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Profile: AARON FRANCISCO

AARON FRANCISCO 48, General Manager, 111 Chop House, Worcester, MA Rangy, keen-eyed, impulsive, Francisco is senior beverage buyer for multiple award-winning Worcester Restaurant Group’s three destination restaurants.  These brainchildren of owners Robb and Madeleine Ahlquist are: The Sole Proprietor (since 1979), 111 Chop House (1999, where Francisco is also GM),...
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Still River’s Apple Ice Wine

Wade Holtzman must be a jinni to be able to cram the concentrated essence of 😯 apples, nearly a bushel, into one little bottle. Abetted by his wife, Margot, and son, Leif, he manages that feat 96OO times a year at the family’s Still River Winery in Harvard, Massachusetts. The...
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Chardonnay

Because there’s so much drab, unappealing Chardonnay on the market, sometimes we in the business forget what’s made the grape such a powerhouse. Sommeliers in particular seem to bear a collective grudge against our long reigning champion varietal. There are fine restaurants where aversion to Chardonnay’s magnetic appeal is so...
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Summer Beers 2010

Ah, summertime. Hot weather. Baseball games. Trips to the beach. Backyard barbecues. And thirst. What better way to quench that thirst than with an ice-cold beer? Maybe one served in a well-frosted mug. Then again, maybe not. There’s no need to pigeonhole certain beers as being just for summer. “The...
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Selling Vino

Having been invited as a member of the panel in the seminar discussing “The 2OO9 Harvest in Italy: The World Outlook for Italian Wine” at the opulent and well-attended VINO 2O1O, I prepared by stealthily surveying a nonscientifically selected sample of savants selling Italian wines in the US at every...
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Global Travels

Beer tourism is on the rise. As someone who covers the industry, I have spent a lot of time over the past three years traveling to various up and coming beer spots around the world. A decade ago, beer tourists endeavored to travel to Belgium, Germany and Britain to try...
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Endangered Cocktail: Cowboy Buddha

Go for the SilverTequila, Lime and the Margarita  COCKTALE A well-made Margarita is a perfect balance of sweet, sour and earthy – a winning, but endangered, cocktail – and we’re calling on you to help keep its flame burning.  A quality silver tequila, a premium triple sec and, most importantly,...
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Tequila

We’re going to be hearing a lot about tequila this year.  Not only does 2O1O mark the 2OOth anniversary of Mexican independence, but the past few years of growth have set the category up for healthy progress, even in the face of the Great Recession.  With more and more brands...
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