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Age of Agave

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TEQUILA CONNOISSEURSHIP EMERGES, TRANSFORMING IT INTO A SIPPING SPIRIT

BY JEFF CIOLETTI 

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Chardonnay: Back to Basics

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While there is some debate over what is the king of red winegrapes (Cabernet? Nebbiolo?), Chardonnay is the undisputed queen of whites. The most widely planted winegrape in California, it is also clearly the most popular wine in the U.S., with sales increasing every year.

People love Chardonnay because it is generous—full of fruit and then some. It is sometimes called a wine-maker’s grape because it is so moldable; treatment in the vineyard, during fermentation and barrel-aging can dramatically impact style. Which is all the more reason to take a look at what makes this popular wine tick.

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Old Line Spirits' Top Guns

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There's a classic moment in the movie "Top Gun" when pilots Maverick and Goose land their fighter jet, high-five on the runway, and exclaim, "I feel the need … the need for speed!"  Well, former Naval Flight Officers Arch Watkins and Mark McLaughlin have felt the need … the need for mead!  

OK, more specifically the need for whiskey.  They are the co-owners of Old Line Spirits, a craft distillery now up and running in Baltimore and offering small batch whiskey made of 100 percent malted rye.  McLaughlin stated, "Arch and I were friends in the Navy and lovers of fine whiskey.  We met on active duty.  We also spent time in the reserves.  In the reserves, we were in the same squadron.  So, we became closer friends then.  And now we're neighbors in Baltimore.  Arch really couldn't avoid me if he wanted to!"

Watkins added, "Mark went on to be a banker, and I was an engineer.  We enjoyed both careers to a certain extent.  But, at the end of the day, we wanted to own our own company and control the quality of a product going out the door.  That's what makes it fun for us to get up in the morning."

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Boyd Aims to Fill Void

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"To our knowledge, we are the only African-American liquor distributorship in the state.  That in and of itself is unique.  So, you want to build around that.  If you can get a niche in this business, if you can carve something out that's special, then you can be successful."

So said Dr. Gerald Boyd Sr., the principal owner of Legacy Partners Distribution LLC (LPD), during a recent interview with the Beverage Journal.  With many years of entrepreneurial experience, Boyd recognized the need for a small wholesaler that would be built on great customer service in the Washington metro area.  That was three years ago.  Today, LPD is licensed to do business in Maryland, including Montgomery County; Virginia; and Washington, D.C.

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In Memoriam: Edwin R. Malin

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On February 5, 2017, Edwin 'Eddie' R. Malin; beloved husband of Doris Malin and a long-time, highly respected member of the licensed beverage industry departed this world. 

I met Mr. Malin in 1993 shortly after Lee W. Murray, Publisher of the Beverage Journal, hired me ... 'Nice to meet you Mr. Malin.'  "Stop that 'Mr.' stuff, I'm Ed or Eddie.  Either is fine."

Ed (as I became comfortable calling him) was a great person.  But many of you don't need me to tell you that. 

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