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2014 Long Island Hospitality Ball

10 Jun

The Long Island Hospitality Ball to benefit the American Cancer Society was held on June 2, 2014 at the Crest Hollow Country Club in Woodbury, NY. The Ball is the social event of the season on Long Island and guests had a fantastic time partaking in the delicious food, exotic drinks and fabulous entertainment.

Vinexpo Executives Reveal IWSR Study’s Results

6 Feb

On January 17th Vinexpo executives announced in New York city the launch of its 17th edition, to be held June 16-20, 2013, in Bordeaux, France. As the world’s largest international wine and spirits exhibition, held every two years in France, Chief Executive Robert Beynat and Chairman Xavier de Eizaguirre also released the results of the latest study of the World Wine and Spirits market to some 100 journalists and trade VIP’s.

Xavier de Eizaguirre

Xavier de Eizaguirre
Chairman Vinexpo

Robert Beynat

Robert Beynat
Chief Executive







Highlights of the study relating to wine usage in the United States included:

In 2011, the U.S. became the leading wine consuming nation in volume and value in the world, ahead of France and Italy.
The U.S. is the leading consumer market in the world for wines priced at more than $10 per bottle.
The U.S. is the third largest wine importer worldwide, including both still, light and sparkling wines.
The U.S. is the fourth largest wine producer in the world.
The U.S. is the 6th largest exporter of wine in the world in volume and value.

Vinexpo will take place from June 16-20, 2013
at the Bordeaux Exhibition Centre in France.
For further details, see

For more information:

Sopexa USA
Marie Christina Batich
– PR Manager
Tel: 212.386.7416


Selena Ricks Hosts The Third Annual Holiday Spirits Bazaar

2 Dec

New Yorkers were treated to the ultimate festive cocktail experience at the Third Annual Holiday Spirits Bazaar, on Saturday, November 17, 2012 at Astor Center.

DF5DF10DF3Selena Ricks at the Third Annual Holiday Spirits Bazaar

Selena Ricks with one of the fabulous mixologists at the Third Annual Holiday Spirits Bazaar

Fab Food Finds at the Taste of Queens 2012

14 May
Taste of Queens 2012

Taste of Queens 2012

Article and photography by Kristen Hess, Author of The Artful Gourmet

On May 1st I attended the annual Taste of Queens – a massive, lively food-filled event celebrating the food and restaurants all over Queens, NY. It was well fit to be hosted in the top level, window-filled Caesar’s Club at Citi Field (home of the Mets!), as there were over 47 restaurants and food vendors from Queens proudly displaying their tasty creations and cocktails.

I attended the event with David Hillman of to capture all the food, fun, people and highlights, so keep reading to see great photos and a fun video of the fab food finds we discovered there! There was also a taste competition as judged by a team of local foodies and media types, here are the winners:

Pop Diner

Pop Diner

Magna Ristorante

Magna Ristorante

Magna Ristorante of Flushing (above) won the Best Entrée award for its Penne alla Siciliana, which featured sautéed eggplant and long, tubular pasta in a marinara-style sauce,

Magna Italian Dishes

Magna Italian Dishes

and Pollo alla Romana, which included lightly sautéed chicken breast and specially prepared artichokes in a tomato-and-cream sauce.

Papazzio Restaurant

Papazzio Restaurant

Bayside’s Papazzio Restaurant & Caterer (above) won the Best Appetizer award for its Pasta e Fagioli, which consisted of various kinds of red and white beans in a creamy, savory broth with onions, carrots, celery, rosemary, prosciutto and noodles. According to Papazzio’s Dominick Bruccoleri this soup also contains “a lot of love.”



In the Best Dessert category, the judges chose Tropisec (above), a Long Island City-based company that creates flowers and other edible designs from dried tropical fruits such as mango, papaya and pineapple. One of founder Blanca Lilia Narváez‘s signature products consists of dried banana pieces mixed with unprocessed cocoa.

McClure's Bloody Mary Mix

McClure’s Bloody Mary Mix

Best Alcoholic Beverage: McClure’s Pickles for their Bloody Mary Mix

See the full list of Queens restaurants and food vendors that participated in the event.


Highlights from the Taste of Queens event ::



See more videos and press coverage on the event:

NY 1 video

Queens Buzz post

Queens Examiner post

DNA Info post

World Journal article in Chinese

The Forum photos

Epoch Times article in Chinese

Sustainable Pantry blog

The French Spirits Soiree NYC

26 Apr

By Kristen Hess, Artful Gourmet

Watch the video of Kristen Hess with covering the festivities at The French Spirits Soiree at the Astor Center, a fun and lively cocktail event held by The Dizzy Fizz.

The French Spirit Soiree

With over 300 guests at the event, we experienced the hedonistic era of turn of the 20th century France, filming and interviewing the guests and spirits vendors, all the while sampling delightful Belle Epoque-themed cocktails, punches, absinthe and spirits in this surreal Parisian bohemian environment. The event featured live vintage jazz music, street artists, painted clowns and a risqué burlesque dancer – all reminiscent of the romantic, glamorous lifestyle of the Parisian art nouveau era. There were plenty of noshes to go with our French Spirits with cheese trays from Murray’s Cheese and rustic bread by scratchBREAD.

A special nod to all of the spirits sponsors that made the night complete: LilletTariquet ArmagnacPernod AbsintheRicard PastisBenedictineCointreau®, Rémy Martin 1738® , Noilly Prat,G’Vine GinJune Liqueur, Bonal, Dolin, and St-GermainÀ votre santé!

French Spirits Soiree photos
Photos by John Walder & Gabi Porter

Here are some drink recipes from the event (and for more of them check out

La Vie en Rose
1 oz. Ricard
½ oz. simple syrup
4 raspberries
G.H. Mumm Champagne
Muddle raspberries with syrup. Add Ricard, and shake with ice to chill. Strain into a Champagne flute, and top with Champagne.

Cointreau® Basil Lemonade
2 oz. Cointreau®
5 basil leaves muddled
½ oz. fresh lemon juice
2 oz. soda water
Muddled basil with fresh lemon juice, add Cointreau®, shake and strain over fresh ice. Top with club soda. Garnish with leaf of basil.

The St-Germain Cocktail
2 parts Brut Champagne or Dry Sparkling Wine
1.5 parts St-Germain
2 parts club soda
Add Brut Champagne, then St-Germain then club soda to an ice filled Collins glass and stir until completely mixed. Garnish with a lemon twist.

2 oz. G’Vine Floraison Gin
.25 oz. L’Esprit de June
.5 oz. lemon juice
5 green grapes
3 oz. tonic
Muddle grapes and basil. Add all but tonic and shake. Strain over ice in a tall glass. Add tonic and stir. Garnish with a basil leaf and grapes.

French Spirits Soiree at Astor Center
Photos by Kristen Hess

See more photos from the event by Gabi Porter on Metromix, and by John Walder on

SOBE Food Festival

15 Mar

By Kristen Hess, Artful Gourmet

Sharon Block with eDiningNews recently visited the 2011 South Beach Wine & Food Festival in Miami, Florida. This year’s fantastic event was held from February 24-27 and was the 10th anniversary of the Food Network’s festival. The weather was warm with bright sunny skies and visitors had an opportunity to learn and interact with their favorite Food Network, Cooking Channel and industry chefs and personalities, all amid the beautiful backdrop of the Atlantic Ocean.

Sharon Block - eDiningNews

Sharon Block from eDiningNews getting ready to sample the fabulous wines, spirits and foods at the Grand Tasting Village.

4 Orange Premium Vodka

4 Orange Vodka, the world’s first vodka exclusively made from Florida oranges held the First Annual Classic Cocktail Competition.

Chef Fabio Viviani

Sharon was thrilled to meet Chef Fabio Viviani Brand Ambassador for Bertolli® Olive Oil and a  Top Chef All  Star.

Barilla Booth

Enjoying the pasta in the Barilla booth.

Visit eDiningNews on YouTube to see a video overview of the Grand Tasting Village.

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