwine • @oxbowcheese • @fpwm

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