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Simply Served

Simply Served is a weekly source of information
that covers all things
related to liquor, wine and beer.

Simply Served

Pax Mahle

Apr 18, 2016 1:44:39 PM

Pax Mahle of Wind Gap

Meet acclaimed winemaker Pax Mahle of Wind Gap and Pax Wines! Mahle was a sommelier on the East Coast who took a job in 1997 as a corporate wine buyer on the West Coast. After a few years Pax decided it was time to make a brand of his own. His wines were big and bold expressions of Syrah and he was quickly established as one of California's premiere producers of syrah. After some partner issues Pax Wine Cellars was put on hold for a few years where Pax and his wife Pam began their brand, Wind Gap. Wind Gap became a great success and was quickly taken to the next level.

Luckily on April 27th there is a great opportunity to meet Pax Mahle and taste his wines. Enjoy a wine dinner at Oak and learn more about Pax and his adventures. View the full menu.

0 Comments | Posted in 0 By Kat Davis

#WCW Bessie Williamson

Apr 13, 2016 4:36:20 PM

Bessie Williamson

Bessie Williamson was born in 1910, the daughter of a French gunner who died eight years later. In 1932, she graduated from the University of Glasgow with a degree in education, and took a job at the Laphroaig distillery. It was intended to be a stepping-stone position for her, before she could fulfill her dream of becoming a teacher. Her drive and tenacity had an immediate impact on the company, and within five years, she was the full time manager of the entire distilleries operations.

By the time of the Second World War, distilleries all over Scotland were faced with the threat of theft and looting, as Scottish military leaders sought to use distilling facilities for storage and training purposes. Williamson was credited with holding off those pressures, and keeping the Laphroaig distillery profitable in the midst of chaos. She inherited the controlling shares of the distillery in 1954, and became one of the most powerful women in the whisky industry.

Many also credit Williamson with her marketing of Single Malt Scottish Whiskeys to American markets. Where a market barely existed, Williamson saw the potential and forged a trail for the modern day multi-million dollar market of Scotch in America. As she described it in the 1960s, "The secret of Islay whiskies is the peaty water and the peat ... there's an increasing demand for the [single] Islay whiskies. We can't supply the demand that we have for our whiskies."

For more on Bessie Williamson, and many other inspiring women in the whisky world, check out Fred Minnick's 2013 book Whiskey Women: The Untold Story of How Women Saved Bourbon, Scotch, and Irish Whiskey

Order a bottle of Bessie's prized Whisky!

0 Comments | Posted in 0 By train train

Jen Beloz- WCW

Mar 15, 2016 5:27:11 PM

Listening to speak reverently, almost tearfully, about being amongst 100+ year old Zinfandel vines in some long neglected vineyard in the California hills makes it easy to understand why she does what she does. Jen has been the winemaker for The Prisoner Wine Company since 2011. She hosted a wine lunch and tasting at Boulder’s Cork restaurant and she was extremely informative, entertaining and enthusiastic.

Jen became interested in wine when she did a college year abroad in Spain. While her friends went to the beaches in the Canary Islands she went to the vineyards. Upon her return, she finished school and was exposed more to wine by a mentor who was trying to convince her to go to medical school. Instead she went to work for Cline Vineyards, working primarily in the cellar and doing all sorts of odd jobs.. She then went on to Ravenswood and while working there got her enology training at UC Davis. She eventually went on to become winemaker there.

While on maternity leave she ran into the new owner of the Prisoner Wine Company in a restaurant and before she knew it she became their winemaker. Jen’s focus on winemaking is twofold. First is to continue to make the full bodied, highly flavorful wines that allowed Dave Phinney (the original owner and winemaker) to make “The Prisoner” famous. She doesn’t want to alter the brand –she wants to preserve it. To do this brings in the second aspect of her wine focus –terroir. She has fought to keep the wine’s designation as California (normally a designation suggesting entry level wines) so she can hand pick the vineyards she wants to use in the wines from anywhere in California. For example she can find the very best Cabernet, Syrah, Zinfandel, Petite Sirah and Merlot vineyards even if they are located hundreds of miles apart in different appellations from each other.

Her duties as winemaker and representative of the company, along with being a wife and mother, keep her very busy but she still manages to find time for her two favorite activities – gardening and hiking. As she looked out the window at the foothills of the Rockies you could tell that although she was enjoying her time with us, she would have loved to be up in them. We were lucky enough to taste through the entire portfolio of her wines: Blinfold, Saldo, Thorn, The Prisoner, and Cuttings. The wines were all stunning. Although proud of the wines there was an endearing humbleness about her and it seemed hard for her to conceal the pure joy she felt from making them. Jen Beloz is a remarkable lady. The Prisoner Wine company – and the wine industry in general- is lucky to have her.

0 Comments | Posted in 0 By Kat Davis

Julia Herz

Feb 23, 2016 6:24:04 PM

Julia Herz

Julia is craft beer program director at the Brewers Association and publisher of She is a homebrewer, a BJCP beer judge, award-winning homebrewer, Certified Cicerone®, co-author of Beer & Food Course. and co-author of Beer Pairing (Voyageur Press). In her role at the BA she serves as an advocate for and educator about U.S. craft brewers and as a spokesperson for the association.

0 Comments | Posted in 0 By Zachary Longstaff

Troy Ball AKA The Moonshine Mom

Feb 16, 2016 4:43:59 PM

Troy Ball, founder of Troy and Sons distillery is this week’s woman crush Wednesday AKA “The Moonshine Mom”. After she moved to NC from TX for her son’s health benefits she quickly received many jars of moonshine as a welcoming gift. After experiencing many homemade batches of moonshine she realized there was a better way to make a more tasteful product and the answer was ingredients! After getting to know many moonshine makers in the area and working with her husband, Charlie Ball she was able to specialize and improve traditional American spirits. Check her products out at Liquor Mart today. Troy recommends using the Troy and Sons Platinum Hand Crafted Whiskey to make a margarita.
0 Comments | Posted in 0 By Kat Davis