Inventory for January 10th, 2016

Happy new year dear readers! We hope it was spent in general merriment and that you surrounded yourself with lots of fantastic booze (and good people, of course). For the first inventory of the year we take a look at America’s health insurance and how it affects workers within the food and drinks industry, Taittinger is ready to plant a vineyard in the UK, sign up now for the Manhattan Experience competition, and Cointreau relives the 1930s with its limited edition.

If you like bread (and who doesn’t? Maybe those that fear gluten) then have we got a workshop for you: BrotZeit Werkstatt will take place at Berlin’s Markthalle Neun on Sunday, January 17th. The event is meant to create an awareness around the craft of baking, as well as what the future has in store for it. Entrance is 3,- Euros (unless you’re a child or neighbor of the Markthalle) and visitors can expect demonstrations, debates, and make-your-own-bread experiences.

1) American Health Insurance Sucks: Also for Bartenders

The crapfest that is the American public health system coupled with the machismo still readily present in food service makes for a toxic environment in which many non-fatal injuries go unreported. The Washington Post’s Clair McLafferty took a closer look at what exactly bartenders have to put up with. In this case she spoke to Willy Shine, 43, who’s been a bartender for 15 years and is able to boast with 75 stitches, tendonitis in both elbows, carpal tunnel in both wrists, extensive injury in his lumbar spine, and plantar fasciitis in both heels. Because the general attitude is ‘suck it up and keep your head down’ the “non-fatal injury rate published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics is deceptively low, according to its data, only 3.6 of every 100 full-time workers in the industry will face an injury”.

I’m sure we can all agree that that’s just an outright lie. McLafferty notes the fact that people working in the industry are usually met with a lot more dangerous conditions than in a “typical office environment: flames, breaking glass, drunk and unruly customers, challenging motions that wear and tear the body. Still, only 14.4 percent of employees in the industry have access to health care through their employers”. Reading this as a European, these numbers are shocking. Bartender Krista Carothers, who regularly schleps heavy cases and kegs of beer, nails it with her simple statement “If there’s no one else there, you have to move it”. McLafferty quotes a report which was released by ROC United, U.C. Berkley’s International Human Rights Law Clinic, and U.C. Berkley’s Food Labor Research Center last months which “described how conditions caused by the sub-minimum wage constituted a violation of international human rights agreements.

The report points out that two-thirds of the workforce earning the sub-minimum wage are women, and 42% of those earning at or below the minimum wage are people of color”. Yup, America – land of the brave and the free. Only if you’re a white male though, and even in that case there’s no guarantee.

2) Taittinger to Plant Vineyards in the UK

Taittinger is ready to become the first Champagne house to directly invest in English sparkling Wine. The Drinks Business reports that French Champagne house is launching Domaine Evremond: “a winery within a 69 hectare plot in Kent near Canterbury that will be used to produce a range of new ‘premium’ English sparkling wines”. Three types of wine will be planted (Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Meunier) in order to produce some 20,000 to 25,000 cases which will most likely be available in the mid to late 2020s. “The plots have an ‘ideal terroir’ for producing sparkling wine, sitting at a maximum of 80 metres above sea level with chalk soil and south-facing slopes, Taittinger said”. Interest in English sparkling wine has been around for a while, the land in Kent is also much cheaper than plots of land in Champagne.

A growing trend, for sure: “the rising quality of English wine is being continually praised. A blind tasting in October saw two wines from English producers Nyetimber and Hambledon coming top in a contest featuring sparklers from Veuve Clicquot, Pol Roger and Taittinger”.

3) Manhattan Experience sponsored by Woodford Reserve

Time for another competition folks. This time it’s the Manhattan Experience, sponsored by Woodford Reserve. Each bartender will need to submit two recipes “an original cocktail that uses Woodford Reserve Double Oaked” and a personal “version of a classic Manhattan, using Woodford Reserve Distiller’s Select Bourbon”. The recipes need to be submitted by January and the regional competitions will be held in February.

Regional winners will go on an educational distillery tour in March and the live final competition will be held in New York City in April. Recipes will be judged on their taste, balance, creativity, and thoughtful, original use of the ingredients. The winner will get the chance to be crowned “Master of Manhattan” (okay) and feature article as well as a three part video series on Good luck and more info here.

4) Cointreau introduced Limited Edition – Reminiscent of 1930s

In hopes of “celebrating progressive ladies” of the past, Rémy Cointreau Global Travel Retail has introduced a Cointreau limited edition pack that is reminiscent of the 1930s. The Spirits Business notes that the design features geometric lines and ‘La Parisienne’, “an image central to the brand for more than a century”. The design is said to evoke women’s road to emancipation, “changing their destinies and expressing their new-found freedom in their dress and their lifestyles”.

Ehhhh, not sure that that can (or should) be captured on a limited edition Cointreau bottle but hey, speaking for all females, we’ll take it? Apparently this train of thought stems from the fact that Cointreau became extremely popular in the States during the 1930s and “cocktail lounges became prominent with women drinking Sidecars and White Lady serves”. So basically Cointreau started selling more because people drank more (women included), and almost 90 years later, Cointreau wants to capitalise on this by selling historic bottles to ladies (about ladies). Cool, cool, cool. Capitalism at its best.


Foto: Zwei Männer via Shutterstock.

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