Sunday, May 31, 2009

News and Events: Welcome to June!

This month will be a bit different for me than the past three or four months as I do not really have that much to report as far as upcoming wine tasting events. In fact, I only have one scheduled event for the entire month – see below. This is a result of several factors.

First and foremost, the State of CT has decided to enforce the Blue Book regulations to their fullest, and one of these regulations prohibits wholesale representatives (as well as supplier reps or even winemakers) from conducting tastings in CT wine & liquor retail shops. Even though we have been doing this as standard business for years, the Dept of Consumer Protection, Liquor Control Division, will no longer allow us to perform this service. It is considered an inducement for the retailer and as such is against the regulations (look it up: 30-21-6b of the reg’s). There are several movements in the works to amend this decision / regulation, but as far as I know there is nothing from the consumer side of the equation. As this is being regulated by the Department of CONSUMER Protection, I would think that some consumers might have an opinion on the topic(?).

The other reason why I am short of wine events this month is because I am traveling to California (June 15-21), and will be visiting San Francisco and of course wine country. I will be making daily reports on my blog, so you can check in if you are interested. The address is listed below.

I plan on visiting the following wineries:
Domaine Carneros (Carneros, Napa)
Sequoia Grove (Rutherford, Napa)
Cain (Spring Mtn, Napa)
Summers Estate (Calistoga, Napa)
St Francis (Sonoma)
Benziger (Sonoma)
Merry Edwards (Russian River, Sonoma)
Jordan Winery (Alexander Valley, Sonoma)
Davis Bynum (Russian River, Sonoma)
…and anything else that time allows

Even though this looks like a fun vacation, I will actually be working pretty hard conducting video interviews and adding as much to my media library as possible. My focus is to make sure that my wine classes are as up-to-date with first hand info and great visuals, as possible.

And this leads me to my last announcement, which is that we are taking Vintage Wine School online (at least that is the plan). The target date is July 3rd (keep your fingers crossed), and I will be spending a lot of time this month getting my information organized and loaded on the web. I will update with announcements as the dates gets nearer.

June Calendar of Events (there’s only one):

June 4th – MaxVantage Kick-off Party at City Place Hartford – Contact the Max Group for details.

News & Other Info

Several new restaurants are opening this month in the Hartford area:

Besito Mexican Restaurant is opening this week in West Hartford (Blue Back Square, next to Flemings Prime) – this is the third in the group, more up-scale than the typical Mexican places around the area. The menu looks tasty and the wine list is compact with some great selections.

Esca Wine Bar & Restaurant in Middletown will be opening June 10th. This is one of the largest restaurants in the entire area with over 200 seats. The inside is beautiful, the wine list is around 200 selections with 30 by-the-glass and loads of fun half-bottles and Champagnes. On the corner of Washington and Main Streets.

Cuvee, a Food, Wine & Champagne Room opening later this month in West Hartford (also in Blue Back, on Raymond Road, across from Whole Foods). I have been meeting with these guys for about 2 months now and they are serious about having something new and different for West Hartford. This restaurant will showcase smaller plates and great wines.

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