Healthy Food Ideas to Cut Back on Fat

Are you looking for good healthy food ideas? Have you tried several recipes that have turned out bad? If so, it’s time for some serious improvement. Let’s face it – everyone needs an occasional change.

Pairing the right foods is key to preparing a tasty meal. When you are a foodie, you already know that food combinations are an integral part of creating a great meal – not to mention the integral pairing of your drink with your entree.

This pairing will give you the most bang for your buck; lean proteins will make you feel full longer, while complex carbohydrates will keep you feeling energetic throughout the evening. These healthy food ideas are especially good for those on a diet, because it allows them to have a well-balanced meal without counting calories. In fact, it is more about eating well and being healthy than about counting calories.

Eat at home. Instead of heading to the drive through window or ordering take-out, make your own healthy dinner from the comfort of your home. You’ll save money and get a quality meal for yourself. Take a few minutes to prepare each of your dishes, and you’ll be able to enjoy your favorite meal within the same day.

Eat out less often. Some of us have a hard time sticking to a healthy diet when we are pressed for time. Whether it’s a family member that keeps coming up with excuses, or you simply don’t have the time to cook healthy meals, you can always try to skip out on one or two times each week to satisfy your hunger. By doing so, you can still enjoy your favorite food at home and still lose weight.

Eat out less. You should not have to skip out on dining out to eat healthy meals, and you can still enjoy the foods you enjoy by cooking healthier versions of your favorite dishes.

Buy healthy items at your grocery store. While the bulk food and prepared foods will cost you less, some healthy food will be considerably cheaper. There are many options available in the local grocery store where you can get items at a fraction of their price.

Eat less. If you love to eat, you need to learn to cut back on the amount you eat. To this end, you should consider eating the foods you are too full to eat (such as chocolate and ice cream) and instead eat healthier choices.

Drink plenty of water. Drinking plenty of water is one of the best healthy food ideas to cut out junk food. The water you drink has the perfect combination of electrolytes, which help to flush your body of toxins, as well as nutrients that help build muscle tissue and help maintain healthy bones.

Drink plenty of green tea. One of the benefits of drinking green tea is that it can give you antioxidants. {which will help fight off free radicals and other pollutants in the blood. You may also find it helpful to drink cranberry tea, which has a lot of antioxidants.

Drink plenty of water. The key to staying full for a long period of time is drinking plenty of water. You will feel full for longer and stay full.

Eat less of the fatty foods. When you have extra fat on your plate, you tend to eat more. This means you eat more calories and end up feeling hungry, making you want to snack.

Choose low fat dairy products like yogurt or cottage cheese. There are many types of these products available, but choose ones with low fat so that you can feel full for longer. This will keep you feeling full for longer and help you enjoy eating more often.

The Best Indoor Games For Kids

Indoor games for kids don’t have to be only board games, card games or pin the tail on the donkey type of games. They can be games that engage the imagination and even help develop cognitive skills. Even simple ones can do this.

If you’re going to have an indoor game family day, there are a few things you want to make sure you have around. Board games are great, but they can get messy. Card games can be messy. Pin the tail on the donkey can get out of hand quickly.

In addition, board games can be boring and repetitive. A good idea is to mix a few of these board games with a couple of games your child doesn’t usually play. For example, if your child likes to draw pictures, playing a board game where you each put together shapes can really help her learn the art of drawing. For the same thing, play a card game that she doesn’t usually like where you get to match a word with the shape your card is made up of.

Another fun activity you can have around is a cooking game. Instead of having a dinner party, have it indoors in your home with games such as “what color is the vegetable?” and “which is the biggest meal?” Games like this are fun because you can get more from them than just the “who’s the winner” part. You’ll be spending some quality time together, you’ll bond, and your child will learn how to plan out her meal ahead of time.

Another good idea for an indoor game for kids would be a game that involves a lot of hands-on activity. For instance, instead of having a simple coloring game that you might have at a friend’s house, try playing a game where your child gets to color pictures using colored paper and crayons. and then put them together using other supplies like beads and paints. If you use crayons, you might find the games much more engaging and teach your child a few new skills while also allowing her to get creative.

Games with more of an educational value are great too. Have the kids create a game chart that has all the activities, and the different rules for each activity on it. The chart might also serve as a map for the family’s journey to a certain destination. This can be fun for older kids who might like to be in charge of their own family vacation.

There are also board games that can be made into games that children really enjoy. For instance, pretend soccer is a great way to play games that involve physical activity and creativity. There are also games that are interactive that you can make with your child using their favorite characters like Barbie and her friends or Sponge Bob and his friends.

When you get tired of just playing board games all the time, try something more out of hand when it comes to games for kids. Get some games that have a little bit of both and have your kids come up with their own ideas for how to play. When you combine those with some imaginative games, it’s a lot more fun for kids to have fun.

Board games have a lot of educational value to help kids improve their problem solving skills as well as help them develop creative thinking skills. Board games like monopoly can help kids figure out where their money is going by getting them to think outside of the box. Other games can help kids think logically by showing them that it’s not always best to get everything right away. Board games with simple puzzles and word games can help make kids learn to work on their problem solving skills without taking up too much time.

Board games aren’t the only option when it comes to games for kids. You can also get some really fun and educational games like matching games and musical chairs. You can also get some fun activities like a scavenger hunt with a twist. where the kids have to match up letters on a piece of paper and come up with words that match the letters on the paper.

And remember, whatever you choose, make sure it’s fun. Most games will get old quick if you keep putting them on the table. And if you do that, your kid may start to dislike the fact that you are playing them. That’s one of the things that you want to avoid when you have kids because the last thing you want is for your kid to hate you.

Things to Consider For Golf Indoor Games

The great thing about golf is that it is available to play almost every day of the year. There are many great golf clubs and golf accessories that are available for people to buy and this is a good thing because these can provide the extra excitement that many people want when playing their favorite sport. However, there are some factors that should be considered before buying a new set of clubs or accessories for your game.

The first good thing to consider is what type of game you are looking to play. For example, there are many different types of golf clubs that can be used by the golfer and this includes woods, irons, hybrids and drivers. Some people prefer to use only one type of club while others prefer to use all of them at one time. This depends on the type of shots they want to make.

The second good thing to do is to consider which type of clubs that you have. This is because some people like to switch back and forth between different types of clubs because they can easily find one that they feel comfortable with and then they can begin playing different styles of golf.

Another thing to consider is the type of driving that you are going to be doing. There are many different types of drives that you can do, but one of the most common is the putter and this is a very important piece of equipment because this is the one that you will be hitting to the ball to try to hit it to the hole.

The next important thing to consider is to look into what kind of greens are available. When playing any type of golf, especially indoor games, it is very important to have a clean and well-maintained green because it can make a difference in the number of strokes that a golfer can make during the game. One way to make sure that you are playing a clean and well-kept green is to have a professional mower come out and do this for you.

The final thing to think about is the size of the course. If you are playing in an area where there is a lot of water around the course, then a smaller course is best because it will provide more space for the golfer to move around and also make it easier for them to get out of trouble quickly.

Another important thing to consider is the rules of the game and this is something that will determine the kind of rules that are used by many different players of the game. This is because there are many different types of rules that are used so it is important to determine what type of rules will be followed in order to ensure that the course remains a safe place for everyone.

There are many more important things that can be considered when deciding on the perfect set of clubs and accessories for your game, but these are a few of the most important things to consider. You should also know that there are many other factors that can be used to improve your overall golfing experience and this includes the rules and the kind of environment that are used in the course. These factors are important for both the player and the environment that the game takes place in.

There is a wide variety of golf courses out there so you should be able to find one that will work well for your particular game. Just because a certain type of golf game has not been played at that particular course for a long period of time does not mean that it is not good for the game. There are many golf courses that have been played for hundreds of years and these provide a great learning and practice facility for experienced players of the game as well as helping to maintain the quality of the game in a new environment.

Golf is a game that can be played in many different settings. It can be played at a country club that has 18-holes of golf courses or it can be played in a hotel that has tennis courts, sand bunkers and even a water park.

There are many different factors to consider when choosing the right type of setting for a game of golf and it is essential that you are able to determine which one would be best suited for you. If you are looking for a way to enjoy the great outdoors without ever leaving the comfort of your own home then you might want to consider playing in a country club.

Things to Look Out For in Indoor Sport Activities

Indoor sport games are an excellent way to keep your children out of the hot sun, but still having fun. Batting cages, basketball courts, karate schools, swimming pools or gymnastics studios are some wonderful ideas for keeping your youth busy, while you get on with your own daily chores and the day’s work.

Batting cages provide a safe, controlled, outdoor activity where your child can learn the skills and confidence needed to avoid injury when playing baseball or softball in the backyard. By using the equipment provided in a good quality cage you can train your child how to avoid hitting a ball in the air and landing it on the ground, as well as helping him develop balance and coordination and making sure he hits it the right way.

Swimming is also a good option as an indoor sports activity for young kids, and can be very good fun as well. With a wide variety of pool sizes and shapes and materials you can find one to suit your needs.

Pool slides allow your children to go down into the depths of the pool without the risk of drowning, and they give them a good opportunity to practice their hand to eye coordination and strength. You may also decide to offer your child a water balloon race or go-karting session. All of these activities will help develop their balance and coordination, so you will have nothing to worry about.

Karting provides an Adrenalin rush for children, especially if they win. There are various types of karts, and some have very realistic effects and sounds. This is a fun way for them to bond with others and show off their skills.

Another indoor sport game that can be enjoyed by the entire family is a game called ‘scoop and run’. This is a classic game of hide and seek, and is easy enough for any young child to play, without having to ask much guidance.

You will also need to have a variety of games to provide entertainment for them. Games such as paintball and tennis are good choices as there is usually no risk involved, but it is still important that they learn to share and cooperate with others in the family.

As mentioned above, these games are fun and they give kids the chance to work together in a team to achieve their goals. These activities will help them to develop self confidence and teamwork, so they are an ideal learning environment. and one that will last them a long time.

Indoor activity centres are a great source of ideas and fun. You can find lots of information online. They can be a lot of fun for the whole family and provide plenty of entertainment for each individual child. Whether they are at the center or in the community, they all have the same goal in mind – to help children grow and learn.

If you are looking for a location that offers indoor activity centres, then you can easily search the internet. Many of these centres are located close to your home, and are near to a school, college, hospital, or park. If you are not close, you may be able to find one close to you.

The cost of playing these sport activities can vary widely. They can range from free to a few dollars. If you want to spend some money, you can find something that is a bit more expensive than you would like.

To determine whether or not you should spend money, look online at all of the indoor activity centres that are available. Compare the prices to determine which ones are most suitable for your needs. It is a good idea to find out what types of activities they offer, as well as their age group.

For example, you should make sure that the indoor activity centre you choose offers games that are age appropriate for your child. Make sure that they will allow you to invite your child to join other members of the family, and that the activities they provide will help them grow and develop their individual talents.

How To Make Your Home Basketball Game A Success

#1 pick for the ultimate indoor/outdoor game is the Wilson Evolution Outdoor Basketball. This one will give you a smooth, solid feel on concrete and no longer worry about your basketball ball slipping away on pavement or having to lug an especially slippery basketball outdoor ball in and out of the garage. The Wilson brand has been around for many years, making top-rated basketball equipment for both kids and adults.

Outdoor Basketball can be played indoors, outdoors, or somewhere in between. It’s ideal for kids, because it gives them an opportunity to play basketball while being active outside, which is good for their growing bodies. And if you live in a humid area or live in a place where there is a lot of humidity or rain or wind, the indoor/outdoor design allows your basketball to breathe easily. You’ll appreciate this even more when playing indoors with kids.

There are two basic variations of an indoor/outdoor game, including a full-court indoor game and a half-court indoor game. You can choose the style that’s most convenient for your kids. In a full-court basketball game, the court is set up just as you would in an actual basketball court except it includes two ends so the players can run up and down the half court without touching any of the basketball hoops.

But when you play your basketball indoors, you can set up the half court in your home and just add one end. So now you have a basketball court right on your front lawn, and you’re ready to get down with a little bit of exercise and get some extra energy for the day.

So whether you play an indoor basketball game or not, there’s something about being able to play indoors that’s fun for everyone. In fact, many people even recommend that kids play basketball indoors for a while before they move on to more strenuous outdoor games because it makes it easier for them to get into a workout. Plus, if your kids are going to do something outside, you know that you’ve done something for them that also gives them the opportunity to get fit.

But the most important thing to remember is that playing an indoor game is still much more fun than playing outdoors. If you’re not sure about what type of basketball game to try, go with the Evolution brand or other brands such as the Nike Elite series because you’re guaranteed to find something that your kids will love. and that you can enjoy playing with your family.

Also, if you’re wondering about buying indoor basketball basketballs for kids, you can browse online stores and see what other parents have to say about the products. That way, you’ll be able to read what other parents have to say about the product that you’re considering. If you have the space, it would be even better to check out a store that has basketballs available so you can compare prices before actually buying.

So next time you’re asking yourself how to have a basketball-playing experience, ask yourself what you want to try at home first, an indoor game or an outdoor game. And if you can’t find a way to get it in your backyard, think about what you’d like to have when you go for an outdoor game.

Now that you’ve decided whether you want to try an outdoor game or an indoor game, you should decide how you can improve your skills and techniques for a basketball game. For example, you might want to improve your hand-eye coordination and vertical jumps, or you might want to work on your overall skills and technique.

You should also be prepared to spend a lot of time on an indoor game because you’re going to spend much more time than you would on a basketball outdoors. You can go online to search for basketball games that will help you learn new skills and tips, but before you invest the money on a basketball-game DVD or online class, you might want to check out other online resources, such as magazines or books, to learn more about basketball.

You should also consider the temperature and humidity of the place where you’re going to play basketball indoors. For example, if you’re going to play in the summer, then you need to make sure that the basketballs you choose for your game don’t have a very high moisture content. It’s always a good idea to bring along extra basketballs just in case and to make sure that you’re properly covered with sweat protection gear.

Top 10 Best Indoor Sports

The topmost of the popular indoor sports list is indoor soccer which is paid between two opposing teams consisting of five players all on a circular court of rectangular-shaped size. For this sport to be completed in an exciting way, the players are required to be of equal heights, be agile in jumping and passing the ball and have the ability to defend the other team. To throw the ball into a circle of rectangular-shaped hoop which is fixed 10 feet high above the floor is the main goal of soccer. In order to accomplish this, the players are required to use their upper and lower body and coordination is also required. Soccer is one of the most loved sports all over the world and every school student has taken up this sport.

With this kind of sports, the players play an important role in bringing the school spirit to a high level. There are many schools throughout the United States who hire basketball trainers to teach the students’ various skills required for basketball. To help the players improve the level of basketball abilities, coaches usually take them on indoor games and give them tips about various techniques and tips on how to make it better. There are many types of indoor basketball shoes available in the market, so there are many options to choose from depending upon the needs and the budget of the individual player.

The game of indoor sport requires a lot of concentration and the players are required to be agile and quick to execute the strategies properly. They should also be well coordinated and have good foot skills as well. However, not all players can perform in such an intense level of game. In order to maintain a proper level of concentration and make sure that the game does not become too much difficult, these players should be provided with various kinds of sports balls.

A sports ball should be chosen carefully. Since this is a competitive sport, every player should have a sports ball of equal weight and size in order to give the best performance. However, some players prefer playing basketball which require smaller-sized balls to give them the advantage of being able to catch the ball and throw it at the opponents who are of a larger size and strength. The other advantage which the players get out of using a sports ball is that they can practice different positions and thus learn new techniques.

Balls of all sizes are available in the market and manufacturers of these balls have come out with several designs and styles so that they will fit well to all types of court and can be used in various different situations. The cost of a particular ball will differ according to the brand and to the brand of courts where the player is going to use it. It is also very important to consider the price when selecting a particular ball because the more expensive it is, the more expensive it becomes. It is also advisable to check if it has any kind of warranty period or protection feature attached to it. This is very important because there are many reasons why a sports ball can be ruined and if it is ruined, then the person who owns the ball cannot claim any financial losses. So, buying a sports ball which is expensive but durable, and expensive is better than buying a cheaper one which is not durable at all.

An interesting aspect of sports ball is that you can buy it online because online shops often offer special offers such as discounted prices and free shipping which means that even if the sports ball is purchased from them, the person cannot be charged for it. There are many online shops, which are dedicated to offer cheap sports balls to attract people who want to purchase them. There are also stores which will ship the balls for free as well so the person buying one will be saved both time and money.

3 Reasons Why Healthy Food is Good For You

Are you looking for the best reasons why healthy food is good for you? While weight control is a popular reason why you may consider eating healthy, there are many other benefits to eating healthy food. If you want to understand more about what this means for your body, take a moment to review the following information.

The Benefits of Eating Healthy Foods for Weight Control. It is easy to see why you should take the time to eat healthy when you think about all the weight-loss benefits it can have. Weight loss is often a major reason that you may consider eating healthy but this alone is just one of the many benefits that come along with eating healthy food.

In addition to helping you shed pounds, eating healthy food is also good for you because it helps keep your body healthy. By eating healthy foods, you will improve your digestive system and you will get a better night’s sleep. This will help you feel better throughout the day and sleep at night which will help you to be better able to deal with life’s demands.

The Benefits of Eating Healthy Foods For Weight Control. Eating healthy does not just help you lose weight but it is also good for your heart. Heart disease is known to be an increase in risk for people who do not eat healthy foods. Eating healthy helps to lower the amount of cholesterol that builds up in your blood which helps to reduce your risk for heart disease.

Another benefit of eating healthy is that it can also help you stay healthy during pregnancy. The effects of having a baby on your health can be drastic so it is important to pay attention to what you are doing to your body and make sure that you are taking in the proper nutrients that your baby needs. Eating foods that are high in vitamins and minerals will also be important to your baby’s health.

In addition to the many reasons that eating healthy is good for you, it is important to know how to cook healthy foods so that they are easy to prepare. The last thing you want to do is spend your time chopping up vegetables and fruits only to find that your healthy food takes longer to prepare than you would prefer. When you are cooking healthy foods, remember to use ingredients that are low in calories but high in nutrition. You want your food to be flavorful but not so flavorful that it will give your stomach acid reflux.

Why Healthy Food is Good for You. Many of us enjoy eating healthy food on a regular basis but there are times when we need to go to extremes to help our bodies get the right amount of nutrients we need. If you eat too much junk food or eat too much fat, you may find that your body is not getting all the nutrients that it needs to function properly. There are many different foods that are high in calories that you can eat in order to ensure that your body is getting everything that it needs.

Avoiding these foods will help you avoid health complications like high cholesterol and heart disease. Eating healthy foods will keep your heart healthy by keeping your body properly hydrated, reducing your chances of becoming overweight and developing certain cancers, improving your digestion and improving your digestive system and reducing your risk for various types of cancer. By eating a wide variety of healthy foods you will have an easier time living your life and enjoying all that food has to offer.

Why the best gardens start from a little seed and How to do it

I used to begin every winter flipping through the pages of my favorite mail-order seed catalogues, and dreaming dreams of horticultural bounty. Then, reality would set in. Who was I kidding? Me, grow plants from seed? I knew huge numbers of rare and exotic plants were only available if you grew them yourself from seeds, but I forced myself to be contented with the same mundane species everyone else was bringing back from the garden center. A few years ago, I started working on the public television series “The Victory Garden”. Slowly, being exposed to so many wonderful new plants instilled in me a newfound courage. Maybe I could buck up and give seed sowing a try myself With Michael Weishan, our host, and Kip Anderson, our Victory Garden gardener, as my guides, I decided to enter the world of growing my own plants from seed.

Growing my own plants from seedSome definitions If you are venturing into the world of seeds for the first time, start, with annual flowers and vegetables. While other plant types including perennials (even trees and shrubs for that matter) can be started from seed, the process is often more complicated and requires a vastly longer time frame. Annuals are quick and easy, providing a wealth of color and bounty the first year. It’s important to understand that annuals fall into two groups: “hardy annuals”–such as peas and sunflowers–that can and should be planted directly outside; and “tender annuals” such as petunias, begonias, and peppers–which by and large are actually perennials in their native tropics, and need a much longer growing season to come to fruition than we can provide outdoors here in the North. Thus, we traditionally cheat by starting these plants early indoors. Here’s how.

Get organized

Most annuals should be started beginning six to eight weeks before the last frost. This can vary considerably, however, and it pays to organize your seeds by planting time before you start. Here at the Victory Garden, Kip has created a customized box for sorting the hundreds of scents we start each year, but a simple shoebox might suit your purposes. To ensure the best possible germination, keep your packets away from heat and moisture until you’re ready to sow.

The Victory Garden method

we have a victory garden

Fill your sterile trays right up to the rim using soilless mix; water it heavily and allow to drain. This process helps get rid of air pockets, provides a firm foundation onto which you sow your seeds, and diminishes the chance that you will wash them away.

Next, using a pencil or your finger, make small depressions into which you’ll press the seeds. Seeds are generally sown at a depth two to four times the diameter of the seeds. If you’re planting tiny, almost dustlike seeds, such as wax begonias, simply scatter them on the surface of the soil without covering them.

Heat counts

Once the sowing is complete, create a greenhouse effect by immediately covering your flats using plastic–domes, bags, or wrap–to seal in moisture and prevent surface desiccation. Keep the growing medium warm, somewhere between 65[degrees] and 75[degrees]F. We use readily available thermostatically controlled electric “heating pads.” called propagation mats, but you could also keep your flats in a warm place such as the top of the refrigerator.

Let there be light

Consult individual seed packets or a reliable guide to see whether or not your seeds require light during the germination process. Some prefer total dark until the actual plantlets emerge from the soil. At the Victory Garden, we grow most of ore seeds in a small greenhouse, though fluorescent lights on a timer in a heated garage or basement will work equally well. Just make sure the lights are quite dose (about four inches) to the surface of the soil in order to discourage spindly plants. Lights must remain on for 14 to 16 hours a day, with a period of complete darkness at night. Remember to water occasionally, especially as the seedlings emerge. Don’t allow the trays to dry out completely.

Survival of the fittest

When your seedlings haw’ grown to an inch or so tall, carefully weed out any weak-looking ones to prevent overcrowding. As you pull out the weaker shoots, press the soil surrounding the stronger seedlings back into place. If you are growing your plants in six-paks, remove all but the healthiest one or two plants: if they are in a community container, remove or snip out enough plants to provide even spacing and room for growth. Remove the clear covers at this time as well, and continue to water as needed.

Time for the great outdoors

Once the seedlings have begun to mature, prepare them for the great outdoors. You can’t just throw them out into the cold, however–they need (as we all do) time to adapt to their new surroundings. If you haven’t used six-paks, you’ll need to transplant your seedlings now into individual containers. If you have, transfer the plants directly into a south-facing cold frame for a couple of weeks where they will have time to acclimate. If you don’t have a cold flame, you can build your own (for instructions, visit our Web site at clgardener.com) or jury-rig a simple one using four bales of hay placed in a square, with an old window as the cover. Prop the lid open during sunny days, or your young plants will cook. Gradually remove the cover for a few more hours each day until your plants are hardened off, and transplant them into the garden affect all danger of frost is past.

These days, I drink nothing of starting my annuals from seed. and this year I’m even thinking about venturing into the world of starting my own perennials. Isn’t it amazing what a little good information, and a bit of gardening courage, can inspire?

ON YOUR MARK, GET SET …

A good workspace

It’s important to have an area to work in with easy access to water, and where you’ll not be afraid of getting a little dirt on the floor.

Ample containers

Your seeds can be sown in almost any kind of well-cleaned pot or plastic tray for later transplanting into individual cells or pots, or directly into the latter. Here at the Victory Garden, we use plastic trays with 6-pak cell inserts that come with clear plastic domes; these can be found at most garden centers. This eliminates the need for secondary transplanting.

Soilless mix

You’ll need a reliable brand of sterile soilless mix (so called because it doesn’t contain soil at all, but rather a mixture of peat moss and vermiculite). Avoid ordinary garden soil since it may contain spores of damping-off and other diseases, and also can easily become waterlogged and drown your seedlings.

Labels

Wooden garden labels

You’ll also want to have a handful of labels on hand, so you’re not relying on your long-term memory. Inexpensive wooden labels, and an indelible marker, work well for this job.

The Monterey Wine Festival

Distinguished by an increased emphasis on marketing, the 1987 Monterey Wine Festival brought together 1,100 attendees and more than 200 California wineries in the nation’s largest and most comprehensive wine event, March 8 to 11, in Monterey, CA.

Restaurateurs, retailers, distributors, and consumers participated in three premier wine tastings, daily luncheons with prestigious winemakers, and educational sessions by some of the biggest names in wine. Attendees also were on hand for historic firsts, the first Advanced Sommelier Course and Master Sommelier Examination held in America, and the subsequent certification of the nation’s first woman Master Sommelier.

NEW SPONSOR

This year’s festival was bigger and better due to an important change in leadership. The National Restaurant Association (NRA) brought its resources and convention experience to Monterey, succeeding the 10-year sponsorship of the Monterey Peninsula Hotel and Restaurant Association, by unanimous agreement of the boards of directors of both groups. The event, formerly known as the California Wine Festival, suffered declining attendance in recent years, due to poor programming, a policy which excluded many wineries from participating, and competition from other festivals, according to wine industry sources.

The NRA increased the number of exhibiting wineries from 100 to more than 200 and strengthened the educational program. It also made the event more convenient for restaurateurs and retailers by switching the dates from early December to March. Providing access to key winery figures was another priority. Winery owners, presidents, and winemakers participated in the evening tastings, which featured sparkling and dessert wines as well as red and white varieties. They poured their wines, mingled, and answered attendees’ questions.

Ted Balestreri, co-owner of The Sardine Factory restaurant in Monterey and immediate past president of the NRA, was instrumental in achieving NRA sponsorship. “This is what it takes to put wine on the map,” he said, observing hundreds of attendees tasting red wines in the Monterey Conference Center ballroom. “We’ve got the wines and the people, and now we have the way to broker wine to the public without all the mystique.”

The Monterey Wine Festival 01

TASTE OF MONTEREY

The opening night reception at the Monterey Bay Aquarium set the tone for the festival–an informal gathering marked by the warm welcome of the wine and hospitality industries. Attendees would spend the next three days enjoying fine wines and food as well as increasing their knowledge. Chefs of local restaurants and hotels presented “A Taste of the Monterey Peninsula” in the Aquarium, reserved that evening for the festival. It was a lavish array of local specialties such as chicken in roast garlic cream sauce, artichokes with red pepper mayonnaise, and the peninsula’s smoked shellfish and prawns. Vintners poured more than 100 selections, including California sparkling wines in a variety of styles, plus late-harvest Rieslings, ports, and propietary dessert wines. The Aquarium’s renowned marine life collection provided the evening’s entertainment. Sharks, bat rays, wolf eels, and scores of other sea creatures glided by in their realistic habitat exhibits as attendees strolled and sipped.

Educational presentations offered choices for a range of interests. A panel of distinguished California winemakers explored the various styles of Cabernet Sauvignon produced in California, Bordeaux, the Loire, and Italy. The technically-minded delved into a discourse by a University of California-Davis enology professor on research developments such as improved yeast genetics. Lighter sessions such as “Wine Through Art” and “Entertaining By Women In Wine” balanced the program.

MARKETING

Sessions on wine marketing for restaurateurs drew crowds. Three nationally-recognized restaurant professionals discussed their successful merchandising programs in a panel chaired by Michael Hurst of 15th Street Fisheries in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, himself an award-winning owner-operator. Thad Eure, Jr., owner of The Angus Barn restaurant, Raleigh, NC, spoke about wine displays and other methods he used to sell $500,000 in wine last year, including placing a bottle on each table in his 550-seat restaurant. Donald Monette, owner of The Flagstaff House Restaurant, Boulder, CO, spoke in favor of half bottles of wine for marketing flexibility. His award-winning wine list has 75 half bottles. Mary Ross, cellarmaster of The 95th Restaurant in Chicago, discussed special tastings and wine symposia that make a restaurant a destination for the knowledgeable wine customer.

A presentation by Restaurant Business wine columnist Edmund Osterland, America’s first certified Master Sommelier in 1973, focused on staff training as a remedy for low wine sales in restaurants. His program of sales and service training combined with wine tasting practice eliminates the “product ignorance, low self-confidence, and poor merchandising skills” by which he defines the poor wine salesperson. “Wine Lists Made Easy” by wine consultant and fellow Master Sommelier Ronn Wiegand of Napa, CA, covered the style of wine lists, selection of wines, pricing theory, and the merits of private labeling.

FOOD TRENDS

A panel discussion on American cuisine trends, moderated by former Restaurant Business editor Joan Black Bakos, brought together three of California’s top culinarians, Bradley Ogden, Cindy Pawlcyn, and Piero Selvaggio. The trio reached consensus on the continuing importance of fresh ingredients and regional-ethnic cooking styles in the American kitchen. They also looked forward to greater use of hot peppers and spices, herb-infused and flavored oils and vinegars in sauces, dressings, and marinades, and Asian techniques and ingredients.

Bradley Ogden, executive chef of Campton Place Hotel, San Francisco, predicted success for bistro-style concepts giving the customer a wide variety of tastes. His own kitchen splits and combines orders for no extra charge. Ogden also called for “more straightforward food and better price-value” for a discerning public.

Pawlcyn, executive chef/owner of San Francisco’s Fog City Diner and two other California restaurants, Rio Grill in Carmel and Mustards in the Napa Valley, noted, “a definite increase in hot foods, both in the Mexican genre and Thai cooking.” She added that she now finds available a wide variety of chili peppers, including anchos, pasillas, fire chilies, and Thai peppers. Pawlcyn combines hot ingredients with Asian elements in eclectic dishes such as swordfish flavored with jalapeno pepper, cilantro, and lemon grass.

Selvaggio, owner of a pair of Italian restaurants, Valentino in Santa Monica, CA, and Primi in Los Angeles, agreed with his colleagues that dining on a variety of small dishes remains in vogue, although he declared the word “grazing” passe, and likewise “yuppie.” Also receiving his thumbs-down was Cajun food: “The poor fish cannot be blackened any more.” He predicted that restaurants with convenient service hours and diverse menus will do well. “People are coming to restaurants whenever they want to eat, for whatever they want to eat,” he said.

Most restaurant operators spoke highly of the festival’s organization and content. A common complaint bemoaned choosing between appealing educational sessions offered concurrently. “Some of the presentations were so good, it was hard to decide where to go,” said Bob Rohden, general manager of Geja’s Cafe in Chicago. “I wish I could have seen more. I would have liked one more day, and repeats on some of the sessions I missed.”

Mitch Berman, food and beverage director of Embassy Square Suites in Washington, DC, said he came to Monterey in search of wines for the company’s new American cuisine restaurant which will debut this summer. “It was great to go to one place and have so much access to owners, winemakers, and their wine,” he said. “Trying to get that much information and tasting from your local distributors would take months.”

Robert Lahrman, manager of St. Elmo’s Steak House in Indianapolis, IN, found two new Cabernets and a late-harvest Riesling for his 130-bottle wine list, one of the city’s largest. He praised the hospitality. “Everyone was so friendly and outgoing, inviting you to private tastings and winery tours, treating you like a VIP. There was very little hard-sell.”

Rohden added that the festival gave him an opportunity to meet new people, renew relationships, and accumulate anecdotes as well as new labels for the customers of Geja’s, a 100-seat basement spot with a fondue menu and a commitment to wine merchandising. “Just to be able to mention “this wine I first tasted at the Monterey Wine Festival’ indicates that we’re out looking for new things, keeping abreast.”

MASTER SOMMELIER

The American debut of the Master Sommelier examination program was a coup for the nation’s wine identity. Invited by the NRA, the British Court of Master Sommeliers conducted the course work and testing for the first time outside London at a nearby Monterey location during the festival. Five British Master Sommeliers presided along with four American Masters: Osterland, Wiegand, Fred Dame of Monterey, and David O’Connor of San Francisco.

Eighteen candidates from restaurants, hotels, and the wine trade, selected on the strength of their resumes, took the Advanced Sommelier Course, an intensive review of wine theory and practice. Five passed on to the grueling three-part Master Sommelier diploma examination. The first part consisted of questions on the service of wine, sherry, port, Cognac, and cigars. The second part tested worldwide viticultural theory. In the final part, the candidates were asked to identify a selection, of wines by vintage, origin, variety, and shipper in a blind tasting.

The sole successful candidate, sommelier Madeline Triffon of The London Chop House in Detroit, MI, became the first American woman Master Sommelier and the sixth American overall. Triffon said she was very honored and surprised to have earned the diploma. “The program far exceeded by expectations,” she said. “The course work was terrific. It was such an opportunity to learn from the British Masters who were here.” In England, only 10 candidates are accepted for testing yearly, and only one or two will pass.

Bringing the prestigious program to America was the idea of Fred Dame, The Sardine Factory’s cellarmaster and resident Master Sommelier, and co-owner Ted Balestreri. “This program makes the job of sommelier/wine steward a profession,” says Dame, who traveled to London to earn his diploma in 1984. He likened the exam to “the Mt. Everest of the sommelier profession.”

Organizing a wine tasting

A successful wine promotion can be as small as a tasting lunch for a group of local wine and food lovers or as grand as an 80-wine, 1200-person tasting such as the one Meadowood Country Club hosts each summer during the Napa Valley Wine Auction.

ORGANIZING A WINE TASTING

A wine event can have widely different goals, from focusing press attention on your restaurant, hotel, or club to bringing in new customers and generating excitement among your existing clientele.

But no matter what its size or who it’s for, a wine event is never as easy to organize as it sounds.

WORTH THE TROUBLE

Don’t let that stop you. Because when it’s done right, a wine tasting is one of the trendiest, most successful methods for building business and establishing a sophisticated reputation at the same time. “Promotionally, wine tastings are worth every bit of work they take,’ says Barry Mills, cellarmaster at New York City’s Windows On The World, unquestionably one of the country’s leading wine-oriented restaurants with $2.5 million in wine sales per year. “Each time the press mentions that an existing tasting is taking place at Windows On The World, it enhances our reputation as a serious restaurant committed to the best in food and wine.’

Wine events are, of course, no longer new. Restaurants such as Windows On The World or hotels such as San Francisco’s Stanford Court have been mounting tastings for years. But the majority of restaurants, clubs and hotels still haven’t tried the idea.

“It’s surprising to me that more restaurants don’t do tastings because they’re a perfect promotional and educational opportunity and customers love them,’ says Richard Lavin, owner of 100-seat Lavin’s in New York City, now in its fourth year of Invite-The-Winemaker luncheons. About 40 winemakers and winery owners a year pour their wine at Lavin’s midtown Manhattan restaurant.

“A lot of restaurants, clubs and hotels in California and New York will host tastings,’ stresses Michaela Rodeno, vice president, communications for the sparkling wine firm Domaine Chandon. “But as a winery, we’d like to see tastings done in other cities around the country.’

Rodeno says this has already begun to happen. (Domaine Chandon began a program of “wine training staff seminars’ for restaurants and hotels a year and a half ago and has done more than 125 of these seminars for the trade thus far.)

Now that some pioneering restaurateurs have broken the ice, other restaurants are adapting past successes– and avoiding past mistakes–in creating their own wine events. By knowing what’s worked for others in the past, you can tailor a wine tasting to fit your own business needs, which will give added thrust to your existing promotional activities.

NOT JUST FOR SNOBS

The first myth to erase from your mind is that wine events are somber affairs that take place in staid settings. The restaurants and hotels that do the best tastings have one thing in common: They all make the experience casual and fun.

Lavin’s Invite-The-Winemaker program is an example. At lunch (two seatings), every customer is given complimentary 2-ounce “tastes’ of two different wines from a single winery. The visiting winemaker or winery principal (Lavin does not invite wine sales reps) is on hand to introduce himself and chat briefly–and informally –with customers.

“I often walk around with the winemaker,’ explains Lavin. “Generally, we just ask customers “Which wine do you prefer?’–not “Do you like wines?’ This isn’t a wine class. We don’t want to put our customers or the winemaker on the spot. As a restaurant, we want people to enjoy themselves; and we don’t want to be pretentious.’

The visiting winemaker’s wines–besides being offered as “tastes’–are also featured by the glass and are availability by the bottle. At the same time, the regular selection of wines by the glass and bottle is available so customers don’t feel compelled to order the featured winemaker’s wine if they’d prefer to drink something they are already familiar with.

KEEP IT CASUAL

Casualness is equally important when a hotel restaurant does a wine tasting. At New York City’s year-and-a-half-old Novotel Hotel, wine tastings in the Wine Bistro are stand-up, impromptu, and complimentary. And, they are open to hotel guests and general public alike. “We don’t want to have businesslike tastings,’ says food and beverage manager Richard Chanofsky. “We’re trying to do something different and we’re not just looking at the hotel market. We want to create a new era for hotels by encouraging business from hotel guests, local business people, and city residents.

The Novotel tastings are held several times a month, always on “slow’ (Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday) evenings. A tasting table is set up near the bar and anyone in the hotel is encouraged to wander in for complimentary tastes. A winery representative is on hand to pour and talk about the wine. “Depending on when a customer walks in, he might be offered anything from three different Cabernets to new releases from a boutique California winery,’ says Chanofsky. The tastings, he adds, have acted as “a profitable venture,’ because they encourage other wine sales. Incidentally, the complimentary tastes offered at the tasting table are provided by the winery, not purchased by the hotel.

LOGISTICS

There are two basic types of wine tastings: stand-up and sit-down. Stand-up tastings are generally for larger groups of people. They’re also best when you want to stage an event that is as much social as it is serious.

Sit-down tastings are more structured and generally more academic. That doesn’t mean they’re less fun– simply that the tasting has a purpose and the tasters have a goal. “Some of the best sit-down tastings involve a dinner,’ says Richard Lavin. “We did one tasting dinner with vintages going back to 1946 as aperitifs, then we matched the winery’s new releases to a multi-course dinner–all new American cuisine.

A stand-up tasting of old wines and new releases wouldn’t have been as exciting. The sit-down tasting dinner put the wines in perspective and gave the tasting meaning.’

Whether your tasting is sit-down or stand-up, the most innocuous details can be devastating when they’re overlooked, so plan carefully. “I remember a tasting in a hotel ballroom where the hotel staff had shampooed the carpet the night before,’ says Michael Rodeno. “The place reeked so strongly of chemical solvent, no one could taste the wine.’
Hosting a wine tasting party

OVERLOOKED DETAILS

Sometimes even obvious details–like having enough corkscrews–are overlooked or neglected. At the pre-auction Napa Valley tasting that Meadowood Country Club hosts each year, 80 vintners pour their wines for 1,200 people on the club’s fairway. Because the event is large and held outdoors, it requires a significant amount of organization and has a chairman who begins planning nearly a year in advance. Most of the tasters strolling along the green on that summer evening have no idea of the behind-the-scenes details that make the event a success. For instance, parked and camouflaged on the perimeter of the fairway is a refrigerated milk truck hooked up to a generator to make sure all the white wines remain properly chilled throughout the evening.

PROPER TRAINING

Besides attention to detail, the establishments that put on successful tastings say the most basic necessity is a well-trained staff. “Eighty percent of our wine sales are due to staff training,’ says Windows’ Barry Mills. “We couldn’t do 800-person stand-up tastings such as the New York Wine Experience without a well-trained staff.’

Staff training is your responsibility, but wineries are often willing to help. Many wineries offer operators free-of-charge staff training seminars to help restaurants promote their products. “We go to the restaurant or hotel and teach the staff how to encourage wine sales and conduct wine events,’ says Rodeno. “It’s basic stuff and we make it fun.’

If you’re thinking about hosting a wine event and you’d like to have a winery involved, remember that you have something valuable to offer. Groups of vintners that tour the U.S.–such as the Napa Valley Wine Forum–are always looking for new restaurants and hotels to display their wines and hold events. By having a reputation for good food and good service, you’ll be noticed by wine distributors and others in the industry that report back to the wineries. You may even want to write several wineries directly, suggesting a tasting.

But whether a tasting has a participating winery or not, the bottom line is the same–successful wine tastings are a proven way to enhance your image and build your business.