Jennifer CoolidgeJennifer Coolidge grew up in Boston and attended Norwell High School. She began her comedy career in New York City with the Gotham City Improv group. She later moved to Los Angeles where she became a long time member of the Groundlings. Jennifer’s television and film career began in 1990 when she appeared in Seinfeld. She may be best known for her work as Stifler’s mom in the American Pie movies. Coolidge also had memorable roles in Legally Blonde and Best in Show. Her long history working in comedy has led her to become a versatile character actress who is able to deliver a comedic line like no one else.
Stephanie CarawayStephanie, a Certified Sommelier, began her career in New York working at a number of notable establishments such as Balthazar and the Cub Room. Moving on to Arizona, Ms. Caraway studied in the cellar of Peter Kasperski, while managing the Wine Spectator Award winning wine programs of Cowboy Ciao, Kazimierz, and Sea Saw. Subsequently, while with of Fox Restaurant Concepts, she was the steward of a quarter million dollar wine program and was responsible for the education of the staff of not only one restaurant, but several different restaurant concepts. Stephanie was honored by Food and Wine Magazine which named her one of the Top Sommeliers of 2010. She currently holds a position with Southern Wine & Spirits.
Ray IsleRay Isle is Executive Wine Editor of FOOD & WINE, the modern, stylish, trend-spotting, talent-seeking epicurean brand. In addition to overseeing F&W’s wine department, Isle writes the monthly column, Tasting Room, for the magazine, directs the title’s spirits coverage, and is the author of foodandwine.com’s wine blog, Tasting Room. Isle was promoted from wine editor in 2010, and has also served as deputy wine editor and senior editor. Prior to joining FOOD & WINE in 2005, Isle was managing editor of Wine & Spirits Magazine. He regularly conducts wine tasting seminars at epicurean events and appears as a wine and spirits expert on national television, including NBC’s Today and CBS’s The Early Show.
Cady Huffman is an award winning actress with a stellar palate. On Broadway she has earned 2 Tony Award nominations and well as Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circles Awards for her portrayal of Ulla in The Producers. She has appeared in several feature films as well as delighting television audiences as Larry's "Anniversary Present" on Curb Your Enthusiasm, and eating her way into our hearts as a regular judge on Iron Chef America. Cady can also be seen as a recurring guest star on CBS’ “The Good Wife”.
Geoffrey Zakarian’s taste, style and passion for fine cuisine have defined his career, which has spanned more than 20 years at some of the country's top kitchens. This fall in NYC, he opened both The Lambs Club, at The Chatwal Hotel, featuring his signature modern American cuisine in a luxury bar and grill setting, and The National, at The Benjamin Hotel, his version of the types of grand cafés that are found across Europe. This summer he will open Tudor House in Miami at Dream South Beach. He is featured as a recurring judge on The Food Network’s Chopped, and has also appeared on Iron Chef America, The Best Thing I Ever Ate, and is a recurring featured judge on 24 Hour Restaurant Battle. His cookbook, Geoffrey Zakarian’s Town/Country, was chosen as an Editor’s Choice by The NY Times Book Review.
Paul Mills (AKA Poez)
Paul Mills, aka Poez, has been described by the NY Times as "a spoken-word pioneer," by the NY Daily News as "a voice musician…with a flow of words like a river…like a jazz instrument," and by Le Figaro of Paris as "astonishing." He has appeared with acts as diverse as Mose Allison and Richard Hell, and at such legendary venues as CBGB and The Bitter End. In 2007, Bowery Poetry Books published a collection of his writings, The Poetry Dollars. His CD, The Monotone, features a wide selection of his work, including "Spontaneous Combustion." He lives in Manhattan with his wife, singer-songwriter Suzanne Vega.
Belasco de Baquedano's Llama
Bodega Catena Zapata
Doña Paula Selección de Bodega
Famiglia Zuccardi Q
The province of Mendoza, in the Cuyo region of Argentina, is the center of the country’s booming wine industry. Approximately 75% of Argentinean wines come from Mendoza, and of those wines, most are Malbecs derived from the region’s signature Malbec grape. This varietal was brought from Bordeaux in France to the far western mountain region of South America in the mid-nineteenth century by Europeans who settled there.
The Mendoza wine region is located two hours by plane from Buenos Aires. Mendoza’s unique climate is due to its location east of and abutting the Andes Mountains. The province lies in the Andean rain shadow. The mountains shield the area from rain, drastically cutting down humidity that can cause fungal diseases in the fragile grapes during the growing season. In addition, consistently warm, dry weather at harvest time affords growers the luxury of picking the grapes at the moment of optimal ripeness. Since bad weather is not a factor, winemakers of Mendoza benefit tremendously from the predictable climate in terms of control over their product. Although there is much variation and choice in the taste of individual wines from Mendoza vintners, Malbecs from this region are almost guaranteed to be of high quality year after year.
Mendozan vineyards exist at very high elevations, often at more than 3,000 feet above sea level. Among the premium varietals produced here are Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvingnon and Chardonnay. Malbec dominates, however, and not just in planted acreage, but in worldwide popularity. Malbecs from Argentina are medium to full-bodied red wines, ideally paired with red meat—a specialty in Argentinean and other South American cuisines—or with spicy or tomato-based recipes such as those frequently found in Italian, Cajun, Indian and Mexican dishes.
For more on Mendoza Malbec, click here.
Photo of Mendoza by Carlos Calise, courtesy of Wines of Argentina
•Wine production in Argentina dates back to the early 16th century when the first specimens of “vitis vinifera” were brought to America by the Spaniards. Catholic priests planted vineyards around their monasteries to ensure wine to celebrate holy mass was available. To learn more visit www.winesofargentina.org.
• Argentina is among the top wine producing countries in the world. It has seven grape growing regions with distinct latitudes, altitudes and soils. Malbec wines—especially those of Argentina’s Mendoza region—are highly regarded and in great demand internationally.
•The Malbec is a small, dark-purple, tannin-rich grape, designated in France as one of six permitted in the blending of Bordeaux wine. The grape is almost always called “Malbec” in Bordeaux, except in the village of Saint-Emilion within Bordeaux, where it is called “Pressac.” In and around the town of Cahors in France, the same grape is called “Auxerrois,” “Cot Noir,” or simply “Cot.”
•French agronomist Michel Pouget brought Malbec grapevines from Bordeaux, France to Argentina in 1868, planting them in the province of Mendoza. They flourished as the region has an ideal climate for the delicate Malbec grape. Argentina now grows about 70% of the world’s Malbec grapes
•Severe frost in France in 1956 killed about 75% of Bordeaux’s Malbec crop, contributing greatly to this variety’s decline in use (and therefore in popularity) in French winemaking.