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Co-Owner of Château Cheval-Blanc Albert Frère Dies at 92 (Wine Spectator)

December 5, 2018 - 6:00am

Albert Frère, co-owner of Bordeaux's famed Château Cheval-Blanc in St.-Emilion, died Dec. 3 at age 92. The Belgian billionaire was a co-investor with Bernard Arnault, chairman and CEO of LVMH, when they acquired the legendary estate in 1998.

"I am deeply saddened by the death of my friend," said Arnault, in a statement. "Albert was an extraordinary man and a truly exceptional entrepreneur. Throughout our 35 years of faithful friendship we forged extremely close ties, both personal and professional."

With diverse investments that stretched from steel to fashion to oil, the Belgian business titan was also famously passionate about wine. He enjoyed his times at Cheval-Blanc, where he developed a strong camaraderie with the team running the estate.

"He was both a businessman and a man of the Earth, a real vigneron. He often came to see us and he was a great ambassador for our wines," Pierre Lurton, director of Château Cheval-Blanc and Château d'Yquem, told Wine Spectator. "He was a real visionary."

Frère was the wealthiest man in Belgium, with a fortune estimated at $5.8 billion. King Albert II of Belgium made him a baron in 1994. Frère started his rise to riches during World War II, at age 17, when he left school to run the family's modest nail business.

From the start, he was a savvy entrepreneur, rebuilding the company in the years after the war. By the 1950s, he was investing in steel factories. Two decades later, he dominated Belgium's steel industry. Eventually, after a lucrative merger, he sold his steel business and created a holding company, Groupe Bruxelles Lambert, that invested in oil, insurance, telecommunications, finance and other sectors. He helped negotiate some of France's largest mergers and acquisitions.

In addition to Cheval-Blanc, Arnault and Frère bought Château Quinault l'Enclos, also in St.-Emilion, in 2008. "Beyond his innate business sense, I will always remember Albert's passionate love of life, his great skill in unifying people and his tremendous commitment to everything he undertook to accomplish," said Arnault.

Frère is survived by his wife, Christine, two of his three children and several grandchildren.

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Cheese Talk: Austin’s John and Kendall Antonelli Pick 3 Top Cheeses (Wine Spectator)

December 4, 2018 - 9:40am

What are the cheese pros excited about right now? Like wine, the world of cheese is vast and diverse—potentially overwhelming, but rewarding to explore. No one is happier to guide you than your neighborhood cheesemongers. You should talk to them! In "Cheese Talk," we introduce you to a top cheesemonger and ask them for three cheeses to look for this month, as well as what wines or other beverages to pair with them.

Not many labors of love begin with a mid-honeymoon announcement that your new spouse wants to quit his career, but that’s exactly how Kendall and John Antonelli’s journey to the top of the cheese world began.

The couple met as students at Georgetown University. John, from Suffern, N.Y., was chairman of Students of Georgetown, Inc., the student-run business that includes a campus grocery store, coffee shops and more; Kendall, a literal cowgirl who grew up on a ranch in north Texas, served as “The Corp’s” V.P. of grocery. John followed Kendall back to Texas after graduation. When the couple married in 2008, he had a successful career as a CPA at Deloitte; she was practicing immigration law and advocating for human-trafficking victims.

“We were on our honeymoon in Grenada,” says Kendall. “John was reading a sci-fi apocalyptic teen novel and thinking, ‘If the world ends today, was it all worth it?’ and he turns to me and says, ‘I just had the perfect wedding. I have the perfect wife. I love our home. I love our dogs. I love our city. … I just can’t stand my job.’ I said ‘OK … what do you want to do?’ and he said, ‘Something in cheese.’”

It wasn’t completely out of the blue. In high school, John’s older brother had given him a George Foreman Grill. It inspired him to start a grilled-cheese club with his classmates and a few teachers. “We were debating the merits of white Kraft vs. yellow American singles,” laughs John. “We weren’t working with the cheeses we work with now … there was a lot of Velvee.”

Post-honeymoon, John threw himself into cheese. He attended the first-ever Murray’s Cheese Boot Camp in New York. (Kendall’s mother helped talk the specialty retailer into creating the program, and Kendall took the course not long after John.) He interned with legendary affineur Hervé Mons in France, and the couple explored the cheese cultures in Italy and Spain as well.

“Then we started running a gourmet grilled-cheese club out of our house,” Kendall says. “It was a six-course grilled-cheese dinner. And we learned a couple things about ourselves. One, we don’t really like slaving away over the stove. And two, we love being with people and building community through food; we love eating and talking. So we put that together and said, ‘Hey, what if we tell the story of artisanal food?’”

Andrew Bennett Austin’s favorite mom-and-pop cheese shop

Antonelli’s Cheese Shop opened in 2010, and it’s been full-steam ahead ever since. “Now we have two shops, one with a kitchen,” says Kendall. “We have a warehouse selling wholesale to about 150 chefs and caterers. We have a Cheese House private-events venue hosting more than 200 events a year. We ship cheese nationwide, and we have 30 to 40 employees, but we still consider ourselves a small mom-and-pop. We joke that our cheese shop was our first baby that kept us up for sleepless nights, but since then we’ve had two biological babies. And they love cheese and prosciutto as well!”

Along the way, John was named to the board of directors of the American Cheese Society; he recently concluded a term as president. Kendall is on the board of the American Cheese Education Foundation, a non-profit alliance overseen by the ACS. “American cheeses are gaining a stage in the world market,” says John, “and that will continue, because our cheesemakers are so tremendous at what they do, so creative—it’s amazing.”

Their flagship shop carries 100 or so cheeses, about 70 percent of them domestic, along with jams, fresh-baked bread, charcuterie, pickled goods, mustards, chocolates and more. They also carry about 30 wines, all organic, sustainable or biodynamic, plus a few dozen beers.

“Our goal is that a customer comes in and sees something they know, and that becomes an entry point for us to get them talking and tasting and trying other things,” says Kendall. “Our mission is ‘Do good, eat good.’ We support artisans who make their food in a way that’s great for their animals, their land, the planet, their team and, most important, is delicious.” Each month, through the Antonellis’ philanthropy plan, they select one Charitable Cheese Cause to spotlight and support; this year's recipients have included Big Love Cancer, the Texas Land Conservancy and Keep Austin Fed, among others. They also regularly contribute to charity events and fundraisers, including raising nearly $10,000 for hurricane-relief efforts in 2017.

Antonelli’s Cheese Shop
4220 Duval St., Austin, Texas
(512) 531-9610

Courtesy of Cellars at Jasper Hill Oma is made at Von Trapp Farmstead and ripened to perfection at the Cellars at Jasper Hill. Von Trapp Farmstead–Cellars at Jasper Hill Oma

Milk: Cow
Category: Washed-rind tomme
Region: Waitsfield, Vt.
Age: 10 to 14 weeks
Price: $35 per pound

Kendall says: I love Oma, but especially this time of year. Made by the Von Trapps—yes, relatives of those Von Trapps—on a farmstead operation in Waitsfield, Vt., Oma means "grandmother" in German. And this cheese is like a big ole hug from Grandma. It's comforting, bulging and a little stinky. It's a washed-rind cheese, resulting in an orange-hued rind with a straw-yellow paste that comes from the milk of primarily Jersey cows on their farm. While perhaps [smelling] a little funky, it actually has sweet and nutty flavors with a hint of garlic scapes.

Kendall's recommended pairing: The appearance, the texture, the flavor … it all makes me want to curl up on the couch in front of a fireplace with a plate of cured meats, pickles, mustard and pumpernickel bread with a nice stout—cuddled up in that orange-and-green afghan blanket Grandma made in the ’70s. Waxing poetic? Yes. Overstated description? Perhaps. But that's exactly what this cheese makes me feel. (For the record, my grandmother never crocheted an afghan, but eating this cheese makes me feel like she did.)

Wine Spectator picks: Most tomme-style cheeses (a category of small to medium-size wheels that originated in the French and Swiss Alps) share a nutty characteristic, and Oma is no different. But it also has a washed rind, which gives it a marked pungency. Aromatic whites like dry Riesling, Viognier and Gewürztraminer, as well as Grüner Veltliner and Pinot Gris, are lovely complements to Oma, along with light-bodied reds like Merlot, Pinot Noir (especially Spätburgunders) or Gamay. Try the delicate A to Z Wineworks Pinot Gris Oregon 2017 (87 points, $15, 66,726 cases made) or intense Yalumba Viognier South Australia The Y Series 2017 (90, $13, 19,000 cases imported, 2018 Top 100: No. 56).

Courtesy of Peterson Cheese The Terre des Volcans imprint of Fourme d’Ambert comes from the cave of French cheese star Hervé Mons. Fourme d’Ambert Terre des Volcans

Milk: Cow
Category: Semi-firm blue
Region: Auvergne, France
Age: 3 months
Price: $21 per pound

John says: One of the first cheeses I fell in love with was Fourme d'Ambert Terre des Volcans. Sometimes you want a blue that smacks you in the face; sometimes you want a blue that lures you in with a friendly approach and just reminds you what a good, reliable cheese is. This pasteurized cow's-milk blue is the latter, offering even folks who don't love blue a new chance to change their minds with its fudgelike texture that's rich, creamy, milky and earthy. The flavors can range from fruity to mushroomy.

John's recommended pairing: I recently took this home and enjoyed it with a bar of dark chocolate and a bottle of Nebbiolo.

Wine Spectator picks: Blues are perhaps the most strongly, sharply flavored category of cheeses and, not coincidentally, they’re most classically paired with rich and powerfully flavored wines (see: Stilton with Port; Roquefort with Sauternes). Fourme d’Ambert is on the gentler, creamier end of the blue spectrum, which is why it’ll pair beautifully with a young Langhe Nebbiolo like Michele Chiarlo Nebbiolo Langhe Il Principe 2016 (89, $20, 10,000 cases made). But for an eye-opening study in contrasts, try it with a bracingly tart sparkling wine like an extra brut or brut nature (aka “zero dosage”) like Bruno Paillard Extra Brut Champagne Première Cuvée NV (92, $50, 20,000 cases made). The lively acidity and minerally effervescence is a bright foil to a mouthcoatingly creamy, salty blue.

Courtesy of Veldhuizen Cheese Fat Tailed Tomme matures from a fudgy-textured youth into a firm, almost crumbly Manchego-style Texas original. Veldhuizen Fat Tailed Tomme

Milk: Sheep
Category: Washed-rind tomme
Region: Dublin, Texas
Age: 3 to 10 months
Price: $36 per pound

John says: If Oma is an everyday fave and Fourme d'Ambert is an old friend, then Fat Tailed Tomme is the novelty that recently came into our lives. Made in Dublin, Texas, by the Veldhuizen family, this is their first attempt at sheep's-milk cheeses, a rarity in Texas—if they existed at all! Stuart and Connie have been making raw cow's-milk cheeses for decades and aging them in their caves built in the side of a hill, and we're excited they've added this to their lineup. When their daughter Rebecca wanted to move back to the family farm, they told her she needed to earn her keep. It was her dream and hard work that launched their farmstead sheep’s-milk creamery.

Taking inspiration from popular Manchego styles, Fat Tailed Tomme is named after the Awassi breed of sheep, known for their high milk production and—you guessed it—fat tails. Made with raw milk, it's aged a minimum of two months, but they're finding that flavor peaks around eight to 10 months, with notes of pineapple and other tropical fruit flavors, as well as hints of pasta. It develops a natural rind that is rubbed with olive oil.

John’s recommended pairing: Pair it with a dry sparkling cider.

Wine Spectator picks: Sheep’s milk has more than twice the fat content of cow’s milk, yielding cheeses with especially rich pastes. Fat Tailed Tomme is a Lone Star tribute to Spanish Manchego, so try it with a late-release Rioja Crianza like Bodegas Faustino 2014 (88, $14, 88,000 cases made), Bodegas LAN 2014 (88, $14, 96,000 cases made) or Cune 2015 (88, $13, 10,000 cases imported).

Burgundy's Hospices de Beaune Raises Nearly $16.2 Million (Wine Spectator)

December 4, 2018 - 8:45am

Burgundy's Hospices de Beaune charity wine auction celebrated its 158th year by raising a new record total for health and education causes. This year's auction, on Nov. 18, generated nearly 14.2 million euros, or $16.2 million, from its sale of 631 barrel lots of red wines and 197 lots of whites, just over last year's 13.5 million euro total.

"We are amazed and very proud of this year's record," François Poher, director of the Hospices de Beaune, told Wine Spectator. "As it's an auction, we do not really have a specific goal; we never know how bidders will react in the auction room."

The average barrel price at the auction was $19,150, an increase from last year, which was "largely due to the success of the grands crus," said Poher. The Bâtard-Montrachet grand cru lot sold at the highest single-barrel price in the auction's history, for 135,000 euros, or $155,000.

This year, enthusiasm in the auction room was high, Poher noted, particularly during the auction's traditional Pièce des Présidents portion. French actors Nathalie Baye, Emmanuelle Béart and Pascal Elbé and writer Erik Orsenna all took the podium to encourage buyer participation in that part of the sale, which included two lots: Corton Clos du Roi grand cru and Meursault Les Genevrières premier cru. The combined lots brought in $260,000 for three foundations aimed at improving global health and education.

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Italian Fashion Mogul and Vintner Is Under House Arrest (Wine Spectator)

December 3, 2018 - 10:00am

The man behind the famed super Tuscan wine Oreno has been confined to his villa near Arezzo by Italian authorities, accused of taking part in money laundering, bank fraud and tax fraud schemes. The Guardia di Finanza, Italy’s financial crimes force, has placed Antonio Moretti, the owner of the Sette Ponti winery in Tuscany and the Feudo Maccari winery in Sicily, under house arrest, along with his son Andrea, as it investigates crimes related to Moretti’s clothing brands and its retail chain, according to Italian media reports.

The wineries have not been implicated in the alleged financial crimes, but the authorities have seized control of them for the time being, as well as Moretti’s other assets, worth a total of $28.9 million, according to authorities.

“The operation of the [wine] companies is not compromised. The [wines’] quality are 100 percent guaranteed,” Stefano Maggini, the wineries’ export manager, told Wine Spectator. “[The Morettis] are accused, but nothing is proven at the moment and [the charges] don’t involve the wine companies.”

Moretti, 67, became famous as a fashion footwear mogul, building the brand called Car Shoe and later partnering with Prada. In 1997, he launched Tenuta Sette Ponti and its flagship wine, Oreno, a blend of Cabernet and Merlot that has consistently earned outstanding ratings from Wine Spectator and twice earned Top 10 rankings in Wine Spectator's Top 100 Wines of the Year. In 1999, he began buying land in southwestern Sicily, establishing Feudo Maccari. He also owns Orma in Bolgheri.

According to Italian reports, more than a dozen executives for Moretti’s family companies have been implicated in financial schemes related to the clothing firms. A total of 14 companies and assets owned by the family have been seized by authorities. Several relatives, including son Alberto Moretti, a famous fashion designer, have not been arrested but are named in the investigation and are forbidden from managing public companies while the case is ongoing.

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Can Brazil's Wine Industry Capture an American Audience? (Wine Spectator)

December 3, 2018 - 7:00am

Brazil's wine industry is more than 100 years old, but until recently, very little of its wines have left the country. However, for the past five years, the South American nation's vintners, with government support, have ramped up their export efforts. And their three major targets are the United States, China and the U.K.

“The U.S.A. is our No. 1 target export country,” explained Diego Bertolini, director of marketing for Wines of Brasil. “The fact that more than 120 million Americans drink wine, and the market continues to grow, makes the U.S. an ideal export destination.” But Brazil faces several challenges, none more significant than Americans' unfamiliarity with Brazilian wine.

"Brazil is a country more famous for its colorful culture, rain forests and pristine beaches than the quality of its wine, although this is quickly changing,” said Master Sommelier Ian Cauble, cofounder of a digital wine merchant. “A dedicated wine-producing community, centered mostly in the Serra Gaúcha region, is producing delicious wines in many styles and colors."

Brazil's wine industry dates to the 1880s, when a handful of wineries were established by northern Italian immigrants, but has now grown to more than 1,100 wineries. During the past decade, the wine industry has expanded, with revenues increasing from US$213 million in 2007 to more than $640 million in 2017. Production was 33.7 million cases last year, according to Wines of Brasil. Today there are 195,000 acres of vineyards in the country.

Close to 90 percent of Brazil's wine production comes from the Serra Gaúcha region of southern Brazil. The lead grapes there are Chardonnay and Pinot Noir for sparkling-wine production. Farther south, near the Uruguay border, Cabernet Franc, Marselan and Merlot are popular varieties. Asti-style sparkling Muscat and sparkling Glera (the grape in Prosecco) are other growing categories.

“Our expertise is sparkling wine,” said Bertolini. “We have been making it for decades, and it matches our culture of celebration. We make all styles of sparkling, from high-end méthode traditionnelle aged for years on the lees to semi-sweet sparkling Moscato.”

Some industry experts agree. “Sparkling wine is a particularly bright spot on Brazil's diverse and far-flung vineyard landscape,” said Doug Frost, a Master Sommelier and wine consultant. “There are worthy red and white Brazilian wines, but I think that there is value and even novelty in offering Brazilian bubbly.”

That focus on sparkling wine is the foundation of Brazil's export strategy. They're hoping to take part in the growth in sparkling wine sales around the world and continued growth in the category in the U.S. market—according to Impact Databank, a sister publication of Wine Spectator, sparkling wine sales grew 3 percent in 2017, compared to 0.3 percent for all wine. And Brazilians believe bubbly sets them apart from the two leading South American wine-producing nations, Chile and Argentina, which are best-known for still reds.

Currently only 11 Brazilian wineries export wine to the U.S., primarily to cities on the East Coast, such as New York and Miami. But Brazilian wine remains relatively unknown among American consumers. And the wines are still arriving in small numbers, with only 16,739 cases of Brazilian wine shipped to the U.S. in 2017, according to U.S. Customs reports. So there is still a lot of work that needs to be done.

“It's not that we don't want to have wines from Brazil,” said founder Mike Osborn. “We simply don't seem to have suppliers or mainstream wholesalers making them available nationally yet.”

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Sommelier Roundtable: How Do You Stay Fit and Healthy? (Wine Spectator)

November 30, 2018 - 12:00pm

Restaurant work at the highest level of service is notoriously grueling, but the job of sommelier is particularly suited to taxing one's health: lugging cases up and down from the cellar, racing from table to table bearing knowledge and bottles, long hours late into the night, days of wine tasting that blur into dinners and then parties. Add in the challenges of raising young families and an industry-wide vitamin-D deficiency, and it's easy to see why self-care is necessary for wine pros.

Here, 11 somms and chefs from Wine Spectator Restaurant Award winners share their workout and fitness regimens, from yoga to rock-climbing, golf to marathon-running, and discuss how their activities have made them healthier and happier. But these routines aren't just for restaurant workers—you casual connoisseurs of the good life may find some handy tips too!

Wine Spectator: How do you stay in shape/healthy in a job that often involves a lot of eating, drinking, stress and unusual hours? Do you play any sports or have any fitness hobbies?

Anncherie Saludo, beverage director at Award of Excellence winner L'Artusi in New York

I do a lot of heavy lifting and run a lot of stairs at L'Artusi, so fitness is already built into my workday. When the weather is warmer, I like to cycle around Brooklyn and to work. To further stay in shape, I really pay attention to what I'm eating and when. I typically don't eat breakfast, so I splurge more on lunch than other meals in the day, and I avoid heavy meals late at night.

As for alcohol, I make sure to take days off. I think this moderation is very important for me. Tasting for work is unavoidable, but I can easily forgo a nightcap or two if it meant I'd be sacrificing a good night's rest before an early inventory day. To cope with stress, massages are definitely key. I also like to lose myself in quiet projects like knitting, or call my best ladies to let loose for a raucous night out on the town.

Daniel Humm and Cedric Nicaise, chef/owner and wine director of Grand Award winner Eleven Madison Park in New York:

Humm, on the restaurant group's Make It Nice running club: What started as a small group of our team running occasionally has turned into something so much more with the Make It Nice Running Club. We now have a couple dozen runners from all different positions at our New York–based restaurants running together on a weekly basis, many of whom went on to run the NYC Marathon this year. It’s really deepened the bond we all have—taking time to connect as a team, do something good for our bodies and push ourselves in different ways.

Courtesy of Daniel Humm The Make It Nice Running Club puts the "ran" in "Grand Award."

Nicaise: I try to stay as active as possible. I am friends with a group of very active people; we play soccer, or volleyball or other sports from time to time. I’ve been introduced to an amazing fitness community through my wife and have friends that are trainers or coaches. I use the gym in my building as often as I can find the willpower, and ride SoulCycle from time to time.

Luciano De Riso, wine director at Best of Award of Excellence winner Grand Old House in George Town, Cayman Islands

I drink a lot of water, especially when I drink wine. Being in the Caribbean also allows me to go to the beach a lot for swims. How I stay fit, though, is all due to running around and chasing my 3 1/2-year-old child, which also releases my stress and induces me to drink more when he finally goes to sleep.

Elizabeth-Rose Mandalou, wine director at Award of Excellence winner Allora in Sacramento, Calif.

It’s always a battle! I have the fortunate double-whammy: I married a chef, so it is difficult to a whole new degree, because I don’t escape delicious food or being fed. I spend my time tap-dancing at home or practicing yoga. Yoga, in my humble opinion, is very beneficial for hospitality professionals. The stresses of the day-to-day, standing on hard surfaces, the stiffness/dehydration cramps that drinking too much brings … can all be saved by yoga. It’s a good way to focus on the task in front of me versus future-tripping about the evening’s service. I often find the feeling I have on my mat follows me well into service, and I am better physically and mentally for it.

Carlin Karr, wine director at Best of Award of Excellence winner Frasca Food & Wine in Boulder, Colo.

It is really hard to stay healthy in the restaurant industry. For me, eating healthfully, not drinking any alcohol at least two to three nights per week, and working out are very important for my physical and mental health. Over the last two years, I lost 45 pounds by modifying my lifestyle and making sure I am conscientious of my energy levels and mood. I do a quick, 30- to 40-minute workout three to five times a week first thing in the morning. Cheesy enough, I do Jillian Michaels and Tracy Anderson videos at home, because they are super-convenient and have been really effective for me. I always have a better day on the days I work out.

Seán Gargano, wine director at Award of Excellence winner The Legal Eagle in Dublin, Ireland

I don't stay in shape. The only exercise I get is carrying cases of wine up three flights of stairs. I'm not proud of it, but it's the truth.

Richard Nielsen, sommelier at Best of Award of Excellence winner Angel Oak at the Ritz-Carlton Bacara in Santa Barbara, Calif.

The great thing about being a sommelier is that you are both physically and mentally challenged. You rarely miss out on daylight, particularly in Santa Barbara, where the weather is perfect. On any given day I like to go golfing, rock-climbing, surfing or hiking. The biggest challenge is diet—take what you can get!

Thomas Pastuszak, wine director at Best of Award of Excellence winner The NoMad in New York

I try to squeeze in a little time running, and a bit at the gym, to try and stay in shape. An ideal workout would be running a 5k, which I can do in about 20 minutes, followed by another 20 to 30 minutes of light weight-lifting. The balance of cardio and weights keeps me feeling both strong and energized for a long day of restaurant and wine work. With two kids now, it’s a bit more challenging to find the time, but I’ll take it when I can get it!

Richard Hanauer, beverage director for Chicago-based RPM Restaurants, including Best of Award of Excellence winner RPM Steak and two locations of RPM Italian

For whatever reason, whenever I was studying for sommelier exams, I had great success with retaining information while on a bike or treadmill. Eventually, going to the gym became synonymous with studying. When not in test mode, I like to start my workday at the gym reading the restaurant reports from the night before.

I love golf! It's one of the rare sports where one can finish a bottle of both red and white before the game is complete.

Alex LaPratt, owner and wine director at Best of Award of Excellence winners Beasts & Bottles and Atrium Dumbo in Brooklyn, N.Y.

Self care is underappreciated in our industry, if it's on anyone's radar at all. The physical demands of our jobs are intense and, when coupled with the hours that are both long and finish late, create a perfect storm that can quite easily lead to a downward spiral of staying out late, eating around or after midnight, drinking too much and not getting enough sun, along with looking at more destructive avenues for stress release, be it alcohol, drugs or whatever.

For years, this really bothered me, as what I wanted—to be in good shape and be healthy, happy and confident—was at odds with my lifestyle outlined above. So I began devoting more attention to my personal life. I avoid staying out late drinking, save on special occasions, and wake up early and start my routine, which is as follows:

Courtesy of Alex LaPratt Alex LaPratt brought the gym to him.

I don't eat, as I'm practicing intermittent fasting. So I'll fast for 16 to 18 hours and then eat within that six- to eight-hour window, and back to fasting. I drink a good amount of coffee to wake me up and curb my appetite. I don't have time to go to the gym, so I have decided to bring the gym to me. I've set up in my new apartment a pull-up bar, rings, a dip station, plyometric box, exercise ball, a couple kettle bells and added in a weighted vest, jump rope and a few [other] odds and ends. This allows me to do a full-body workout every other day and increase joint health and flexibility, which I've found to be key as I've aged and am running up and down stairs, carrying boxes, working in tight spaces, etc. On the off days, I'll often fill in with a one- to two-hour cardio session, most often on my bike. I'll ride over to Prospect Park and do three to five laps, and back to my apartment.

I've found that I have so much more energy, am happier and certainly in much better shape. My overall attitude is a bit more Zen, even though New York is so intensely stressful!

Another thing that I've found is that depression in this industry is widespread. We are starting to talk about it more and more. When I'm working out regularly and am being conscientious about what I'm eating, this becomes a non-issue for me. When I stay out late, drink too much, don't get enough sun … it gets bad.

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Wine and Food Industries Step Up Again with 2018 California Wildfire Relief (Wine Spectator)

November 30, 2018 - 7:00am

Long after the embers cooled from the 2017 California wildfires that ripped through North Bay wine country, many families and businesses are still recovering, and efforts by the wine and dining industries to help are ongoing. But the November 2018 fires in Butte County and Malibu have displaced tens of thousands of people, and the industry is stepping up once again.

The most high-profile of the initiatives on the ground is that of chef José Andrés' World Central Kitchen (WCK), the fine-tuned meal-making machine that has fed displaced and hungry victims of natural disasters from Puerto Rico, in the wake of 2017's Hurricane Maria, to Indonesia, where communities were ravaged by earthquakes last month. Andrés—who has reportedly been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize—has been in California with area chefs, including Tyler Florence and Guy Fieri, and 1,000 volunteers, including restaurant owners from Paradise, Calif., who lost their homes. WCK staff told Wine Spectator that they've cooked 175,000 meals for victims of the Woolsey and Camp fires, including a Thanksgiving extravaganza at Chico State University that put away 7,000 pounds of turkey, 3,500 pounds of mashed potatoes, 100 gallons of gravy, 3,000 pounds of green beans and 1,000 pumpkin pies.

California wine retailer K&L Wine Merchants is holding an epic raffle through Dec. 4 of wines from that "impossible category of bottling where we never get enough quantity to satisfy customer demand," said co-owner Brian Zucker, via email. Raffle ticket holders have the chance to take home a bottle of 2008 Cristal rosé, a duo of red and white Chave Hermitages, a rare magnum-and-then-some 1.92-liter bottle of 1961 Bartolo Mascarello Barolo or the Karuizawa 34-year-old Japanese whiskey K&L usually sells for $10,000. The effort has already raised more than $100,000.

Wineries have been pitching in as well. Grable Vineyards in Knights Valley is pledging half the proceeds from all magnum sales to the North Valley Community Foundation's Camp Fire Relief Fund, repeating an initiative they did last year after the Tubbs fire came very close to their property. "It's awareness, and we're happy to contribute, and it's a way for us to get other people involved," co-owner Amy Grable said. Over in St. Helena, Correlation Wine Co. is giving 25 percent of proceeds from case sales to Camp fire victims.

One wine industry pro put a slightly different twist on the theme. Jordan Vineyard director of marketing and communications Lisa Mattson moonlights as a memoirist, and is donating all proceeds from the just-released second edition of her book The Exes in My Glass: How I Refined My Taste in Men & Alcohol to Sonoma Family Meal. "I remember how bad I felt physically while being displaced during the Tubbs fire, eating fast food in a hotel room, waiting to be allowed back into our neighborhood," she said via email. "Sonoma Family Meal is providing that vital, healthy meal for fire victims at a time when eating well is the last priority on their minds."

Finally, Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., whose staff voluntarily evacuated its Chico facility in the Camp fire, announced the launch of the Sierra Nevada Camp Fire Relief Fund, putting up $100,000 to kick things off and brewing up a Resilience Butte County Proud IPA for release early next year.

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