October 18, 2011

October 18, 2011
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Master of fun Marko Karakasevic; photo courtesy of Charbay Winery & Distillery.

By 707 correspondent, Deirdre Bourdet.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last 30 years (or you don’t drink spirits), you have probably heard of ~CHARBAY WINERY & DISTILLERY~ in St. Helena. Miles and Susan Karakasevic began distilling in California in 1983, and their son Marko is the 13th generation of the family to carry on the artisanal fermenting and distilling tradition that originated in Europe in the 1750s. Marko is also a hilarious and awesome dude, completely passionate about his work and the delicious fun it inspires.

Thanks to a new social media platform called ~TOUT SUITE SOCIAL CLUB~, anyone with an internet connection can meet Marko and his artisanal alcohols on Wednesday October 19th at 6pm, when he sits down with le très charmant Didier Loustau over a few drinks featuring Charbay’s creations. All you have to do is become a member of the Social Club—painless, spamless, and completely free—and log on to toutsuite.com at the appointed time to watch Didier’s interview live, as it happens. If you’re inclined, tweet questions and comments to @ToutSocial, or just kick back and watch the magic unfold.

And now … the exclusive opportunity for tablehopper readers!

If you are the fifth person to email Marcia your favorite Charbay product, you and a friend will get to personally attend the Marko event on the 19th at Tout Suite’s headquarters in St. Helena. You’ll watch the interview being filmed from behind the scenes in the green room, then join Marko on the set to taste through some Charbay libations together. He claims he’ll be bringing Charbay Green Tea-spiked lemonade, Charbay Release R5 whiskey, and a 1983 late harvest, fully botrytized, double-fermented sauvignon blanc to share. Yes, please.

If you miss both the in-person visit and the live streaming from 6pm-7pm, you can still watch the show afterwards by accessing the Video Vault section of the Tout Suite website. Since they host tons of artisanal producers, irreverent blind tastings (check out this post for a sense of their style), and other cool food and wine events every week, there is quite a bit of content up there already to browse through.

Other interesting upcoming Tout Suite “events” to consider are: chef-proprietor Jude Wilmoth of Cook Restaurant on Tuesday October 18th, Steve Reynolds of Reynolds Family Winery on Wednesday November 2nd, and Chris Carpenter of La Jota Wines on Tuesday November 8th.

Meet Your Maker: Marko Karakasevic: 6pm-7pm, Wednesday October 19th, free, at toutsuite.com.

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Ubuntu’s famed naked lady sculptures; photo from Ubuntu’s Facebook page.

By 707 correspondent, Deirdre Bourdet.

Michelin-starred ~UBUNTU~ will close for the winter season this year on Monday November 21st, giving the team time to rest, regroup, and reinspire their relentlessly creative vegetarian menus. This is sad news for haute potato lovers, but may create some interesting new opportunities … from Sunday October 23rd until the sabbatical begins, the restaurant’s private dining room will feature special “best of” dinners spotlighting the most beloved Ubuntu menu items, personalized wine pairings, private service staff, and the whole nine yards. During the cold weather closure, the kitchen team will fill the restaurant space with a variety of pop-up concepts, making use of their expanding organic and biodynamic gardens until Ubuntu reopens in spring 2012. Check Ubuntu’s website and Facebook page for updates on the grand tasting dinners and pop-up details. 1140 Main St. near Pearl, Napa, 707-251-5656.