The Somm Journal

Dec 2015-Jan 2016

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 10 of 124

10 { THE SOMM JOURNAL } DECEMBER/JANUARY 2015/2016 { editor's notebook } What started as a dream between childhood friends, Romée de Gloriainoff, Pierre-Charles Cros, Olivier Bon and Xavier Padovani, has turned into an award- winning international brand, with four cocktail bars located in Paris, London, New York and Ibiza, as well as a number of restaurants and wine bars. Since opening its first New York-style bar in the heart of Paris, the Experimental Cocktail Club has gained notoriety for unmistakable creativity and flair, featuring precise cocktails that express the character of the cities they are from. Now these friends are letting the world in on the secret to their success with the release of 85 exquisite cocktail recipes in a handsome book, Experimental Cocktail Club (Mitchell Beazley, $30). The sleek, black and silver exterior and color - ful, elegant interior make this recipe book both entertaining and inspiring. In his updated version of American Whiskey, Bourbon, & Rye (Sterling Publishing, $25), Clay Risen gives us the detailed breakdown of over 300 whiskeys, bourbons and ryes. From history to taste and price, all bases are covered. Risen is detailed and endearingly honest in his reviews, and offers great advice on how to enjoy these square- jawed spirits. Not to mention, all brands come with a color picture, making it easy to distinguish in a liquor shop. The world of spirits is often overwhelming with its myriad options, but this handy guide makes choosing extremely simple. American Whiskey, Bourbon & Rye is the perfect addition to any whiskey lovers' bar. Bitters are hot right now. Mixologists are using them to add punch, pizzazz and complexity to cocktails and even food. However, the world of bitters is oftentimes confusing. Enter appropriately-named Mark Bitterman, author of Field Guide to Bitters and Amari (Andrews McMeel Publishing,$25). Bitterman's book is the first and only handbook to decode today's growing selection of bitters and amari. The book covers everything from maker profiles and tasting notes to recipes for both eating and drinking. Learn how to playfully add a splash of bitters to recipes, such as bittered Southern fried chicken or fernet flan. Next, wash it all down with a bitter-blasted Old Fashioned. Bitterman's Field Guide to Bitters and Amari is a guide for the edgy. Mike DeSimone and Jeff Jenssen, the World Wine Guys, have gathered a plethora of information on the California's wine growing regions, starting from Northern California's Mendocino and ranging to Southern California's San Diego, and compiled it in a beautiful, special edition book called Wines of California (Sterling Epicure, $27.95). Showcasing the bounty California has to offer in terms of wineries and winemakers, and filled with lush and colorful images, the book captures the rich beauty and essence of California winemaking. Capsule descriptions of individual wineries are, by necessity, brief and cursory but the book is up-to-date and useful to have in your wine library. THE READING ROOM A Banner Year ANOTHER GREAT YEAR FOR OUR MAGAZINES! In May, THE TASTING PANEL had its eighth anni- versary. The SOMM Journal is still a toddler but walking on its own, thank you very much. Our third publication, The Clever Root, got off to a colorful and exciting start in November. All in all, 2015 has been a year of considerable progress and growth. Personally, it has been a great year of tasting for me. Since the beginning of December last year to now, I have tasted 2,734 wines—not counting the hundreds of wines I sampled at the San Francisco International Wine Competition. I recorded a score and a tasting note for each of the wines I tasted. Of these, 718 (29%) were white, 1733 (64%) were red and the remainder (7%) were rosés, sparkling and fortified. The combined suggested retail price for these wines is $106,872. The quality of the wines I sampled keeps getting better and better. This year 44% of wines achieved a score of 90 points or higher, a very good showing indeed, but fewer than 2.5% were awarded 95 points or higher. In the same time frame, I tasted 230 spirits, with a total retail value of $24,879, not counting the close to 300 I tasted at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition. It's been a busy year editorially as we reached out to more remote corners of our industry to bring you the fascinating stories that make our world so exciting and ever-changing. Stay tuned and we will make you a part and an eye witness to the on-going golden age of wine and spirits. We look forward to an exciting 2016 for our indus - try, for our readers and for ourselves. Take some time to pause and appreciate your blessings then strap on your goggles and prepare for another fabulous year ahead. Happy New Year!

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of The Somm Journal - Dec 2015-Jan 2016