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Monday, August 18, 2014

08/18/2014 - Chinese Wine Escapades

China has become an important and emerging region for wine consumption and is spending big on fine wines from around the world.  This episode of Slow Living's our guests share their experiences working with the Chinese, in particular Dr Joe Chuang of Firefly Vineyards, to help demystify wine for the general population.


Our introduction includes a performance by Panda Ye Peng, a Chinese singer living in Australia, bringing a taste of Reggae to her Chinese Audience.  See the performance here.

Tim and Dr Chuang with their awards in China

Tim Hanni MW
Sasha Paulson ,
Features Editor, Napa Register, and Author

Sasha and Tim have recently co-written, “The Master’s Secrets to Enjoying Wine”, which is being translated to be published later this year. The focus of the book is to engage Chinese consumers to “love wine from the heart” – meaning for the enjoyment of flavors, rather than just for the fashion or prestige.

Their Chinese mission began working with Dr. Joe Chuang, who has Firefly Vineyards in Napa. All of the wine he makes is shipped to China, where it is sold and the profits support a foundation he has established to help poor, rural children continue their education past 9th grade. Joe, a native of Taiwan, is an engineer by training, who has a green energy research company based in Napa that works world-wide. He also has a winery in China,  is hoping to establish a Global Wine Expo to help California winemakers sell wines more easily in China.  Joe is also establishing a Friendship association between his wine region, and California.

Sasha and Tim have fun with some local Chinese delicacies, scurrying sea cucumber,
and ........ a foot of some kind!
 Read more about their stories in the following articles written by Sasha.


Monday, August 11, 2014

08/11/14 - Mixing for Summer

Summer is in full swing and no better time for a nice cool "spirited" beverage infused with the flavors of the season.

Our two guests bring us their own personal "flavor", one through the written word and artifacts, and the other through some good pure mixed drink ideas.  We'll also get the low down on the world of bitters and food pairing.

culinary art and antiques maven. sommelier. hunter gatherer. fisherman. cook. writer. traveler and wanderer.

Lisa Minucci
Heritage Artifacts

As a sommelier for many years on both the east coast and west, Lisa Minucci travels the world’s great wine-producing regions and knows that where there is good wine, there is good food.  And where there is good food and wine, there are beautiful arts and antiques devoted to the noble pursuit of gastronomy; these artisanal pieces oftentimes created entirely for their exaltation and celebration. Heritage Culinary Artifacts is the ultimate repository for her treasures and finds. It’s also a wonderful excuse for Lisa to continue to travel, eat, fish, hunt, gather, and forage, returning to her home in California’s Napa Valley with interesting booty and tales from both the trails and the table. 

Paul Martin
Tasting Room Manager/Brand Ambassador

Paul had been enjoying “mixed” beverages since 2001, but it wasn’t until 2008 that he learned the difference between good and bad “booze” and became “intoxicated” with the industry.  Working his way through all aspects, from tour guide, to production, bottling, tasting room management, and of course, mixing, Paul has an acute sense of  the defining levels of many spirits including vodka, gin, brandy, tequila, rum, whiskey, absinthe, liquor, and the accompanying world of bitters.
Leading the tasting room of Napa Valley Distillery, Paul is often seen guiding large groups through a more extensive selection of beverages than one would ever see in a wine tasting room.  One could wonder whether his goal was to educate or inebriate?
Here's Paul's Drink of the Day:
Blood and Scandal.
Build in a rocks or tasting glass
1/4 ounce of Simple syrup
3 dashes of Meyer Lemon Sage Napa Valley bitters
1 1/2 ounce of the Napa Valley Distillery Gin
Add ice and top off with Blood Orange soda, stir and garnish with a cucumber wheel.
Try not to drink more that 5! :)