Mixed Drinks: a Deeper Look at Organic Wines

Most quality wines are organic in spirit, if not always in executionThe Journal of Wine Economics is an academic periodical, published by Cambridge University Press, whose content typically appeals to university researchers and a few wine-industry professionals. Recent issues have carried articles such as "Time-Varying Risk Premiums in the Framework of Wine Investment" and "The Value of Expert Opinion in the Pricing of Bordeaux Wine Futures."But a little-noticed paper in a recent issue of the journal tackles a subject of increasing interest to wine drinkers: organic wine.


Mixed Drinks: a Deeper Look at Organic Wines 1

Co-authored by researchers from the University of California at Los Angeles and a French business school, the article is titled "Does Organic Wine Taste Better An Analysis of Experts' Ratings."The authors built a database of more than 74,000 wines that had been scored on a 100-point scale by influential consumer-wine publications such as the Wine Advocate and Wine Spectator. Then they identified which wines were "ecocertified" -- that is, certified organic or biodynamic by recognized groups such as California Certified Organic Farmers.

"An important concern among consumers is that ecolabeled products might entail a trade-off between product quality and environmental impact," the authors wrote in explaining the rationale for their research project. "In other words, in order to achieve low environmental impact, green products would have to be of lower quality."If you've ever bought a scrawny, discolored bunch of celery in the organic aisle at the supermarket, you get the point.

But when it comes to wine, what the researchers found was just the opposite."Our results indicate that ecocertification is associated with a statistically significant increase in wine quality ratings," they wrote.How significant The organic and biodynamic wines in the sample scored, on average, about four points higher than non-ecocertified wines.

Which got me thinking: Why don't we see more organic labels on liquor-store shelves and restaurant wine lists While supermarkets these days stock hundreds of organic items, both in the produce and packaged-food aisles, ecocertification is still a rarity in the wine world.Consider Halifax, a restaurant in theW Hotel in Hoboken that specializes in farm-to-table cuisine. Executive chef Seadon Shouse goes to great lengths to source locally grown ingredients from farmers who practice sustainable agriculture.


Mixed Drinks: a Deeper Look at Organic Wines 2

And beverage director Carlos Arteaga embraces a similar philosophy when it comes to the wine list."It's a no-brainer," Arteaga says of the notion that organic vineyards produce better wine. "All of the flavors of wine and characteristics of wine come from the soil.

Everything is dependent on the environment. If you put chemicals in the soil, that's gonna be there in the wine. Chemicals can hide the flavors that come from the minerals and rocks in the soil.

"Indeed, most of the 65 or so wines on Halifax's list come from vineyards, both in Europe and the United States, that adhere to sustainable practices. But only a single bottle -- a Spanish white -- carries an organic certification on the label.A number of winemakers and importers, merchants and sommeliers I spoke to said most quality-conscious vintners around the world employ organic techniques both in managing their vineyards and running their wineries -- from using owls and other raptors to help control pests to relying on renewable energy to power their bottling lines.

"A lot of people are adhering to sustainability," says Tony DiDio, a New York-based marketing agent for top-tier Italian and California wine estates, including Nino Franco, Peter Zemmer and Miner Family Vineyards. "A lot of people are composting instead of using chemical fertilizers. Or they're bringing in special insects that eat the bugs on the vine, rather than spraying.

"Take Peter Zemmer, a winemaker in northern Italy who makes a delicious pinot bianco. Not only are his vineyards sustainably farmed, but his winery is covered with solar panels -- enough to meet all of its energy needs.But like so many other winemakers who are committed, in principle, to sustainable vineyard management and natural winemaking techniques, Zemmer eschews formal certifications.

The reasons for this are varied, but boil down to two main factors. First, in order for a wine to be certified organic, the winemaker can't add sulfites, which have been used for centuries to prevent spoilage. Dick Arrowood, one of the best-known winemakers in California, runs a winery called Amapola Creek whose vineyards are certified organic.

But the wine itself is not, because Arrowood believes in the judicious use of sulfites."Adding a very tiny amount of sulfites allows the true character of the wine to show through, protecting it from the masking effects of oxidation," he maintains.Beyond sulfites, most winemakers insist on retaining the option of treating their vineyards with nonorganic fungicides or pesticides in extreme circumstances.

This isn't so important in arid climates, where mold and rot are rare, but it is in winegrowing regions such as New Jersey that get an abundance of rainfall.Martin Sinkoff, head of marketing at Frederick Wildman and Sons, a New York importer whose portfolio includes a number of legendary French wines, says most of his winemakers are deeply committed to organic practices. But being certified organic is another story.

"I have a very good friend who is a winemaker in Bordeaux, and he put it this way: 'If you're a parent and you have a child and your child falls ill, would you not use modern medicine to treat the child Are you only going to use homeopathic medicine' That's what happens in the vineyard. Sometimes there are diseases that can't be eradicated with an organic product."David Rossi, who makes highly acclaimed pinot noir at his Fulcrum winery in California, says while he's all in favor of sustainable winemaking practices, there's no scientific reason why wines that are certified organic would taste better than those that are not.

And he's quite skeptical about biodynamic farming, an ultra-organic approach pioneered in the early 20th century by Austrian philosopher Rudolf Steiner. Biodynamic winemakers consider such factors as the phases of the moon when timing their harvests."Biodynamic isn't rooted in science and has nothing to do with growing good grapes," says Rossi, who divides his time between his winemaking facility in the Napa Valley and his home in Monmouth County.

Robby Younes, wine director and vice president of hospitality at Crystal Springs Resort in Sussex County, says most of the best wines in theworld come from vineyards that are sustainably farmed. And he should know, considering that Crystal Springs boasts the most impressive collection of rare wines of any restaurant in the United States.But few winemakers are willing to have their hands tied by the strictures of a certifying authority such as California Certified Organic Farmers or Demeter, which enforces biodynamic principles.

"If a virus or worm is hitting a vineyard, a winemaker who is sitting on a $15 million crop isn't not going to spray," he said.The upshot is that many, perhaps even most, of the better wines available in New Jersey liquor stores and restaurants are sustainably farmed, if not technically organic. But there's no way of telling by looking at the label.

So, what's a health-conscious, environmentally committed wine drinker to do Steve Mignogna, owner of an upscale pizzeria in Asbury Park called Talula's, recommends familiarizing yourself with importers who specialize in vintners who practice natural winemaking. Examples include Indie Wineries, Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant, Polaner Selections and Skurnik Wines.Mignogna, a devotee of naturally made wines, wasn't at all surprised by the results of the study published in the Journal of Wine Economics.

Nearly every one of the bottles on Talula's wine list is organically grown, even if it doesn't say so on the label."There are a lot of really good organic wines that aren't certified organic," he says.If you have any lingering doubts about the quality of organic wine, certified or otherwise, California's Benziger Family Winery offers a number of organic and biodynamic options.

I'm especially impressed with the 2014 Benziger Signaterra "West Rows" Chardonnay, made from organically grown grapes, and the 2014 Benziger de Coelo Arbore Sacra Pinot Noir, which is certified biodynamic by Demeter.From Italy, I'd highly recommend two organic wines from Tuscany: the 2014 Col d'Orcia Rosso di Montalcino and the 2014 Castello di Verrazzano Rosso -- an excellent value at about $14 a bottle. And from Spain, check out the 2014 Granza Ribera del Duero, made from organically grown tempranillo grapes.

COCKTAIL CORNERThe DrinkNew ArkThe SourceBurgMilitary Park, Newark(973) it Works"The New Ark is one of our most popular cocktails at Burg," says Jette Starniri, vice president of operations. "At first, our clients started ordering it because of their curiosity with the name's historic tie-in, but let's be honest: Who doesn't love a light and refreshing tequila cocktail All of our cocktails pay homage to Newark's history, and we like to think that drinks like our New Ark are helping to start conversations about this revitalizing city and the historic value it has."The Recipe1.

5 ounces blanco (white) tequila0.5 ounce triple sec1.25 ounces lychee juice0.

5 ounce lime juice1 ounce coconut waterCombine all ingredients in cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake and pour into highball glass. Garnish with lime wheel on rim of glass.

WINE OF THE MONTH2015 St. Urbans-Hof Wiltinger Alte Reben Kabinett, Germany ($18)Don't let the Germanic nomenclature scare you: This is an amazing bottle of white wine, with a combination of lush fruit and bracing acidity that makes it ideal for summertime sipping. The term Kabinett indicates an off-dry style that's often a little too sweet for American wine drinkers.

But in this case, the Riesling grapes were grown on old vines ("alte reben") in Germany's Saar Valley, one of the coldest vineyard areas in the world. The result is a wine that delivers a one-two punch: ripe fruit flavors layered with what winemaker Nik Weis describes as a "minerally smokiness," followed by a crisp, dry finish. Serve well-chilled with spicy Asian or Southwestern cuisine.

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A Toast to the Bride and Groom (with Their Signature Cocktails)
A Toast to the Bride and Groom (with Their Signature Cocktails)
When Richard Swan and Josh Rosenthal, founders of the creative beverage service the Grand Bevy, first saw Snoop Dogg post an image on Instagram of his face on a cocktail, they knew they had created something great.We saw people losing their minds over it, Mr. Swan said of the post.That photo was of their SipMi live activation, an invention where guests at a wedding or other event can snap an image in a photo booth and have it printed, on flavorless edible paper with edible inks, on top of their cocktail. The result is an interactive and memorable moment for guests. And its representative of how couples are elevating the cocktail at their marriage celebrations.The couple is able to express their own taste, personality, and love story with signature cocktails, explained Mr. Swan, who is based in Los Angeles. Meanwhile, their guests get to enjoy an unforgettable drink that is unique to that special night.Signature cocktails are nothing new at weddings, but gone are the days of brides and grooms picking their favorite classic tipples. Now, couples are opting for entire custom bar programs, which tells their love story through unique mixed drinks, molecular gastronomy, craft beers, mocktails and even new inventions, like the SipMi activations.Fifteen years ago, if there was a cocktail served at an event, it was a mojito or a spicy margarita, said Talmadge Lowe, the founder of Pharmacie, a specialty bar and cocktail company, also in Los Angeles. That was the extent of the creativity. Now, cocktails are a must. They have grown from the familiar and classic to the custom and creative.Mr. Lowe started Pharmacie a decade ago after repeatedly crafting drinks for friends dinner parties and realizing a demand for high-end mixology at private events. He now creates custom beverages for 90 percent of the events he does. The essence of the demand, he says, is that a specialty beverage elevates the experience. A drink is sensual and ignites responses from sight and smell to taste. It is often remembered long after the event.Couples use cocktails as a vehicle to deliver a message about their relationship, incorporating, say, a margarita-inspired drink to denote their first date a local taco restaurant or an ingredient discovered by the couple on a memorable trip. For one Los Angeles couple, Mr. Lowe suggested employing their mutual adoration of music and the grooms career as a musician as inspiration for their cocktails. The bride, Melanie Ayer, recalled that many of their best memories were on the road as now-husband Kelcey Ayer toured. Since he proposed the day after a Radiohead concert in New York, the couple and Mr. Lowe fashioned a dark Bourbon cocktail with Dubonnet Rouge, Benedictine, and Angostura Bitters to evoke the experience. It reminded us of the moody, romantic vibes of that entire weekend, Ms. Ayer said of the drink, which they dubbed Everything in Its Right Place after the rock bands song.One of Mr. Lowes other couples requested bourbon for the groom; and for the bride, yuzu, a citrus fruit often found in Asian cuisine. The bride, Jackie Noh Davis, says she wanted it featured in a drink but didnt have the basis of anything classic to work from.We could have ended up with something too on-the-nose, like a yuzu sake drink, she said. Instead, Mr. Lowe concocted a bourbon-based cocktail titled Eastern Star. It blended together the brown spirit, yellow chartreuse, honey, cardamom bitters and, of course, yuzu, with a star anise garnish.It felt like meeting in the middle, and very special to have a new drink created for us, Ms. Davis said of her celebration last October. Our guests were effusive about their praise of the drinks.Alcohol has long fueled dance parties and wedding shenanigans, but the experience of sipping an elegant drink gives guests an opportunity to converse with one another and bond while enjoying the beverage, much like a cocktail party. Its another form of entertainment. Bobby Brown, a founder of Craft Cartel Cocktail Catering in Boynton Beach, Fla., explained that couples know more about cocktails than before, thanks to the mainstream cocktail craze, and use that knowledge to put playful spins on their wedding beverages. People dont want cool, craft drinks anymore, Mr. Brown said. They want engagement.For Mr. Brown, this has led to alcohol-infused adult ice pops as welcome drinks and slushy drinks like a frozen Aperol spritz. At receptions, his team offers a wheel that guests can spin to determine which custom cocktail to order. He has cheekily named drinks, such as the Dal Lama, for a yerba mat-infused, Kashmiri chili cocktail for an Indian wedding with South American touches. He has even matched the hue of a mocktail to a National Football League players team color. The bar is often the focal point of any celebration, he added. A proper drink can galvanize that.When Melanie Smith and Matt Minzes got married in New Orleans in March, the bar became just such a focal point. Along with the Grand Bevy and their planning team at Sapphire Events, the couple erected a smoked cocktail station for their wedding, where guests could see in action how their cocktails were infused. The bar program, much like the food or the band, is a touchpoint that every guest will interact with and notice, Jack Kane, of Sapphire Events, said.In addition to stations, Mr. Swan also experiments with molecular gastronomy to upgrade classic recipes. Most popular are his spherification cocktails, whereas the alcohol and mixers are held together in a jellylike sphere, often topped with a garnish such as gold leaf. When a guest eats the cocktail, the bulbous edible bursts on the palate. People can enjoy familiar flavors in a completely new way, he said. The team has paired molecular cocktails with plated dinners and has even used them as cocktail courses in between plates of food.The cost of signature cocktails can vary widely. Mr. Rosenthal of Grand Bevy said it can range from $3,800 to $90,000 depending on the services, guest counts, products and vendors are included as well as where the event is held.For Craft Cartel Cocktail Catering, Mr. Brown said they require a minimum of $1,800, and approximately $45 per person is the sweet spot for a custom cocktail program. At Pharmacie, Mr. Lowe noted that they take in multiple variables when determining the price, but said the cost averages $50 per person for craft cocktails. If its a full-scale beverage program including wine, beer and nonalcoholic drinks, it will be more.The entire trend has trickled down to nonalcoholic mocktails, too. Mr. Lowe said he has seen an increase in requests for custom spiritless drinks, while Mr. Brown has worked with both custom mocktails and low alcohol by volume cocktails. These are cocktails based on a liqueur rather than a high-proof liquor.Couples favoring beer or wine only should not despair either. All three companies find personalized ways to showcase couples love of local beers, home brews, wines, and ciders by hosting on-site tastings at stations and beverage pairings for coursed dinners. Its all reflective, they say, of the growing importance couples are placing on beverages as a way to personalize their days and even carving out specific budgets.We both love food and drink, so we couldnt image slacking in that department when throwing the biggest party of our lives, Ms. Davis said of collaborating on custom beverages with Pharmacie. We tried to make every component very personal to us. The drinks were no exception.1 ounces Bourbon1 ounces Dubonnet Rouge ounce Benedictine3 dashes Angostura Bitters, added just before your stir1. Combine all the ingredients, including the bitters, in a cocktail carafe over ice and stir for 30 to 40 seconds.2. Strain into a Nick and Nora Glass and add a cherry garnish.1 ounces Bourbon ounce Honey Syrup ounce Yellow Chartreuse ounce Yuzu Juice3 dashes Cardamom bitters1. Combine all the ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice and shake vigorously.2. Strain, over new ice, into an old fashioned glass.3. Add 3 dashes of Cardamom bitters.4. Garnish with a star anise pod.
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What Not to Wear to a Cocktail Party
What Not to Wear to a Cocktail Party
By JONATHAN MILESMAY 4, 2008HERES one way to introduce a new cocktail: hire a stripper to take a bath in a giant replica of it.Thats the latest gambit from Cointreau, the French liqueur distiller, which recently was host to a party featuring the companys new spokesmodel, the retro-glam burlesque performer (and former wife of Marilyn Manson) Dita von Teese, splashing around in her skivvies inside a jumbo cocktail glass.Cointreau is a brand thats 160 years old, said Stphanie Fasquelle, the companys marketing director. It needed to be refreshed. We have a claim: Be Cointreauversial. Dita represents that. This is a brand thats especially appreciated by women, and Dita is very aspirational for women.At the party, held at the cavernous Angel Orensanz Foundation on the Lower East Side, bartenders in black Willy Wonka top hats rattled shakers while the crowd awaited Miss von Teeses performance.AdvertisementThe crowd was a downtown mix, with young men sporting felt fedoras, bow ties and eyeliner. A wiry, raccoon-eyed young woman passed through the crowd wearing a brown tank top emblazoned with a rudely worded question about the identity of the indie rocker Stephen Malkmus. RuPaul is here, someone announced. As a man!AdvertisementThen Miss von Teese took the stage, emerging from a bottle-shaped cutout in the rear wall of the stage and dressed in an orange costume that was bedecked with 350,000 Swarovski crystals. The dress was said to weigh 75 pounds; no wonder Miss von Teese wanted to ditch it.She waved an orange boa, which resembled a giant sea anemone, while a pert mime collected the falling portions of her costume. Then she lowered herself into a revolving cocktail-glass-shaped vat of purple liquid, where she kicked and sploshed before servers arrived bearing the Cointreau Teese, Miss von Teeses new signature cocktail, on trays.The drink a mixture of Cointreau, apple and lemon juice and violet syrup, and presently available at the Lower East Side restaurant Rayuela is said to have been painstakingly tailored to Miss von Teeses tastes. My suspicion: Miss von Teese has a thing for Chowards violet mints, those purple candies sold in New York delis, because thats what the drink evokes.Its a little sweet, but pretty good, said Whitney Spaner, 26, an editor at Paper magazine, as she took her first sips. She was unfamiliar with Chowards mints. I like the violet flower floating in there. I think a lot of violet drinks are coming out. Ive seen three of them in the last few weeks.Please verify you're not a robot by clicking the box.Invalid email address. Please re-enter.You must select a newsletter to subscribe to.View all New York Times newsletters.Perhaps Miss Fasquelle is correct, however, about the appeal of Miss von Teeses drink tilting toward women. Bobby Manley, 23, paused for a long while after being asked his opinion of the drink. The liquid that Dita bathed in? he finally said. Id rather drink that.COINTREAU TEESE1 ounces Cointreau ounce apple juice ounce Monin Violet syrup ounce fresh lemon juiceSlice of ginger.Rub the edge of a chilled martini glass with the ginger slice, then discard the ginger. Combine the rest of the ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake well, and strain into the glass.Yield: 1 serving.A version of this article appears in print on , on Page ST12 of the New York edition with the headline: What Not to Wear To a Cocktail Party. Order Reprints| Today's Paper|SubscribeWere interested in your feedback on this page. Tell us what you think.
2021 03 23
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Mindful Drinking Is in and an Alcohol-free Cocktail Might Just Be What You Need
Mindful Drinking Is in and an Alcohol-free Cocktail Might Just Be What You Need
The festive season is fast approaching yet for many it is greeted with a certainamount of apprehension.With movements such as Go Sober For October and DryJanuary involving increasing numbers of people, mindful drinking is the buzzword about town.Often, the non-drinker of a party is made to feel inadequate in some way an afterthought whodoesnt deserve any special treatment.Even the word abstaining seems to imply a penance.But things are changing.There has been a shift in attitude towards alcohol recently and many young people are drinking less and demanding more for their tastebuds.I think pub owners are beginning to address the need for a range of more grown up alcohol-free drinks.Obviously a pub makes money from wet sales, yet, no alcohol doesnt mean less profit these days.We have all been the non-drinker at times, whether its down to pregnancy, watching our weight or sugar intake,being the driver,or simply a desire to cut down and wake up rested and alert.It seems that customers are prepared to spend money on something interesting and more thoughtful, that they can drink throughout the evening, when going alcohol free.I have found in thepast that the culprit for tedious drinking has not been theabsence of alcohol, but the lacklustre beverage I have had to sip with a sinking heart. It leaves me wondering, howIwill manage all nightAs a pub owner and somebody who lovesthe complexity of wine, the bitter notes of beer, a too-often sugary alternativedoesnt make the grade, especially with food.WhatI miss when alcohol is removed isthe texture and depth of flavour, and this is where the cocktail can come into its own.Yes, there are good non-alcoholic beers to be had, and a range of interesting mixers that are great to have as back up, but so many delicious concoctions can be made from what we have in the garden or storecupboard.It is fun to experiment and play, as well as being easier on the pocket.My pub hasnt particularly noticed a move towards more mindful drinking outside sober October and dry January, yet there is definitely a cultural shift with the younger generation coming into pubs.I think the new drinkingpalate craves a cleaner taste, with zingyflavours and textures, and just a small addition or an unusual ingredient can transform the mundane to the surprising.Botanicals are the new byword for mixologists making non-alcoholic cocktails interesting,but that can simplybe translated at home into tea infusions or herb and flower syrups.Smoky lapsang souchong can give a hint of the peat found in singlemalts, while Montmorency cherryconcentrate can impart a fruity acidity and depth without sweetness.There is nothing more wonderful than to offer non drinking guests a lovingly created drink to make them feel welcome and part of the gang, and equally to createsomething that compliments any food youhave put time and effort into making.Below is one of my favourite autumnal recipes, blending luscious pear with warm notes of woody rosemary.Non-alcoholicrevelling this season can be a grown up, delicious andsophisticatedaffair with just a little imagination and fun.This is an elegant drink foran autumn evening, as the shadows beginto lengthen and a chill appears in the air.For me, a ripe pear is a luscious and fragrant treat, particularly when paired with a hint of warm, woody rosemary.You will need: tumbler, shaker, strainer60ml pear juice from 2 small pears, or good quality shop-bought pear juice (not from concentrate)30ml freshly squeezed lemon juice25ml Simple Herb Syrup made with rosemary (recipe below)Ice cubesSparkling waterA sprig of rosemary and a slice of pear to garnishCombine the pear juice, lemon juice and rosemary syrup in a cocktail shaker with ice, and shake well.Strain into a rocks glass and top with a splash of sparkling water.Garnish with a sprig of rosemary and a slice of pear. For a longer drink, add more water and a dash of lemonade.The intensity of a herbs flavourvaries throughout the year, so you might need to experiment with these lovely syrups.Just use a teaspoon to test the strength as it simmers, and adjust as necessary.200g sugar200ml waterYour herb/flower of choice, for example:Put the sugar and water in a pan ona low heat, stirring constantly, untilthe sugar dissolves.Bring the syrupto a simmer, add your chosen herb orflower and then continue to simmerfor a further 510 minutes.Remove from the heat and allow to cool.Strain the syrup into a sterilized bottle.
2021 03 23
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Google, Voss, Macys Brands, Dish: Intellectual Property
Google, Voss, Macys Brands, Dish: Intellectual Property
Google Inc., maker of the worlds most-used search engine, received a patent on an invention that may advance instant-print photography in the digital realm. Patent 8,937,727, issued Jan. 20, covers what Mountain View, California-based Google calls a portable handheld device with multi-core image processor. According to the patent, the housing of the device contains a roll of print media, a printing mechanism, a guillotine for cutting the roll of print media, as well as a digital camera and a microcontroller for decoding the data signal and converting it into pixel data. The print media, which can be made from a variety of materials, could have a preprinted message on its reverse side. Google applied for the patent in September 2012, with the assistance of Chicagos Leydig Voit & Mayer Ltd. For more patent news, click here. Voss of Norway, Cocktail Shaker Maker Settle Trademark Dispute Voss of Norway ASA, a producer of bottled artesian water, and a Seattle-based maker of beverage-related products, have settled a trademark suit, according to a court filing. Perlage Systems Inc. said in a Jan. 21 statement that the dispute centered on the cylindrical shape of a pressurizable cocktail shaker. In its October 2013 infringement suit, Olso, Norways Voss claimed the cocktail shaker infringed trademarks on its clear cylindrical water bottles. In response to the suit, Perlage asked the court to order the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to invalidate Vosss trademark registration for its bottle shape. Terms of the settlement were not disclosed in court papers. The filing stipulated that the dismissal of Vosss claims is with prejudice, which bars further infringement claims. Perlages counterclaim was dismissed without prejudice, leaving the company free to pursue further action against the Norwegian company in the future. The case is Voss of Norway ASA v. Perlage Systems Inc., 2:13-cv-01971, U.S. District Court, Western District of Washington (Seattle). Macys Suit Over Defunct Stores Brands Set for March 2 Trial A trademark dispute involving brands of stores that have been acquired by Macys Inc., the Cincinnati-based department store chain, is set to go to trial March 2 in San Francisco federal court. Macys filed an infringement suit in December 2011, accusing Strategic Marks LLC of Irvine, California, of making unauthorized use of brands associated with now-defunct department stores. Among the store brands that are allegedly infringed are Seattles Bon Marche; Marshall Field of Chicago; Bostons Filenes and Jordan Marsh; Brooklyn, New Yorks Abraham & Strauss; and Robinsons-May, Bullocks, and The Broadway, all from Los Angeles. The products Macys said infringe the marks are sold through Strategic Marks website, according to the complaint. Macys said in court papers it hasnt abandoned the heritage brands associated with the defunct stores, and that Strategic Marks sale of products bearing these marks constituted trademark infringement. Strategic Marks responded to the complaint by saying its use of the marks fell into the laws fair use provisions, and that Macys has abandoned the marks by failing to use them. According to the website, the goods Strategic Marks sells are typically T-shirts emblazoned with the defunct stores logos. The case is Macys Inc. v. Strategic Marks LLC 3:11-cv-06198, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California (San Francisco). For more trademark news, click here. Dish Anywhere, Unlike Aereo, Found Not to Infringe Copyright Dish Network Corp., in a setback to television networks, won a ruling saying that its service, which lets users watch live TV shows on their mobile phones and tablets, doesnt infringe broadcasters copyrights. A federal judge in Los Angeles rejected claims by Fox Broadcasting Co. that Dish Anywhere isnt different from Aereos Inc.s streaming-television service, which the U.S. Supreme Court in June found illegally used antennas to capture live programs and send them to subscribers over the Internet. The ruling, the first to apply the Supreme Courts Aereo decision to other legal fights in which traditional TV networks seek compensation when programs are transferred beyond the set-top box, hands a victory to distributors that provide new ways for consumers to watch TV shows on mobile devices. Fox said its disappointed about the issues that werent decided in its favor and pleased that the court agreed with some of its copyright-infringement claims. The case is Fox Broadcasting Co. v. Dish Network LLC, 12-cv-04529, U.S. District Court, Central District of California (Los Angeles). For more copyright news, click here. Massachusetts Legislature Receives Flurry of Non-Compete Bills Massachusetts lawmakers filed multiple bills last week limiting the use of noncompete agreements, the Boston Globe reported. Such agreements, which bar an ex-employee from working for a competitor for a specified amount of time after leaving, are often an issue in trade-secrets cases, according to the newspaper. The New England Venture Capital Association trade group is pushing for a change to a situation comparable to Californias, which bars noncompete agreements as a matter of public policy, according to the Globe. Some Massachusetts business groups -- the Massachusetts High Technology Council, the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce and Associated Industry of Massachusetts -- favor noncompete agreements, saying they are necessary to protect companies intellectual property and corporate strategies, the Globe reported.
2021 03 23
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Gin Has Its Day
Gin Has Its Day
[nggallery id=282]Pink and fizzy little number with raspberry pure and rose water called the Hope cocktail is one of the best-selling drinks at the W Hotels Wunderbar these days. A few blocks away, at Bar & Boeuf in Old Montreal, theres the Pompelmo, which mixes limoncello and pink grapefruit juice. And at the very trendy Le Lab cocktail bar on Rachel St. E., the French 75 and La Bicyclette are just a few of the wild inventions.Sweet or sour, frothy or still, what all these popular cocktails have in common is gin.Not vodka, that essentially flavourless spirit that has ruled the bar for nearly two decades, but oldfashioned gin with its big juniper personality.From Barcelona and London to Tokyo, New York, Montreal and New Orleans, a new generation of cocktail drinkers and adventurous mixologists are turning gin into the fastest-growing segment of the spirit market.Gin, once the drink of middle-aged balconyimbibers and backwoods hunters and trappers (who filled their flasks with DeKuyper), is having its moment in the spotlight. Established British distillers like Beefeater are introducing new flavour profiles and small-batch distillers, such as Hendricks in Scotland and Caledonia Spirits in Vermont, are giving gin a hip new vibe by toning down its love-itor- hate-it juniper intensity and infusing it with nontraditional ingredients.Vodka is still the biggest seller, but people are looking for variety and change. They are asking for gin, said Duane Holder, the manager of the W Hotels Wunderbar and Plateau Lounge. Gin has more complexity. It has character.All gin is basically a clear spirit made by distilling barley, corn or rye and adding juniper berries, herbs and spices to the mash during distillation.In Britain, there are strict laws and age-old traditions governing how gin is made. But elsewhere, artisanal brewers are imbuing their new-age gins with their own personality. Hendricks gin, from Scotland, for instance, infuses the spirits in its copper stills with juniper, of course, but also cucumber, rose petals and at least 11 flowers, roots, fruits and seeds, which makes for a smoother, rounder, more floral flavour with less of the evergreen intensity that turns many drinkers off gin. Bar Hill gin, made by a former beekeeper who started the nano-distillery Caledonia Spirits in the Vermont hamlet of East Hardwick, uses pure grain spirits as a canvas to showcase raw local honey. Its flavours change from season to season depending on what flowers the bees have been pollinating.Here in Quebec, Ungava Premium Dry Gin is made in small batches with juniper from northern Quebec as well as wild rose hips, cloudberry and Labrador tea by Domaine Pinacle, known for its ice ciders.Xavier Padovani, the flamboyant London bartender who tours the world as Hendricks Gins global brand ambassador, says there was a time when gin was a cocktail staple. Its the basis for such classics as the Negroni, the Tom Collins and the Gimlet. It was even the standard base for the dry martini until James Bond came along and substituted vodka.And now its got its groove back, Padovani said on a recent stop in Montreal, where he met with the citys edgiest bartenders for a gin atelier. New classics include the Red Snapper, a cousin of the Bloody Mary, which features gin, horseradish and cilantro, and the Gin Basil Smash, created in Hamburg, Germany, and now the hottest drink in trendy bars from Tokyo to Los Angeles.As you get older, your palate becomes more comfortable with more complex flavours, Padovani says, as he muddles fresh basil leaves.His own favourite gin cocktail at the moment is the rather dramatic Green Blazer: a flaming cocktail of gin and chartreuse with a sprig of mint and zest of lemon.Gins history is checkered. British as it has become, it is a Dutch invention, originally known as genievre, invented by a chemist as a treatment for patients with kidney disorders, based on the recipes of 11th-century Italian monks.By the mid-1700s, gin had found its way to Britain as cheap, strong liquor, often homemade, and sold in street markets, grocery stores and brothels. It was heavily sweetened to mask its nasty taste and poor quality. Sometimes turpentine was used in its flavouring, mimicking the woody notes of juniper.According to accounts from the British Librarys archives, by 1740 gin consumption in Britain most notably among the poor had reached more than six gallons per person per year, on average. In 1750 nearly half of the British wheat harvest went straight to gin production. During the so-called Gin Craze of the early 1700s, the drinking of gin was blamed for numerous social ills from fetal alcohol syndrome to crime, poverty and a skyrocketing mortality rate. Whether gin-drinking was the cause of the problem or a symptom, the crisis led to the GinAct of 1751, which brought in stricter controls and forced distillers to sell only through licensed retailers.With the new regulation, gins quality improved. Its taste changed, too, becoming less sweet. London Dry became the classic style of gin, flowery and aromatic. London, with its easy access to grain from around the world, became gin central. Distilling became a craft, and a respectable business. What was once hooch became a gentlemans drink. Charles Dickens published a recipe for Hot Gin Punch. The poet Byron called gin the source of all my inspiration. Gin and tonic, the essence of easy living, was born of necessity. In the tropical British colonies, gin helped mask the bitter taste of quinine, taken to combat malaria. Dissolved in carbonated water, quinine became tonic. As Winston Churchill once put it: Gin and tonic has saved more Englishmens lives, and minds, than all the doctors in the Empire.Here are three cocktails that highlight the crisp, clean, floral aromas of gin. Xavier Padovani shook this up for us on his Montreal stop as global brand ambassador for Hendricks gin. It has taken over the cocktail scene in London and Paris, he says, part of the new craft cocktail movement. He especially loves the violet hue that Thai purple basil lends.Gin Basil Smash 5 to 6 fresh basil leaves Juice of half a lemon 3 teaspoons sugar 2 ounces Hendricks ginPlace basil, lemon, sugar and gin in a cocktail shaker. Muddle to crush leaves. Fill shaker with ice and shake well until chilled, about 10 seconds. Strain into an old-fashioned glass filled with fresh ice. Garnish with a small basil leaf., the chouchou brasserie on Masson St., they serve Le Ungava, which highlights the small-batch Quebec gin of the same name.Le Ungava 11/2 ounces Ungava gin 8 cucumber cubes ounce freshly squeezed lime juice 2 ounces ginger beerIn a cocktail shaker with a scoop of ice, shake gin, cucumber cubes and lime juice. Strain into a highball glass, top with ginger beer. Garnish with a cucumber spear., the manager at Wunderbar, the chrome and leather hangout at the W Hotel in Old Montreal, comes this pink and frothy gin cocktail.The Hope Cocktail 11/2 ounces gin 11/2 ounces raspberry pure, strained ounce rose water 1/2 ounce ChampagneIn a cocktail shaker with ice, combine gin, raspberry pure and rose water. Strain into a martini glass and add Champagne. Serve garnished with orange zest.
2021 03 23
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How Healthcare for Wild Animals Could Stop the next Pandemic
How Healthcare for Wild Animals Could Stop the next Pandemic
The virus was swift and lethal, claiming 162 lives in just three months. It left behind corpses covered in skin lesions and showing signs of severe pneumonia. Had the victims been human, the 2011 outbreak would have dominated the 24-hour news cycle. But, since the dead and dying were harbor seals washing up on the shores of New England, the story didnt capture the nations attention, let alone the worlds. That sort of thinking, public health officials say, is precisely why people are at risk from a range of potentially deadly diseases. We ignore wildlife diseases at our own peril, because a new or reemerging virus capable of killing animals also could be the harbinger of a human pandemic, such as Ebola, HIV/AIDS, SARS and MERS. All of those were zoonosesdiseases that initially spread from animals to people. In fact, pathogens infecting wildlife are twice as likely to jump over to humans as those without wildlife hosts. Several dead harbor seals washed ashore along the New England coast in 2011. Later, scientists discovered they had been infected by a mutated strain of the avian H3N8 virus, which could also be lethal to humans. And yet, new viruses from animals continue to catch us off guard. When humans are diagnosed with certain diseases, its mandatory to report them to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Not so with wildlife diseases, where reporting continues to be done on an ad hoc basis, even as outbreaks become more frequent in response to environmental change. Since the 1990s, the number of new emerging diseases that weve seen is ever-increasing, says Jonathan Sleeman, an epidemiologist and the director of the U.S. governments National Wildlife Health Center . These diseases can spread fast and far, he says. And the consequences are more profound, causing marked declines in wildlife populations and, in some cases, extinction. Scientists are developing methods for treating animals and preventing viruses from spreading to the point where they become a public health threat. But, Sleeman says, once a disease gets into a wildlife population, it can be very difficult to manage or control it. Thats why, he says, we need a more robust surveillance system to stop outbreaks before they occur. For starters, hed like to see a network of labs that specialize in diagnosing wildlife diseases, all following the same standard operating procedures. And, he says, there needs to be better coordination among state and government agencies: The CDC studies human diseases, the USDA studies domestic animal diseases and we [the National Wildlife Health Center] study wildlife diseases. But I think, in this day and age, we need to be looking at how to combine our expertise and resources and come up with effective interventions that protect the agricultural economy and public health. Climate change has been cited as a culprit for outbreaks of Bluetongue virus, which has killed livestock and wildlife across Europe. Warmer weather allows insects carrying the disease to spread further north. Many of these outbreaks have one mammalian species in common: Homo sapiens . Climate change, for example, is believed to be the culprit for the emergence of Bluetongue virus across Europe . Warming weather allowed disease-carrying insects to spread as far north as the Netherlands, infecting farm animals and wildlife such as red deer and wild mountain sheep. Other zoonotic diseases, such as the Schmallenberg virus , have been spread around the world by insects that have hitched a ride on the international trade in produce and cut flowers. And environmental contaminants have suppressed the immune systems of some animals. But the primary driver for zoonoses is habitat loss, as forests are cut down to make room for suburban sprawl and plantations, while canals and dams divert water from wetlands. You increase the likelihood of diseases as well as the severity of the spread when animals are concentrated in smaller areas, Sleeman says. And, ongoing human encroachment upon natural land makes it more likely that pathogens will spill over from wildlife into humans and domestic animals. In Malaysia, for example, slash-and-burn deforestation forced fruit bats to scavenge for food in orchards, which were located near pig farms that provided manure as cheap fertilizer. It didnt take long for a disease, Nipah virus, carried by bats to spread to the pigs and then to their human handlers. This transmission from species to speciesand back againacts as a viral cocktail shaker, raising the odds that a disease that originates in wildlife will mutate into something more deadly and infectious to humans and animals alike. Schmallenberg virus has devastated lamb flocks in Europe. Scientists believe the disease was spread by insects infesting shipments of cut flowers or produce. Wildlife, such as deer, have also been infected, making them potential carriers of the virus. As a result, the 2.0 versions of a disease can reinfect the same wildlife that introduced the initial strain. In the 1990s, what came to be called avian flu began as a benign virus carried by wild birds. It then spread to poultry farms, where the crowded conditions served as an incubator for the highly pathogenic H5N1 virus, which in 1997 began infecting people who handled contaminated bird carcasses. H5N1 then jumped back into the wild, where migratory birds became both victims and carriers of the disease in Asia. Wild fowl have also been identified as the source of H5 avian flu strains that are devastating the U.S. poultry industry . Since last December, 47 million farm birds have been culled in 21 states. These new viruses are a mixture of strains from both Asia and North America. The CDC says that the avian viruses burning their way through American poultry farms pose no threat to people. The same cannot be said of a strain of the avian H3N8 virus, which killed the New England harbor seals in 2011. Recent studies confirm that this strain mutated within the birds themselves, acquiring the ability to directly jump species by binding to receptors found in mammalian respiratory tracts. Researchers found no evidence that humans are immune to the strain. In fact, H3N8 was the likely cause of a pandemic in the 1880s. Worldwide, bats carry more than 60 different viruses. Understanding their immune systems could help in developing treatments for humans. In the ongoing battle against wildlife zoonoses, one animal in particular merits further study. Bats have been identified as a vector for spreading diseases worldwidemost recently, Ebola in Africa and MERS in the Middle East. They are a reservoir species, otherwise known as an asymptomatic host, which means they can become infected without getting sick. Bats carry 60 different viruses and counting. Yet, little is known about their immune systemsa task made more challenging by virtue of the fact that there are more than 1,200 different bat species. Daniel Streicker , a researcher at the University of Glasgow who specializes in the epidemiology of bats, cautions that were not really certain if all bats carry viruses without getting sick. We'll catch a bat in the field, and it will seem fairly healthy, but it's rare that you actually do the follow-up work, like tracking an individual bat that is infected with something and seeing what its fate is. On the other hand, if some bats really are asymptomatic, that could provide clues to how they manage to control these infections, says Streicker. That, in turn, could lead to the development of new treatments for humans. Scientist Daniel Streicker is leading an effort to vaccinate vampire bats against rabies in Peru. One of Streickers current projects is in the emerging field of developing wildlife vaccinesspecifically, for Peruvian vampire bats that are spreading rabies. Researchers have developed an oral rabies vaccine that is placed in a gel and spread on a bats back. The bat is then put in a cage with others. Since vampire bats are social creatures, they groom one another and ingest the vaccine. Under lab conditions, 70 to 100 percent of the caged bats were successfully vaccinated against rabies using this method. Streicker is leading a team that is consulting with the Peruvian government about the possibility of testing the technique on bat communities living in the wild. Sleeman is likewise excited about the potential for developing wildlife vaccines, noting that a similar project is underway in the United States: a sylvatic plague vaccine for prairie dogs delivered orally by mixing it with peanut butter. For the time being, however, Sleeman believes that, as we continue to encroach upon natural land, we need to better understand the habits of our animal neighbors. He points to a recent study that found that 83 percent of miners and tourists who contracted Marburg virus from bats in Ugandan caves did so during breeding seasons, when there are large numbers of juvenile bats who are more susceptible to contracting and spreading the virus. Knowing that, we could possibly prohibit people from using the caves during these high-risk times of the year, says Sleeman. This is the basic sort of intervention we need to be devising to prevent spillover, allowing humans and wildlife to coexist.
2021 03 23
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