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Items filtered by date: October 2010

The Service of Sparkling Wines, Part 1

By Edward M. Korry, CSS, CWE

food2_nov10A server needs to seize the opportunity for determining the type of sparkling wine his or her customers prefer.

Champagne and sparkling wines conjure up images of celebration, elegance and pure enjoyment. While frequently perceived as merely a reception wine, the styles of sparkling wines vary enormously, and if properly understood can enhance a restaurant’s bottom line and a server’s income considerably. The key is to also provide commensurate quality service.

Many people refer to any sparkling wine as champagne, though only wine from the specific geographic appellation, 70 miles northeast of Paris, France, can rightfully be called Champagne. Champagne sets the standard for sparkling-wine production, and until 1990, other appellations both within and outside of France were able to refer to the champagne method on their labels. Since then no other EU wine may even refer to the term. In the United States, we have 14 semi-generic labels including champagne. Most U.S. sparkling-wine producers refer to their wines with the term CM/CV on the label. This refers to classic method and classic grape varieties, which includes chardonnay, pinot noir and pinot meunier.

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A “Baker’s Dozen” of Winning Raisin Breads

food3_nov10Educators and students were among the 38 finalists who rose to the occasion in the California Raisin Marketing Board’s final bake-off.

The California Raisin Marketing Board, the state marketing order that represents nearly 3,000 California raisin growers, announced 13 winners in its third-annual America’s Best Raisin Bread Contest held recently. The “bakers’ dozen” winners rose to the top among a total of 85 initial entries submitted by professional and student bakers from throughout the country.

“This year’s formulas exceeded our expectations by featuring diverse California raisin-inspired breads and bakery products—from savory Raisin Focaccia Bread with goat cheese and caramelized onions to sweet Raisin Pecan Caramel Rolls,” said Larry Blagg, senior vice president of marketing for the board.

The mission of the America’s Best Raisin Bread competition is to recognize and celebrate aspiring and working bakers for their skills. To allow the bakers more creativity and to broaden the range of products, this year’s artisan and commercial baking categories were expanded to include raisin rolls, pastries and other breakfast breads.

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