Thursday, April 13, 2017

Gantous & Abou Raad Arak

By Warren Bobrow

The language of travel supersedes the need to actually speak the semantic of the place.  As does travel, the need to fill the belly with more than just laughs- actual food- should take precedent over dialogue.  The same holds true for strong drink.  I always recommend taking some food when imbibing and the conversation will just flow- as marvelous as the food and drink that fills the gut- and the soul!

Arak (Middle Eastern in derivative)-distilled from grapes and anise seed, as opposed to Arrak- distilled from sugarcane (popular in Southeast Asia) is what fills my gut and my heart.  Arak is the last thing on my lips- and the first thing into my memories.  It is mystical and aromatic with memorable herbal elements of more than just licorice.  There are history lessons to be learned with each measured sip of Arak.

DrinkUpNY is fortunate to carry the classic Arak: Gantous & Abou Raad Arak

In my research on the topic, Arak is the same final product as Ouzo and Raki.  They are all created from grape based alcohol that is rectified and flavored with the same ingredients.  Anise Seed is used like juniper in gin and it gives Raki, Ouzo and Arak their signature flavors of licorice and reminiscences.  There is a certain Terroir in these liqueurs and they truly taste of the place where they are produced.  It’s quite uncanny actually.  I can taste the friendly nature of the people who make each drop.  They seem to beckon me to the table to enjoy a sip or two against the blistering heat. 

A favored way to enjoy Arak, as well as Ouzo and Raki is in a slender glass with a drizzle of water to release the volatile oils and aromatics.  Ice is usually not produced, nor is it offered as ice would have been impossible to attain and keep cold in the often arid temperatures of the Middle East where Arak is permitted and celebrated.

I’m a fan of flavors and tastes that evoke a far off place.  In this regard, I’m calling attention to this region of the world.  More out of a metaphor for conversation though the filling of the belly. Then as an added benefit there is good food and fine drink such as this Arak. 

And as health is my metaphor, may I suggest a portion of freshly crushed carrot juice to act as a determinate for the potent Arak?  Absolutely.  And because Arak is frequently no less than 50% alcohol, it needs very little to unleash the fire held deeply within. The grape base is aged in clay amphorae like they made wine 5000 years ago!  Talk about history!

Gantous & Abou Raad Arak is produced in a place further afield in the Middle East, this case is Lebanon, where the finest Arak is produced using the most historic methods including the use of copper pot stills and low temperature, through multiple distillations and the infusion of anise seed. 

Phoenician Carrot Frappe
Ingredients:
3 oz. Gantous & Abou Raad Arak
2 oz. Freshly crushed carrot juice
Crushed Ice
Fresh mint- (drop cut end in boiling water for 10-15 seconds, then store in ice water cut end down)

Preparation:
To a Burgundy Wine glass- add the crushed ice
To a Boston Shaker- add the Arak and the carrot juice- add bar-ice to fill ¾ and cap, shake hard for 15.5 seconds.  Double strain over the ice in the Burgundy glass
Garnish with the fresh mint, add more ice to the glass, if necessary

Serve with a full stomach and empty your mind

Cheers from all of us at DrinkUpNY!

Warren Bobrow is the celebrated author/bar man and mixologist responsible for the 1st book on the topic, Cannabis Cocktails.

Warren has written to date four books, Apothecary Cocktails, Whiskey Cocktails and Bitters/Shrub Syrup Cocktails.  His first book, Apothecary Cocktails was nominated for a Spirited Award at the 2014 Tales of the Cocktail. Warren has been a dishwasher, and a pot scrubber- a cook- and a saucier.  He cooked professionally around the country, Portland, Me., Charleston, Sc., Scottsdale, Az., New Hope, Pa., He owned and lost his fresh pasta manufacturing company located in Charleston, SC in 1989- Hurricane Hugo.

Then came a twenty-year career in Banking.  Don’t ask!  Demoralizing yet, essential.
Fortunate to do what he is passionate about, Warren has five books in May 2017 and more ideas on the way.  Ministry of Rum judge, Rum XP associate, American Distilling Institute, Saveur 100, Oxford Encyclopedia, Sage Encyclopedia, Whole Food/Dark Rye, Liquor.com, Barrell Bourbon.   He taught a deep dive on rum at the Moscow Bar Show, taught at Stonewall Kitchen, Attended the Fetes Gastronomie in Burgundy, traveled to Abruzzo in Italy for wine and Michelin starred foods, just to name just a few.  From failed-executive assistant in a bank to tastemaker to the world.
Never working yet never not working.  Smoke and Mirrors.  Authentic.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Wines to Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day for a Fortnight

By Liza B. Zimmerman

This holiday to honor the Irish has become one that almost all of us like to celebrate. I don’t bear the cold like I did when I was a kid to watch the parade but do love to fete the holiday inside with a couple of good bottles.

One of the ways to pay tribute to it is by drinking wines with Irish names as many producers from Napa to New Zealand and Australia having Irish roots. Another fun way to honor the day is to start it off with a little Vinho Verde from Portugal. This fresh and fizzy white isn’t actually green but it is a lovely pairing to start off a meal.

I also asked two sommeliers in San Francisco what some of their favorite picks are. “If you view Saint Patrick's Day as a celebration, I would suggest celebratory wine. Bubbles of any type will suffice, but there is nothing like true Champagne for a celebration,” says general manager and wine director Jon Kelble of Maybeck’s in San Francisco.

I couldn’t agree with him more that bubbles are great for any occasion. The sparkling lineup has just grown vaster year after year with lots of lovely cremants, proseccos, cavas and even delicious Lambruscos from which to choose.

“One of the things that I love about Champagne is it is easily, and happily, consumed on its own, but there are also bigger and richer styles that can be enjoyed with food. There are some Blanc de Noirs and Rosés that can be paired with heartier dishes,” adds lead sommelier David Castleberry from restaurant RN74. Some of the bigger, more fruit-forward styles can pair with almost every dish in a meal, even lighter meats or tartare.

Two Perspectives
You could go the full-on traditional route with food and wine pairing. At Maybeck’s a classic meal of corned beef cheeks with braised cabbage and roasted potatoes is served that Kelble would pair with an austere Austrian Gruner Veltliner or Riesling. He adds that “any of the more mineral based and higher acidic Pinot Gris, Rieslings or Gewurztraminers that inhabit those borderlands. Alsace also produces many excellent Cremants to continue the bubbly celebratory theme.”

Cremants from Alsace and the Loire Valley have long been favorites of mine. They deliver a lot of flavor for their price points. Another trifecta of regions to seek out good Rieslings is in the Finger Lakes region and both the Okanagan Valley and Niagara-on-the-Lake regions of Canada.

Since most of the country is just defrosting from winter by the end of March you might just want a big, hearty red to keep you warm. South African and Chilean blends are some of my favorites as they really show off the ever-improving wine making techniques in the two oldest of the two New World wine making countries.

Sláinte to you all. Let’s toast to the holiday all month long.

Cheers from all of us at DrinkUpNY!

Liza B. Zimmerman has been writing and consulting about wine and food for two decades. She is principal of the San Francisco-based Liza the Wine Chick wine writing, education and consulting firm. She has worked on staff and freelance at national magazines such as Wine Enthusiast, The Magazine of La Cucina Italiana, Wine Spectator, Where SF and the Examiner. She currently contributes to Cheers, Wine Business Monthly and the Examiner, among others.

Zimmerman focuses on demystifying wine and transforming it into a tool for business and networking for companies all over the country. Past clients include Genentech, Roche and IBM.

She has visited all the world’s major wine regions and is one of select few in the U.S. to hold the Diploma of Wine & Spirits (D.W.S.), the three-year precursor to the Master of Wine.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Eden "Heirloom" Ice Cider

By Warren Bobrow

Ice Cider is one of the most exciting things to come out of the Northern American Climes since downhill skiing!  Well, that would be stretching the winter-esque verbiage just a tad, but bear with me here just for a moment.  I’m thrilled to share with you my passion for a dessert wine so unique that an entirely new flavor profile has to be honed within your brain.  Unless you’ve spent any time in the Normandy (northern-decidedly un-touristy) region of France or in the frozen tundra of upper New York State and Vermont, it’s highly unlikely that the words Ice Cider would mean anything to you.  But please allow me to introduce you to a product that is certainly as elegant as ice wine.  But costs a 10th as much!

As a comparison, Ice wine is one of the scarcest forms of wine in the world- and it is understandably expensive.  The grapes have to freeze on the vine without turning to black goop- it’s a process that already is expensive because the grapes (either Vidal or Riesling) are not an easy grow in the cold climates.  Enter the much more durable apple.  Apple cider has only been produced in the Niagara Peninsula and just beyond.  The art of freezing the freshly crushed juice before fermentation is an art that many have never heard of, much less tasted.

That is until the Eden Cider Company in Vermont radically changed the way that cider can be enjoyed.  Instead of drinking a glass of apple cider lightly fermented in a glass like beer or champagne, or sparkling-style-mixed with Guinness in a velvet- a miniscule portion of ice cider is a veritable revelation of flavor. 

Ice Cider is concentrated goodness that only gets better over time.  Just like German ice wines age over decades, Ice Cider can be laid down for longer than you would imagine.  They are durable things that taste delicious on release too!  For 29 bucks, DrinkupNY has something that very few people have ever tasted, much less know exactly what Ice Cider tastes like. 

Heirloom Apples are not to be eaten un-cooked!  That sounds so foreboding, when actually- heirloom apples are precisely the kind of apples that go into cooked foods.  They have flavor far beyond the apples that you reach into a tree and freshly pick.  Heirlooms are concentrated and tart.  Some may say that they are bitter across the palate and quite drying.  Others may want you to steer clear of heirlooms all together because they are quite ugly to look at.  Whatever the case may be, the apples that make up the Eden "Heirloom" Ice Cider are things of rare beauty.  Because no matter what they look like, heirlooms create liquid pleasure that goes down your throat, drop by drop into liquid driven dreams.

Sometimes you’ll want to mix with the Eden Heirloom Ice Cider and I’d say- go right ahead. 

Rolling, Tumbling and Cascading of Pearl’s Infinite Wisdom
3 oz.  Eden Heirloom Ice Cider
2 oz. Guinness Foreign Extra Stout- left to go flat overnight
4 oz. Sparkling Cider

Preparation:
Into a pre-chilled Burgundy Glass:
Add the “flat” Guinness
Float the sparkling cider on top
Finish with another float of the Heirloom Ice Cider
Serve and prepare another… They’re so good!

Cheers from all of us at DrinkUpNY!

Warren Bobrow is the celebrated author/bar man and mixologist responsible for the 1st book on the topic, Cannabis Cocktails.

Warren has written to date four books, Apothecary Cocktails, Whiskey Cocktails and Bitters/Shrub Syrup Cocktails.  His first book, Apothecary Cocktails was nominated for a Spirited Award at the 2014 Tales of the Cocktail. Warren has been a dishwasher, and a pot scrubber- a cook- and a saucier.  He cooked professionally around the country, Portland, Me., Charleston, Sc., Scottsdale, Az., New Hope, Pa., He owned and lost his fresh pasta manufacturing company located in Charleston, SC in 1989- Hurricane Hugo.

Then came a twenty-year career in Banking.  Don’t ask!  Demoralizing yet, essential.
Fortunate to do what he is passionate about, Warren has five books in May 2017 and more ideas on the way.  Ministry of Rum judge, Rum XP associate, American Distilling Institute, Saveur 100, Oxford Encyclopedia, Sage Encyclopedia, Whole Food/Dark Rye, Liquor.com, Barrell Bourbon.   He taught a deep dive on rum at the Moscow Bar Show, taught at Stonewall Kitchen, Attended the Fetes Gastronomie in Burgundy, traveled to Abruzzo in Italy for wine and Michelin starred foods, just to name just a few.  From failed-executive assistant in a bank to tastemaker to the world.
Never working yet never not working.  Smoke and Mirrors.  Authentic.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Wines to Pair with Hearty Winter Meals

By Liza B. Zimmerman

Winter is my favorite time to use my crock-pot. These cold and rainy months you will find me slow-braising meats, making up different kinds of chili and cooking oxtail until it failing off the bone. These are among the richest foods in town and are a delight to pair with a wide range of wines.

While I am often drawn to intense red blends, from Bordeaux to California and Syrah-based gems, there is also room for some great whites here with these winter pairings.


Jason Alexander, managing partner at the two San Francisco restaurants The Progress & State Bird Provisions says that “Despite the season, we always seek to select wines that seek that elusive state of ‘balance’ with higher-toned fruit, moderate alcohol, bright acidity and tannins that are integrated.”

He adds that while, “The menus at both restaurants are intensely guided by the seasons and the team at our farm. Winter, though often associated with braises and hearty dishes, is really more driven by bitter greens, citrus and mushrooms [at the restaurants].” Given the dishes’ vegetal focus whites work well as pairings.

“For white wines we seek out grape varieties with texture and depth, but that shy away from wood and high alcohol [Chenin, Chablis]. For red wines we look for wines that are forceful and layered while also not driven by alcohol and wood influence [Nebbiolo, Syrah],” says Alexander.

In terms of red pairings, Alexander tends to choose “more savory red wines including Nebbiolo from the Alto Piemonte, Syrah from throughout the Rhone and cool-climate, thick-skinned grapes from California.” Twist my arm, they all sound delicious.

On his menu, he pairs dry, spiced BBQ lamb ribs with preserved lemon and curried ghee with a 2008 Nebbiolo, and Applewood-smoked squab with chili vinegar with a Chenin Blanc from the Loire Valley.

Day-to-Day Pairings
With fatty meats you will want to choose wines with generous tannins that will help to break them down as you eat. Cabernet Sauvignon is a great pick for meat-centric dishes, and those wines can be from anywhere from California to Chile.

South African blends are also favorites of mine, and I have great memories of enjoying them with Springbok, a local antelope. I tend to prefer those without Pinotage, South Africa’s unusual, signature grape. The South Africans are also making great, smoky Syrah as are many producers in Eastern Washington.

For pork dishes, without red sauce, you can do as they do in Alsace: pair some dry, aromatic Rieslings with your meal. Rieslings produced in Alsace tend to be drier than those from Germany, but feel free to experiment. Aromatic whites like Gewurztraminer, and esoteric ones like the Northern Italian Kerner, also go well with simple pork dishes.

Whatever you choose to pair with those big cozy meals make sure you enjoy them in good company.

Cheers from all of us at DrinkUpNY!

Liza B. Zimmerman has been writing and consulting about wine and food for two decades. She is principal of the San Francisco-based Liza the Wine Chick wine writing, education and consulting firm. She has worked on staff and freelance at national magazines such as Wine Enthusiast, The Magazine of La Cucina Italiana, Wine Spectator, Where SF and the Examiner. She currently contributes to Cheers, Wine Business Monthly and the Examiner, among others.

Zimmerman focuses on demystifying wine and transforming it into a tool for business and networking for companies all over the country. Past clients include Genentech, Roche and IBM.

She has visited all the world’s major wine regions and is one of select few in the U.S. to hold the Diploma of Wine & Spirits (D.W.S.), the three-year precursor to the Master of Wine.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Kings County Distillery Chocolate Flavored Whiskey

By Warren Bobrow

Oh, of course by the name alone- I disagree.  This rare form of joy in a tiny 375ml. bottle is not to be believed if you just read chocolate.  If you were to further read the label, unfortunately it speaks of some confection, a sweet flavor-untarnished by smoke or char, that above said, chocolate.  So I disagree in point, but not in effort.  Not at all.  Because the chocolate element is not candy and it’s not sweet.  It’s bitter.  I love bitter chocolate.  It’s from the Mast Brothers Chocolate Factory, a place famed for their craft chocolate.  They evidently do some milling of raw cacao in their Brooklyn chocolate effort, and there is some waste product that makes a way into the expressive ‘moonshine’ whiskey lurking over there in the light.   All you need is a clean glass, a paring knife (thanks to Gary Regan for keeping me on the straight and narrow regarding cutting an orange zest) and an orange that is not green and bruised.  Some good ice is a start- don’t go offering me quarter cubes- they are the worst- taking advantage of your guest?  Don’t even get me started on bad ice.

I’m a huge fan of those cheap silicone trays that go in the freezer.  You should be double bagging them so they don’t taste like that plate of garlic shrimp that went into the blue phase weeks ago...  You know the one.  When working with fine spirits your efforts are only as good as your ice.  And if your ice smells like feet or ammonia, well too bad for you.  I tried to teach you to make it good or not make it at all. 

Kings County is making some of the most authentic ‘flavored’ whiskey I’ve ever tasted.  The composition is organic New York corn and malted Scottish barley.  It’s dry on the finish- has some pepper in there, a touch of caramel.. some smoke follows quickly, a touch of milk sugar- the corn is pronounced but not overly assertive.  There is a tactile sense of foreboding, like something will be coming down the road and it might not be what you expected.  That would be the dry nature of the corn whiskey itself.  It’s flavored for a reason though.  And the aging time is shorter than you might want to know.  As long as it takes to walk from the distillery to your car?  So, what is Chocolate Whiskey?  It’s not like flavored vodka, although the basic ingredients are virtually the same.  Different gravities at work.  Kings County gets it.  This is not flavored vodka! They absolutely have my support since I don’t write about flavored vodka.  Ever!

I love it in the following drink.

The Navy Yard: Be is to Bop 
Ingredients:
3 oz. Kings County Distillery Chocolate Whiskey
6 oz. Roasted Blood Orange Juice- split blood oranges, sprinkle with sugar and Bitter Truth Aromatic Bitters, roast for ½ hr. at 350, cool and juice
2-3 large cubes of ice
2 oz. plain seltzer
Blood Orange Zest

Preparation:
To a Boston Shaker filled ¾ with bar ice:
Add the Roasted Blood Orange Juice
Add the Whiskey
Add the Aromatic Bitters
Cap and Shake hard for 15 seconds

Pour into two coupes
Test for bitter- add more if necessary
Splash of seltzer, pinch the blood orange zest over the top and serve

Cheers from all of us at DrinkUpNY!

Warren Bobrow is the celebrated author/bar man and mixologist responsible for the 1st book on the topic, Cannabis Cocktails.

Warren has written to date four books, Apothecary Cocktails, Whiskey Cocktails and Bitters/Shrub Syrup Cocktails.  His first book, Apothecary Cocktails was nominated for a Spirited Award at the 2014 Tales of the Cocktail. Warren has been a dishwasher, and a pot scrubber- a cook- and a saucier.  He cooked professionally around the country, Portland, Me., Charleston, Sc., Scottsdale, Az., New Hope, Pa., He owned and lost his fresh pasta manufacturing company located in Charleston, SC in 1989- Hurricane Hugo.

Then came a twenty-year career in Banking.  Don’t ask!  Demoralizing yet, essential. 
Fortunate to do what he is passionate about, Warren has five books in May 2017 and more ideas on the way.  Ministry of Rum judge, Rum XP associate, American Distilling Institute, Saveur 100, Oxford Encyclopedia, Sage Encyclopedia, Whole Food/Dark Rye, Liquor.com, Barrell Bourbon.   He taught a deep dive on rum at the Moscow Bar Show, taught at Stonewall Kitchen, Attended the Fetes Gastronomie in Burgundy, traveled to Abruzzo in Italy for wine and Michelin starred foods, just to name just a few.  From failed-executive assistant in a bank to tastemaker to the world. 
Never working yet never not working.  Smoke and Mirrors.  Authentic.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Wines for Valentine’s Day

By Liza B. Zimmerman

One of the biggest, and most commercial, holidays is just around the corner. Whether you are single or happily engaged in a relationship you will want to have some wine on hand for the occasion.

Bubbles are a classic. Everything from Prosecco to Champagne is always festive and perfect for the occasion. A little something red and bubbly, like a Lambrusco or a sparkling Shiraz from Down Under, would also be fun alternatives.

Jill Zimorski, the former wine director at Chicago’s Alinea restaurant, says that she always loves “Particularly Rose. It's great with everything but there's no denying it's a wine of occasion and the sound of a bottle of champagne being opened is one of the sexiest sounds ever.”

She prefers the classic over “obvious choices like Beaujolais St. Amour or Chateau Calon-Segur with the heart on the label.” I agree but think the Beaujolais Crus are pretty delicious to share with wide range of foods on Valentine’s Day or pretty much any other day of the year.

Big Reds for the Evening
Big, heady reds are always sensual for this day of the year. I find Rhone Syrahs to be some of the sexiest choices out there. The same could be said of the Syrahs from Eastern Washington and the Columbia Valley.

“I think a lot about aroma, so wines with really great, distinctive aromatics are super romantic/sexy to me--really good Barolo with age...where it's all truffley and heady...Brachetto, sweet or dry versions that straight smell like roses, but not in the cloying way that Gewurtztraminer sometimes does,” adds Zimorski about her favorite picks.

The earthy, dark-fruit driven wines of the Loire and the salt-of-the-earth Barberas of Piedmonte are always delicious. They are great pairings to open up a meal with slices of prosciutto or some mushroom-filled puff pastry snacks.

South African blends are also some of my favorites. They can combine tantalizing notes of earth, berries and cassis. While we are over in Africa Morocco is also making better and better wines, some of which feature my beloved Syrah.

End it Off Sweet
You may want a vino da meditazione, what the Italians call a wine to ponder to finish the evening. Marsala and Madeira, from Southern Italy and Portugal respectively, are two of my favorites. Their caramel notes seem to go on forever as the wine slides down your throat.

Passito di Pantelleria, another Southern Italian pick, is also a gem. There’s also always Port for a classic nightcap.

Cheers from all of us at DrinkUpNY!

Liza B. Zimmerman has been writing and consulting about wine and food for two decades. She is principal of the San Francisco-based Liza the Wine Chick wine writing, education and consulting firm. She has worked on staff and freelance at national magazines such as Wine Enthusiast, The Magazine of La Cucina Italiana, Wine Spectator, Where SF and the Examiner. She currently contributes to Cheers, Wine Business Monthly and the Examiner, among others.

Zimmerman focuses on demystifying wine and transforming it into a tool for business and networking for companies all over the country. Past clients include Genentech, Roche and IBM.

She has visited all the world’s major wine regions and is one of select few in the U.S. to hold the Diploma of Wine & Spirits (D.W.S.), the three-year precursor to the Master of Wine.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Wines to Warm You Up after Ice Skating

By Liza B. Zimmerman

When I was a little kid I used to love to go to Wollman rink in Central Park and do loopty loops with my friends. When that closed for renovations we went, on special occasions, to Rockefeller Center. It would a special treat to have a hot chocolate or even breakfast at one of the restaurants that facing the ice skating rink.

Now that I am a grownup my post-skating choice of beverage has changed a little. Nothing says winter, and celebration, like sparkling wine. I am really enjoying exploring cremants from different areas in France: although the Loire and Alsace remain favorites.

A little rose bubbly is never bad either, and pairs with so many kinds of foods. Some of the classic California sparkling houses make lovely versions as do many of the great Champagne houses.

Other Winter Whites
As oysters are so good and fresh—and great for lunch after a twirl on the ice—another festive way to celebrate would be pairing them with some of the wines with which they go best. The sea-smacked flavors of the whites of the Loire, especially Muscadet, are always great with them. The layers of salinity in the mollusks and these wines are phenomenal when they mix in the mouth.

Other favorite whites include those clean and fresh Northern Italian gems such as the well-known pinot grigio and the esoteric—and delicious—Kerner. A little bone-dry Riesling from Alsace or one with a hint of residual sugar from Germany is always a delight.

Big Reds to Warm You Up
When it gets colder out I do shift to drinking more hearty reds. If you are heading in for a lunch by the fire—at home or a cozy restaurant—after skating earthy reds are a great way to start a meal. The tobacco-infused and tangy, red fruit-driven reds of the Loire, almost any region, are always favorites of mine to start a meal. The Beaujolais Crus are also such gems and sometimes don’t get the respect they deserve with all the ruckus in fall over the Beaujolais Nouveau.

If you want your reds even bigger go for some Syrah-based blends. While this gem of a grape is often misunderstood in the states, producers in the Rhone know just how to produce these fruit-and earth-packed wines. Walla Walla is also making some stunning examples as are many producers in California. An interest in the grape certainly seems to be on the rise as when I judged the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition in January we had a big group of Syrah-based, domestic red blends: many of them were delicious.

Cabernet Sauvignons are also great after a little workout on the ice. I tend to prefer the blends from California and Right Bank, Merlot-heavy versions from France. All of these are good with rich meat dishes like stews and roasts. Zinfandel is another great, cool weather grape that pairs with lots of hearty winter food.

Cheers from all of us at DrinkUpNY!

Liza B. Zimmerman has been writing and consulting about wine and food for two decades. She is principal of the San Francisco-based Liza the Wine Chick wine writing, education and consulting firm. She has worked on staff and freelance at national magazines such as Wine Enthusiast, The Magazine of La Cucina Italiana, Wine Spectator, Where SF and the Examiner. She currently contributes to Cheers, Wine Business Monthly and the Examiner, among others.

Zimmerman focuses on demystifying wine and transforming it into a tool for business and networking for companies all over the country. Past clients include Genentech, Roche and IBM.

She has visited all the world’s major wine regions and is one of select few in the U.S. to hold the Diploma of Wine & Spirits (D.W.S.), the three-year precursor to the Master of Wine.