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Phil Ward

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    New Jersey
  1. I am sure many of you saw this last week re my former employer and his idea of comps and gifts. I was upset when I was terminated last August, after only 11 months with the company, and happily I am gainfully employed by a superb family company, The Opici Wine Group. <<Decanter.com April 22, 2008 Magrez luxury gifts rebuffed by journalists Wine magnate Bernard Magrez has outraged a group of journalists by offering each of them a Cartier wristwatch worth €1,650 (£1,322/$2,641). The watches were distributed after a press lunch hosted by Magrez and French actor Gerard Depardieu on 26 March. The lunch was held at the Alain Ducasse restaurant at the Hotel Plaza Athénée in Paris. Around 50 journalists attended – including wine critic and ex-Revue du Vin de France editor Thierry Desseauve, Philippe Bidalon from L'Express magazine and Gérard Muteaud of Le Nouvel Observateur.Upon leaving the lunch, journalists were offered a bag that contained a press kit and a box that most did not open until after leaving the restaurant. The box contained the watch, and a certificate of authenticity signed by a Bordeaux jeweller. One journalist, who requested anonymity, told decanter.com> that many journalists discussed the situation and agreed among themselves that keeping the watches could be misconstrued. It is understood that the majority have been returned. In response to the gift, Desseauve wrote a letter to Magrez, detailing that he had donated the watch to French homeless charity Restaurants du Coeur. 'Together with my colleague Michel Bettane {also ex-Revue du Vin de France}, who was not there, we wanted to show Mr Magrez that his gesture would not change our professional attitude towards him, nor our way of judging wines. We felt the most judicious response would be to give an equivalent sum to a relevant charitable body,' Desseauve wrote in an email. 'At 72 I've been around the block a few times, and I know what you should and shouldn't do with respect to journalists,' Magrez told decanter.com. 'I am not so stupid as to think I can buy them. This lunch was held to commemorate over 1,700 vintages [collectively] at my three greatest vineyards, and I chose to mark the occasion by engraving a watch. If a few of the invited journalists choose not to keep the watch, that is of course their prerogative.' The former head of Cartier is Alain Dominique Perrin, a friend of Magrez who recently commented that Bordeaux pricing was immoral, and that first growths could not cost more than €15 (£12/$24) per bottle to produce. The incident was first published on political blog site bakchich.info, with the comment, 'When you produce an average-quality wine, nothing works better than a pretty present in order to get the specialist press onside.' The Bernard Magrez Group has an annual turnover of €40m (£24m/$48m), with over 35 wine estates around the world.>>
  2. Well, I got there at 9:55 and it was nearly empty. Had plenty of time to taste and talk to vendors. Spent time talking to the honey and garlic farmer next to Circa. Bought some of both. Loved Chef Joe Sparatta's (Circa) raviolis. I was cheesed out by 11:00 and headed home. No prblem with crowds for me! Phil
  3. Good day all, This is a great opportunity to taste some remarkable cheese from VT, ME, Quebe, and NJ and support agriculture: http://www.valleyshepherd.com/cheese_Festival.htm Phil
  4. Good day all, Heading to Bordeaux next week. Have three nights for dining. No need for romantic as this is a solo trip. Would like: regional, casual, fun, wine focused or screamingly good. Thanks Phil
  5. Had a very nice meal here on Wed night. Very nice service. Food was very imaginative and presented in a casual yet well thought out manner. Found a good Rose from Frogs Leap and a pretty good Barbera at reasonable prices considering the PLCB. I recommend you give it a try. Phil
  6. Thanks to all for supporting this new NJ focused magazine. Kim, Thanks to you and Bob for hosting the tasting and for permitting me to taste the wines!! Phil
  7. If they are using bread baked in Phila, then they could be great. If not..... Just my $.02 Phil
  8. As mentioned before, I am the wine writer for this NJ focused publication. The web site is now live and is located here: http://www.gardenplate.com/ Thanks, Phil
  9. It will be on selected news stands for the next issue which will be released at the end of July. Phil
  10. Zoe B, Thanks for buying a copy and for the compliment. Phil
  11. Yes, this is a bit self serving as I am the wine writer for this new publication. But that having been written, I am also a huge supporter of their focus on food, drink, wine, and agriculture in our "garden" state. It is available from Tomato Media, PO Box 699, Somerville, NJ 08876 or http://www.gardenplate.com It should be available in August at many book stores and grocery stores on the magazine racks. Thanks and I hope some of you pick this mag up. I have enjoyed the experience of writing for them as well as their articles in the first two issues. Phil
  12. Maybe the bottle was corked? Heck its a Rose, its meant to be light, crisp, and full of bright fruit aromas and flavors. Its not a wine to ponder, just a great quaff. Just my $.02 Phil
  13. I don't mean to flog a new publication I am the wine writer for but.... I urge all e-gulleters to look for this new NJcentric publication. I have a feeling they will succeed in their quest to link food, wine and agriculture. With a logo that includes our state and the tag line "food and drink at every exit" how bad can it be...... Phil
  14. If you are looking for a great Port web site go here: http://www.fortheloveofport.com/ Roy Hersh is one of the most knowledgeable people on the planet on the subject of Port, imho. Phil
  15. Phil Ward

    Riedel glasses

    <<the consistently best prices I've found are on-line at Flemington Cut Glass. >> They no longer carry Riedel. Phil
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