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  June 1, 2014                                                                                             NEWSLETTER

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By John Mariani

Two NY Steakhouses, Two Different Styles
By John Mariani


Spanish Wines Continue to Surprise
By Mort Hochstein




By John Mariani


         The first thing that needs to be said about Myrtle Beach is that it is a family destination.   True, a lot of people retire there, own second homes, and join one of the dozens of golf clubs, for there are about 115 courses, private and public, in the area, including the historic Pine Lake (left),  You could go off by yourself and spend idle days fishing, which down there means saltwater fishing on the Intracoastal Waterway, which runs parallel to the coast from Little River to Waccamaw River.
         But anyone who drives down Route 17 through Myrtle Beach--whose length takes in Surfside Beach, Loris, Aynor, Pawleys Island, Murrells Inlet and a great deal more--will be in no doubt that in season the place is overrun with families packed into SUVs and mobile homes; on every block of every boulevard you’ll find waffle and pancake shops, fast food chains, seafood houses, and amazing number of places with “Cap’n” in the name. The streets are lined with hundreds of t-shirt and bathing suit shops, always having a sale; one vast chain, Eagles, has nearly 30 stores in the area, some within blocks of one another.
         When I visited a month or so ago, the weather had not yet cooperated with the plans of many families ready for sun and surf, but by now the temperatures are in the eighties and the humidity has set in, so the beaches and hotel pools are filling up with people packing high SPF sunscreen lotions.
         A great deal of the activity in the area is along the new (since 2010) $6.5 million, 1.2-mile Oceanfront Boardwalk that extends between the  14th Avenue and 2nd Avenue piers in Myrtle Beach.   While I’ve always loved the idea of boardwalks, I’m almost always disappointed to see so much trashy activity on them.  There is a high-altitude Sky Wheel (below) in Myrtle Beach, and it’s pleasant to stroll along the beach in the morning or at twilight.  But all along the main drag are little more than raucous bars, ice cream stores, pizza stands, and endless burger joints next to the inevitable t-shirt shops and places where you can have your photo taken dressed as a Confederate soldier.  Sadly, it’s pretty tacky, but it’s easy enough to escape.
         But not before dropping into a deliberately tawdry bar named The Bowery, whose no-frills, beer-and-shots fame, since 1944, as a honky-tonk is evident in every corner of the place and which rests on the considerable laurels of having once had the country group Alabama as its house band in the 1970s. You could spend hours here just going through the old photos that line the wall, which includes a legion of show biz folk and a photo of a waiter named Scuba Osborne who holds one of the odder distinctions in the Guinness Book of World Records for carrying 35 mugs of beer in his two hands.
    One attraction I found awesome--a word I try hard not to use too frequently--is the NASCAR Racing Experience (below), not for the faint of heart, which I found out I was.  But, for anyone wanting a once-in-a-lifetime thrill ride, inside a true NASCAR machine (with a driver) that will get up above 100 mph (the cars will do 180 without breaking a sweat) and tear around three laps of the track for 5 minutes, this is bliss, at $129.  Even more heavenly for those so inclined is the opportunity to drive the monster yourself, after three hours of training at the track under cool, strict supervision.  Prices for that range from about $400 up to $3,034 for a day and a half of racing.  Five minutes was more than enough, holding on tight while the driver came within inches of the outer wall.  All I could imagine was doing this on a track with 50 other guys trying to wedge their way through the pack.  Yes, awesome.
    I won’t say much about accommodations--they run the full gamut of all the chain hotels and smaller local motels.  I stayed at the Embassy Suites, a chain that offers no surprises for anyone who’s ever stayed in any one of them.  But this one had a very good restaurant indeed, named Vintage Twelve, where Chef Caitlin Brady is balancing family dining requests with original Low Country ideas that result in fine dishes like her Charleston crab soup with Sherry ($7), Carolina Mountain trout with smoked bacon, sweet potato salad and arugula ($26), and superb Creole shrimp with a grilled baguette ($22) to dip into the spicy sauce they swam
in that morning. In fact, the first bite of those local shrimp made me swoon.
         The fact is, 99.9 percent of all the shrimp you will ever eat in this country are frozen and a good deal of that is coming from the murky waters of shrimp farms in Southeast Asia.  Which is a damn shame because the fresh shrimp that comes from America’s Southern coastal waterways is the sweetest, most delicious shrimp in the world.   
        So, while in Myrtle Beach, where most restaurants specialize in seafood, I gorged for three days on fresh shrimp, specifically the species known by the names brown, pink and white, although in the South they always call it sweet shrimp.  At the (oddly named) Aspen Grille I demolished a platter of shrimp and grits ($17 or $23)--a staple of Southern cookery usually made with boxed, tasteless instant Quaker Oats grits, but now, as here, increasingly made with the nonpareil stone-ground grits from companies like Old School, Bob’s Red Mill, and Anson Mills, whose grits’ texture and taste are as unforgettable as the sweet shrimp themselves.  Aspen Grille is one of the few sophisticated, but by no means haughty, restaurants in the region, and I was delighted by Chef Curry Martin’s jumbo lump crab remoulade ($11), pan-seared flounder with shrimp ($27), and German chocolate brownie sundae ($8).
        The unqualified supremacy of Southern coastal shrimp can easily be experienced by driving down the road known as 'U.S. Route 17 Business' along the marshy shore of Murrells Inlet, which is lined with huge seafood eateries with names like Wicked Tuna and Drunken Jack’s, Hot Fish Club, K-Raye’s, and Dead Dog Saloon. A finer dining restaurant here is Bliss, where Chef Ernest Bledsoe makes another Southern specialty, fried green tomatoes with truffled goat’s cheese and shrimp ($12); he stuffs crab with shrimp and a whole grain mustard emulsion ($22); his shrimp and grits ($21) are enhanced with smoked cheddar, bell peppers, onions, and andouille sausage gravy; and he tosses them with angel’s hair pasta, leeks, grape tomatoes, spinach and lemon-garlic. I asked the waitress, who is also the pastry chef,  “Does anybody around here serve frozen shrimp?”  She looked stunned, paused a second, shook her head and said, “Hmm, nobody around here would dare.”   
    As I sat in a booth at the unexpectedly glitzy Wicked Tuna (right), opened just last year on Murrells Inlet, plucking up one after another of hot popcorn shrimp with a mayo dipping sauce ($12), I pitied all those New Yorkers--of which I’m one--who gobble up 1.5 million pounds of shrimp every week, almost all of it frozen, eaten with cocktail sauce or deep-fried, chewy and tasteless, prized more for their jumbo size than their flavor.  They really haven't a clue what they’re missing.


Two New York Steakhouses, Two Different Styles

By John Mariani

      More than once I’ve noted that steakhouse menus around the USA don't differ by as much as the cut of fried potatoes.  All, obviously, serve hefty steaks and chops and the quality of the meat everywhere has gotten better, although the more links a steakhouse chain adds diminishes that quality significantly.
         Which is why I favor singular, individual steakhouses whose personality is evident in the way they treat people and whose quality is more easily controlled when there’s only one larder to stock and one kitchen to cook it.  Crowds of regulars don’t hurt either.
         For those reasons I am willing to pronounce that, overall--quality of food, hospitality, wine and cocktail service, and ambiance--Porter House, four flights up in the vast Time-Warner Center in New York (which also houses Per Se, A Voce, Masa, Bouchon, and Landmarc) is celebrating its eighth year in business with a dining room packed for lunch and dinner daily.  There are reasons for that.
         Most obvious is its location, with a grand panorama on Central Park, Columbus Circle and the long lighted stretch of Central Park South all the way to Fifth Avenue (below).  Few restaurants in the world can match that view, and the interior of Porter House is as broad, deep and handsome, with tables well separated, thick tablecloths, and a perfect lighting provided by the sun-, twi- and night-light of New York.
     Chef-and-managing partner Michael Lomonaco, manager Tim Brown and a fast-moving staff keep Porter House hopping without the slightest lag in service, and sommelier Brad Nugent is always on hand to make the choice of wine perfect for your taste, your dinner choices, and your budget.
    Porter House’s menu doesn’t differ much from those of the city’s highly competitive steakhouses--the cuts of meat are carefully selected, the seafood plateau lavish, appetizers like marrow bones impressive for their size and succulence, and the side dishes well honed.  Mistakes are rare at Porter House after nearly a decade in business, and I have gotten very few reports of poor food or service over the years.
    Some of my favorite dishes consistently include the clams Casino, the pan-seared sea scallops with capers and brown butter, and a truly jumbo lump crabcake, just lightly bound and served with a tangy horseradish cream. I've often wondered why Porter House doesn't serve those huge lobsters pretty much standard at other steakhouses. Aside from the signature porterhouse steak (for two or more), the juicy veal chop and gargantuan Colorado lamb t-bone chops are as fine as any anywhere.  Someday maybe I’ll try the burger.
    Desserts are no afterthoughts here, going beyond the usual cheesecake and including a childlike fantasy of a chocolate sundae.
    Even if Porter House didn’t serve steaks at all, its rich beauty and fabulous location make it worth a visit.  Add in those steaks, and it would be hard to find better. 

Porter House New York is open daily for lunch and dinner, with dinner appetizers $14-$22, and entrees $29-$5.


    The new Angus Club Steakhouse on the East Side of Manhattan just opened in January, so it cannot be expected to have the panache of Porter House, nor does it have the view, with half of it underground.  But owners Margent Maslinka (also wine director), Chef Edward Avduli, Aldin Gacevic and Zef Makaj, all veterans of well-established Benjamin's Steakhouse on Park Avenue, are trying to prove they may be one of the friendliest, most accommodating steakhouses around.  Their welcome is warm, their private dining rooms many and individually designed for various size parties and atmospheres, and the service staff aims to please.
         A lot of thought and money has gone into this warren of rooms, the most pleasant the upstairs bar, which overlooks the street. There are fine touches everywhere--soft brown leather chairs, antique mirrors, cork-wrapped columns, a grand staircase, snakeskin walls, and golden lighting.  The main 76-seat dining room (below), plus private spaces, however, is down that staircase, and, frankly, I didn’t find the reclaimed barn wood walls particularly cheery.  It’s fairly dark down there, and, since business has not yet caught on very strongly for the amount of space Angus Club occupies, it can be pretty lonely  on a slow night, although I hear business has been growing steadily over the last month.
    You won’t find any surprises on the menu, but the beef is dry-aged on site for up to 35 days and the lobsters weigh in at three pounds. Otherwise, potions are generous for the appetizers and the prices are a click below Angus Club’s competitors’, with a bone-in, 22-ounce sirloin at $46 and a porterhouse for two at $98.  The lobster goes for $95.    
    Start off here with the yellowfin tuna tartare or the thick slab of Canadian bacon, then a great slab of impeccably cooked meat and a side of steak fries and creamed spinach.  You’ll go home full, you’ll go home happy.
    If Angus Club succeeds in a very busy steakhouse neighborhood--Palm, Spark’s, Smith & Wollensky, the new Davio’s, among others, are within a t-bone’s toss--it will be on the good will that the owners are trying so hard and so honestly to build.  That counts. 

Angus Club Steakhouse is at 135 East 55th Street; 212-588-1585; ; Open for lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner Mon.-Sat. ; Dinner entrees  $33- $49.




Spanish Wines Continue to Surprise


By Mort Hochstein


       Spain continues to surprise us.  Where once we knew few of its wines other  than Rioja, Sherry and Cava, the Spanish version of Champagne, we now enjoy robust red Priorat, lively white Albariño and a flood of offerings from booming regions such as Ribera Del Duero, Navarra, Toro, and Rueda.   Wines from those  once unfamiliar vineyards became major players in the U.S. market only in the past two or  three decades.
   Cariñena (left) is one of those regions whose wines are just beginning to show on store shelves and wine lists in metropolitan regions. It has been so quiescent, despite its six centuries of viticulture, that it barely rates a line or two in wine books.  Yet, a recent exploration of the the vinos de Cariñena in New York City turned up a treasure trove of discoveries,  surprisingly good wines at modest prices.   Most of the wines at a tasting I attended were listed in the low or mid-teens, with only a few topping out at about $20.
     Though relatively a newcomer to American distribution, the region has been producing wines since Roman times. It is rough country where vineyards amble down from high mountains to vast and foreboding rocky plains. The area resembles its neighboring region, Catalonia, but because it is further inland, it feels little Mediterranean influence. Temperatures fluctuate widely through the seasons and between night and day.  A cold northeast wind, the Cierzo, buffets the area, moderating summer heat and humidity. Those daily variations between daylight and dark help produce intense, concentrated wines.
    Garnacha, known more commonly as  Grenache,  predominant in the region,   but figures only slightly in the varietal mix.
   Carignan, known locally as Mazuelo, is a grape that takes is name from the region, figures only slightly in the varietal mix. Garnacha, known more commonly as  Grenache, is predominant, and is often blended with Tempranillo and Mazuelo in red and rose wine.  The basic white grape is Viura.  As in many wine regions today, growers have introduced  better known European varietals, such as Chardonnay, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon.  While the newer reds seldom stand alone, they are frequently blended with the indigenous  grapes.

        One of the great values of  the tasting was the 2009 Monte Ducay Reserva (below, left). A blend of 60% Tempranillo, 30% Garnacha and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, it carried an astonishingly low  price of $9.99, which suggests that it may very well sell for even  less in some aggressive outlets. The base Tempranillo gives it a tinge of spice tempering the hardy Garnacha and the Cab provides a sturdy backbone. The cherry-toned wine is a great buy and would be worthwhile at a far higher price.
    Grandes Viños Y Viñedos is a group of five winery partners who work together, vinifying fruit from 10,000 acres of vineyard. The  combine's 2011 Beso de Vino Old Vine Garnacha is a lush, elegant cherry red wine with ripe red fruit , highly perfumed with  aromas of candied dark berries and plums. Long on the palate, the Beso Garnacha, from 40-year-old vines, is another exceptional buy, also in the $10 range, definitely worth seeking out.
       Bodegas Paniza won the group's approval with its 2012 Alto Cinco Garnacha originating on steeply elevated vineyards surrounding the hamlet of Paniza. It’s a high alcohol blend, 14% strength, with  6% Tempranillo in the mix. The grapes benefit from a long  growing season and the old vines come together in an intense rush on the palate.  Violet and rose, mocha and vanilla  scented, it has a predominantly strawberry flavor complemented by red  cherry and blackberry. Price: $13. 
     The 2010  Sierra de Viento Old Vine Garnacha (right) from Bodegas San Valero, one of the oldest and largest cooperatives in the region, red colored with ripe red fruit and spicy tones, was another favorite. As  the name implies,the Garnacha originates from ancient, deeply rooted vines, yielding an intense minerality.  It spends three months in new French barriques, then  ages for an additional five months in American wood and  is  released only after a year or more of maturing in bottle. It's an elegant wine, listed at about $16.
     Bodegas San Valero also showed an older wine, its  2009 Castillo de Monseran Old Vine Garnacha,  a mix of grapes from high and low elevations.  Complex, well structured and highly fragrant, with vanilla the predominant scent,  the Monseran could unashamedly share a table with far more expensive bottlngs from Bordeaux and Burgundy.  Redolent of spicy, smoky red currants, it is a perfect complement to red beef and pork. Price: $16.
         A forward-looking generation of  growers and winemakers has adapted centuries-old practices in the rocky hills of the region to a modern age.  They are innovating  and producing wines that  can last  for many  years, while still being approachable in their youth. Carinena is a region to watch and prices for the jewels coming from this small corner of  Spain are bound to increase as the wines become more  familiar on restaurant menus and store shelves.


Wine Column Sponsored by Banfi Vintners
Reliable Old Friends

by Cristina Mariani-May         
co-CEO of Banfi Vintners America's leading wine importer

White for Chillin’, Red for Grillin’, and Rosé for Thrillin’


    We are finally on the cusp of summertime and the livin’ will be easy… so let's focus the summer program on just three wines right now. Who needs to think of more than that?  I am simplifying my life – and yours – to think about one superlative white wine to keep us refreshed around the pool, one great red wine for those summer barbecues, and one awesome Rosé wine that is just like that pair of khaki shorts – it is appropriate almost anytime and with anything.
    When I think of the glories of summer, I think of the Tuscan coastline – the area called “The Maremma.” It is a place marked by the same rolling hills and lush green underbrush as inland Tuscany, but distinguished by a cool sea breeze, kilometers of pristine beaches, the gently lapping waves of the docile Tyrrhenian sea, and relaxation, Italian style.  This is where mothers and toddlers bond free of boundaries, where teens find summer love, and where gourmets find the freshest seafood and most delightful wines. 
    The shores of Maremma are dotted with seafood restaurants that pluck the catch of the day from local waters, and prepare it with the simplest yet most delectable flavors.  Their sauces have evocative names like marechiara (clear sea), aquapazza (crazy water)and pescatrice (fisherman’s wife).  Fresh ripe tomatoes, briny capers, deeply green olive oil and fragrant herbs are the only adornment to the vivid freshness of the sea. 
    Such dishes simply scream out for the zesty fresh flavors of Vermentino, a crisp white wine that is unique to this part of the region.  White wines are usually associated with cool climates, but Vermentino is unique in that it maintains a solid backbone of acidity in these warm conditions.  This spring my family introduced La Pettegola, appropriately named for the birds that flitter around the beaches chirping away like chattering gossips, which gives us the second meaning of the word La Pettegola - a gossip! This wine is as light, breezy and flavorful as that seaside chatter. One glass calls for another, enhances the flavor of any dish it is served with, and emphasizes the relaxation and “dolce vita” that summer on the Tuscan coast is all about.
 On the first hills that rise up from the shore, the front line of Tuscan hilltop towns let down their guard as well and welcome visitors into streets that were originally designed as mazes meant to confuse invading armies.  Each town celebrates its annual “Sagra” or festival dedicated sometimes to a patron saint, but more often than not to a favorite local food.  “Sagra del Raviolo,” for example, celebrates the glories of one town’s ravioli, while “Sagra della Granochia” festoons, of all things, another town’s frog’s legs.  But all of the sagras offer grilled sausage, ribs, fried potatoes, and the ubiquitous Tuscan beans – definitely fare for a hearty red wine.  The Tuscan coast is known for its big reds, and my family's newest entry here is ASKA, a cuvée of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc from Bolgheri.  Aska takes its name from the ancient Etruscans who inhabited this area, and means, appropriately, a vessel for wine. Aska is a worthy match to the grilled meats of our summertime barbecues.
    Finally, I have to follow my heart just a little more inland for another quintessential summer sipper.  Centine Rosé is from my family’s Castello Banfi vineyard estate in Montalcino, Tuscany, just a 20 minute drive from the seaside.  Mostly Sangiovese with some Cabernet and Merlot thrown in for balance and body – the same cuvée as the red version of Centine – this is a wine lover’s rose.  Dry and full of fruit flavor, it is a refreshing aperitif or poolside beverage but will also pair perfectly to all those great Tuscan summer foods we just mentioned, be it fish, salads or barbecue.
    So Happy Summer!  Let’s toast it with a glass of wine on the coast, be it the Maremma or somewhere else.

  Cristina Mariani is not related by family or through business with John Mariani, publisher of this newsletter



The BBC reports that a traditional Chinese restaurant in the Heilongjiang Province stocks its kitchen with robot chefs who do all the stir-frying.According to the restaurant manager, employees simply stock the pantry and shelves with ingredients then "press one button, then the robot can handle it all." Robots also serve dishes. Video:  watch the robots in action:


In Gaston, NC, 37-year-old Bevalente Hall was arrested after calling 911 to report that she didn't like the sauce  on her Flatizza order at Subway, telling the responder, "I can't eat that kind of sauce ... the marinara sauce is terrible." When an employee refused a refund to her, Hall insisted the operator to send a cop to the restaurant to help her out. Instead,  the operator  sent an officer to arrest Hall and charge her with "misuse of the 911 system." Hall was eventually released on a $2,000 bond.


 Any of John Mariani's books below may be ordered from

The Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink by John F. Mariani (Bloomsbury USA, $35)

Modesty forbids me to praise my own new book, but let me proudly say that it is an extensive revision of the 4th edition that appeared more than a decade ago, before locavores, molecular cuisine, modernist cuisine, the Food Network and so much more, now included. Word origins have been completely updated, as have per capita consumption and production stats. Most important, for the first time since publication in the 1980s, the book includes more than 100 biographies of Americans who have changed the way we cook, eat and drink -- from Fannie Farmer and Julia Child to Robert Mondavi and Thomas Keller.

"This book is amazing! It has entries for everything from `abalone' to `zwieback,' plus more than 500 recipes for classic American dishes and drinks."--Devra First, The Boston Globe.

"Much needed in any kitchen library."--Bon Appetit.

Now in Paperback, too--How Italian Food Conquered the World (Palgrave Macmillan)  has won top prize  from the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards.  It is a rollicking history of the food culture of Italy and its ravenous embrace in the 21st century by the entire world. From ancient Rome to la dolce vita of post-war Italy, from Italian immigrant cooks to celebrity chefs, from pizzerias to high-class ristoranti, this chronicle of a culinary diaspora is as much about the world's changing tastes, prejudices,  and dietary fads as about our obsessions with culinary fashion and style.--John Mariani

"Eating Italian will never be the same after reading John Mariani's entertaining and savory gastronomical history of the cuisine of Italy and how it won over appetites worldwide. . . . This book is such a tasteful narrative that it will literally make you hungry for Italian food and arouse your appetite for gastronomical history."--Don Oldenburg, USA Today. 

"Italian restaurants--some good, some glitzy--far outnumber their French rivals.  Many of these establishments are zestfully described in How Italian Food Conquered the World, an entertaining and fact-filled chronicle by food-and-wine correspondent John F. Mariani."--Aram Bakshian Jr., Wall Street Journal.

"Mariani admirably dishes out the story of Italy’s remarkable global ascent to virtual culinary hegemony....Like a chef gladly divulging a cherished family recipe, Mariani’s book reveals the secret sauce about how Italy’s cuisine put gusto in gusto!"--David Lincoln Ross,

"Equal parts history, sociology, gastronomy, and just plain fun, How Italian Food Conquered the World tells the captivating and delicious story of the (let's face it) everybody's favorite cuisine with clarity, verve and more than one surprise."--Colman Andrews, editorial director of The Daily

"A fantastic and fascinating read, covering everything from the influence of Venice's spice trade to the impact of Italian immigrants in America and the evolution of alta cucina. This book will serve as a terrific resource to anyone interested in the real story of Italian food."--Mary Ann Esposito, host of PBS-TV's Ciao Italia.

"John Mariani has written the definitive history of how Italians won their way into our hearts, minds, and stomachs.  It's a story of pleasure over pomp and taste over technique."--Danny Meyer, owner of NYC restaurants Union Square Cafe,  The Modern, and Maialino.



FEATURED LINKS: I am happy to  report that the Virtual Gourmet is  linked to four excellent travel sites:

Everett Potter's Travel  Report

I consider this the best and savviest blog of its kind on the  web. Potter is a columnist for USA Weekend, Diversion, Laptop and Luxury  Spa Finder, a contributing editor for Ski and  a frequent contributor to National  Geographic Traveler,  and Elle Decor. "I’ve designed this site is for people who take their  travel seriously," says Potter. "For travelers who want to learn about special  places but don’t necessarily want to pay through the nose for the privilege of  staying there. Because at the end of the day, it’s not so much about five-star  places as five-star experiences."  THIS WEEK:

Eating Las Vegas is the new on-line site for Virtual Gourmet contributor John A. Curtas., who since 1995 has been commenting on the Las Vegas food scene and reviewing restaurants for Nevada Public Radio.  He is also the restaurant critic for KLAS TV, Channel 8 in Las Vegas, and his past reviews can be accessed at Click on the logo below to go directly to his site.


Tennis Resorts OnlineA Critical Guide to the World's Best Tennis Resorts and Tennis Camps, published by ROGER COX, who has spent more than two decades writing about tennis travel, including a 17-year stretch for Tennis magazine. He has also written for Arthur Frommer's Budget Travel, New York Magazine, Travel & Leisure, Esquire, Money, USTA Magazine, Men's Journal, and The Robb Report. He has authored  two books-The World's Best Tennis Vacations (Stephen Greene Press/Viking Penguin, 1990) and The Best Places to  Stay in the Rockies (Houghton Mifflin, 1992 & 1994), and the Melbourne (Australia) chapter to the Wall Street Journal Business Guide to Cities of the Pacific Rim (Fodor's Travel Guides, 1991).

nickonwine: An engaging, interactive wine column by Nick Passmore, Artisanal Editor, Four Seasons Magazine; Wine Columnist,;;

MARIANI'S VIRTUAL GOURMET NEWSLETTER is published weekly.  Editor/Publisher: John Mariani. Editor: Walter Bagley. Contributing Writers: Christopher Mariani, Robert Mariani,   John A. Curtas, Edward Brivio, Mort Hochstein, Suzanne Wright,  and Brian Freedman. Contributing Photographers: Galina Stepanoff-Dargery,  Bobby Pirillo. Technical Advisor: Gerry McLoughlin.

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