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Beauty and Big Laughs ‘Models of Comedy’ with Ksenia, Peake, St. John at Ella Beverly Hills from Max Events 

Ksenia, Peake, St. John! Beauty and Big Laughs ‘Models of Comedy’ at Ella Beverly Hills with Max Events 

Max Events presents Models of Comedy in support of From the Heart Tribe and sponsored by Lamborghini, Ella Beverly Hills, Sixty Hotels, Neft Vodka.

Ksenia, Peake, St. John! Beauty and Big Laughs ‘Models of Comedy’ at Ella Beverly Hills with Max Events 

Ksenia, Peake, St. John! Beauty and Big Laughs ‘Models of Comedy’ at Ella Beverly Hills with Max Events 

Ksenia, Peake, St. John! Beauty and Big Laughs ‘Models of Comedy’ at Ella Beverly Hills with Max Events 

What happens when you produce a comedy show starring some of the most beautiful people from around the world, including New Zealand, Germany, Russia, Denmark, Latin America, United Kingdom, United States and more?

The answer is fun-loving, raucous and big laughs.

Emmy Award winning Fashion Stylist, Costume Designer Brenda Cooper arrives for the show

Emmy Award winning Fashion Stylist, Costume Designer Brenda Cooper arrives for the show // Photos by Eugene Powers

Hot Night – Big Laughs ‘Models of Comedy’

The audience started off fun and flirty (thanks to St. John who we’ll get to in a sec), turned over the top, and by the end of the night there was a sing-a-long.  

Eliza St John hosts ‘Models of Comedy’

Eliza St John hosts ‘Models of Comedy’ // Photos by Eugene Powers

Eliza St. John

St. John was our host for the night who definitely set the tone: sexy, fun, flirty.  Struts onto the stage, wiggling and dancing. Oozing with energy, she interrupts her own introduction to flirt with a guy in the front row – who she asks to slide into her DMs.  Then asks the whole room to slide into her DMs.

A frisky start to a night that only gets hotter.

Eugenia Kuzmina performs at ‘Models of Comedy’

Eugenia Kuzmina performs at ‘Models of Comedy’ // Photos by Eugene Powers

Eugenia Kuzmina

Eugenia has become a comic strip regular, performing throughout Los Angeles stages.  She usually includes character work.  But, tonight was a straighter performance, based on well-timed rat-a-tat style jokes.  More relaxed, more comfortable.  Her characters are fun, but here’s hoping she delves deeper into these scripted punchlines.

Christine Peake, photo by Eugene Powers

Christine Peake

“Oh My Gawwd,” a guy in the 3rd row gasps just seconds into Christine Peake’s act.  And the gasps and howls only get louder!  Her set is not for the faint of heart. She goes for the jugular. LA’s “woke” youngsters in the crowd gasped, while the older crowd hooted along.

In 2024 she is finding her wings and soaring.  At Peake’s birthday show a few weeks ago, she broke new territory with her improvising.  Tonight she brought new laughs with a mostly new (and growing) set.   

Dominika Van Santen // Photo by Eugene Powers

Dominika Van Santen // Photo by Eugene Powers

Dominika Van Santen

Dominika won the Top Model of the World in 2005 and competed for Miss Venezuela Pageant, later she performed alongside Rihanna, Calvin Harris, Robin Thicke, J. Lo, Pitbull.  Tonight she brought great laughs.

CJ Franco // Photo by Eugene Powers

CJ Franco // Photo by Eugene Powers

CJ Franco

Instantly recognizable from 2021’s FBoy Island and tonight she continues beginning the heat – smart and salacious.  From threesomes to sex toys, she takes us into her bedroom and the crowd loves it.  Laughs, cringes, and blushing – she keeps pushing to the edge and gleefully dancing off the cliff.  Unafraid!

Thash Mose // Photo by Eugene Powers

Thash Mose // Photo by Eugene Powers

Thash Mose

Thash is a surprise discovery.  A quieter delivery, which made the laughs all the bigger.  From Disney’s “Frozen”, to drug addicts and the fashionably offensive. Nothing was off-limits and the audience loved her.  

Ksenia // Photo by Eugene Powers

Ksenia // Photo by Eugene Powers

Night of Beauty, Laughs and Surprises at ‘Models of Comedy’

Ksenia

Ksenia was one of the biggest winners of the night.  A mix of jokes, stories and songs.  Yes, songs.  And here’s the surprise: she has a great voice.  She got the crowd to sing-along twice by the end.  Seeing couples and strangers sway to the music,  enjoying the moment.  Ksenia is someone to watch for.  Get a ticket to her next show!

Thash Mose, Christine Peake, Eugenia Kuzmina, Kzenia // Photo by Eugene Powers

Thash Mose, Christine Peake, Eugenia Kuzmina, Kzenia // Photo by Eugene Powers

Neft Vodka

The World’s First Sipping Vodka from Austria.  Carefully selected for their soft and mild flavor profiles, Neft uses only Old-World non-GMO rye grains in their mash bill, imparting subtle sweetness and a luxuriously lengthy finish of soft, rye spice.

They are meticulous in their distillation process: using a copper still followed by continuous column distillation to extract only the highest quality spirit: the hearts. The result is a vodka with an incredible flavor profile and distinctive viscosity, giving NEFT its infinitely sipable taste and luxurious mouthfeel.

From the Heart Tribe

From the Heart Tribe is dedicated to effectuating positive change by organizing engaging experiences that contribute to the betterment of the natural environment.

 

St Patricks Day in LA: Cocktail Collab as “A Taste of Green’ as Bailey’s Partners with Ian Charms

St Patricks Day in LA: Cocktail Collab as “A Taste of Green’ as Bailey’s Partners with Ian Charms

St. Patrick’s Day is now only a short leap away as we gear up to celebrate the Emerald Isle.

With the turn of the season comes an invitation to swap out your drab winter wardrobe for brighter spring hues because this just in – green is the new black.

St Patricks Day Cocktail Collab Brings Combines Flavor and Jewelry

This St. Patrick’s Day, Baileys Original Irish Cream Liqueur is partnering with celebrity-loved jewelry brand Ian Charms to release an exclusive charm collaboration that will make the ultimate fashion statement for the holiday.

The two iconic brands are celebrating their Irish roots with a limited-edition Baileys x Ian Charms Necklace & Cocktail Charms Set to make sure both you and your cocktail have the perfect touch of green for your celebrations.

“Baileys has been a beloved treat in my family for generations

and it’s exciting to finally be partnering with a brand that lets me celebrate my Irish heritage,”

Lisa Sahakian

Founder and CEO of Ian Charms

“Designing this charm set was incredibly fun and we’re thrilled to be offering our customers something truly unique to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with.”

St Patricks Day Cocktail Collab is Necklace & Cocktail Charms Set

The Baileys x Ian Charms Necklace & Cocktail Charms Set includes two distinct pieces – a necklace to complement any outfit and a cocktail charm to adorn onto the stem or rim of your cocktail glass.

The design features an eccentric combination of handmade charms, beads and pearls inspired by Baileys Original Irish Cream Liqueur’s unapologetically delicious ingredients and cocktails.

The one-of-a-kind charm set also pulls elements from the limited-time-offering Baileys Vanilla Mint Shake Irish Cream Liqueur as well as quintessential Irish emblems, making this set the perfect accessory for your St. Patrick’s Day celebrations.

“We are delighted to be releasing this limited-edition collaboration

with a beloved brand like Ian Charms

to give adults a new way to indulge in St. Patrick’s Day celebrations,”

Camille Hemming

Senior Brand Manager of Baileys & Liqueurs, DIAGEO North America

“Between the classic Baileys Original Irish Cream Liqueur or the green-themed Baileys Vanilla Mint Shake that’s making a return for the holiday, we hope to offer more ways than one to toast to our brands’ Irish roots.”

“This exclusive drop marks Baileys’ second piece of Treat Couture, fashion-forward collaborations that inspire adults to indulge in unique wearable creations.

To celebrate the indulgence of fashion in the lead up to St. Patrick’s Day, treat yourself to a signature cocktail featuring beloved Baileys Original Irish Cream Liqueur and minty green limited-time-offering Baileys Vanilla Mint Shake Irish Cream Liqueur.”

BAILEYS ESPRESSO MARTINI
Ingredients:

  • 1.5 oz Baileys Original Irish Cream
  • 0.75 oz espresso
  • 0.75oz Ketel One Vodka
  • Coffee Beans, to garnish

Method:

  • Fill shaker with ice
  • Add all ingredients and shake
  • Strain into a cocktail glass
  • Garnish with coffee beans

VANILLA MINT MARTINI 
Ingredients:

  • 2 oz Vanilla Mint Shake
  • 0.5 oz Fernet Branca Menta
  • 3-4 dashes Absinthe

Method:

  • Shake with 1 ice cube for dilution
  • Strain into cocktail glass
  • Garnish with grated chocolate + mint sprig

The limited-edition Baileys x Ian Charms Necklace & Cocktail Charms Set is available exclusively on IanCharms.com while supplies last. Ian Charms is a female-owned, handmade jewelry company based in LA that has amassed a loyal fan base of celebrities and consumers alike. Ian Charms will donate all proceeds from the charm set sales to CurePSP, and Baileys will match the amount with a donation to the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO), a non-profit educational foundation supporting emerging and established women entrepreneurs.

Baileys encourages consumers of legal drinking age to treat themselves responsibly this season.

For more information, please visit www.BAILEYS.com.

Ian Charms is a female owned, handmade jewelry company


Ian Charms is a female owned, handmade jewelry company based in LA. Named “Ian” charms because the creator’s last name (Lisa Sahakian), like many Armenian names, ends in those three letters. For those who like to adorn their necks and wrists with a more personal flair, Ian Charms will work with you to craft a custom piece, just start the process by ordering the type of custom jewelry you’d like.

Notable fans of the brand include Justin BieberDua LipaJulia Fox & Doja Cat, among others.
IanCharms.com
@iancharms

NAWBO is the unified voice of America’s more than 14 million women-owned businesses


Founded in 1975, NAWBO is the unified voice of America’s more than 14 million women-owned businesses representing the fastest growing segment of the economy. NAWBO is the only dues-based organization representing the interests of all women entrepreneurs across all industries.

NAWBO develops programs that help navigate women entrepreneurs through the various stages of their business growth. To learn more about NAWBO, please visit www.nawbo.org.

To learn more about NAWBO’s non-profit educational foundation, the NAWBO Institute, please visit www.nawbo.org/university.

BAILEYS Irish Cream Liqueur

BAILEYS launched in Ireland in 1974. It is now available in 180 markets worldwide and is the number one selling liqueur in the world.

Owned by Diageo plc, BAILEYS is currently ranked 7th among all distilled spirits sold worldwide. It’s the signature delicious balance of Irish Cream, whisky and fine spirits that makes BAILEYS Original Irish Cream the perfect little indulgence when you need a break from your daily routine.

The BAILEYS portfolio includes Original Irish Cream, Chocolate, Salted Caramel, Vanilla Cinnamon, Espresso Crème, Strawberries & Cream and Almande.

For more information on BAILEYS Original Irish Cream, please visit us at www.BAILEYS.com.

Local SoCal News

Take a Deep Dive into Pop Culture with Media Path Podcast cohosted by Woke Boomers Fritz Coleman, Louise Palanker

Take a Deep Dive into Pop Culture with Woke Boomers Fritz Coleman, Louise Palanker on Media Path Podcast

Fritz Coleman and Louise Palanker are hosting a virtual dinner party.  It’s a fun time, a good time, with lots of laughs, smiles, and a deep dive into pop culture past and present.

Have you ever become obsessed with a topic and taken a deep dive into consuming all you could uncover about it?

Media Path Podcast is here to indulge your creative obsessions. Co-hosted by Los Angeles weatherman/humorist Fritz Coleman and filmmaker/columnist and co-founder of Premiere Radio Louise Palanker.

Take a Deep Diver into Pop Culture with Woke Boomers Fritz Coleman, Louise Palanker on Media Path Podcast

Today we had a conversation (via zoom) with Fritz Coleman and Louise Palanker.  This conversation has been edited for length and clarity. 

For the full conversation, visit our YouTube channel here.

 

 

What’s the best way to introduce this fun, flavorful conversation?

 

Louise: We tell folks, this is what you would be talking about if you got together with a group of friends anyway. What have you been watching? What should I stream? What’s good? So this is where every conversation eventually devolves. We just get there very rapidly

Fritz: Wheezy and I grew this podcast out of a friendship we’ve had for about 35 years, where we found out surprisingly and wonderfully, that we see eye to eye on lots of entertainment, movies, books, TV shows, and we thought, why not make this a podcast? It is a continuation of our common interests in our conversation.

So that’s what we do. We start each show with some suggestions on what people can watch, listen to, read, and that takes eight minutes. And then we always have a guest on; guests from all walks of life. We found that one of our sweet spots is television personalities from the Los Angeles area particularly ones from our growing up period, the 1960’s and 1970s boomer material and older.

But we do everything. We do politicians, we do singing stars. We’ve had very interesting books and topics that aren’t generally known to the public. I’ll give you an example. Two weeks ago. We had a show about a man who wrote a book about a woman by the name of Connie Converse, who I suppose you could describe as one of the great undiscovered musical talents in America.

She was a great songwriter and a great singer. She was never discovered, which was sad and then she just magically and mysteriously disappeared. So the book this guy wrote was about somebody that not everybody was familiar with, but it was fascinating because it was like a, ‘whodonnit’ and also the heartache of an undiscovered musical talent, that lady that started in Greens Village and all those things.

All that to say it’s Weezy and I discussing stuff we find fascinating and we hope you come along.

 

From the episodes I’ve watched, it feels like the most interesting dinner party you’ve been to in a long time.

 

Fritz: We appreciate that.

We’re gonna use that as a sales tool from now on. The most interesting dinner party you’ve ever been to. Yeah,

Louise: the food is awful. 

Fritz: My dinner with Weezy. 

Louise: Yeah, there’s some hard candies and it’s bring whatever you can in your purse because we, I’ve got some granola bars on the coffee table, but that’s it.

Fritz: We want the intimacy of a conversation among friends and so you, you analyzed it well. Beautiful.

 

Because everyone watching and listening loves food. Do you have a favorite food you’d recommend either you per personally and enjoy or something that we should be eating or cooking while we listen and watch your show?

 

Louise: I’m gonna recommend some water. This comes out of a filtration system near my sink. It’s just lovely.

Fritz: I happen to be a fan of Northern Italian cuisine. I won’t name specific dishes, but in general, I love risotto with a great protein like shrimp or chicken.

I love penne with a bolognese sauce. I love capellini alla checca, which is a great when you add shrimp to it and then you add a checca sauce, which is the red sauce with garlic. And so I like Northern Italian Cuisine. I don’t cook, but I can buy the best food in America. Just walking out my front door here.

Louise: Have you ever put salmon on a pizza?

Fritz: I’ve had that actually. That’s actually very good.

Louise: Very good. Goat cheese. Wonderful. I love let’s see, chicken parmesan, I think that’s what I would order.Maybe that sounds very pedestrian. But comfort foods are delicious.

Meatloaf, mashed potatoes, chicken parm. That’s the kind of stuff – any potato really, you can’t do anything to a potato that would offend me.

Fritz: I’ll tell you, LA is wonderful for that lately cuz there’s all sorts of interesting fusions going on. You have Vietnamese food and Italian food and a fusion menu.

And if you like to experiment with different palettes, this is a great city to do it in. It really is, thanks to Wolfgang Puck and some of the gourmet chefs in the town. Completely

 

I think what we’re all, what we’re all noticing immediately is the two of you have phenomenal chemistry. What’s the origin story?

 

Louise: Yes, absolutely. We know each other quite well. It’s very natural, and I’ve been podcasting since you could, you go back to 2005 whenever you got that new iPhone that said, would you like to listen to a podcast? And then you said, what’s a podcast? And then the adventure begins. 

So I’ve been doing it from jump and Fritz was contractually obligated to not speak outside of his news job about anything that did not concern a weather pattern. Your newsman cannot have an opinion. That’s very distracting, especially now in our divided sensibility.

Fritz: You just can’t say anything smart, that would embarrass the station. That’s all.

Louise: So you couldn’t do commercials. It makes sense if you’re talking about the weather, you don’t wanna be thinking, oh, this guy sells batteries. You just, you wanna just get your weather cast.

So as soon as he retired we jumped on board together because I had done four podcasts before this one, and I was prepared in terms of what a podcast requires, how difficult it is. And so for Fritz, I just need his mind, his preparation, his wit and his fascination with all things interesting.

And he’s more than ready to take on the podcasting world. He’s the best. 

Fritz: And this is not a brag but it’s true. You cannot manufacture chemistry. You can see two people on television. You hear them on the radio or hear them in a conversation, and you know that these two people should not be in the same room together, let alone host their own presentation.

But we just have a natural thing that was born out of our friendship really, and our common interest in stuff. One of our sweet spots is baby boomer and older music, old rhythm and blues. Weezy’s interest in music goes back to the old harmony groups like the Mills Brothers, cuz she was personal friends.

So all those things we find fun and so when we get in there we I think that the fun we’re having resonates to the audience. I hope it does. 

Louise: We geek out together. It’s like watching Jimmy Fallon. You’re just so giddy that he’s that giddy. So hopefully we bring that kind of enthusiasm and just to get to meet the people that we grew up watching.

And also the excitement of when you have an author reading the book and then getting to talk to the author and, rather than having to scour YouTube for interviews that the author did, because now you’re fascinated. We actually get to talk to the person. And so we find that exciting. It’s like going to grad school for free.

Fritz: One of the great joys is having a topic that you don’t know anything about. For instance, this Connie Converse topic and the one we’re having this week we’re preparing for now, this is a guy that wrote a book about the friendship between Henry Ford, John Burrows, and Thomas Edison.

These three geniuses in a different venue, each one, but they all had this spectacular friendship and they all took a road trip in a model T Ford.  I knew a little bit about Henry Ford, you know it from the Industrial Revolution and extreme antisemitism. But I didn’t realize that he had interests outside there. Louise and I are just gonna be blank slates and come into this interview with just being inquisitive, and that’s always fun.  You discover something you had no idea about.

Let’s talk about both of your backgrounds.

We’re gonna go to Fritz second. Louise,  bring everyone up to speed about what you’ve accomplished and those other podcasts you’ve worked on so people know the background that you bring to this show.

 

Louise: Yes, I began my career as a studio page, and it was one of those things where you get your foot in the door and one thing leads to the other thing.

So I became a studio page at a place called Metro Media Tape. We were doing all of the Norman Lear sitcoms. We had the John Davidson talk show. Which was where a person like me gets to meet Van Johnson. It was just crazy. Look, I’m from suburban Buffalo and here I am with Van Johnson.

It was crazy. So I’ve always just been so grateful to work in entertainment. I just consider it to be an honor. But that led to a job at a show called PM Magazine, which led to me meeting Rick Dees who was a local radio personality. I went to write his syndicated countdown show, which is called the Rick Dees Weekly Top 40, which led to me meeting other personalities at KISS FM and forming a company with them called Premier Radio Networks.

And that was a 15 year rocket ship that led to that company being sold to Clear Channel, which is now iHeart Media. At one point I went to one of my partners and I said, Hey, Craig, what are what’s the chance of me having my own show? And he said, none. And I said, I have two words for you, podcast.

Because he didn’t know that they were just the one word at that time. And I, that’s how new it was. I was doing standup comedy at the time, so I went to do standup comedy that night and I said to my friend, Laura Swisher, have you heard of a podcast? And she said, I just heard about it today.

It was just like, it was hot off the press, right? So we were like, let’s make one. That led to 100 episodes of Weezy In The Swish, which was my first podcast. And then I did one with K with teenagers where I was like giving teenagers advice cuz like I love to mentor young people.

And that one was called Journals Out Loud. And then I did one with some of my comedy friends called things I Found Online, which was people our age discovering the interne. Then Fritz retired and now I’m working with Fritz.

I never was a radio personality at Premier. I was a creator. I was in charge of all of the creative output, but Premier had shows that did not involve or include me other than behind the scenes. 

And now Fritz obviously. My words, you’re an LA icon. For more than 40 years…

 

Fritz: Contactually, you have to say that about me.  Every time you introduce me. I’m an LA icon.

 

Not only do you own LA TV, but you own LA stages because for those who don’t know, seeing you live is a phenomenally fun, entertaining evening.  Was it a very conscious segue to get into podcasting?

 

Fritz: My involvement with her podcast is totally her both blame and her gift that she gave to me after I retired.

People find this hard to believe. Real meteorologists hate this story, but I’ll tell it to you anyway. I was working at the Comedy Store in 1982 and because I talked on stage about having done the weather earlier in my broadcasting career, the news director from Channel Four and his wife were in the audience that night and he came up to me after the show and he said, I really enjoyed your show, particularly the thing about doing the weather in the Navy, but not knowing anything about it.

He said, would you have any desire to come to Channel Four and do some vacation relief, weather forecasting? I was making $25 a night at the Comedy Store, and so I almost passed out. I said, of course, when do you want me to start? He said you have to audition. So I auditioned and got the job, and I did two years as a vacation relief guy on the weekends.

Filling in on the weekends and filling in for people on vacation. And then two years later, I was bumped up to the weekday weather cast position and I retired two weeks shy of my 40th anniversary. And it’s just unbelievable. I didn’t set out to have a career in weather. This opportunity presented itself.

I could continue to do standup. I came out here from Buffalo, New York where we Weezy’s from to do standup. Even as the weather job I was able to continue to do standup. And so I had two careers. One paid for my children’s education. The other exercised my ego, and as they, it both worked out.

 

How do you two decide on the topics and when you bring up your guests, how do you decide on your guests?

 

Louise: We get a lot of offers coming our way now.  There’s definitely people that we go after. But we have so many folks that are pitching, when someone has something new that comes out, they make the rounds. And so we just know what our sweet spots are and we email each other with our producer Dina, and we say, does this sound good? 

So for example we did not know anything about that Elvis story that you’re talking about. And when it was pitched to us, we just said Absolutely. Exactly. This is what we wanna delve into. So that is what you’re referring to, is a book about a woman who researched Elvis’s health history and discovered that he wasn’t a drug addict because he enjoyed drugs. He was a drug addict because he was trying to feel normal. He was born with disease in 9 out of the 11 systems of the body, and this is why everyone on his mother’s side dies in their forties, including Elvis.

Fritz: That was a great example of what I was talking about.

Weezy and I were just flabbergasted. I mean we’ve all known a lot about Elvis, especially Weezy and I, because we’re students of music, but there was so much in there that we didn’t realize. And that’s a great example of discovering things that you weren’t aware of that made the podcast so much fun.

Louise: And the book is by Sally Hodel and it’s called Elvis: Destined to Die Young.

I think so many people are looking for that level of knowledge and a deeper dive. I think both YouTube and podcasts allows for those deeper dives.

 

What do the two of you look for when it comes to interviews? Is there different angles you’re both looking to achieve or how does that happen?

 

Louise: If we find it interesting, we just believe that other folks will find it interesting. So we just gauge it on what fascinates us.

We’re a pretty good barometer.

Louise: We’re always looking for politics. We both call ourselves “woke boomers”.

We’ll take it. And we love history. We love biographies, we love documentaries. We’re both news junkies. We love TV, especially the TV that is close to people because they grew up with it. We believe firmly that what you loved at 10 you love forever. We talked to Marty Croft and we talked to former child stars and we talk to folks like that.

This week we talked to Nellie Oleson,  Alison Arngrim from Little House on the Prairie as well. We love talking to those folks and learning what life was like as a child growing up making the television that other kids were so in intrigued by, and of course the music of our era, sixties, seventies, eighties,

Fritz: We had two documentary filmmakers on a couple of about a month or so ago.  They made a documentary about Blood, Sweat and Tears, which was one of the iconic groups of the late sixties and early seventies. They and Chicago were the first bands to use horns in mainstream rock and roll. But there’s a great backstory about how Blood, Sweat and Tears were bamboozled into making a tour behind the Iron Curtain.  They were the first American rock band that had ever been allowed to tour behind the Iron Curtain.

And there’s hundreds of hours of video of these guys experiencing Romania and all these less than welcoming countries. And that was fantastic because, again, we’d always been fans of Blood, Sweat and Tears.  But this was an aspect of their career we didn’t know anything about. That was fantastic.

And we had Bobby Columby, who was the drummer for Blood, Sweat and Tears in the studio with us. It was really fun. 

 

You both brought up in your own ways, “happy accidents” with guests.  Can either of you suggest guests we should go back through your archives and find?

 

Louise: My favorite episode features Joyce Bouffant. She wrote a book called My Four Hollywood Husbands. It’s absolutely a tremendously entertaining read. She was married to James MacArthur, The son of Helen Hayes. So this kid who has a impoverished childhood and suddenly she’s hanging out with Helen Hayes. Launches a career of taking care of alcoholic husbands and finally winding up with the man of her dreams.

And it’s just, it’s quite a ride and remarkably entertaining. 

Fritz: And we have guests that will always be our favorites. One of our only repeat guests, Henry Winkler, who happens to be a close friend to Weezy’s.  We had him on, but not because he’s a close friend. Because when you just have a very casual conversation with him, you realize his appeal to the world.

He’s one of the most down to earth, non-condescending, brilliant guys who never talks down to you. He’s just the loveliest man in the world and who has had an astonishing career. And we’ve had him on, and we’re gonna try to get him on again because he has an autobiography coming out soon. So we hope we can coerce him into coming back on.

But yeah, we love those too. We haven’t had anybody else on twice? I don’t think so. Adam Schiff. The politician. Now his life has changed because he’s running for senator from California.

Louise: He’s Fritz’s Congressman, so he’s congressionally obligated to attend our podcast.

He’s wonderful and very funny guy as well. We’re always just really honored to speak to him. Another favorite show of mine is: The Steve’s. Steve Young and Steve O’Donnell, both wrote for David Letterman. Steve Young has created this documentary called Bathtubs Over Broadway, where Steve Young becomes obsessed with industrial musicals.

It’s on Amazon Prime right now and it still gets a lot of views.

It’s fun to talk to Pat Boone and Vicky Lawrence and Johnny Whitaker and Christopher Knight. All of our comedian friends, but those are the stories that you love. Uncovering is things that you didn’t know were there and that delight you.

 

Let’s tell the audience where to find your show – Where do we find you?

 

Louise: Anywhere you type Media Path Podcast  it’s gonna come up.  Website, podcast, youtube, iphone.

Fritz: I have a new comedy special, which is streaming on Tubi. It’s called Unassisted Living. It’s just describing life for people of our demographic: that is old people and their parents.

 

That’s gonna be fun.  Can we find you live on stage soon?

 

Fritz: I think I’m gonna be having a residency at the El Porto Theater in North Hollywood, California. It’s a fairly legendary theater, called the Maryland Monroe Forum.

And I’m gonna be doing a show there once a month for a while as I work out new material. And I’ll be advertising that on social media and elsewhere. 

 

Find the Media Path Podcast: https://www.mediapathpodcast.com/

Art Beyond the Glass returns for its eleventh annual event on Sunday, June 25 at the legendary Catch One nightclub

Art Beyond the Glass (ABTG) returns for its eleventh annual event on Sunday, June 25, 2023, at the legendary Catch One nightclub!

Dozens of LA’s top bartenders will make cocktails and showcase their artistic talents, with proceeds donated to Outfest.

Since its inception, ABTG has raised over $250,000 for arts-based nonprofits across the country.

   

Co-founded by Daniel Djang (Thirsty in LA) and Zahra Bates (Global Head of Education, Courvoisier), ABTG is the original celebration of bartender artistry and widely regarded as one of the country’s premier cocktail culture festivals. From painting and sculpture to photography, live music, DJs and more, every ABTG showcases the creative pursuits of bartenders when they’re not behind the bar.

“It’s hard to believe that what began as a casual conversation at Sunny Spot in November 2011 has grown into this extraordinary event,”

says Djang.”

“The cocktail creativity and artistic talent of the bar community in LA and beyond never ceases to amaze me. We are so grateful for the generosity of our sponsoring brands and the numerous venues that have welcomed us into their spaces. Can’t wait to see the extended ABTG family that’s coming to LA for ABTG XI!”

Art Beyond the Glass is taking place for the second time at Catch One, which is graciously being donated to ABTG XI for this exclusive event. Located on Pico Boulevard in the heart of Los Angeles and celebrating their 50th Anniversary, this landmark nightclub was opened by Jewel Thais-Williams in 1973 as Jewel’s Catch One, a pioneering LGBTQ disco. Featuring state-of-the-art sound and lighting, the massive venue spans two floors and multiple indoor and outdoor spaces.

For its eleventh LA event, Art Beyond the Glass is honored to be raising funds for Outfest. Outfest invests in youth, education, representation, and exhibition – supporting and empowering the LGBTQIA+ community to discover their voice, tell their stories, and become the next generation of artists driving change in the entertainment industry.

ABTG is once again partnering with thier fiscal partner Another Round Another Rally, a nonprofit financial resource for the hospitality industry. ARAR co-founder Travis Nass: “It is an honor to be a part of one of the most creative, innovative industry events across the country. We have always loved ABTG, and it is such a pleasure to be able to work with them again this year. Another Round Another Rally is excited to help build ABTG into an official nonprofit as their new fiscal sponsor. We could not be prouder to work with this wonderful organization.”

ABTG will feature dozens of LA’s top bartenders, including Adam Kloos, Anica Amato, Colby Sue, Crystal Mendoza, Brendon Bos, Cody Roehrig, Davey Sarantos, Edwin Rios, Katya Kiyaeva, Kristina Hemphill, Philip Ly, Raul Pool, Sol Luongo, Stacy Noi, and Yered Zotea.

“Art Beyond the Glass has become so important to the bar community,”

says ABTG Head of Production Clare Ward

“Bartenders are makers. We make drinks. We make art. We make community. This is the perfect event to celebrate everything we do.”

 

Guests will also be able to buy bartender art, shop handmade items by bartenders, and bid on silent auction items.

ABTG XI is being made possible by our generous Sponsors:

Accomplice, Bacardi Portfolio – La Gran Familia, Balcones Distilling, Beam Suntory, Black Lagoon, Brand, Callisto Rum, Casa Azul, Casa Lumbre, Casa Noble Tequila, Tequila Mi Campo, Compass Box Whisky, Del Maguey, Diageo, Diplomatico, Empirical, FERNET-BRANCA, Fords Gin, Gray Whale Gin, Jack Daniel’s, Mezcal 33, Mezcal Amaras, Mezcal, Campante, Mr Black Spirits, Mulholland Distilling, Redemption Whiskey, Ritual Zero Proof, Silvergrin Vodka, Slane Irish Whiskey, Spiribam, St. George Spirits, Starward Whisky, Tequila Herradura, Tequila Tromba, and Woodford Reserve.

About Art Beyond the Glass Ticket information

 

ABTG XI will take place from 3pm to 7pm on Sunday, June 25, 2023, at Catch One. General Admission tickets are on sale at ABTG XI Tickets – Another Round Another Rally for $55 per person until noon on June 25. If still available, tickets will be sold at the door for $65 per person. Tickets to this event are only available for guests 21+ and over.

The all-inclusive ticket includes cocktails, art, entertainment, and bar bites. In addition, guests will be able to purchase bartender artwork, buy raffle tickets and bid on silent auction items such as artwork, photography, rare spirits and more. All proceeds from ABTG XI will be donated to Outfest and ARAR.

 

Art Beyond the Glass was founded in 2011 by Daniel Djang and Zahra Bates

 

Art Beyond the Glass was founded in 2011 by Daniel Djang and Zahra Bates as a special event for bartenders to showcase their artistic talents when they’re not behind the bar. From cocktails to paintings, photography, live music, DJs, spoken word and more, ABTG is a celebration of bartender artistry inside and beyond the glass. Proceeds from every ABTG event are donated to a local arts-based nonprofit – to date, ABTG has donated more than $250,000 to these vital community organizations.

 

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Art Beyond the Glass

 

Dropbox link to Outfest Photos:

https://www.dropbox.com/scl/fo/j8sqlk6x63mti1tcz2i8q/h?dl=0&rlkey=x2f12idjkphivm9iwy2u0wr1r

 

FOLLOW ART BEYOND THE GLASS ON:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ArtBeyondTheGlass

Twitter: @ABTGLA

Instagram: @abtgla

 

Catch One

4067 W. Pico Blvd.

Los Angeles, CA 90019

https://catch.one/#/events

Summertime Wine: Trivento launches #TheFirstWhiteMalbec on Iconic NYC Sunset Cruise with Winemaker Maxi Ortiz

Summertime Wine! Trivento launches #TheFirstWhiteMalbec on Iconic NYC Sunset Cruise with Winemaker Maxi Ortiz

There’s plenty of “other” product launches and then there’s Trivento’s Sunset Cruise launch for The First White Malbec.  Clearly, Trivento is very excited.

NYC wine and food experts board the luxury yacht, from 1919, at Manhattan’s North Cove Premier Mega-Yacht Club & Marina.

 

A handful of NYC and East Coast wine and food experts board a luxury yacht, built in 1919, at Manhattan’s North Cove Premier Mega-Yacht Club & Marina.  On-board, best-selling wine authors, top wine media, and NYC’s food and wine critics.

 

 

As we set sail, our wine glasses are filled with The First White Malbec in the world, produced by Argentina’s Trivento and Winemaker Maxi Ortiz.

 

 

It’s easy to be taken by the moment.  You look up and see the majestic NYC coastline.  Look around the yacht, even the most local New York cynics have their jaws agape.  It’s just breath-taking to see.

 

 

Moments later, the crew aboard the Ventura Sailing Team are passing out delicious seafood and chicken-based appetizers to pair with Trivento’s White Malbec.

 

Ventura Sailing Team at NYC for Trivento what malbec launch

Ventura Sailing Team are passing out delicious seafood and chicken-based appetizers

 

We sail through the bay, passing the Brooklyn Bridge in the distance, coming up on Governor’s Island and of course, The Statue of Liberty.

 

Passing along the Brooklyn Bridge

Why Trivento’s White Malbec is a world-class Innovation

 

For over 150 years, Malbec has been grown widely throughout Argentina. Its deep purple color, rich aromas of plums and red berries.  It’s perfect for smooth, supple red wines.

The fact that Winemaker Maxi Ortiz dares to take an incredible red wine and turn it into a white wine, shows world-class innovation, confidence and vinification prowess.  But as we’ll learn further below, it wasn’t an easy process.

Ortiz later explains in detail, it took 4 years of trial and error.  Getting closer and closer, but not perfect enough for him.  What we taste today is a culmination of his efforts and lessons.

 

What does Trivento’s White Malbec taste like?

 

By now most of us on the yacht have had a second taste of the wine.  It’s opening up and blossoming beautifully.

The color is surprisingly clear, crystalline.

The nose has aromas of white peach, grapefruit, subtle hint of red fruit.

It’s a very easy-drinking wine.  Especially in the summer.  The mouth has a refreshing acidity, light body. Notes of green apple.  Pairs beautifully well with the seafood and light chicken dishes served here.  I could also see it with a garden salad, caprese or sushi.  Be daring and try it with BBQ as the acid will cut into the fatty meat.

Hearing from Trivento’s Team, Juan Jose Gil

 

Juan Jose Gil directs the Trivento brand in the United States. 

He explains that Trivento was founded in 1996 by the group Concha y Toro.  It was the first time they left Chile to make an investment outside of their origin when they chose Mendoza, Argentina.

They started with a very small vineyard of 154 hectares. Today these Malbec experts have 12 vineyards in four different valleys and over 1,764 hectares of vines.   They offer Malbec at every price point and every value tier.

The company has three pillars: Innovation. Sustainability.  Excellence.

From Juan Jose Gil’s explanation, all 3 pillars are thriving together as we sip their most innovative wine, from grapes farmed on their sustainable vineyards, enjoying its excellent quality.

Trivento Winemaker Maxi Ortiz playfully posing with the Statue of Liberty

Winemaker Maxi Ortiz playfully posing with the Statue of Liberty

Winemaker Maxi Ortiz Reveals His White Malbec Process

 

Ortiz has been working at Trivento since 2006, helping to build it into the fourth biggest winery in Mendoza.

2019 was their first vintage of Trivento White Malbec.  But it’s come a long way from what the world is tasting today.

However, for him, it’s a very special wine for more that just the innovation it represents, but also a positive impact on society:

“Sales from this wine

go to a scholarship program that helps students

with low economic resources and high academic performance to finish schooling.”

 

How did he create the white Malbec?  

He revealed parts of his 4-year process.  He picked the grapes the last week of January, 40 days earlier than regular.  Then they quickly pressed the grapes in order to separate the skin from the pulp.  However it’s not “white” yet.  Then it was more of a rose.

Then he revealed the biggest secret of the process.  A winemaking method that is common with red wines, but not whites.  Ortiz got creative, invented and daring – and it worked.  And unfortunately, we’re not going to share it here today.  As competition is already growing!

“We were the first winery [back in 2019] to make a white wine with a red grape, which is the Malbec.

And it’s fantastic because nowadays you can see at least 10 different wineries making White Malbec.

So this is the first White Malbec and

in a way Trivento creates a new category of wine in Argentina.”

The quality is clearly there,  As Ortiz explains further:

“The grapes came from the same region, from the same vineyard,

from the same places that we use for our [traditional Malbec] Reserve.” 

For those who follow NYC weather, it was supposed to be thunderstorms the day of the Sunset Cruise.  Bravely and happily, the launch decided to move forward anyway!

The weather was dramatic and cloudy (but dry) all throughout the cruise.  Then, as if anointed by a higher power, just as Ortiz finished speaking, the rain started.

A slow, steady rinse that grew stronger.  By the time we returned to dock, it was a heavy downpour.  But no one was complaining.  Wet smiles all around.

If Trivento White Malbec has a way of brightening your day even amidst a heavy thunderstorm, imagine what it can do for your backyard barbecue?

Find more on the Trivento website

Follow Trivento on Facebook and Instagram.

Heraclea Olive Oil delivers award-winning flavor, along with health and heritage, reveals Berk Bahceci

Heraclea Olive Oil delivers flavor, health and heritage, reveals Berk Bahceci

We are here with Berk Bahceci from Heraclea Olive Oil.

Berk joined me for a conversation (via zoom).  Below has been edited for length and clarity.  Find the full conversation on our YouTube Channel.

I’m excited because I’ve tasted your olive oils and they’re subtle, they’re flavorful, and there’s a great story behind them. And today I wanna touch on all of that and a little bit more.

 

Tell me a bit about your background and how you got into olive oil

 

Berk:  Sure. I moved to the United States approximately 10 years ago for college. Actually. That’s how my story here started. I studied economics at UCLA and then I went to law school at UC Berkeley.

But the day I started law school, I realized something was off. I started questioning whether I was the material to be an attorney. Three years passed by.  I took the bar exam and started working. In my first year I realized, I don’t want to be a lawyer anymore.

I started looking for an exit plan. So I reflected back on myself, my life, my childhood. What is one thing that would  make me wanna wake up every day with excitement?

I realized olive oil is out there. My family owned some olive groves before, but we were never doing this with a business mindset. It was just produced and consumed within family and friends. I came up with the idea to tell my family, why don’t we turn this into a business, create a brand around it, and sell it here exclusively in the United States.

The market itself is very dominated by a couple big players from certain countries. 

I did more research and realized that Turkey is the fifth largest importer of olive oil into the United States, but you are not seeing any Turkish brands on shelves.

What’s the reason for that? It’s probably because producers in Turkey don’t have the means to come here, establish a distribution center like channels, and move product. Selling in bulk is the easiest and most convenient way for those people.

But I wanted to bring a new way for the Turkish olive oil in the United States with Heraclea that’s how we found it.

 

 

We’re definitely gonna get into Turkey in a second.  A lot of the people watching this are wine lovers.  Region is very important.  So tell us about the region that you’re farming

 

Berk: Region has an impact on olive oil as well. That’s the reason why the European Union has a scheme called Protected Designation of Origin. I’m sure wine lovers and cheese lovers will know, when I say PDO, the red and yellow emblem that you see on certain products sold in specialty food stores.

 

PDO is basically a stamp given by the European Union, to distinct products. What do I mean by that? So the variety of olive that we work with is called Memecik. There are over 2000 olive varieties  in the world. 

 

Do me a favor, say that variety again and spell it for us.

 

Berk: It’s called Memecik. It is very unknown, very rare because it is specific to the region that we produce. 

And that’s why the European Union has given a couple years ago to this region and this olive variety, A P D O certification. For example, in California most growers are bequia, right? If they were to plant Memecik, which they can, in California, they won’t be able to have this PDO certification.

So PDO only comes if Memecik is grown in Milas. That’s a very special thing for us and we are very proud to be working with a very rare variety. So when you buy olive oil, it is for certain that you won’t taste it with any other brand because it’s distinct to Milas.

Just the same way that champagne only comes from the Champagne of France.

Berk: That’s exactly what I was going to say. 

 

When did you realize the magic and the power of the Memecik varietal?

 

Berk: This PDO certification is so new that we did not found this business upon that, that certification. It was just an added value with the PDO, but we always knew that our olive oil was distinct in its quality.

It has actually recently been approved by International judges in New York International Olive Oil competition, Japan Olive Oil Competition, Istanbul Olive Oil Competition. We got gold and silver medals from all of these. And this is the first year that we are actively participating in these competitions.

It’s a really good moment for us because usually these things don’t happen in the first or second year. [Usually] you’re a producer for multiple years or maybe generations.  So we’re really proud about that.

 

Congratulations. And just to give someone listening or watching an idea, the scale of these competitions.

Can you estimate how many different olive oils are in that competition?

 

Berk: I would say in the thousands, 2000.  Maybe a hundred companies are winning these awards. You’re in the select field of the top 5-10% in the entire world.

The panel is composed of people from all around the world, from all producing regions, Italy, Tunisia, Greece, Turkey, Chile, Argentina.  Experts. So it’s a good indication that the product is at a certain level of quality.

 

So let’s talk about the behind the scenes and the process of making this award-winning olive oil.

 

Berk: We have around a hundred acres of land with over 10,000 trees that we take care of with a team of seven full-time on the field every day. We don’t use any fertilizers, we don’t use any pesticides. We don’t use any chemicals.  One reason is our grows are literally on the on mountains. They’re not plantations. 

Many olive oil brands have what people call “olive farms” where the companies do intensive and super, super high density farming, which means that where maybe 10 trees would go. They plant a hundred trees. So it’s very compact, producing very high yield olives, but lacking taste because they’re fed with irrigation all the time.

So the olives get really big when they’re given water every day, whereas our olives don’t have irrigation because it’s on the mountains. Our olives, in comparison, are relatively smaller, which keeps the aroma very vibrant. That’s actually the secret behind it.

A lot of people who taste our early harvest olive oil say that it’s a little bit bitter, especially right after the harvest.  That comes from the antioxidants that are loaded in it. Because our olives are very small. The density of antioxidants is higher, so that’s why the bitterness comes in. 

We just prune the trees, cutting the excessive branches because we’re working in a very scarce,  nutrient environment. Like I said, no fertilizers, so you have to keep the trees very optimal by cutting the unnecessary trees and branches so that whatever there is in the soil goes to the fruit.

That’s why our team of seven constantly does these kind of things. These kind of physical touches, no like chemical alteration or anything. Around October we start  walking  around the grow to determine the day of the harvest. That is the most exciting time of the year

Due to not using fertilizers, we really have to optimize the day of the harvest to maximize our production. So when we determine that day, which is mid-October, usually we start harvesting.

We hire local men and women who are living in nearby villages. We go in with a team of 20 to 30.

We keep it for 90 days until January. We don’t want to go into January. Because fruit flies, conditions and a lot of other things impact the quality. 

So we try to finish everything from mid-October until January. We work with a local mill to process our olives. We take two batches every day, one in the afternoon and one at night because we don’t wanna wait in between.

If you start harvest at 8:00 AM and harvest until 4:00 PM the olives that you have harvested at 8:00 AM will have waited nine hours before going into the processing machine. We don’t wanna do that because as the olive waits, fermentation starts and the quality decreases.

So we do two deliveries every day to the local mills, one in the afternoon, and one later in the day. This way we ensure that our olives go right into production within two to four hours of harvest.  Believe me, we’re working really hard to maintain that.

Then we store our olive oil in stainless steel tanks in temperature and humidity controlled rooms with nitrogen gas used as a buffer between the olive oil and the rim. 

Think of a five ton tank.  You fill it out, but there’s always some portion of the tank that is left empty and there’s oxygen in that empty part. When olive oil touches with oxygen in the stainless steel tank as it is stored, oxidation starts, which leads to rancidity, which decreases the quality of the olive oil. So we take that oxygen out by pumping in another gas – of course, food grade safety, no worries there. 

That’s the level of attention and care we give to our olive oil. 

 

Let’s switch to the the tasty part. Let’s talk about the flavor of your two bottles.  Flavor profiles, aroma, anything you’d like.

 

Berk: So we have two products right now. We’re bringing in a third one soon.

Olive oil is the white bottle which is made from olives that we harvest starting from October until mid-November.

And the moment that we switch from early to mature harvest is when the olives start turning into this purplish color. As months pass the green olives start to ripen and then change in color. When we see that change into purple, that’s the moment we say, okay, early harvest is done.

Now we’re doing mature harvest and then everything else that we harvest mid-November, till January, is considered mature harvest. That’s the distinction between the two. 

The mature harvest is the black bottle. And when it comes to flavor profile, there’s one disclaimer that I wanna make, uh, in general about, uh, these, uh, like.

Flavor profiles.  I think to really understand and feel and get this smell. In any olive oil, you have to have a sensory memory, have that experience in your mind, I still remember it.

Here’s an example from my sensory memory:

We had a walnut tree right across the street by our house, and there was a fine paper-like cover, outside of the walnut. Right before they mature, we would take from the tree and taste it and it’s bitter. So that [bitter] taste is in my sensory memory right now.

Same as tomato stems. Like if you touch a tomato plant with your hands and play around and then smell your hands, you’re going to get a very unique tomato stem smell, and that’s like embedded in your mind now. So from now on, every time you taste an olive oil, if there is that distinct smell or taste in it, that’s how you recognize it.

So in our olive oil, early harvest, for example, I get the notes of freshly cut grass, tomato stems, walnuts, banana.

What I was told in this olive oil school that I went to in Spain is, get your hands out there. Touch everything, smell everything. Taste everything. That’s how you develop your sensory memory.

And that’s how you become, as people say, familiar. But you know, like you don’t have to have a certificate to be one. You know, you just go out there and taste stuff and try to. Memorize and remember those smells and tastes.

I was talking to somebody earlier this week about food pairings and he had a similar answer, which was be curious.

Exactly. Taste things, touch things, smell things, and be curious. 

 

I know your website has a cookbook, let’s talk about some of your favorite food pairings with your olive oil

 

Berk: I love  drizzling our early harvest on cheese plates. That’s my favorite thing. Early harvest is more for finishing dishes because it has a bitter aroma to it.

If you cook with it, you may have a bitter taste in the food. Actually, I know people who cook with our early harvest. I know people who drizzle with our mature harvest, so it’s not set in stone.

It really depends on what you like, but generally, early harvest is better for drizzling over salads. Hummus, cheese.  Sometimes  I dip my bread in it. 

That’s a tradition we have in Turkey sometimes, find a piece of bread and dip that into your olive oil, and that’s a good breakfast. 

Mature harvest is for everything else. Cooking, baking, marinating. A lot of people are saying that they use it for marinating.

 

Anything else you want us to discover about olive oil?

 

Berk: Our goals are twofold.  One is, olive oil is a very healthy product for human consumption, There is research showing that the positive effects on health of olive oil, daily consumption of olive oil. We believe that a product that is so healthy for humans should do no harm to the environment.

It’s production should not cause any more trouble to our Mother Nature. That’s why we’re not using fertilizers. That’s why we’re not using pesticides. We think there’s a solution in nature to resolve any problem that these things claim to be curing. That’s number one, producing as environmentally friendly as possible.

Number two is to introduce to the world the intricacies of Turkish cuisine. It is beyond  just kebab. It is just one meal in thousands of distinct and unique recipes. And the way that we treat these recipes are not just a list of ingredients.

To us, these are stories from past generations and that Turkish cookbook has 550 very distinct recipes. Each recipe is associated with a specific region or maybe sometimes even a village. 

 

It almost sounds Farm To Table.

 

Berk: Exactly. That’s the goal. We’re small batch and we have really certain values and principles.

 

Are there any specific health benefits that you wanna cover?

 

Berk: There are a lot.  There are a lot of research.  I’m not a scientist. I’m not a doctor. But consuming olive oil daily helps with chronic diseases. Cardiovascular diseases. Type 2 diabetes, and many more.

We have lab reports showing the amount of antioxidants in our olive oil, which is around 500 milligrams per liter, which is a high amount. Consuming antioxidants is healthy. Olive oil has anti-inflammatory effects as well. 

When you consider all of these things and if you consume fats, why don’t you switch to a healthy alternative where research shows that its consumption helps you.

That’s why as a layman I recommend consuming olive oil on a daily basis. 

 

Berk, you’ve given us a lot of good information. You’ve given us a lot of tasty ideas.

Let’s talk about how to buy and how to, how to where we can buy your olive oil.

 

Berk: We’re available online at heraclea.co. There is no “m” at the end. 

We will very soon be available on Amazon.

If you are in New York, we will soon be available in NoHo. Manhattan. Then if you are in Seattle, very soon we will be available in a grocery chains in Seattle.

Hopefully by end of this year we will be in over a hundred physical locations 

 

Life Lessons and Adventure, perfect for Fathers Day, Near Death Lessons’ Chris Jankulovski book now available on Amazon

Fathers Day is coming up and every family is searching for Dad’s perfect gift.  Chris Jankulovski’s book Near Death Lessons offers story of family, adventure, motivation, and life lessons.

I had the opportunity to sit down with Chris Jankulovski (via zoom) to talk about his Father’s Day wishes, business success, family, health concerns, empowerment and more.

The conversation has been edited for length and clarity.  Watch the full conversation on our Youtube channel.

 

Congratulations on your new book, Near Death Lessons. 

 

Thank you. Been a journey to get it out there, but I am so honored and privileged to do this work. 

It is an inspiring and a motivating book, and I would say equally important is not only is it inspiring and it’s motivating, but for somebody who wants to break-through, you actually give us the lessons that you use to accomplish it so we can follow those lessons as well.

 

 

What was the hardest part of writing the book for you?

 

Friends tell me, Chris, you gotta write a book, man. Seriously, you’ve got some wild stories. It almost killed me when the tumor bursted in my head. I couldn’t walk, couldn’t talk. I was in bed for three months.

I knew that the moment I could stand upright, I wanna write a book for my sons. I want them to know who their father was.  Because yet again, I just confronted a serious adversity where 60% of people normally die on the operating table. I somehow survived it. I’m the lucky 40%, and I just had my operation one month before the birth of my second son, Billy.  And I wanted my six year old and my new son to know who their father was.

I’ll give you a timeline.  We’ll plot it all, and then we’re gonna give it to a ghost writer who’s gonna somehow be able to direct our story. Then we’ll put the muscles in it, and then we’ll build it all up.

And that’s the journey I went on until I gave it to an editor who completely shut it down and it took me about a a year to correct everything. No kidding. 

 

Okay. So how long from the moment you started with your writer through the editing process, what was the timeline from inception to on the shelf?

 

Oh wow. So the first year after my brain operation, I’m still writing this book. A year later, I’m in the pool, rehabilitating [with the book notes] still in front of me.

I’ve got this diagnosis of doctors telling me, Chris, you gotta have these cancers removed asap. They’ve taken off. I don’t know if your kidney is gonna survive removing six cancers. You might be on dialysis. Doom and gloom.

I’ve just gone on a journey of learning how to walk and talk for eight months. I’ve got so many defects going on. 

My tongue didn’t half work. I couldn’t even talk. It was affecting my speech. So I’m there in this scenario and at the height of my worst moment in life, I’ve got this outlook. That’s a disaster. 

'Near Death Lessons' by Chris Jankulovski

I’m trying to run in the pool because I’m learning how to walk properly and I’m about to confront this adversity again.

I’m thinking: Why am I buying a future that no one knows? This is all just estimates, predictions, guesswork. I don’t have to accept this. What if I dare hope that the best is yet to come? Why don’t I look forward to the life ahead of me? That it’s the best? 

And that was the most pivotal moment in my life because, I went from a $4 million house to a $16 million house.

Eight months later, I go off to double my business from 8 million to 16 million. I go off to do all these things, and now I’m in America taking it to another level. 

I was in the hospital room, that’s year one by the way.  I bargained for my life because things were not looking good, that’s when I decided to take my story public.

And since the moment I’ve taken the story public. I wrote the book initially because I didn’t want to give any advice to my sons because I didn’t want them to hate me from the grave. I didn’t wanna just share my story. I wanted to share the lessons.

I wanted to share the things that have transformed my life. So I hired a resilience consultant, and I said to her, can you please read my book? Put a spotlight on how I respond to adversities compared to a more common response because I just keep bouncing back stronger.

She read my book five times. We ended up having 26 zoom sessions, and then from that we unearthed 11 distinctions. We gave those to instructional designers which then they came back to me with the five life lessons that I shared in the book.

That’s a heck of a journey. Tell us about some of the diagnoses you’ve had all the way back from your teenage years.

 

So at the age of 19, we went to a specialist clinic to understand what was causing tumors in my eyes. The doctor was puzzled.  There was this new genetic testing going on. So I had the genetic test done.   I [was diagnosed] with Von hippel-lindau syndrome. A hereditary condition, means maybe your mom and dad have got it. I go, no one’s got it, okay?

The average life expectancy is 30 years, so you’re probably gonna have a short life and you’ve probably got cancers now. 

I was like, what? I’m gonna be dead by 30. What do you mean? That was my brutal wake up call and I went to my car and I cried.

I couldn’t relate to anyone with this problem. I told my parents, I told my friends, I couldn’t connect with anyone about this. I just decided to ignore it. I thought if I pretended deep down I never got this, perhaps it would disappear.

So that’s what I did. I ignored it from the ages of 19 to 32 when my first brain tumor finally caught up. And when it did, it almost killed me. It was so big –  five centimeters. I had to contour my body to go to the toilet and had these weird electric shocks running down my spine.

When I got the operation, I transformed. I looked at the sky and I said, God, kill me. I’ve had enough of living this victim life. I’ve had enough of being disempowered, always reacting to my circumstances.

I choose to focus on life. I choose whatever happens. I’m gonna choose to make the most of whatever life I have, but I’m not living like that anymore.  So that was a pivotal moment. 

I’m now 50, so I’ve had a good run for the last six years. At age seven, my appendix burst, almost killing me. Two weeks in hospital. At the age of 21, I almost drowned. 

But one of the first times I crossed over, out of body kind of experience and a different time dimension was a few years later, 25, when I woke up [during] an eye surgery, I felt the needles sliding on my eye, like on an egg, and they’re poking in.

I woke up and flatlined. I was looking down at myself.  I could see the machine flat-lining until everything went white. And then I felt like I was in a different time dimension. I just felt ‘Whoa. Where am I? Let’s go. Hey, I’m not going anywhere. It’s my sister’s wedding soon. And then I snapped back into life again with the nurses all about to zap me.

So that was at 25 and then at 32 is the brain tumor. And then two months later was the removal of my right kidney because it was occupied by cancers. Some as large as four and a half, five centimeters. Which is way too dangerous. They’re all very aggressive..

The reason why I called that a near death experience as well is because I survived my cancer battle and it didn’t spread. It killed my dad, it didn’t kill me. And then two years later, I had to remove four large cancers from a remaining left kidney. 

A decade later, another six cancerous kidneys.  Before that one was the second brain operation to remove two tumors in my head, and that was the most serious. 

 

Let’s talk about a deliberate life. You mentioned it in your book, what does a deliberate life mean to you and what are the main steps? How do we get there?

 

I have nearly died, came back to life, and every time that happens, it’s like a reset button in my heart.

Everything’s up for grab: my values, my behaviors, my patterns. Because I’m back again. You go through many of these experiences.

Everything you’ve been holding true gets re-evaluated, and therefore, all of it – fears, insecurities, all gets washed away. And what remains is what’s most important and true. For me, every time I go through these experiences, I get an onion layer experience. I get more to the core of who I am and who we are.

All of us, including me, are remarkably powerful. I can’t believe the more I get to me and the core of my authentic me, the more energy, the more light, the more vibrancy, the more drive, the more of everything is there. 

I’ve always been spending money looking for advice and solutions outside myself.  Deep down, the biggest lessons I’ve learned in my life was when I meditated in silence for three weeks in India.  Silence. Every time I nearly died, I’d go into this black void. Vibrancy, energy, and I don’t understand why I’m still consciously pressing, but then when I return, now I know I’m gonna say something really taboo, but life and death coexist in my mind because when I close my eyes and I’m in this black void, if I can meditate to a point where I’m outside of my sense of skin, brain patterns, feelings, and just be presently alert of my awareness.

Man, that’s the same space I go to when I’m in a different time dimension. Hence why I believe that life and death coexist and that fuels me. That just fuels me even more because our mortality is what should fuel all of us. Why? Who are we to take our time for granted here? 

This drop of time that we have here, how selfish of us to be caught up in our own doubts and fears and insecurities. We are so much more than that. 

There is just this magic and energy in us that wants to drive. Follow that drive, follow that energy. Don’t restrict it.  It communicates in feelings and glimpses of vision.

I live a deliberate life because of these adversities, and I keep coming back to life.  I wanna optimize. If I’ve got anxiety. If I was to listen to Steve Jobs, live as if it’s your last day of life. I get anxiety. I can’t be strategic, I can’t plan. I’m always challenged every year with my scans.

So the way I play this game is every year when I get a MRI scan for my brain and spine and kidneys and all this stuff. When I get the results of those scans towards the end of the year, I see them as a certificate to go live life to the fullest. So I get this scan results. I go, yes, I’ve got a free run.  Then that following year, I’m bolting. I’m a hundred percent, I’ve got one more year to live. I see every year as if it’s another year to live. 

What I’ve realized over 30 years of doing this is,  I can’t live deliberately, so I can’t live my life to the fullest every year unless I’m living deliberately and I can’t live deliberately unless I have clarity with what I wanna do, because otherwise I’m spending time on all these things that aren’t important.

I linked my goal to an image and I put it on a board because visually I know that the only way my subconscious relates to this is by image and feeling. Now, I know people call it vision boards, but they’ve got it all wrong. You gotta really link an image to a goal.  That image needs to excite you.   That simple solution allowed me to focus my energy throughout the whole year towards these things. 

 

You offer a ‘free gift’ in your book.  Can you give us a sneak peek of what it is?

 

Since I’m talking about life so much and living life to the fullest I wanted to show people the 10 things that were often affecting me and stopping me from living a life to the fullest.

What does success mean to you? It’s different for everyone and so is living life to the fullest.  But, for people who are driven, success-oriented, ambitious people,  they would relate mostly to this because that’s who I am.

I wanna spend more time with my family. I wanna smell the roses. I wanna see how far I can go and I wanna see the kind of impact I can make because I don’t wanna just pass and it never even be known that I even existed.

So living life to the fullest means you are embracing your true power. You are embracing and optimizing your most important resource,  your time. You are embracing the fact that you’ve got an ability to create. 

So if we can do these simple things, we can achieve our dreams. That’s as simple as that. If we’ve got the right mindset, if we stop responding to life as if we have got no control, if we are always victims of it, I’ve been thrown these incredible blows from the universe.

So many battles outside of my control. I refuse to not take responsibility. I actually take responsibility. Look, the tumors happen genetically, but I take responsibility. It’s a game. Okay? It’s just a game. It’s a game of self-empowerment.

 

Chris Jankulovski’s book, Near Death Lessons on sale at Amazon now.

If we want more from you, where do we find you? What’s your website? Where do we find you on social media?

 

I’m building ChrisJankulovski.com and then you’ll be able to access other things. 

 

What does the future look like for you?  What are you gonna be up to next?

 

I’m developing my personal brand and what that represents to the world.  What that represents to the American people.  What I strive to do in terms of impacting.. 

I’ll be working very heavily on my business, but I’ll also be putting myself out there to meet people, to talk to people and more media of course.

When I said I’m gonna inspire millions, this is the deal. And that deal isn’t just writing a book. That deal is to connect with people. One-on-one or in groups or to speak, and not because I’m looking to become a speaker, but because I’m looking to deliver this incredible energy, this incredible passion, this incredible lessons and distinctions with no bullshit on what gets results and how what you gotta do to optimize your most important time here on Earth.

Chris, I wish you huge success with the book Near Death Lessons. I think there’s so many lessons about either launching a new life or breaking through.  It’s a great New Year’s. Gift and a great Father’s Day gift. 

Thank you mate. 

LA is Ready for a New Champagne, Give Champagne Jeeper a taste

LA is Ready for a New Champagne, Give Champagne Jeeper a taste.

It’s easy to fall in love with champagne.  Life celebrations.  Work success.  Life’s best memories (hello weddings, anniversaries, babies, birthdays).  If you’re ready to try a new champagne, this is for you.

 

 

Today we had the amazing opportunity to talk (via zoom) with Jeeper Champagne’s Camille Cox.  This conversation has been edited for length and clarity.  For the full conversation, visit our YouTube channel.

 

 

Can you share a favorite memory where you celebrated with champagne?

 

Oh, there’s, God, there’s so many. I can’t even begin to tell you. But the one thing I can say is that you always should carry champagne because in victory you deserve champagne and in defeat you need it. That was Napoleon Bonaparte, if I’m not mistaken? 

I think my most memorable toast with champagne are personal victories  And, of course, business victories as you can imagine. I’ve been selling champagne for a very long time, and I can name a couple that come to mind. One of them a few years back was getting business at the Delta Airlines lounges. Putting another maison there.   At the time, the house that I was working for at the time that was a big victory in itself. And just little victories in life each and every day. Every day is a celebration. 

It’s all relative in how you look at it and how you live your life, but I think every day calls for champagne, to be completely honest with you.

 

I love that,  ‘Everyday calls for champagne’. Jeeper has an interesting story behind it based on the end of World War II.

Can you give us just a very brief history lesson of Jeeper that brings us up to present day?

 

So, as you know, many champagne houses have great stories, and that’s the great thing about Champagne. Every Maison has their story and the fact that you get to go back and find out how it became is super fascinating to me.

When I had the chance to join Jeeper, I went back to look at the story.  A family started  making champagne in the 1800s.  It had its heyday and then it floundered. It changed hands for quite some time. Then a gentleman by the name of Armand Goutorbe, who was working his family vineyards, had to be called to war and ended up in a house in an undisclosed location because everybody was fighting against the resistance at that time.

He happened to be holed up in a place with some American soldiers and they were being bombed and consequently they were all trying to help save each other’s lives. History tells us that Armand was a gentleman who took it upon himself to risk his own life, to pull some American GIs away from the building that was going to be bombed, possibly losing their lives.

In doing so, he impeded his leg and went back to looking over his vineyards in Champagne. The hills aren’t high, but they’re steep. His leg impeded his day-to-day operations. The US army got ahold of the story and some of the soldiers that he saved wanted to pay tribute to him and in all humbleness to thank him for saving their lives. So the US military gave him a Willie’s Jeep, and he rode around in the villages and he became known as “Mr. Jeeper Man”. Two years later, he said, I think I’m just gonna name my vineyards Jeeper. So there it was born Jeeper in 1949 because of a wonderful gift that the US Army bequeathed to him.

We still have the Jeep today on property.

 

 

 

Can we talk about the terroir of the region?

 

We are located in Faverolles et Coëmy, a commune near Reims in the north-west of the Champagne region.  In the Montagne de Reims, the Côte des Blancs and the Marne Valley.

We are mostly a chardonnay house and we use Chardonnay as our primary grape.

We make eight different wines under the Jeeper label. We  have two great certifications for being biodynamic and organic.  Our flagship for the winery is our Blanc de Blanc. Our bottles are color coded in terms of the labels so that they stand out significantly to consumers.

That area has cool nights. A little bit of frost, but beautiful, pristine, crisp grapes from those regions, from the sub regions in Champagne. We own about 80 hectares. We don’t buy any grapes. We use our own grapes. We have the capacity to make 3.5 million bottles, but we hope to make more with some partnerships that we’ve kind of acquired.

Having Michel Reybier as a new partner with Nicholas, the current owner of and partner, who makes the wines too. Nicholas Dubois makes us stand apart from that we’re not right in the middle of Reims. We’re out there, believe it or not.

So when you come to Reims, you’re not gonna see us. You’re gonna have to get on the train or take a little cab and make it to Jeeper. 

I love talking about process.  Our audience is a mix of very basic drinkers up to connoisseurs.

So can you share a little bit of the process and how, how, what, what makes your champagne so unique?

 

What makes us a little bit more unique is a lot of champagne houses only use steel vats. We’re still kind of old school. We do use some Burgundy barrels.  We have one of the biggest barrel rooms behind Krug and Bollinger. We have about 1200 barrels that we use. So for instance, our Grande Assemblage, which happens to be our brut non vintage, we age 20% of the chardonnay that we use in that blend for two years in used burgundy oak barrels and then we do the aging of the lees. We lay it down for about four years. So that’s two years for the 20% Chardonnay laying down for two years. Then the four years makes it a total of six years. So you get a totally different taste. There’s a little bit of maturity there with the oak barrels. 

It’s something completely different. I’ve worked for houses that were stainless steel, so this is something new for me as well too. The aging process, there is some lactic, it just depends on which cuvee we’re speaking about.

Withholding our wines a little bit longer. We’re not big production, we’re not a grower champagne house by any means. We’re just over the hump as a boutique champagne house. We’re just getting started here in the United States. Our biggest production and where we sell the most champagne is in France.

But opening up the United States, it’s tough to build a champagne brand in the US, believe it or not. It’s super tough.

You have to find a way to differentiate yourself, what makes you stand out. I think that’s Jeeper having the name and the story and the total difference of not having stainless steel aging, and that we’re malolactic and that we do use oak barrels in some of our cuvee’s.

 

One of the reasons I wanted to talk to you is a few weeks ago when I had the chance to actually taste through the bottles, they did have such a unique taste.

 

So let’s talk about the actual bottles.

 

I’ve mentioned the Grande Assemblage, which is our brut non-vintage. It’s a green label, and I just told you a little bit about that. But the one that is our flagship is our Blanc De Blanc.

I think our bottles are beautiful. We have a patent on the bottle.  People notice how easy it was to take off the foil.

So there’s still a little label underneath the foil that says Jeeper, which is kind of neat for us and it speaks volumes because it doesn’t leave you a mess or end up getting paper cuts from the foil cuts. 

The Blanc de Blanc is big, full-bodied, rich.  Also super elegant. It’s clean. It’s crisp, even though it has a big mouthful. 

Our champagnes are the categories in the last 7 to 10 years that have really ended up getting some traction. I think people are walking away from the norm. They’re walking away from big commercial houses because they wanna see what else is out there. 

Their curious is curiosity’s sake and I think it’s really helped the champagne business. I think the champagne business has always been cyclical, but in the last 7 to 10 years, it’s really gotten a hold and people are really embracing champagne to great success 

Because there’s so many beautiful wines out there, so many different styles and so many cool things that you can learn. I think the more the people, because of the terroir, I always say that champagne is a reflection of the mood of the terroir.

Champagne, the terroir from where we are, its chalky soil limestone. It lends itself to so many different characteristics in the wine. We’re not a big vintage champagne house. 2008 was probably one of the best vintages of the century.  It was gone in a flash. With our 2008, we age it for 12 years on the lees. It’s 88% Chardonnay and 12% Pinot Noir. So there’s that wonderful characteristic and it has a little maturity on it, a little oxidation. 

I’m a vintage champagne girl and a no dousage champagne girl so this one fits the bill for me, but it may not be for everyone’s taste profile. 

I can always tell at the beginning when I’m doing a tasting with the two lead wines that you start off with in Champagne, what someone is gonna like in the rest of the range.  It never fails me. It’s always about 95% full proof. 

It’s so subjective. The 2008 for me is interesting. We’re getting ready to release a new release of Blanc de Blanc coming in May, which I’m super excited about. It’ll be no dousage.

We also now have a partnership, as I mentioned, one of our owners, Michel Repier. There’s a gentleman by the name of Tony Parker, who’s a former four-time NBA champion. A hall of famer. I was just with him a couple weeks ago. Super, super person. He told us his story about where he came from and how much he loves gastronomy.  He’s French.  A lot of people don’t realize that.  He’s from Lyon, and I’m sure the Parisians would beg to differ, but Lyon is supposedly now the gastronomy capital of Paris. So we have him as an ambassador; a gentleman who really loves wine and is very enamored with it, wants to roll his sleeves up.

He’s helped us with our Rose project that we have in Provence, but helping me with Jeeper as well. It’s a great collaboration. It’s been great for me, for the brand, for helping us build the brand here in the US because we’re building our distribution network.

Which is not an easy thing to do, as I can tell you having done it for many years. So we’re looking for new partners that want to build a brand with us who we want to be on the ground floor with.  I feel like the people that bring you to the party are the people you need to stick to.

It’s easy to be a fair weather friend, but I am all about loyalty and building a brand with someone. And making it happen. The wine business is exploding, so there’s a lot of opportunities out there. It’s just finding our niche and letting people know the story and taste the wines.

 

I don’t know that champagne gets enough love when it comes to food. Let’s talk about food pairings.

 

A previous maison I worked for didn’t want us to suggest pairing champagne with chocolate or strawberries.  I think that fallacy of Pretty Woman when she’s having her “floor picnic” as she called it in the movie.  She’s drinking champagne and having strawberries – they are very acidic. But I think it’s really what you want to do.

Do I think it’s the best pairing? Absolutely not. 

I’ve gone through this with many chefs in the past where I’ve asked them not to use chocolate or strawberries, and [while they weren’t happy with that] luckily they did talk to me at the very end of it, but they weren’t very happy. But there’s so many great things out there that you can pair champagne with and the new thing is, Champagne and chicken fried chicken.

As a southerner, I’m a fried chicken lover. It’s an incredible pairing. 

I also think sea salt potato chips with a non-dosage champagne are absolutely fabulous. But let’s look at the classics. What about ratatouille from France? You know, something that you don’t really ever think about. It’s always the ones that are there that you can think about.

Gratin potatoes are an amazing pairing if you’re a big potato lover as I am.  It’s just great. So I think the sky’s the limit depending on what it is you’re drinking. Of course, no dosage champagnes aren’t gonna be great with everything. I also love Dim Sum and champagne, to be completely honest with you.

So all the pairings that are non-traditional, if you will, kind of thinking outside the box. Really making it an opportunity to see: where you can take it? Are you gonna push the limit? I’m all about pushing the limits on a lot of things.  Nobody should be chastised for that on any level.

So if somebody likes what they like, they like what they like. I think the traditional [concept] many years ago: Are you having chicken for dinner? You can only have white [wine]. I love the fact that that’s out the door now.

People learn more and more about wine every day. They’re so enamored with it.  I think the pandemic gave us all an opportunity to stop, take a minute, take a breath, slow down, maybe enjoy things or get into things that we didn’t have the time to do. I think gastronomy is one of them.

People now love to make food at home. People love to drink wine at home. We saw that with the pandemic. There’s a lot of opportunity, everywhere you look. I like the classics.  I’m a foodie.

But I love food and I think drinking it the way you want to drink it and the way you want to enjoy is paramount. Paramount. I don’t think there should be any rules put around that on any level. 

As everyone’s hearing the Jeeper story and getting to know your bottles, what can our audience do for Jeeper Champagne?

 

Helping Jeeper is to buy some [bottles] where we’re distributed. Give something new a chance. Wherever you buy wine, take an opportunity to just treat yourself to something completely different because you never know what’s gonna happen.

It could end up being your favorite wine and you just don’t realize it. Expand your opportunity and your horizons, and that’s what life is all about. 

Think outside the box. Live a little, okay. You, you bought a bottle, but there’s some great champagnes out there that are really economical. We know we’ve taken a little bit of a price increase, but treat yourself, you’ll be glad that you did. I think it, it expands your horizons and makes you see so many other things you didn’t see

 

Where can we find Jeeper Champagne on social media to follow?

 

Jeeper is on most major social media channels.  Please give us a follow and visit our website at: https://www.champagne-jeeper.com/

https://www.facebook.com/ChampagneJeeper/

https://www.instagram.com/champagnejeeper/

https://twitter.com/ChampagneJeeper

Camille, thank you so much for your time. I loved hearing the stories.

 

Thank you so much!

Incredible Flavors in LA

Take a Deep Dive into Pop Culture with Media Path Podcast cohosted by Woke Boomers Fritz Coleman, Louise Palanker

Take a Deep Dive into Pop Culture with Woke Boomers Fritz Coleman, Louise Palanker on Media Path Podcast

Fritz Coleman and Louise Palanker are hosting a virtual dinner party.  It’s a fun time, a good time, with lots of laughs, smiles, and a deep dive into pop culture past and present.

Have you ever become obsessed with a topic and taken a deep dive into consuming all you could uncover about it?

Media Path Podcast is here to indulge your creative obsessions. Co-hosted by Los Angeles weatherman/humorist Fritz Coleman and filmmaker/columnist and co-founder of Premiere Radio Louise Palanker.

Take a Deep Diver into Pop Culture with Woke Boomers Fritz Coleman, Louise Palanker on Media Path Podcast

Today we had a conversation (via zoom) with Fritz Coleman and Louise Palanker.  This conversation has been edited for length and clarity. 

For the full conversation, visit our YouTube channel here.

 

 

What’s the best way to introduce this fun, flavorful conversation?

 

Louise: We tell folks, this is what you would be talking about if you got together with a group of friends anyway. What have you been watching? What should I stream? What’s good? So this is where every conversation eventually devolves. We just get there very rapidly

Fritz: Wheezy and I grew this podcast out of a friendship we’ve had for about 35 years, where we found out surprisingly and wonderfully, that we see eye to eye on lots of entertainment, movies, books, TV shows, and we thought, why not make this a podcast? It is a continuation of our common interests in our conversation.

So that’s what we do. We start each show with some suggestions on what people can watch, listen to, read, and that takes eight minutes. And then we always have a guest on; guests from all walks of life. We found that one of our sweet spots is television personalities from the Los Angeles area particularly ones from our growing up period, the 1960’s and 1970s boomer material and older.

But we do everything. We do politicians, we do singing stars. We’ve had very interesting books and topics that aren’t generally known to the public. I’ll give you an example. Two weeks ago. We had a show about a man who wrote a book about a woman by the name of Connie Converse, who I suppose you could describe as one of the great undiscovered musical talents in America.

She was a great songwriter and a great singer. She was never discovered, which was sad and then she just magically and mysteriously disappeared. So the book this guy wrote was about somebody that not everybody was familiar with, but it was fascinating because it was like a, ‘whodonnit’ and also the heartache of an undiscovered musical talent, that lady that started in Greens Village and all those things.

All that to say it’s Weezy and I discussing stuff we find fascinating and we hope you come along.

 

From the episodes I’ve watched, it feels like the most interesting dinner party you’ve been to in a long time.

 

Fritz: We appreciate that.

We’re gonna use that as a sales tool from now on. The most interesting dinner party you’ve ever been to. Yeah,

Louise: the food is awful. 

Fritz: My dinner with Weezy. 

Louise: Yeah, there’s some hard candies and it’s bring whatever you can in your purse because we, I’ve got some granola bars on the coffee table, but that’s it.

Fritz: We want the intimacy of a conversation among friends and so you, you analyzed it well. Beautiful.

 

Because everyone watching and listening loves food. Do you have a favorite food you’d recommend either you per personally and enjoy or something that we should be eating or cooking while we listen and watch your show?

 

Louise: I’m gonna recommend some water. This comes out of a filtration system near my sink. It’s just lovely.

Fritz: I happen to be a fan of Northern Italian cuisine. I won’t name specific dishes, but in general, I love risotto with a great protein like shrimp or chicken.

I love penne with a bolognese sauce. I love capellini alla checca, which is a great when you add shrimp to it and then you add a checca sauce, which is the red sauce with garlic. And so I like Northern Italian Cuisine. I don’t cook, but I can buy the best food in America. Just walking out my front door here.

Louise: Have you ever put salmon on a pizza?

Fritz: I’ve had that actually. That’s actually very good.

Louise: Very good. Goat cheese. Wonderful. I love let’s see, chicken parmesan, I think that’s what I would order.Maybe that sounds very pedestrian. But comfort foods are delicious.

Meatloaf, mashed potatoes, chicken parm. That’s the kind of stuff – any potato really, you can’t do anything to a potato that would offend me.

Fritz: I’ll tell you, LA is wonderful for that lately cuz there’s all sorts of interesting fusions going on. You have Vietnamese food and Italian food and a fusion menu.

And if you like to experiment with different palettes, this is a great city to do it in. It really is, thanks to Wolfgang Puck and some of the gourmet chefs in the town. Completely

 

I think what we’re all, what we’re all noticing immediately is the two of you have phenomenal chemistry. What’s the origin story?

 

Louise: Yes, absolutely. We know each other quite well. It’s very natural, and I’ve been podcasting since you could, you go back to 2005 whenever you got that new iPhone that said, would you like to listen to a podcast? And then you said, what’s a podcast? And then the adventure begins. 

So I’ve been doing it from jump and Fritz was contractually obligated to not speak outside of his news job about anything that did not concern a weather pattern. Your newsman cannot have an opinion. That’s very distracting, especially now in our divided sensibility.

Fritz: You just can’t say anything smart, that would embarrass the station. That’s all.

Louise: So you couldn’t do commercials. It makes sense if you’re talking about the weather, you don’t wanna be thinking, oh, this guy sells batteries. You just, you wanna just get your weather cast.

So as soon as he retired we jumped on board together because I had done four podcasts before this one, and I was prepared in terms of what a podcast requires, how difficult it is. And so for Fritz, I just need his mind, his preparation, his wit and his fascination with all things interesting.

And he’s more than ready to take on the podcasting world. He’s the best. 

Fritz: And this is not a brag but it’s true. You cannot manufacture chemistry. You can see two people on television. You hear them on the radio or hear them in a conversation, and you know that these two people should not be in the same room together, let alone host their own presentation.

But we just have a natural thing that was born out of our friendship really, and our common interest in stuff. One of our sweet spots is baby boomer and older music, old rhythm and blues. Weezy’s interest in music goes back to the old harmony groups like the Mills Brothers, cuz she was personal friends.

So all those things we find fun and so when we get in there we I think that the fun we’re having resonates to the audience. I hope it does. 

Louise: We geek out together. It’s like watching Jimmy Fallon. You’re just so giddy that he’s that giddy. So hopefully we bring that kind of enthusiasm and just to get to meet the people that we grew up watching.

And also the excitement of when you have an author reading the book and then getting to talk to the author and, rather than having to scour YouTube for interviews that the author did, because now you’re fascinated. We actually get to talk to the person. And so we find that exciting. It’s like going to grad school for free.

Fritz: One of the great joys is having a topic that you don’t know anything about. For instance, this Connie Converse topic and the one we’re having this week we’re preparing for now, this is a guy that wrote a book about the friendship between Henry Ford, John Burrows, and Thomas Edison.

These three geniuses in a different venue, each one, but they all had this spectacular friendship and they all took a road trip in a model T Ford.  I knew a little bit about Henry Ford, you know it from the Industrial Revolution and extreme antisemitism. But I didn’t realize that he had interests outside there. Louise and I are just gonna be blank slates and come into this interview with just being inquisitive, and that’s always fun.  You discover something you had no idea about.

Let’s talk about both of your backgrounds.

We’re gonna go to Fritz second. Louise,  bring everyone up to speed about what you’ve accomplished and those other podcasts you’ve worked on so people know the background that you bring to this show.

 

Louise: Yes, I began my career as a studio page, and it was one of those things where you get your foot in the door and one thing leads to the other thing.

So I became a studio page at a place called Metro Media Tape. We were doing all of the Norman Lear sitcoms. We had the John Davidson talk show. Which was where a person like me gets to meet Van Johnson. It was just crazy. Look, I’m from suburban Buffalo and here I am with Van Johnson.

It was crazy. So I’ve always just been so grateful to work in entertainment. I just consider it to be an honor. But that led to a job at a show called PM Magazine, which led to me meeting Rick Dees who was a local radio personality. I went to write his syndicated countdown show, which is called the Rick Dees Weekly Top 40, which led to me meeting other personalities at KISS FM and forming a company with them called Premier Radio Networks.

And that was a 15 year rocket ship that led to that company being sold to Clear Channel, which is now iHeart Media. At one point I went to one of my partners and I said, Hey, Craig, what are what’s the chance of me having my own show? And he said, none. And I said, I have two words for you, podcast.

Because he didn’t know that they were just the one word at that time. And I, that’s how new it was. I was doing standup comedy at the time, so I went to do standup comedy that night and I said to my friend, Laura Swisher, have you heard of a podcast? And she said, I just heard about it today.

It was just like, it was hot off the press, right? So we were like, let’s make one. That led to 100 episodes of Weezy In The Swish, which was my first podcast. And then I did one with K with teenagers where I was like giving teenagers advice cuz like I love to mentor young people.

And that one was called Journals Out Loud. And then I did one with some of my comedy friends called things I Found Online, which was people our age discovering the interne. Then Fritz retired and now I’m working with Fritz.

I never was a radio personality at Premier. I was a creator. I was in charge of all of the creative output, but Premier had shows that did not involve or include me other than behind the scenes. 

And now Fritz obviously. My words, you’re an LA icon. For more than 40 years…

 

Fritz: Contactually, you have to say that about me.  Every time you introduce me. I’m an LA icon.

 

Not only do you own LA TV, but you own LA stages because for those who don’t know, seeing you live is a phenomenally fun, entertaining evening.  Was it a very conscious segue to get into podcasting?

 

Fritz: My involvement with her podcast is totally her both blame and her gift that she gave to me after I retired.

People find this hard to believe. Real meteorologists hate this story, but I’ll tell it to you anyway. I was working at the Comedy Store in 1982 and because I talked on stage about having done the weather earlier in my broadcasting career, the news director from Channel Four and his wife were in the audience that night and he came up to me after the show and he said, I really enjoyed your show, particularly the thing about doing the weather in the Navy, but not knowing anything about it.

He said, would you have any desire to come to Channel Four and do some vacation relief, weather forecasting? I was making $25 a night at the Comedy Store, and so I almost passed out. I said, of course, when do you want me to start? He said you have to audition. So I auditioned and got the job, and I did two years as a vacation relief guy on the weekends.

Filling in on the weekends and filling in for people on vacation. And then two years later, I was bumped up to the weekday weather cast position and I retired two weeks shy of my 40th anniversary. And it’s just unbelievable. I didn’t set out to have a career in weather. This opportunity presented itself.

I could continue to do standup. I came out here from Buffalo, New York where we Weezy’s from to do standup. Even as the weather job I was able to continue to do standup. And so I had two careers. One paid for my children’s education. The other exercised my ego, and as they, it both worked out.

 

How do you two decide on the topics and when you bring up your guests, how do you decide on your guests?

 

Louise: We get a lot of offers coming our way now.  There’s definitely people that we go after. But we have so many folks that are pitching, when someone has something new that comes out, they make the rounds. And so we just know what our sweet spots are and we email each other with our producer Dina, and we say, does this sound good? 

So for example we did not know anything about that Elvis story that you’re talking about. And when it was pitched to us, we just said Absolutely. Exactly. This is what we wanna delve into. So that is what you’re referring to, is a book about a woman who researched Elvis’s health history and discovered that he wasn’t a drug addict because he enjoyed drugs. He was a drug addict because he was trying to feel normal. He was born with disease in 9 out of the 11 systems of the body, and this is why everyone on his mother’s side dies in their forties, including Elvis.

Fritz: That was a great example of what I was talking about.

Weezy and I were just flabbergasted. I mean we’ve all known a lot about Elvis, especially Weezy and I, because we’re students of music, but there was so much in there that we didn’t realize. And that’s a great example of discovering things that you weren’t aware of that made the podcast so much fun.

Louise: And the book is by Sally Hodel and it’s called Elvis: Destined to Die Young.

I think so many people are looking for that level of knowledge and a deeper dive. I think both YouTube and podcasts allows for those deeper dives.

 

What do the two of you look for when it comes to interviews? Is there different angles you’re both looking to achieve or how does that happen?

 

Louise: If we find it interesting, we just believe that other folks will find it interesting. So we just gauge it on what fascinates us.

We’re a pretty good barometer.

Louise: We’re always looking for politics. We both call ourselves “woke boomers”.

We’ll take it. And we love history. We love biographies, we love documentaries. We’re both news junkies. We love TV, especially the TV that is close to people because they grew up with it. We believe firmly that what you loved at 10 you love forever. We talked to Marty Croft and we talked to former child stars and we talk to folks like that.

This week we talked to Nellie Oleson,  Alison Arngrim from Little House on the Prairie as well. We love talking to those folks and learning what life was like as a child growing up making the television that other kids were so in intrigued by, and of course the music of our era, sixties, seventies, eighties,

Fritz: We had two documentary filmmakers on a couple of about a month or so ago.  They made a documentary about Blood, Sweat and Tears, which was one of the iconic groups of the late sixties and early seventies. They and Chicago were the first bands to use horns in mainstream rock and roll. But there’s a great backstory about how Blood, Sweat and Tears were bamboozled into making a tour behind the Iron Curtain.  They were the first American rock band that had ever been allowed to tour behind the Iron Curtain.

And there’s hundreds of hours of video of these guys experiencing Romania and all these less than welcoming countries. And that was fantastic because, again, we’d always been fans of Blood, Sweat and Tears.  But this was an aspect of their career we didn’t know anything about. That was fantastic.

And we had Bobby Columby, who was the drummer for Blood, Sweat and Tears in the studio with us. It was really fun. 

 

You both brought up in your own ways, “happy accidents” with guests.  Can either of you suggest guests we should go back through your archives and find?

 

Louise: My favorite episode features Joyce Bouffant. She wrote a book called My Four Hollywood Husbands. It’s absolutely a tremendously entertaining read. She was married to James MacArthur, The son of Helen Hayes. So this kid who has a impoverished childhood and suddenly she’s hanging out with Helen Hayes. Launches a career of taking care of alcoholic husbands and finally winding up with the man of her dreams.

And it’s just, it’s quite a ride and remarkably entertaining. 

Fritz: And we have guests that will always be our favorites. One of our only repeat guests, Henry Winkler, who happens to be a close friend to Weezy’s.  We had him on, but not because he’s a close friend. Because when you just have a very casual conversation with him, you realize his appeal to the world.

He’s one of the most down to earth, non-condescending, brilliant guys who never talks down to you. He’s just the loveliest man in the world and who has had an astonishing career. And we’ve had him on, and we’re gonna try to get him on again because he has an autobiography coming out soon. So we hope we can coerce him into coming back on.

But yeah, we love those too. We haven’t had anybody else on twice? I don’t think so. Adam Schiff. The politician. Now his life has changed because he’s running for senator from California.

Louise: He’s Fritz’s Congressman, so he’s congressionally obligated to attend our podcast.

He’s wonderful and very funny guy as well. We’re always just really honored to speak to him. Another favorite show of mine is: The Steve’s. Steve Young and Steve O’Donnell, both wrote for David Letterman. Steve Young has created this documentary called Bathtubs Over Broadway, where Steve Young becomes obsessed with industrial musicals.

It’s on Amazon Prime right now and it still gets a lot of views.

It’s fun to talk to Pat Boone and Vicky Lawrence and Johnny Whitaker and Christopher Knight. All of our comedian friends, but those are the stories that you love. Uncovering is things that you didn’t know were there and that delight you.

 

Let’s tell the audience where to find your show – Where do we find you?

 

Louise: Anywhere you type Media Path Podcast  it’s gonna come up.  Website, podcast, youtube, iphone.

Fritz: I have a new comedy special, which is streaming on Tubi. It’s called Unassisted Living. It’s just describing life for people of our demographic: that is old people and their parents.

 

That’s gonna be fun.  Can we find you live on stage soon?

 

Fritz: I think I’m gonna be having a residency at the El Porto Theater in North Hollywood, California. It’s a fairly legendary theater, called the Maryland Monroe Forum.

And I’m gonna be doing a show there once a month for a while as I work out new material. And I’ll be advertising that on social media and elsewhere. 

 

Find the Media Path Podcast: https://www.mediapathpodcast.com/

Art Beyond the Glass returns for its eleventh annual event on Sunday, June 25 at the legendary Catch One nightclub

Art Beyond the Glass (ABTG) returns for its eleventh annual event on Sunday, June 25, 2023, at the legendary Catch One nightclub!

Dozens of LA’s top bartenders will make cocktails and showcase their artistic talents, with proceeds donated to Outfest.

Since its inception, ABTG has raised over $250,000 for arts-based nonprofits across the country.

   

Co-founded by Daniel Djang (Thirsty in LA) and Zahra Bates (Global Head of Education, Courvoisier), ABTG is the original celebration of bartender artistry and widely regarded as one of the country’s premier cocktail culture festivals. From painting and sculpture to photography, live music, DJs and more, every ABTG showcases the creative pursuits of bartenders when they’re not behind the bar.

“It’s hard to believe that what began as a casual conversation at Sunny Spot in November 2011 has grown into this extraordinary event,”

says Djang.”

“The cocktail creativity and artistic talent of the bar community in LA and beyond never ceases to amaze me. We are so grateful for the generosity of our sponsoring brands and the numerous venues that have welcomed us into their spaces. Can’t wait to see the extended ABTG family that’s coming to LA for ABTG XI!”

Art Beyond the Glass is taking place for the second time at Catch One, which is graciously being donated to ABTG XI for this exclusive event. Located on Pico Boulevard in the heart of Los Angeles and celebrating their 50th Anniversary, this landmark nightclub was opened by Jewel Thais-Williams in 1973 as Jewel’s Catch One, a pioneering LGBTQ disco. Featuring state-of-the-art sound and lighting, the massive venue spans two floors and multiple indoor and outdoor spaces.

For its eleventh LA event, Art Beyond the Glass is honored to be raising funds for Outfest. Outfest invests in youth, education, representation, and exhibition – supporting and empowering the LGBTQIA+ community to discover their voice, tell their stories, and become the next generation of artists driving change in the entertainment industry.

ABTG is once again partnering with thier fiscal partner Another Round Another Rally, a nonprofit financial resource for the hospitality industry. ARAR co-founder Travis Nass: “It is an honor to be a part of one of the most creative, innovative industry events across the country. We have always loved ABTG, and it is such a pleasure to be able to work with them again this year. Another Round Another Rally is excited to help build ABTG into an official nonprofit as their new fiscal sponsor. We could not be prouder to work with this wonderful organization.”

ABTG will feature dozens of LA’s top bartenders, including Adam Kloos, Anica Amato, Colby Sue, Crystal Mendoza, Brendon Bos, Cody Roehrig, Davey Sarantos, Edwin Rios, Katya Kiyaeva, Kristina Hemphill, Philip Ly, Raul Pool, Sol Luongo, Stacy Noi, and Yered Zotea.

“Art Beyond the Glass has become so important to the bar community,”

says ABTG Head of Production Clare Ward

“Bartenders are makers. We make drinks. We make art. We make community. This is the perfect event to celebrate everything we do.”

 

Guests will also be able to buy bartender art, shop handmade items by bartenders, and bid on silent auction items.

ABTG XI is being made possible by our generous Sponsors:

Accomplice, Bacardi Portfolio – La Gran Familia, Balcones Distilling, Beam Suntory, Black Lagoon, Brand, Callisto Rum, Casa Azul, Casa Lumbre, Casa Noble Tequila, Tequila Mi Campo, Compass Box Whisky, Del Maguey, Diageo, Diplomatico, Empirical, FERNET-BRANCA, Fords Gin, Gray Whale Gin, Jack Daniel’s, Mezcal 33, Mezcal Amaras, Mezcal, Campante, Mr Black Spirits, Mulholland Distilling, Redemption Whiskey, Ritual Zero Proof, Silvergrin Vodka, Slane Irish Whiskey, Spiribam, St. George Spirits, Starward Whisky, Tequila Herradura, Tequila Tromba, and Woodford Reserve.

About Art Beyond the Glass Ticket information

 

ABTG XI will take place from 3pm to 7pm on Sunday, June 25, 2023, at Catch One. General Admission tickets are on sale at ABTG XI Tickets – Another Round Another Rally for $55 per person until noon on June 25. If still available, tickets will be sold at the door for $65 per person. Tickets to this event are only available for guests 21+ and over.

The all-inclusive ticket includes cocktails, art, entertainment, and bar bites. In addition, guests will be able to purchase bartender artwork, buy raffle tickets and bid on silent auction items such as artwork, photography, rare spirits and more. All proceeds from ABTG XI will be donated to Outfest and ARAR.

 

Art Beyond the Glass was founded in 2011 by Daniel Djang and Zahra Bates

 

Art Beyond the Glass was founded in 2011 by Daniel Djang and Zahra Bates as a special event for bartenders to showcase their artistic talents when they’re not behind the bar. From cocktails to paintings, photography, live music, DJs, spoken word and more, ABTG is a celebration of bartender artistry inside and beyond the glass. Proceeds from every ABTG event are donated to a local arts-based nonprofit – to date, ABTG has donated more than $250,000 to these vital community organizations.

 

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Art Beyond the Glass

 

Dropbox link to Outfest Photos:

https://www.dropbox.com/scl/fo/j8sqlk6x63mti1tcz2i8q/h?dl=0&rlkey=x2f12idjkphivm9iwy2u0wr1r

 

FOLLOW ART BEYOND THE GLASS ON:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ArtBeyondTheGlass

Twitter: @ABTGLA

Instagram: @abtgla

 

Catch One

4067 W. Pico Blvd.

Los Angeles, CA 90019

https://catch.one/#/events

Summertime Wine: Trivento launches #TheFirstWhiteMalbec on Iconic NYC Sunset Cruise with Winemaker Maxi Ortiz

Summertime Wine! Trivento launches #TheFirstWhiteMalbec on Iconic NYC Sunset Cruise with Winemaker Maxi Ortiz

There’s plenty of “other” product launches and then there’s Trivento’s Sunset Cruise launch for The First White Malbec.  Clearly, Trivento is very excited.

NYC wine and food experts board the luxury yacht, from 1919, at Manhattan’s North Cove Premier Mega-Yacht Club & Marina.

 

A handful of NYC and East Coast wine and food experts board a luxury yacht, built in 1919, at Manhattan’s North Cove Premier Mega-Yacht Club & Marina.  On-board, best-selling wine authors, top wine media, and NYC’s food and wine critics.

 

 

As we set sail, our wine glasses are filled with The First White Malbec in the world, produced by Argentina’s Trivento and Winemaker Maxi Ortiz.

 

 

It’s easy to be taken by the moment.  You look up and see the majestic NYC coastline.  Look around the yacht, even the most local New York cynics have their jaws agape.  It’s just breath-taking to see.

 

 

Moments later, the crew aboard the Ventura Sailing Team are passing out delicious seafood and chicken-based appetizers to pair with Trivento’s White Malbec.

 

Ventura Sailing Team at NYC for Trivento what malbec launch

Ventura Sailing Team are passing out delicious seafood and chicken-based appetizers

 

We sail through the bay, passing the Brooklyn Bridge in the distance, coming up on Governor’s Island and of course, The Statue of Liberty.

 

Passing along the Brooklyn Bridge

Why Trivento’s White Malbec is a world-class Innovation

 

For over 150 years, Malbec has been grown widely throughout Argentina. Its deep purple color, rich aromas of plums and red berries.  It’s perfect for smooth, supple red wines.

The fact that Winemaker Maxi Ortiz dares to take an incredible red wine and turn it into a white wine, shows world-class innovation, confidence and vinification prowess.  But as we’ll learn further below, it wasn’t an easy process.

Ortiz later explains in detail, it took 4 years of trial and error.  Getting closer and closer, but not perfect enough for him.  What we taste today is a culmination of his efforts and lessons.

 

What does Trivento’s White Malbec taste like?

 

By now most of us on the yacht have had a second taste of the wine.  It’s opening up and blossoming beautifully.

The color is surprisingly clear, crystalline.

The nose has aromas of white peach, grapefruit, subtle hint of red fruit.

It’s a very easy-drinking wine.  Especially in the summer.  The mouth has a refreshing acidity, light body. Notes of green apple.  Pairs beautifully well with the seafood and light chicken dishes served here.  I could also see it with a garden salad, caprese or sushi.  Be daring and try it with BBQ as the acid will cut into the fatty meat.

Hearing from Trivento’s Team, Juan Jose Gil

 

Juan Jose Gil directs the Trivento brand in the United States. 

He explains that Trivento was founded in 1996 by the group Concha y Toro.  It was the first time they left Chile to make an investment outside of their origin when they chose Mendoza, Argentina.

They started with a very small vineyard of 154 hectares. Today these Malbec experts have 12 vineyards in four different valleys and over 1,764 hectares of vines.   They offer Malbec at every price point and every value tier.

The company has three pillars: Innovation. Sustainability.  Excellence.

From Juan Jose Gil’s explanation, all 3 pillars are thriving together as we sip their most innovative wine, from grapes farmed on their sustainable vineyards, enjoying its excellent quality.

Trivento Winemaker Maxi Ortiz playfully posing with the Statue of Liberty

Winemaker Maxi Ortiz playfully posing with the Statue of Liberty

Winemaker Maxi Ortiz Reveals His White Malbec Process

 

Ortiz has been working at Trivento since 2006, helping to build it into the fourth biggest winery in Mendoza.

2019 was their first vintage of Trivento White Malbec.  But it’s come a long way from what the world is tasting today.

However, for him, it’s a very special wine for more that just the innovation it represents, but also a positive impact on society:

“Sales from this wine

go to a scholarship program that helps students

with low economic resources and high academic performance to finish schooling.”

 

How did he create the white Malbec?  

He revealed parts of his 4-year process.  He picked the grapes the last week of January, 40 days earlier than regular.  Then they quickly pressed the grapes in order to separate the skin from the pulp.  However it’s not “white” yet.  Then it was more of a rose.

Then he revealed the biggest secret of the process.  A winemaking method that is common with red wines, but not whites.  Ortiz got creative, invented and daring – and it worked.  And unfortunately, we’re not going to share it here today.  As competition is already growing!

“We were the first winery [back in 2019] to make a white wine with a red grape, which is the Malbec.

And it’s fantastic because nowadays you can see at least 10 different wineries making White Malbec.

So this is the first White Malbec and

in a way Trivento creates a new category of wine in Argentina.”

The quality is clearly there,  As Ortiz explains further:

“The grapes came from the same region, from the same vineyard,

from the same places that we use for our [traditional Malbec] Reserve.” 

For those who follow NYC weather, it was supposed to be thunderstorms the day of the Sunset Cruise.  Bravely and happily, the launch decided to move forward anyway!

The weather was dramatic and cloudy (but dry) all throughout the cruise.  Then, as if anointed by a higher power, just as Ortiz finished speaking, the rain started.

A slow, steady rinse that grew stronger.  By the time we returned to dock, it was a heavy downpour.  But no one was complaining.  Wet smiles all around.

If Trivento White Malbec has a way of brightening your day even amidst a heavy thunderstorm, imagine what it can do for your backyard barbecue?

Find more on the Trivento website

Follow Trivento on Facebook and Instagram.

Heraclea Olive Oil delivers award-winning flavor, along with health and heritage, reveals Berk Bahceci

Heraclea Olive Oil delivers flavor, health and heritage, reveals Berk Bahceci

We are here with Berk Bahceci from Heraclea Olive Oil.

Berk joined me for a conversation (via zoom).  Below has been edited for length and clarity.  Find the full conversation on our YouTube Channel.

I’m excited because I’ve tasted your olive oils and they’re subtle, they’re flavorful, and there’s a great story behind them. And today I wanna touch on all of that and a little bit more.

 

Tell me a bit about your background and how you got into olive oil

 

Berk:  Sure. I moved to the United States approximately 10 years ago for college. Actually. That’s how my story here started. I studied economics at UCLA and then I went to law school at UC Berkeley.

But the day I started law school, I realized something was off. I started questioning whether I was the material to be an attorney. Three years passed by.  I took the bar exam and started working. In my first year I realized, I don’t want to be a lawyer anymore.

I started looking for an exit plan. So I reflected back on myself, my life, my childhood. What is one thing that would  make me wanna wake up every day with excitement?

I realized olive oil is out there. My family owned some olive groves before, but we were never doing this with a business mindset. It was just produced and consumed within family and friends. I came up with the idea to tell my family, why don’t we turn this into a business, create a brand around it, and sell it here exclusively in the United States.

The market itself is very dominated by a couple big players from certain countries. 

I did more research and realized that Turkey is the fifth largest importer of olive oil into the United States, but you are not seeing any Turkish brands on shelves.

What’s the reason for that? It’s probably because producers in Turkey don’t have the means to come here, establish a distribution center like channels, and move product. Selling in bulk is the easiest and most convenient way for those people.

But I wanted to bring a new way for the Turkish olive oil in the United States with Heraclea that’s how we found it.

 

 

We’re definitely gonna get into Turkey in a second.  A lot of the people watching this are wine lovers.  Region is very important.  So tell us about the region that you’re farming

 

Berk: Region has an impact on olive oil as well. That’s the reason why the European Union has a scheme called Protected Designation of Origin. I’m sure wine lovers and cheese lovers will know, when I say PDO, the red and yellow emblem that you see on certain products sold in specialty food stores.

 

PDO is basically a stamp given by the European Union, to distinct products. What do I mean by that? So the variety of olive that we work with is called Memecik. There are over 2000 olive varieties  in the world. 

 

Do me a favor, say that variety again and spell it for us.

 

Berk: It’s called Memecik. It is very unknown, very rare because it is specific to the region that we produce. 

And that’s why the European Union has given a couple years ago to this region and this olive variety, A P D O certification. For example, in California most growers are bequia, right? If they were to plant Memecik, which they can, in California, they won’t be able to have this PDO certification.

So PDO only comes if Memecik is grown in Milas. That’s a very special thing for us and we are very proud to be working with a very rare variety. So when you buy olive oil, it is for certain that you won’t taste it with any other brand because it’s distinct to Milas.

Just the same way that champagne only comes from the Champagne of France.

Berk: That’s exactly what I was going to say. 

 

When did you realize the magic and the power of the Memecik varietal?

 

Berk: This PDO certification is so new that we did not found this business upon that, that certification. It was just an added value with the PDO, but we always knew that our olive oil was distinct in its quality.

It has actually recently been approved by International judges in New York International Olive Oil competition, Japan Olive Oil Competition, Istanbul Olive Oil Competition. We got gold and silver medals from all of these. And this is the first year that we are actively participating in these competitions.

It’s a really good moment for us because usually these things don’t happen in the first or second year. [Usually] you’re a producer for multiple years or maybe generations.  So we’re really proud about that.

 

Congratulations. And just to give someone listening or watching an idea, the scale of these competitions.

Can you estimate how many different olive oils are in that competition?

 

Berk: I would say in the thousands, 2000.  Maybe a hundred companies are winning these awards. You’re in the select field of the top 5-10% in the entire world.

The panel is composed of people from all around the world, from all producing regions, Italy, Tunisia, Greece, Turkey, Chile, Argentina.  Experts. So it’s a good indication that the product is at a certain level of quality.

 

So let’s talk about the behind the scenes and the process of making this award-winning olive oil.

 

Berk: We have around a hundred acres of land with over 10,000 trees that we take care of with a team of seven full-time on the field every day. We don’t use any fertilizers, we don’t use any pesticides. We don’t use any chemicals.  One reason is our grows are literally on the on mountains. They’re not plantations. 

Many olive oil brands have what people call “olive farms” where the companies do intensive and super, super high density farming, which means that where maybe 10 trees would go. They plant a hundred trees. So it’s very compact, producing very high yield olives, but lacking taste because they’re fed with irrigation all the time.

So the olives get really big when they’re given water every day, whereas our olives don’t have irrigation because it’s on the mountains. Our olives, in comparison, are relatively smaller, which keeps the aroma very vibrant. That’s actually the secret behind it.

A lot of people who taste our early harvest olive oil say that it’s a little bit bitter, especially right after the harvest.  That comes from the antioxidants that are loaded in it. Because our olives are very small. The density of antioxidants is higher, so that’s why the bitterness comes in. 

We just prune the trees, cutting the excessive branches because we’re working in a very scarce,  nutrient environment. Like I said, no fertilizers, so you have to keep the trees very optimal by cutting the unnecessary trees and branches so that whatever there is in the soil goes to the fruit.

That’s why our team of seven constantly does these kind of things. These kind of physical touches, no like chemical alteration or anything. Around October we start  walking  around the grow to determine the day of the harvest. That is the most exciting time of the year

Due to not using fertilizers, we really have to optimize the day of the harvest to maximize our production. So when we determine that day, which is mid-October, usually we start harvesting.

We hire local men and women who are living in nearby villages. We go in with a team of 20 to 30.

We keep it for 90 days until January. We don’t want to go into January. Because fruit flies, conditions and a lot of other things impact the quality. 

So we try to finish everything from mid-October until January. We work with a local mill to process our olives. We take two batches every day, one in the afternoon and one at night because we don’t wanna wait in between.

If you start harvest at 8:00 AM and harvest until 4:00 PM the olives that you have harvested at 8:00 AM will have waited nine hours before going into the processing machine. We don’t wanna do that because as the olive waits, fermentation starts and the quality decreases.

So we do two deliveries every day to the local mills, one in the afternoon, and one later in the day. This way we ensure that our olives go right into production within two to four hours of harvest.  Believe me, we’re working really hard to maintain that.

Then we store our olive oil in stainless steel tanks in temperature and humidity controlled rooms with nitrogen gas used as a buffer between the olive oil and the rim. 

Think of a five ton tank.  You fill it out, but there’s always some portion of the tank that is left empty and there’s oxygen in that empty part. When olive oil touches with oxygen in the stainless steel tank as it is stored, oxidation starts, which leads to rancidity, which decreases the quality of the olive oil. So we take that oxygen out by pumping in another gas – of course, food grade safety, no worries there. 

That’s the level of attention and care we give to our olive oil. 

 

Let’s switch to the the tasty part. Let’s talk about the flavor of your two bottles.  Flavor profiles, aroma, anything you’d like.

 

Berk: So we have two products right now. We’re bringing in a third one soon.

Olive oil is the white bottle which is made from olives that we harvest starting from October until mid-November.

And the moment that we switch from early to mature harvest is when the olives start turning into this purplish color. As months pass the green olives start to ripen and then change in color. When we see that change into purple, that’s the moment we say, okay, early harvest is done.

Now we’re doing mature harvest and then everything else that we harvest mid-November, till January, is considered mature harvest. That’s the distinction between the two. 

The mature harvest is the black bottle. And when it comes to flavor profile, there’s one disclaimer that I wanna make, uh, in general about, uh, these, uh, like.

Flavor profiles.  I think to really understand and feel and get this smell. In any olive oil, you have to have a sensory memory, have that experience in your mind, I still remember it.

Here’s an example from my sensory memory:

We had a walnut tree right across the street by our house, and there was a fine paper-like cover, outside of the walnut. Right before they mature, we would take from the tree and taste it and it’s bitter. So that [bitter] taste is in my sensory memory right now.

Same as tomato stems. Like if you touch a tomato plant with your hands and play around and then smell your hands, you’re going to get a very unique tomato stem smell, and that’s like embedded in your mind now. So from now on, every time you taste an olive oil, if there is that distinct smell or taste in it, that’s how you recognize it.

So in our olive oil, early harvest, for example, I get the notes of freshly cut grass, tomato stems, walnuts, banana.

What I was told in this olive oil school that I went to in Spain is, get your hands out there. Touch everything, smell everything. Taste everything. That’s how you develop your sensory memory.

And that’s how you become, as people say, familiar. But you know, like you don’t have to have a certificate to be one. You know, you just go out there and taste stuff and try to. Memorize and remember those smells and tastes.

I was talking to somebody earlier this week about food pairings and he had a similar answer, which was be curious.

Exactly. Taste things, touch things, smell things, and be curious. 

 

I know your website has a cookbook, let’s talk about some of your favorite food pairings with your olive oil

 

Berk: I love  drizzling our early harvest on cheese plates. That’s my favorite thing. Early harvest is more for finishing dishes because it has a bitter aroma to it.

If you cook with it, you may have a bitter taste in the food. Actually, I know people who cook with our early harvest. I know people who drizzle with our mature harvest, so it’s not set in stone.

It really depends on what you like, but generally, early harvest is better for drizzling over salads. Hummus, cheese.  Sometimes  I dip my bread in it. 

That’s a tradition we have in Turkey sometimes, find a piece of bread and dip that into your olive oil, and that’s a good breakfast. 

Mature harvest is for everything else. Cooking, baking, marinating. A lot of people are saying that they use it for marinating.

 

Anything else you want us to discover about olive oil?

 

Berk: Our goals are twofold.  One is, olive oil is a very healthy product for human consumption, There is research showing that the positive effects on health of olive oil, daily consumption of olive oil. We believe that a product that is so healthy for humans should do no harm to the environment.

It’s production should not cause any more trouble to our Mother Nature. That’s why we’re not using fertilizers. That’s why we’re not using pesticides. We think there’s a solution in nature to resolve any problem that these things claim to be curing. That’s number one, producing as environmentally friendly as possible.

Number two is to introduce to the world the intricacies of Turkish cuisine. It is beyond  just kebab. It is just one meal in thousands of distinct and unique recipes. And the way that we treat these recipes are not just a list of ingredients.

To us, these are stories from past generations and that Turkish cookbook has 550 very distinct recipes. Each recipe is associated with a specific region or maybe sometimes even a village. 

 

It almost sounds Farm To Table.

 

Berk: Exactly. That’s the goal. We’re small batch and we have really certain values and principles.

 

Are there any specific health benefits that you wanna cover?

 

Berk: There are a lot.  There are a lot of research.  I’m not a scientist. I’m not a doctor. But consuming olive oil daily helps with chronic diseases. Cardiovascular diseases. Type 2 diabetes, and many more.

We have lab reports showing the amount of antioxidants in our olive oil, which is around 500 milligrams per liter, which is a high amount. Consuming antioxidants is healthy. Olive oil has anti-inflammatory effects as well. 

When you consider all of these things and if you consume fats, why don’t you switch to a healthy alternative where research shows that its consumption helps you.

That’s why as a layman I recommend consuming olive oil on a daily basis. 

 

Berk, you’ve given us a lot of good information. You’ve given us a lot of tasty ideas.

Let’s talk about how to buy and how to, how to where we can buy your olive oil.

 

Berk: We’re available online at heraclea.co. There is no “m” at the end. 

We will very soon be available on Amazon.

If you are in New York, we will soon be available in NoHo. Manhattan. Then if you are in Seattle, very soon we will be available in a grocery chains in Seattle.

Hopefully by end of this year we will be in over a hundred physical locations 

 

Life Lessons and Adventure, perfect for Fathers Day, Near Death Lessons’ Chris Jankulovski book now available on Amazon

Fathers Day is coming up and every family is searching for Dad’s perfect gift.  Chris Jankulovski’s book Near Death Lessons offers story of family, adventure, motivation, and life lessons.

I had the opportunity to sit down with Chris Jankulovski (via zoom) to talk about his Father’s Day wishes, business success, family, health concerns, empowerment and more.

The conversation has been edited for length and clarity.  Watch the full conversation on our Youtube channel.

 

Congratulations on your new book, Near Death Lessons. 

 

Thank you. Been a journey to get it out there, but I am so honored and privileged to do this work. 

It is an inspiring and a motivating book, and I would say equally important is not only is it inspiring and it’s motivating, but for somebody who wants to break-through, you actually give us the lessons that you use to accomplish it so we can follow those lessons as well.

 

 

What was the hardest part of writing the book for you?

 

Friends tell me, Chris, you gotta write a book, man. Seriously, you’ve got some wild stories. It almost killed me when the tumor bursted in my head. I couldn’t walk, couldn’t talk. I was in bed for three months.

I knew that the moment I could stand upright, I wanna write a book for my sons. I want them to know who their father was.  Because yet again, I just confronted a serious adversity where 60% of people normally die on the operating table. I somehow survived it. I’m the lucky 40%, and I just had my operation one month before the birth of my second son, Billy.  And I wanted my six year old and my new son to know who their father was.

I’ll give you a timeline.  We’ll plot it all, and then we’re gonna give it to a ghost writer who’s gonna somehow be able to direct our story. Then we’ll put the muscles in it, and then we’ll build it all up.

And that’s the journey I went on until I gave it to an editor who completely shut it down and it took me about a a year to correct everything. No kidding. 

 

Okay. So how long from the moment you started with your writer through the editing process, what was the timeline from inception to on the shelf?

 

Oh wow. So the first year after my brain operation, I’m still writing this book. A year later, I’m in the pool, rehabilitating [with the book notes] still in front of me.

I’ve got this diagnosis of doctors telling me, Chris, you gotta have these cancers removed asap. They’ve taken off. I don’t know if your kidney is gonna survive removing six cancers. You might be on dialysis. Doom and gloom.

I’ve just gone on a journey of learning how to walk and talk for eight months. I’ve got so many defects going on. 

My tongue didn’t half work. I couldn’t even talk. It was affecting my speech. So I’m there in this scenario and at the height of my worst moment in life, I’ve got this outlook. That’s a disaster. 

'Near Death Lessons' by Chris Jankulovski

I’m trying to run in the pool because I’m learning how to walk properly and I’m about to confront this adversity again.

I’m thinking: Why am I buying a future that no one knows? This is all just estimates, predictions, guesswork. I don’t have to accept this. What if I dare hope that the best is yet to come? Why don’t I look forward to the life ahead of me? That it’s the best? 

And that was the most pivotal moment in my life because, I went from a $4 million house to a $16 million house.

Eight months later, I go off to double my business from 8 million to 16 million. I go off to do all these things, and now I’m in America taking it to another level. 

I was in the hospital room, that’s year one by the way.  I bargained for my life because things were not looking good, that’s when I decided to take my story public.

And since the moment I’ve taken the story public. I wrote the book initially because I didn’t want to give any advice to my sons because I didn’t want them to hate me from the grave. I didn’t wanna just share my story. I wanted to share the lessons.

I wanted to share the things that have transformed my life. So I hired a resilience consultant, and I said to her, can you please read my book? Put a spotlight on how I respond to adversities compared to a more common response because I just keep bouncing back stronger.

She read my book five times. We ended up having 26 zoom sessions, and then from that we unearthed 11 distinctions. We gave those to instructional designers which then they came back to me with the five life lessons that I shared in the book.

That’s a heck of a journey. Tell us about some of the diagnoses you’ve had all the way back from your teenage years.

 

So at the age of 19, we went to a specialist clinic to understand what was causing tumors in my eyes. The doctor was puzzled.  There was this new genetic testing going on. So I had the genetic test done.   I [was diagnosed] with Von hippel-lindau syndrome. A hereditary condition, means maybe your mom and dad have got it. I go, no one’s got it, okay?

The average life expectancy is 30 years, so you’re probably gonna have a short life and you’ve probably got cancers now. 

I was like, what? I’m gonna be dead by 30. What do you mean? That was my brutal wake up call and I went to my car and I cried.

I couldn’t relate to anyone with this problem. I told my parents, I told my friends, I couldn’t connect with anyone about this. I just decided to ignore it. I thought if I pretended deep down I never got this, perhaps it would disappear.

So that’s what I did. I ignored it from the ages of 19 to 32 when my first brain tumor finally caught up. And when it did, it almost killed me. It was so big –  five centimeters. I had to contour my body to go to the toilet and had these weird electric shocks running down my spine.

When I got the operation, I transformed. I looked at the sky and I said, God, kill me. I’ve had enough of living this victim life. I’ve had enough of being disempowered, always reacting to my circumstances.

I choose to focus on life. I choose whatever happens. I’m gonna choose to make the most of whatever life I have, but I’m not living like that anymore.  So that was a pivotal moment. 

I’m now 50, so I’ve had a good run for the last six years. At age seven, my appendix burst, almost killing me. Two weeks in hospital. At the age of 21, I almost drowned. 

But one of the first times I crossed over, out of body kind of experience and a different time dimension was a few years later, 25, when I woke up [during] an eye surgery, I felt the needles sliding on my eye, like on an egg, and they’re poking in.

I woke up and flatlined. I was looking down at myself.  I could see the machine flat-lining until everything went white. And then I felt like I was in a different time dimension. I just felt ‘Whoa. Where am I? Let’s go. Hey, I’m not going anywhere. It’s my sister’s wedding soon. And then I snapped back into life again with the nurses all about to zap me.

So that was at 25 and then at 32 is the brain tumor. And then two months later was the removal of my right kidney because it was occupied by cancers. Some as large as four and a half, five centimeters. Which is way too dangerous. They’re all very aggressive..

The reason why I called that a near death experience as well is because I survived my cancer battle and it didn’t spread. It killed my dad, it didn’t kill me. And then two years later, I had to remove four large cancers from a remaining left kidney. 

A decade later, another six cancerous kidneys.  Before that one was the second brain operation to remove two tumors in my head, and that was the most serious. 

 

Let’s talk about a deliberate life. You mentioned it in your book, what does a deliberate life mean to you and what are the main steps? How do we get there?

 

I have nearly died, came back to life, and every time that happens, it’s like a reset button in my heart.

Everything’s up for grab: my values, my behaviors, my patterns. Because I’m back again. You go through many of these experiences.

Everything you’ve been holding true gets re-evaluated, and therefore, all of it – fears, insecurities, all gets washed away. And what remains is what’s most important and true. For me, every time I go through these experiences, I get an onion layer experience. I get more to the core of who I am and who we are.

All of us, including me, are remarkably powerful. I can’t believe the more I get to me and the core of my authentic me, the more energy, the more light, the more vibrancy, the more drive, the more of everything is there. 

I’ve always been spending money looking for advice and solutions outside myself.  Deep down, the biggest lessons I’ve learned in my life was when I meditated in silence for three weeks in India.  Silence. Every time I nearly died, I’d go into this black void. Vibrancy, energy, and I don’t understand why I’m still consciously pressing, but then when I return, now I know I’m gonna say something really taboo, but life and death coexist in my mind because when I close my eyes and I’m in this black void, if I can meditate to a point where I’m outside of my sense of skin, brain patterns, feelings, and just be presently alert of my awareness.

Man, that’s the same space I go to when I’m in a different time dimension. Hence why I believe that life and death coexist and that fuels me. That just fuels me even more because our mortality is what should fuel all of us. Why? Who are we to take our time for granted here? 

This drop of time that we have here, how selfish of us to be caught up in our own doubts and fears and insecurities. We are so much more than that. 

There is just this magic and energy in us that wants to drive. Follow that drive, follow that energy. Don’t restrict it.  It communicates in feelings and glimpses of vision.

I live a deliberate life because of these adversities, and I keep coming back to life.  I wanna optimize. If I’ve got anxiety. If I was to listen to Steve Jobs, live as if it’s your last day of life. I get anxiety. I can’t be strategic, I can’t plan. I’m always challenged every year with my scans.

So the way I play this game is every year when I get a MRI scan for my brain and spine and kidneys and all this stuff. When I get the results of those scans towards the end of the year, I see them as a certificate to go live life to the fullest. So I get this scan results. I go, yes, I’ve got a free run.  Then that following year, I’m bolting. I’m a hundred percent, I’ve got one more year to live. I see every year as if it’s another year to live. 

What I’ve realized over 30 years of doing this is,  I can’t live deliberately, so I can’t live my life to the fullest every year unless I’m living deliberately and I can’t live deliberately unless I have clarity with what I wanna do, because otherwise I’m spending time on all these things that aren’t important.

I linked my goal to an image and I put it on a board because visually I know that the only way my subconscious relates to this is by image and feeling. Now, I know people call it vision boards, but they’ve got it all wrong. You gotta really link an image to a goal.  That image needs to excite you.   That simple solution allowed me to focus my energy throughout the whole year towards these things. 

 

You offer a ‘free gift’ in your book.  Can you give us a sneak peek of what it is?

 

Since I’m talking about life so much and living life to the fullest I wanted to show people the 10 things that were often affecting me and stopping me from living a life to the fullest.

What does success mean to you? It’s different for everyone and so is living life to the fullest.  But, for people who are driven, success-oriented, ambitious people,  they would relate mostly to this because that’s who I am.

I wanna spend more time with my family. I wanna smell the roses. I wanna see how far I can go and I wanna see the kind of impact I can make because I don’t wanna just pass and it never even be known that I even existed.

So living life to the fullest means you are embracing your true power. You are embracing and optimizing your most important resource,  your time. You are embracing the fact that you’ve got an ability to create. 

So if we can do these simple things, we can achieve our dreams. That’s as simple as that. If we’ve got the right mindset, if we stop responding to life as if we have got no control, if we are always victims of it, I’ve been thrown these incredible blows from the universe.

So many battles outside of my control. I refuse to not take responsibility. I actually take responsibility. Look, the tumors happen genetically, but I take responsibility. It’s a game. Okay? It’s just a game. It’s a game of self-empowerment.

 

Chris Jankulovski’s book, Near Death Lessons on sale at Amazon now.

If we want more from you, where do we find you? What’s your website? Where do we find you on social media?

 

I’m building ChrisJankulovski.com and then you’ll be able to access other things. 

 

What does the future look like for you?  What are you gonna be up to next?

 

I’m developing my personal brand and what that represents to the world.  What that represents to the American people.  What I strive to do in terms of impacting.. 

I’ll be working very heavily on my business, but I’ll also be putting myself out there to meet people, to talk to people and more media of course.

When I said I’m gonna inspire millions, this is the deal. And that deal isn’t just writing a book. That deal is to connect with people. One-on-one or in groups or to speak, and not because I’m looking to become a speaker, but because I’m looking to deliver this incredible energy, this incredible passion, this incredible lessons and distinctions with no bullshit on what gets results and how what you gotta do to optimize your most important time here on Earth.

Chris, I wish you huge success with the book Near Death Lessons. I think there’s so many lessons about either launching a new life or breaking through.  It’s a great New Year’s. Gift and a great Father’s Day gift. 

Thank you mate. 

LA is Ready for a New Champagne, Give Champagne Jeeper a taste

LA is Ready for a New Champagne, Give Champagne Jeeper a taste.

It’s easy to fall in love with champagne.  Life celebrations.  Work success.  Life’s best memories (hello weddings, anniversaries, babies, birthdays).  If you’re ready to try a new champagne, this is for you.

 

 

Today we had the amazing opportunity to talk (via zoom) with Jeeper Champagne’s Camille Cox.  This conversation has been edited for length and clarity.  For the full conversation, visit our YouTube channel.

 

 

Can you share a favorite memory where you celebrated with champagne?

 

Oh, there’s, God, there’s so many. I can’t even begin to tell you. But the one thing I can say is that you always should carry champagne because in victory you deserve champagne and in defeat you need it. That was Napoleon Bonaparte, if I’m not mistaken? 

I think my most memorable toast with champagne are personal victories  And, of course, business victories as you can imagine. I’ve been selling champagne for a very long time, and I can name a couple that come to mind. One of them a few years back was getting business at the Delta Airlines lounges. Putting another maison there.   At the time, the house that I was working for at the time that was a big victory in itself. And just little victories in life each and every day. Every day is a celebration. 

It’s all relative in how you look at it and how you live your life, but I think every day calls for champagne, to be completely honest with you.

 

I love that,  ‘Everyday calls for champagne’. Jeeper has an interesting story behind it based on the end of World War II.

Can you give us just a very brief history lesson of Jeeper that brings us up to present day?

 

So, as you know, many champagne houses have great stories, and that’s the great thing about Champagne. Every Maison has their story and the fact that you get to go back and find out how it became is super fascinating to me.

When I had the chance to join Jeeper, I went back to look at the story.  A family started  making champagne in the 1800s.  It had its heyday and then it floundered. It changed hands for quite some time. Then a gentleman by the name of Armand Goutorbe, who was working his family vineyards, had to be called to war and ended up in a house in an undisclosed location because everybody was fighting against the resistance at that time.

He happened to be holed up in a place with some American soldiers and they were being bombed and consequently they were all trying to help save each other’s lives. History tells us that Armand was a gentleman who took it upon himself to risk his own life, to pull some American GIs away from the building that was going to be bombed, possibly losing their lives.

In doing so, he impeded his leg and went back to looking over his vineyards in Champagne. The hills aren’t high, but they’re steep. His leg impeded his day-to-day operations. The US army got ahold of the story and some of the soldiers that he saved wanted to pay tribute to him and in all humbleness to thank him for saving their lives. So the US military gave him a Willie’s Jeep, and he rode around in the villages and he became known as “Mr. Jeeper Man”. Two years later, he said, I think I’m just gonna name my vineyards Jeeper. So there it was born Jeeper in 1949 because of a wonderful gift that the US Army bequeathed to him.

We still have the Jeep today on property.

 

 

 

Can we talk about the terroir of the region?

 

We are located in Faverolles et Coëmy, a commune near Reims in the north-west of the Champagne region.  In the Montagne de Reims, the Côte des Blancs and the Marne Valley.

We are mostly a chardonnay house and we use Chardonnay as our primary grape.

We make eight different wines under the Jeeper label. We  have two great certifications for being biodynamic and organic.  Our flagship for the winery is our Blanc de Blanc. Our bottles are color coded in terms of the labels so that they stand out significantly to consumers.

That area has cool nights. A little bit of frost, but beautiful, pristine, crisp grapes from those regions, from the sub regions in Champagne. We own about 80 hectares. We don’t buy any grapes. We use our own grapes. We have the capacity to make 3.5 million bottles, but we hope to make more with some partnerships that we’ve kind of acquired.

Having Michel Reybier as a new partner with Nicholas, the current owner of and partner, who makes the wines too. Nicholas Dubois makes us stand apart from that we’re not right in the middle of Reims. We’re out there, believe it or not.

So when you come to Reims, you’re not gonna see us. You’re gonna have to get on the train or take a little cab and make it to Jeeper. 

I love talking about process.  Our audience is a mix of very basic drinkers up to connoisseurs.

So can you share a little bit of the process and how, how, what, what makes your champagne so unique?

 

What makes us a little bit more unique is a lot of champagne houses only use steel vats. We’re still kind of old school. We do use some Burgundy barrels.  We have one of the biggest barrel rooms behind Krug and Bollinger. We have about 1200 barrels that we use. So for instance, our Grande Assemblage, which happens to be our brut non vintage, we age 20% of the chardonnay that we use in that blend for two years in used burgundy oak barrels and then we do the aging of the lees. We lay it down for about four years. So that’s two years for the 20% Chardonnay laying down for two years. Then the four years makes it a total of six years. So you get a totally different taste. There’s a little bit of maturity there with the oak barrels. 

It’s something completely different. I’ve worked for houses that were stainless steel, so this is something new for me as well too. The aging process, there is some lactic, it just depends on which cuvee we’re speaking about.

Withholding our wines a little bit longer. We’re not big production, we’re not a grower champagne house by any means. We’re just over the hump as a boutique champagne house. We’re just getting started here in the United States. Our biggest production and where we sell the most champagne is in France.

But opening up the United States, it’s tough to build a champagne brand in the US, believe it or not. It’s super tough.

You have to find a way to differentiate yourself, what makes you stand out. I think that’s Jeeper having the name and the story and the total difference of not having stainless steel aging, and that we’re malolactic and that we do use oak barrels in some of our cuvee’s.

 

One of the reasons I wanted to talk to you is a few weeks ago when I had the chance to actually taste through the bottles, they did have such a unique taste.

 

So let’s talk about the actual bottles.

 

I’ve mentioned the Grande Assemblage, which is our brut non-vintage. It’s a green label, and I just told you a little bit about that. But the one that is our flagship is our Blanc De Blanc.

I think our bottles are beautiful. We have a patent on the bottle.  People notice how easy it was to take off the foil.

So there’s still a little label underneath the foil that says Jeeper, which is kind of neat for us and it speaks volumes because it doesn’t leave you a mess or end up getting paper cuts from the foil cuts. 

The Blanc de Blanc is big, full-bodied, rich.  Also super elegant. It’s clean. It’s crisp, even though it has a big mouthful. 

Our champagnes are the categories in the last 7 to 10 years that have really ended up getting some traction. I think people are walking away from the norm. They’re walking away from big commercial houses because they wanna see what else is out there. 

Their curious is curiosity’s sake and I think it’s really helped the champagne business. I think the champagne business has always been cyclical, but in the last 7 to 10 years, it’s really gotten a hold and people are really embracing champagne to great success 

Because there’s so many beautiful wines out there, so many different styles and so many cool things that you can learn. I think the more the people, because of the terroir, I always say that champagne is a reflection of the mood of the terroir.

Champagne, the terroir from where we are, its chalky soil limestone. It lends itself to so many different characteristics in the wine. We’re not a big vintage champagne house. 2008 was probably one of the best vintages of the century.  It was gone in a flash. With our 2008, we age it for 12 years on the lees. It’s 88% Chardonnay and 12% Pinot Noir. So there’s that wonderful characteristic and it has a little maturity on it, a little oxidation. 

I’m a vintage champagne girl and a no dousage champagne girl so this one fits the bill for me, but it may not be for everyone’s taste profile. 

I can always tell at the beginning when I’m doing a tasting with the two lead wines that you start off with in Champagne, what someone is gonna like in the rest of the range.  It never fails me. It’s always about 95% full proof. 

It’s so subjective. The 2008 for me is interesting. We’re getting ready to release a new release of Blanc de Blanc coming in May, which I’m super excited about. It’ll be no dousage.

We also now have a partnership, as I mentioned, one of our owners, Michel Repier. There’s a gentleman by the name of Tony Parker, who’s a former four-time NBA champion. A hall of famer. I was just with him a couple weeks ago. Super, super person. He told us his story about where he came from and how much he loves gastronomy.  He’s French.  A lot of people don’t realize that.  He’s from Lyon, and I’m sure the Parisians would beg to differ, but Lyon is supposedly now the gastronomy capital of Paris. So we have him as an ambassador; a gentleman who really loves wine and is very enamored with it, wants to roll his sleeves up.

He’s helped us with our Rose project that we have in Provence, but helping me with Jeeper as well. It’s a great collaboration. It’s been great for me, for the brand, for helping us build the brand here in the US because we’re building our distribution network.

Which is not an easy thing to do, as I can tell you having done it for many years. So we’re looking for new partners that want to build a brand with us who we want to be on the ground floor with.  I feel like the people that bring you to the party are the people you need to stick to.

It’s easy to be a fair weather friend, but I am all about loyalty and building a brand with someone. And making it happen. The wine business is exploding, so there’s a lot of opportunities out there. It’s just finding our niche and letting people know the story and taste the wines.

 

I don’t know that champagne gets enough love when it comes to food. Let’s talk about food pairings.

 

A previous maison I worked for didn’t want us to suggest pairing champagne with chocolate or strawberries.  I think that fallacy of Pretty Woman when she’s having her “floor picnic” as she called it in the movie.  She’s drinking champagne and having strawberries – they are very acidic. But I think it’s really what you want to do.

Do I think it’s the best pairing? Absolutely not. 

I’ve gone through this with many chefs in the past where I’ve asked them not to use chocolate or strawberries, and [while they weren’t happy with that] luckily they did talk to me at the very end of it, but they weren’t very happy. But there’s so many great things out there that you can pair champagne with and the new thing is, Champagne and chicken fried chicken.

As a southerner, I’m a fried chicken lover. It’s an incredible pairing. 

I also think sea salt potato chips with a non-dosage champagne are absolutely fabulous. But let’s look at the classics. What about ratatouille from France? You know, something that you don’t really ever think about. It’s always the ones that are there that you can think about.

Gratin potatoes are an amazing pairing if you’re a big potato lover as I am.  It’s just great. So I think the sky’s the limit depending on what it is you’re drinking. Of course, no dosage champagnes aren’t gonna be great with everything. I also love Dim Sum and champagne, to be completely honest with you.

So all the pairings that are non-traditional, if you will, kind of thinking outside the box. Really making it an opportunity to see: where you can take it? Are you gonna push the limit? I’m all about pushing the limits on a lot of things.  Nobody should be chastised for that on any level.

So if somebody likes what they like, they like what they like. I think the traditional [concept] many years ago: Are you having chicken for dinner? You can only have white [wine]. I love the fact that that’s out the door now.

People learn more and more about wine every day. They’re so enamored with it.  I think the pandemic gave us all an opportunity to stop, take a minute, take a breath, slow down, maybe enjoy things or get into things that we didn’t have the time to do. I think gastronomy is one of them.

People now love to make food at home. People love to drink wine at home. We saw that with the pandemic. There’s a lot of opportunity, everywhere you look. I like the classics.  I’m a foodie.

But I love food and I think drinking it the way you want to drink it and the way you want to enjoy is paramount. Paramount. I don’t think there should be any rules put around that on any level. 

As everyone’s hearing the Jeeper story and getting to know your bottles, what can our audience do for Jeeper Champagne?

 

Helping Jeeper is to buy some [bottles] where we’re distributed. Give something new a chance. Wherever you buy wine, take an opportunity to just treat yourself to something completely different because you never know what’s gonna happen.

It could end up being your favorite wine and you just don’t realize it. Expand your opportunity and your horizons, and that’s what life is all about. 

Think outside the box. Live a little, okay. You, you bought a bottle, but there’s some great champagnes out there that are really economical. We know we’ve taken a little bit of a price increase, but treat yourself, you’ll be glad that you did. I think it, it expands your horizons and makes you see so many other things you didn’t see

 

Where can we find Jeeper Champagne on social media to follow?

 

Jeeper is on most major social media channels.  Please give us a follow and visit our website at: https://www.champagne-jeeper.com/

https://www.facebook.com/ChampagneJeeper/

https://www.instagram.com/champagnejeeper/

https://twitter.com/ChampagneJeeper

Camille, thank you so much for your time. I loved hearing the stories.

 

Thank you so much!

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