All In One Tax Services Inc



Michael Hepworth

All In One Tax Services Inc

222 N Sepulveda Blvd, Ste 2000

El Segundo, CA  90245

P: 310-364-5203

F: 310-364-5205




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Schramsberg Winery




Michael Hepworth

 Hail To the Chief 

HOLLYWOOD(Spiritsman)7/16/14/–Schramsberg Wines are based in Calistoga, California, and the relatively high end.Winery has been family owned since 1965 at the original estate started by German Immigrant Jacob Schram in 1862. Interestingly at that time their were 21 wineries. In Napa Valley utilizing less than 50 acres of vineyards planted to Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. The winery ceased operations in 1912 seven years after the death of Jacob Schram, and re-opened in 1965 when the property and land was purchased by Jack and Jaimie Davis.

Today the winery is run by Hugh Davies, who was born a month after his family took over. There are nine sparkling wines in the collection and the winery uses the Methode Traditionnelle to produce the signature vintage of Reserve, J.Schram and J.Schram Rose along with the classic vintages of Blanc de Blancs, Blanc de Noirs, Brut Rose and Cremant, and the multi vintages of Mirabelle and Mirabelle Rose. Only 60,000 cases are produced annually in total, and the production of the two signature vintages totals only 2,500 cases between them.

The grapes are hand Harvested, wines are handcrafted and the bottles are stacked in underground caves. The caves were dug into the hills by Chinese laborers over 130 years ago and cover 34,000 square foot where up to 2.7 million bottles are aged up to a seven Year period. The winemakers draw from over 90 individual vineyards to create 200 base wines yearly which are then used to create the Schramsberg Wines.

This place has some serious history including a visit by my favorite author Robert Louis Stevenson who came in 1880 where he wrote about it in his book ‘Silverado Squatters.’ Talking of politics and the White House, the first Commander in Chief to taste them was President Harrison in 1891. Since then the wines came into prominence when several cases were shipped to China in 1972 for President Nixon’s ground breaking visit.

They have been present at many White House functions, and more recently President Obama’s White House Dinner for Bilateral Chairpersons of the Congressional Committees. The 2011 Blanc de Blancs ($38) is a dry and crisp wine that is extremely versatile Either served as an aperitif or with a variety of foods and especially see food and shellfish. All kinds of fruity flavors when you taste it, this wine can be kept for a long time and is exceptional value. The 2010 Brut Rose ($43) is influenced by 75% Pinot Noir grown in Marin/Sonoma and in Anderson Valley further north in Mendocino.

The remaining 25% of Chardonnay gives the sparkling wine spice and structure. Tasting notes indicate a wine full of strawberry, mandarin orange and red grapefruit. For those of us into citrus, this is a worthy purchase that can be brought out at birthdays, celebrations or any special event. Visitors Center 707-942-4558 Open 10.00 am to 4 pm seven days\ a week Cellar Tours and Private tastings by appointment only.


Michael Hepworth 287 S.Robertson Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA 90211

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By Michael Hepworth

Hollywood(Spiritsman)7/12/14/–I always thought that beer drinkers were equally as fascinated with wine, but apparently
Many do not know the first thing about it. Hence the book by author Jim Laughren,
Certified Wine Educator and President of WineHead Consulting. “There’s an image
in popular culture of wine being complicated hard to understand, and that if you don’t
have a lot of ‘wine knowledge’ you’re somehow not entitled to enjoy or experience it
like insiders do,” explains Laughren.” That is untrue. Wine is simply a wonderfully
flavorful beverage. Whether you enjoy it with friends or food or just to relax, wine’s
highest calling is to provide pleasure.”

Yes Jim we already knew that, but apparently this book will help others who need it.
The paperback consists of 15 chapters and runs 199 pages, so a fairly easy read on
your next trip to Napa Valley or the Finger Lakes area. The focus is on tasting
wine, sniffing and wine insiders lingo and the difference between the Old World
and New World regions.

A Beer Drinkers Guide to knowing and enjoying fine wine.
Cross Town Publishing ISBN 978-0-9855336-1-8 $ 16.95

500 Signature drinks from the worlds best bars and bartenders
This book by Tom Sandham has been out a while, but it provides a comprehensive
look at the serious world of cocktails. Bartenders who offer personal tips include
Jim Meehan and Dale de Groff in New York and Tony Conigliaro and Salvatore
Calabrese in London.

This attractive hard cover book runs 304 pages with plenty of splashy photographs
and is close to being an invaluable reference guide to all things cocktail. Some
of the categories include the “Basic Kit” needed to make cocktails, a breakdown of
rum and the many varied uses it has and a push for people to use gin more than
vodka as the base for great cocktails.

Sandham leads the life many of us only dream of, flying the world to judge
Spirits competitions, writing a column for the Times of London and co-founder
of the drinks site He is even smiling broadly when shaking up a
cocktail on the cover of the book, and why not indeed. He also edits the in-house
magazine for the ultra-trendy Soho House group of clubs, and he is also one of
the elite 99 people who can claim fingerprint recognition at the hidden 99 bar in
Manchester, England.

Worlds Best Cocktaila
Fair Winds Press ISBN 978-1-59233-527-5 $28



Michael Hepworth

287 S.Robertson Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA 90211


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Michael Hepworth

HOLLYWOOD(Spiritsman)7/7/14/–There are two new rums on the market called Pilar and Privateer, and both have an interesting tale to tell. First of all Pilar is actually called Papa’s Pilar, and is named after Ernest Hemmingway’s constant companion and muse, and also his boat that fueled many of his legendary fishing expeditions. Hemmingway also loved rum, in particular Papa Doble, and this product was developed in association with the Ernest Hemmingway Estate. Retail prices are $39.99 for the Dark, and $29.99 for the


The new distillery will be located in one of Hemmingway’s old stomping ground
of Key West, Florida, and they are planning it to become a tourist destination in
the area.


Pilar Rum is solera aged and blended in the United States using American Oak
Barrels, and the marketing material rather loosely tries to catch on to the Hemmingway spirit by saying “Papas Pilar was created to be near the same Hemingway adventure, accompanying rum enthusiasts as they sink their teeth into life.”


The Dark rum is 86 proof and did win a gold medal at the San Francisco Spirits Competition, and includes rums up to twenty-four years old, and it has a long and velvety finish. Papas Pilar Blonde is 84 proof and contains rums 3-7 years old, and it was
awarded a “Best in Class” at the Miami Rum festival held in April 2013.

Master blender for Pilar is Jay Maltby a former executive at Bacardi, Cruzan and
Mahalo Spirits. The Hemmingway Foundation will donate 100% of royalties to
organizations that represent adventure, literacy and environmental issues. This
already includes a $30,000 donation to the Game Fish Association.

Privateer Rum is the brainchild of Andrew Cabot, and if that name seems familiar,
then the original Andrew Cabot (1750-91) was a merchant and rum distiller who
had a fleet of twenty five ships who was clever enough to smuggle molasses past
British patrols or prizing British ships. In fact a hero of the revolution.

Privateer Rum is aged in the cool maritime climate of New England in Essex County, where the seasons expand and contract the barrels and then are finished up in used whiskey and brandy barrels.



Papa’s Pilar Rum

The Artisan-Crafted Spirit that reflects Rum’s gutsy roots.

Rum was once a noble spirit. It was served aboard warships, rationed to visionary explorers, and used to sustain the Founding Fathers as they plotted revolution. Rum was consumed by men who understood that you only get one shot at life. Standing still, they’d say, was a waste of valuable time.

Ernest Hemingway was this type of man – an adventurer who lived life to the fullest. He indulged us with glimpses of a vibrant life by stitching together distant cultures, passions, and people using the power of the written word.

Inspired by his appetite for adventure, we’ve proudly created a super-premium rum: Papa’s Pilar.

It is a spirit born of multiple rums hand-selected from the Caribbean, Central America and Florida. The rums are then brought to the U.S.A. and married together in our unique Solera aging and blending process.

Papa’s Pilar represents the original spirit of rum.




Michael Hepworth

287 S.Robertson Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA 90211

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Sage Restaurant in Las Vegas Serious Cocktail Culture

Michael Hepworth





Las Vegas,NV(Spiritsman)5/27/14/–Sage Restaurant at the swanky Aria Hotel in Las Vegas is the signature restaurant from Chef Shawn McClain, and his elegant food pairs well with the classy cocktails available. The space itself is spectacular with lighting and décor to match the food and drink offerings, and a recent visit on a Sunday night saw the place about half full.

They have only recently started opening on the day of rest, but all the local guide books indicate that the place is closed that night. McClain himself is not on site, but by all accounts does stop by every three weeks or so to see that everything in the kitchen remains at the high standards a restaurant like this needs to maintain.

Guest dining at the bar will enjoy a complimentary amuse bouche cocktail-Pink Lemonade from the in house mixologists.The liquid is poured into an ice filled Absinthe balancier, and then flows through a see-saw mechanism. A couple of Aperitifs of note include the OPENING ACT, made with Domaine de Canton Ginger liqueur, Campari, mint leaves and fresh lime juice topped off with a spritz of Angostura bitters. Also try the CAT WALK, a exotic mixture of orange flavored rooibos tea, passion fruit puree, Belvedere Lemon Tea, Aperol, St.Germain and Prosecco.

Also of note is the SMOKING BULLEIT which infuses fresh peaches with Bulleit Bourbon and the 20 To LIFE which consists of St.George Bontanivore Gin & Breaking & Entering Bourbon and spiced up with Marie Brizard Apry and Canton Ginger Liqueurs. This is all topped off with a garnish of gin-compressed blueberries with apricots sprinkled with elderflower dust The TVG has Hennessey Black Cognac with pomegranate and blood orange liqueurs, orange juice and sour adorned with a orange zest sugar rim.

Getting more into the recently legalized Absinthe, Sage has gone all the way in making it the place to go for this legendary libation. They have a comprehensive selection from France, Switzerland, Spain and selections from California, Pennsylvania, Colorado and Wisconsin. The most intriguing appears to be La Clandestine Superieure from Switzerland at $30 a shot, although there are several at $35.

Food wise Sage is also exceptional with a Tasting Menu at $150 with a wine pairing for an additional $100. This will include such treats as King Crab & Yellowtail Crudo, Citrus Cured Foie Gras, Poached Honey Mussels and a Bacon Wrapped Rabbit Loin w/ black dates, smoked polenta and a fried quail egg. This is an ingredient driven menu that will impress you no end with several stand out dishes not limited to the Scallops, Foie Gras or the Crème Brulee.

He also has a signature menu at $89 for four courses with wine pairings for an additional $44. Starters include Kushi Oysters, Wagyu Beef Tartare or Heirloom Baby Beets and from there you can move on to Spanish Octopus, Maine Scallops, Iberico Pork Loin or 48 hour beef belly.

Service is very slick, presentation is superb and the ambience is perfect for eithercasual or business dining despite the hip-hop/dance music being played at a very tolerable volume. I noticed that this restaurant is ranked at #105 out of about 3800 Las Vegas restaurants. I think it should be higher.





Michael Hepworth

287 S.Robertson Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA 90211

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Michael Hepworth











HOLLYWOOD(Spiritsman)5/23/14/–I was pleased to get the chance to try out the new release of this Citadelle Gin Especially since it is the first solera aged gin in the world. The French company Cognac Ferrand based in Ars, have been producing limited edition aged gins since 2008, and this is the only gin in the world distilled in pot stills over an open flame This edition of the gin is aged in a combination of casks, ex-Cognac, ex-Pineau des Charente casks and American oak casks. Solera is predominately used to age sherry, Madeira, Spanish Brandy and select rums.








Tasting it with Fever Tree tonic is a real delight with a vibrant and mellow taste, and I get the feeling that bartenders are going to love this gin, and at a RRP of $34.99 so will consumers. The gin is made in small batches and infused with 19 botanicals, and brand owner Alexandre Gabriel loves experimenting with wooden casks to bring outthe true flavor of the gin. This combination of blending and aging is called solera, and the complicated process involves putting Citadelle in three different casks for up to five months.

The ex-cognac casks are rinsed in gin at first to make sure that the cognac does not overpower the gin, and the ex-Pineau des Charentes impart a full bodied feel along with some spiciness to the overall picture.After the gin has aged sufficiently inn the casks, it is poured into the solera vat and then bottled. At all times the mother solera vat remains half empty in order to maintain the consistency in the taste.






The 2012 version of the Citadelle Reserve Gin actially added three fresh botanicals to the mix in the form of yuzu, genepi and bleuet (cornflower) and the spirit was aged for six months in aok casks.

For those into history Citadelle dates back to 1775 when Louis XV1 authorized two enterprising distillers to open up in Dunkirk. Stills eventually became bigger to increase production as demand grew especially in England, but to some degree precision and taste became compromised.






Michael Hepworth

287 S.Robertson Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA 90211

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Michael Hepworth



HOLLYWOOD<(Spirtisman)5/8/14/–The history of this winery dates back to 1896 when Giovanni Massolino founded the estate, and his son Giuseppe founded the first wine cellar which is in the region of Serralunga d’Alba. They have recently been launched in the USA, and the classic Barolo wine is made with Nebbiolo grapes cultivated 360 meters above sea level.

The entire estate is twenty-three hectares in and around the village of Serralunga, and the portion dedicated to Barolo is 7 hectares. The soil is very calcerous, with variations from zone to zone, and it certainly helps that at least two of the family members Franco and Roberto are oenologists.

All these wines are being imported by the enterprising Vineyard Brands based in Birmingham, Alabama, and have recently hit the market. Production is fairly limited starting with the Barolo Vigna Rionda which produces only 8,000 750ml bottles and is a wine that goes with meat, especially lamb and game, and it has been released six years of harvesting. A good portion of the wine has been held back and will be put on the market in four years.

Barolo Perussi has a solid structure, long finish with hints of sweet spices, sandalwood, tobacco and leather. The grapes are grown outside of the Serralunga d’Alba area in Castigliano Falletto and is best served with stewed meats and medium-long matured cheeses. About 5,000 bottles of this wine are produced annually.

Barolo Parafada is more intense and complex wine than the other Barolo’s, and this robust wine is particularly good with rice and pasta dishes as well as roast meats. Production is limited to 4,500 bottles.

The flagship Barolo (38,000 bottles) is aged in large oak barrels for 30 months and left to mature in bottles placed in dark and cool cellars for about a year. A versatile wine that ages well the tasting notes indicate that this is a wine best served with red meats, truffles and game. It also goes well with egg pasta, risotto and goat’s milkcheeses.

Massolino also does a Moscato d’Asti (15,000 bottles) made from Moscato Bianco grapes in the same region as the Barolo production, and this straw yellow wine is best with desserts of any kind and spicy cheeses. This a fresh tasting wine that benefits from the fermentation process of large pressurized tanks known as autoclaves.

Sticking with the whites, Langhe Chardonnay (15,000 bottles), this wine is fermented for 6 months , and is released for sale after at least an additional 6 months in the bottle.

In a land that mainly produces red varieties, this white wine benefits from meticulous care in the vineyards, and goes very well with fresh fish, in particular trout. It tastesvery structured thanks to the soil of the area it is grown.


Michael Hepworth

287 S.Robertson Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA 90211

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Michael Hepworth








HOLLYWOOD(Spiritsman)5/2/14/–Damoiseau Rhum comes from Guadeloupe and I had the chance to try the Virgin Cane Rhum and the VSOP aged Rhum. The French island is not normally known for rhum, and the Virgin Cane version is produced from fresh pressed sugarcane juice and is only distilled once to capture the natural flavors and aromas of the region. Those aromas include meringue, toasty nut brittle, cane, pineapple cake and marinated sweet potato.














The Rhum Agricole is only produced at a certain time of the year during the dry season in the spring. I enjoyed these rums in what has been a bit of a rhum renaissance for me lately purely by chance and not design. Currently I believe the Rhum is available in the following states-NY,NJ,CT,MA,DC and FL, although by the time you read this probably in a few more.

Strict discipline is applied to the manufacture of this Rhum concerning the source and extraction of the sugarcane along with the distillation and aging. It follows on the heels of the successful development of Rhum Agricole from Martinique. It is also a Rhum inspired and influenced by Armagnac Brandy from southwestern France.












The rum spends some time in stainless steel vats for mellowing out purposes, and then slowly reduced to bottle proof with the help of natural spring water to help the overall profile. The family has been producing rum since 1942, and the rum benefits from the natural terroir in the region known as Grand Terre, and the distillery which is well known throughout as Bellevue Distillery which is located in Le Moule.

The VSOP is aged for a minimum of four years in re-charred Bourbon casks giving it a rich mahogany color and a nice smooth finish. It is best served neat or in simple cocktails and the flavors of roasted dry fruits and peppery spices make it a treat to have in the liquor cabinet. The tasting notes also mention sweet chocolate toffee, mocha buttercream, fig and rubber sap.


Hemingway :

2 oz Damoiseau Virgin Cane Rhum

¾ oz Grapefruit Juice

½ oz Lime Juice

¼ oz  maraschino liqueur

Shake w/ice and strain into a chilled cocktail coupe

Cre Old Fashioned :

2 oz Damoiseau VSOP Rhum

¼ oz Clement Creole Shrub

2 dashes Orange or Angostura bitters

Garnish orange wheel and brandied cherry

Pour rum, shrubb and bitters into cracked ice-filled glass and stir.

Add garnish.



Michael Hepworth

287 S.Robertson Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA 90211

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140th Kentucky Derby Win, Place and Show A great collection of cocktail winners

Michael Hepworth


HOLLYWOOD(Spiritsman)5/2/14/– A great collection of cocktails that are perfect for Kentucky Derby celebrations and spring mixes in general! – these cocktails are full of wonderful seasonal flavors with unique twists including blackberry, rhubarb tea with blood orange, whiskey with peach bitters, and lots of mint!







Blackberry Mint Julep Margarita

2 parts Milagro Anejo

1 part Lime Juice

1 part Honey Syrup

5 Blackberries

6 Mint Leaves

 Muddle berries and mint. Add rest, shake and strain over ice in julep glass. Garnish with blackberries and mint sprig.

 Tip from Gaston Martinez, Milagro Tequila Ambassador: Substituting the bourbon for Anejo tequila makes sense since we mature this tequila in used bourbon casks. The cask is a huge source of the flavor found in both spirits and will have many similarities. Salud!!!






Spring Reviver

1 oz. Rhubarb Tea

1 oz. Solerno Blood Orange Liqueur

1 oz. Lillet Rosé

.75 oz. fresh lemon juice

3 dashes Absinthe

Glass: coupe

Garnish: strawberry slice and mint sprig or edible flower

Shake ingredients with ice and fine strain into a chilled coupe glass, garnish with a strawberry slice and a mint sprig or an edible flower.







The Tullamore Dewlep

2 oz Tullamore D.E.W. Original

½ oz white vanilla sugar syrup

Dash peach bitters

12 mint leaves

 Pour all ingredients into a cup. Gently muddle mint, fill with crushed ice and stir gently to combine garnish with a sprig of mint and straw (Requires use of Julep cup for maximum impact)

 Kentucky and Ireland have a great deal in common. They both produce fine fiddlers, fine horses and fine whiskey. And, while musicians trade tunes and breeders trade horses, whiskey aficionados trade recipes – like this Irish twist on a Southern classic. – Tullamore D.E.W National Brand Ambassador, Tim Herlihy







Major Bailey (by Jon Santer)

2 oz Hendrick’s Gin

1 Sugar cube

¼ oz simple

8 Leaves Mint

 Muddle in julep glass. Top with crushed ice until a mountain peak of ice forms above the glass. Garnish with copious amounts of mint and a cucumber spear.





Fort Julep (by Joaquin Simo, Pouring Ribbons)

2 oz Lillet Rosé

1/2 oz Green Chartreuse

Glass: Julep (silver or pewter is traditional, but a steel cup will do nicely and a plain ole rocks glass works in a pinch)

Ice: Crushed

Garnish: Mint, lightly spanked before inserting.

 Rub 2-3 mint leaves inside of julep cup, then discard leaves. Add Chartreuse & Lillet Rosé, fill midway with crushed ice, swizzle or stir to agitate and incorporate, then add more Crushed Ice. Top with spanked mint sprigs.

140th Kentucky Derby on Saturday, May 3rd, 2014

California Chrome
Wicked Strong
Intense Holiday
Wildcat Red
Ride On Curlin
General A Rod

Michael Hepworth

287 S.Robertson Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA 90211

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Michael Hepworth



Evening Outside Winery


HOLLYWOOD(Spiritsman)4/22/14/–The Wrath Winery is located in North Monterey County in the area of the Santa Lucia Highlands, or to be more specific in Soledad. Wrath is a relative new company only created in 2007 by winemaker Michael Thomas who took over the San Saba Vineyard from his stepfather. The archeologist and art historian has produced some very nice wines in a price range of $19-$49 which include chardonnay, pinot noir and syrah. Incidentally the name Wrath originates from a Led Zeppelin tune, and I assume that Thomas must be a huge fan of the legendary rockers.


Wrath Tasting Room










In fact there is an interesting storyline about Michael Thomas and his fascination with Italian wines. He plants Falanghina in his vineyard-one of the most ancient varieties in History. He and his archeological team have been exploring and appraising two Oplontis Villas near Pompeii, excavated several decades ago but never fully explored. This is all Part of his duties as Director of the Center for the Study of Ancient Italy at the Department of Art and Art History at the University of Texas at Austin.












He discovered that the region had many individual vineyards in ancient times, and found evidence that wine was transported throughout the region by carts making or picking up deliveries in a big leather sack known as a culleus. Rome at the time had about 1 million citizens many very wealthy, so shipping wines up the coast at the time must have been a very profitable business venture.

Wine Spectator gave high scores in the nineties to three of the Wrath wines, the 2011 Syrah Monterey Ex Anima, the 2011 Syrah Monterey San Saba Vineyards and the 2011 Syrah Santa Lucia Highlands KW Ranch. The reason that the 2011 wines have such high ratings is that the Santa Lucia Highlands escaped the heavy rains in the region during harvest time. The overall impression after tasting these wines for several weeks is a strong fruity presence, nice balance and full bodied.












This certainly applies to my favorite, the Wrath Ex-Anima 2011 Pinot Noir ($29) which is a stainless and neutral oak estate grown pinot. Top of the line at $49 is the San Saba Vineyard Pinot Noir, a limited production run from select barrels of the estate grown pinot. This wine offers Burgundian complexity combined with California richness and a combination of  Susan, 667, 828 and Pommard 4 clones.










The Syrah’s are particularly fruity and include a list of fruits embroiled in the overall taste such as exotic plum, blackberry, red berry, fig and cherries. Combine this with savory herb, game meat, rhubarb and tobacco leaf and the limited production of no more than 170 cases for each variety, it is amazing they can keep the prices so low.













There are two Chardonay’s in the collection, with the Ex-Anima version which is unoaked at $19. The more expensive version at $35 is the 3 Clone Chardonnay that uses the 3 clones grown in the San Saba Vineyard.

Photography David Mellish, Design Inc

Michael Hepworth

287 S.Robertson Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA 90211

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The Museum of the American Cocktail (MOTAC) has joined the Miami Rum Renaissance Festival


Michael Hepworth


MOTAC Proudly Announces Legacy Partnership with Miami Rum Renaissance Festival






NEW ORLEANS (Spiritsman)4/19/14/– – The Museum of the American Cocktail (MOTAC) has joined the Miami Rum Renaissance Festival (MRRF) as Legacy Partner. MOTAC, a division of the SoFAB Institute, celebrates the American cocktail and develops its craft, field, and market through exhibits, programming, and a range of media. MRRF The annual Miami Rum Festival is the largest gathering of rum producers and enthusiasts in the world and offers an opportunity to sample hundreds of fine rums from the Caribbean and beyond.


The Miami Rum Renaissance Festival 2014 takes place April 25-27 at the DoubleTree Miami Airport Convention Center. The three-day festival features rum seminars led by MOTAC Co-Founder Philip Greene, author of To Have and Have Another: A Hemingway Cocktail Companion. MRRF tickets range in price from $50 for general admission to $150 for a three-day pass and can be purchased at or by calling 877-855-3378. Rum seminar ticket proceeds will benefit The Museum of the American Cocktail.



The Museum of the American Cocktail (MOTAC) celebrates a singular cultural icon. Founded by craft cocktail pioneer Dale DeGroff and several of the world’s most passionate cocktail authorities and historians, MOTAC advances the profession and expands consumer knowledge of mixology, all while stressing the importance of responsible drinking. It preserves and develops a rich facet of American culture and provides educational resources to both professionals and enthusiasts in the fine art of crafting the cocktail through a series of mixology seminars conducted by the world’s foremost authorities and offered in locations across the country and the world, among them Los Angeles, New Orleans, New York, and Washington, DC. It also works to broaden career opportunities in the spirits industry and encourage greater participation by women and others under-represented in the field.








MOTAC is a division of the SoFAB Institute, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit cultural enterprise that documents and celebrates the food and drink of all cultures through exhibits, programming, and a range of media. Because everyone eats, all aspects of food and drink—culture and geography, anthropology and history, economics and politics, law and policy, media and the arts, science and technology—reveal the state of the world. SoFAB, home to the SoFAB Center for Food Law, Policy & Culture, SoFAB Culinary Library & Archive, Southern Food & Beverage Museum, Museum of the American Cocktail, and SoFAB Media, is among the nation’s leading institutions studying food and drink.


For more information, visit



Presenting the largest rum festival in the world — attracting rum experts, professionals and enthusiasts from more than 30 countries. The annual Miami Rum Festival offers an opportunity to sample hundreds of fine rums from the Caribbean and beyond during three days of Grand Tasting events at the DoubleTree Miami Airport Convention Center on April 25-27, 2014. Celebrity seminars, live entertainment, island lifestyle vendors and interactive cocktail demonstrations round out the activities associated with this unique celebration of the best rums in the world. General admission tickets begin at $50. VIP passes offering early admission are $75. For more information, visit


Philip M. Dobard, Vice President

SoFAB Institute, home of The Museum of the American Cocktail

M 504.251.4739

Kelsey Parris

Operations Manager

SoFAB Institute

New Orleans, LA


Michael Hepworth

287 S.Robertson Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA 90211

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San Francisco World Spirits Competition Celebrates 14 Years, Biggest in History

Michael Hepworth



San Francisco World Spirits Competition Celebrates Biggest Event in 14 Year History
Spirited event showcases 1,474 entries from 64 countries

SAN FRANCISCO, California,(Spiritsman) 4/3/14/– – The San Francisco World Spirits Competition hosted its 14th annual competition on March 21st, 22nd, 23rd, 24th at the elegant Hotel Nikko in downtown San Francisco. Continuing its tradition of record-breaking entries annually, this year the number of submissions totaled 1,474 from 41 states,  64 countries covering 89 classifications. Many categories of spirits experienced a marked increase this year most notably American Craft Whiskey, Gin and Single Malt Scotch. Also of note this year was the increased entries of the Chinese spirit, Baijiu. Often a harbinger of trends in the marketplace, the competition is considered to be the rite of passage for top quality spirits as it has 39 of the world’s top professional palates serving as judges.

Anthony Dias Blue, Executive Director of the competition states, “Every year with this event we see the emerging trends in the spirits category, often our event is a launchpad for a burgeoning trend to be taken seriously. Prior to our event, smaller categories such as Pisco, Calvados, Cachaça and Mezcal were little known in this country, now bartenders and journalists worldwide turn their attention to our results to gauge the marketplace. Of particular note this year were the growing number of American distilled products, I’m particularly excited about the rise in quality American Whiskey,” stated Blue.

Top Awards
Best in Show Awards, which are the top five awards of the event, went to WAQAR Pisco ($36) from Pisquera Tulahuen in Chile, Best in Show Un-Aged White Spirit out of a 577 submissions.  Best in Show Aged White Spirit went to Bounty Over Proof (58% ABV) Rum ($47) from Lautoka, Fiji out of 179 submissions.  Best in Show Whisky went to Glencadam Highland Single Malt Aged 21 Years ($120) from Angus Dundee Distillers in the Highlands of Scotland out of 245 whisky submissions.  Best in Show Brandy was awarded to LeCompte 25 Year Old Calvados ($279) from the Calvados LeCompte Pays d’Auge in France out of 123 brandy submissions and finally Best in Show Liqueur went to Grand Marnier’s Cuvee du Centennaire, 100th Anniversary Liqueur ($200) out of 170 entries. Of special note this year was a first time category, specialty cocktail mixers, which was won by Ballast Point Mai Tai Mix ($6) for Best Cocktail Mixer.

Awarded annually, this year’s Tasting Panel Magazine Distillery of the Year went to Midleton Distillery of Ireland with both their Midleton Irish Whiskey and Redbreast Irish Whiskey receiving a total of 3 Double Gold Medals and 3 Gold Medals including Best Irish Whiskey for their Redbreast 15 Year Old.  Importer of the Year went to Pernod Ricard USA of New York, NY for the 2nd year in a row, and the Director’s Award of excellence went to Campari America, headquartered in San Francisco for its excellent portfolio of spirits.

A complete list of awards categorically will be posted to the San Francisco World Spirits Competition website on April 9th, please visit at that time for more information.

Thirty-nine international judges gathered this year with five new judges joining including: Erik Adkins, Beverage Director Slanted Door Group, San Francisco; Brian Bowden, VP Spirits, Beer, Tobacco, Beverages for BevMo!; Sean Bucalo Craft Spirits Specialist, Young’s Market Co; Tony Devencenzi, Director Beverage Academy, Bourbon & Branch, San Francisco; and Max Solano, Mixologist and Beverage Manager Emeril’s Restaurants, Las Vegas. Tony Abou-Ganim, aka the Modern Mixologist has directed the judging now for his 5th year and says of the event, “I’m flattered and humbled to be a part of a competition with some of the best palates in the world. I look forward to it all year and it is a great way for an established or unknown spirit to gain credibility in this business. The winners feel the impact of the competition’s results in significant ways and use the results to help build both their sales and reputations globally.”  For more information about the judges, please visit

About the Competition
Founded in the new millennium year of 2000 by noted wine & spirits critic and competition director Anthony Dias Blue, the San Francisco World Spirits Competition has gained a reputation as the leading gauge for spirits trends and top quality products in the country. Noted journalists, distillers, beverage directors, mixologists, restaurateurs, Master Sommeliers, hoteliers, consultants, educators comprise the august body of judges. The continued double-digit growth of entries annually points to an undeniable love affair with distillate products in the United States.

For interviews, images and media information, please contact Kimberly Charles at Charles Communications Associates at or 415|701-9463. Please also Like our page at San Francisco World Spirits Competition on Facebook, and follow the competition on Twitter at #SFWSC.


Michael Hepworth

287 S.Robertson Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA 90211

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The Victor-EE

Michael Hepworth

Victor Drai’s New West Hollywood Steakhouse Elevates the Bar & Lounge Experience with Sophisticated Design, DJ, Indoor/Outdoor Seating and the City’s Best Cocktails

WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA.(Spiritsman)35/14/– – Feb. 2014 – Victor Drai’s new restaurant, Rare by Drai’s on Sunset Plaza, has quickly set a sexy, sophisticated tone for the new steakhouse by offering not only the best cuts of steak with sublime service, but also by re-imagining the entire experience, starting with the distinctive bar and lounge. The bar at Rare is a dynamic indoor/outdoor space led by acclaimed mixologist Chris Hewes. Unlike other steakhouses, the bar and lounge at Rare is not merely a waiting space before dinner; it is designed to be the social gathering spot on Sunset Blvd. with its 33 seats, DJ and access to the Rare patio.

Interview with the Vampire


Black Dahlia

Lifting the bar to new heights, Hewes (formerly of the Library Bar at the Hollywood Roosevelt), has created a cocktail menu that flows from savory to spicy to refreshing – blending the freshest ingredients with Hewes’ eclectic and artistic viewpoint. Hewes has earned a reputation as one of the most passionate and creative mixologists in the city, and he proves it again at Rare with a seasonally evolving menu that currently features: Interview with the Vampire (Akvinta Vodka, Arbol Chili-Infused St. Germain, Berries and Jalapeno); Black Dahlia (Black Mission Fig-Infused Pisco, Arugula and Ginger Beer) and The Victor-EE (Rambutan & Lychee-Infused Vodka Martini). 

Beyond his signature drinks, Hewes is focused on creating distinct infusions, fashioning cocktails and beverages that can only be found at Rare’s bar. “At Rare we have fig-infused Pisco, strawberry vodkas, Arbol chili-infused St. Germain and Mandarin Napoleon liqueur, persimmon-infused gins, chamomile-infused Jameson and pineapple-infused tequila with Creme de Violette,” explains Hewes.  “I love making infusions; they allow me to experiment with different flavors and find new and interesting ingredients that work well together.”


Following in the footsteps of his famous bartending father Jim, Hewes brings a knowledge and point-of-view that sets him apart in the world of crafting cocktails. “I learned the trade from my dad so I have a great understanding of the classics, but also bring my own spin to the bar with new concepts and modern interpretations of traditional drinks,” explains Hewes. “It’s been fun to create this program in a steakhouse setting.”


Rare by Drai’s is located at: 8720 W. Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood, CA 90069. Rare by Drai’s hours: Monday – Wednesday: 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.; Thursday – Saturday: 6:00 p.m. to 11:30 a.m. For reservations and private events, call: 310-360-1525 or book at To follow online: visit, on Facebook at: and on Twitter at: Rare by Drai’s is a partnership between Victor Drai and international restaurant and hospitality group ESquared Hospitality.


With his history of pouring the most interesting cocktails in Los Angeles, Hewes answers a few questions

on his concepts for Rare by Drai’s


Explain the single cube concept in your signature cocktails. Some of the drinks you created for Rare use herb-infused cubes? 

The one ice cube is to chill the cocktail without diluting it. It allows you to really enjoy the flavors of the cocktail. My goal is to have different flavors of ice cubes and infused ice cubes to change the cocktail as it is being consumed. I want the flavors of the drink to blend with the ice cube. Instead of just having a vodka and cranberry, why not have a Cranberry Liqueur, pomm juice and fresh cranberry cube combined with great vodka? We want to put fun twists on the standard drinks.


You don’t use simple syrup in any of your Rare drinks; what is your sweetening process? How does this enhance the drink?


I’m always looking for alternatives to the common “simple syrup.” Different honeys, agave nectar, stevia, rice nectars and other natural sweeteners are what I like to use in all of my drinks. I find the cocktails to be much more balanced when using these alternatives to “simple syrup.” Nobody wants a really ‘sugary’ cocktail.


What items used in your Rare cocktail menu are your own signature concoctions?


I would say that my infusions are the most distinctive drinks on the menu. I enjoy finding the right balance and mixture of fresh fruits and spices, and mashing them up with liqueurs and different alcohols. Most people haven’t had the combination of ingredients that I use in my infusions… from pineapple to jalapeno to persimmons mixed with tequilas, gins and vodkas. There is always an element of surprise and intrigue.


All the Rare cocktails seem to balance heat with sweet. Is that good for food pairing?


I feel as though each cocktail pairs well with at least two items on the food menu. I wanted to compliment the amazing food with properly made and well-balanced drinks. The spicy cocktails are perfect with steaks and the seafood; they put a little pep in your step and really get you thinking about food. When creating spicy cocktails the goal should not be to burn someone’s palate or shock them with too much heat. The goal is to have the heat as one aspect of the drink and to have other flavors come in to relax that spice. Each drink should have layers and take you on a trip from the first sip to the last.


Which of your Rare cocktails is your favorite?


To be honest I love all the drinks with respect to each of their alcohols. But the KGB and the Rare Manhattan are probably my two favorites to drink. Although it’s always hard to pick, I like these two because they feature a twist on well-known classics. For instance, the KGB stands out because of the chamomile-infused Jameson. It’s recognizable, yet feels new and bold.


Michael Hepworth

287 S.Robertson Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA 90211

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Michael Hepworth




New wine brand makes limited production gems with distinctive origins from around the world an accessible luxury for less than $20. 















Los Angeles, CA( Spiritsman) 2/27/14/–– Fine wine is often seen as a luxury only fully understood by experts, leaving the average consumer feeling lost and overwhelmed. Porter & Plot aims to bring clarity to the perplexing wine world through their line of limited-production wines, launching on February 26, 2014. Their product portfolio will feature a diverse collection of small-lot wines, each typically 1,000 cases or less, that showcase the distinct land on which they originate. Smaller AVA wines are currently hard to find for most wine consumers and are rarely available for under $20 – something Porter & Plot aims to change.









The name Porter & Plot embodies the brand’s mission to be a reliable and consistent purveyor of small lot wines, historically the domain of high-end shops and importers. The porter, or gatekeeper, guides consumers through plots, or unique regions, helping them to understand the diversity and distinct expression of land that each wine reflects. The brand will feature numerous wines with the aim to continually bring consumers new regions and varietals each vintage, as opposed to attempting to replicate a popular wine the next year.

Porter & Plot’s philosophy is all about discovery and attention to details – not just what type of wine it is, but also its origin. Their first selections—which include a 2013 Columbia Valley Pinot Gris, 2012 Edna Valley Single Vineyard Pinot Noir and a 2013 Costières de Nîmes – are drinking experiences that are refined and complex, yet priced to be enjoyed everyday for less than $20. The offering proves that wine drinkers, whether new or experienced, never have to settle for less knowing they have a great porter.

Porter & Plot will introduce their first three varietals through interactive tastings in New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles where tastemakers, experts, and wine drinkers eager to learn more will get the first taste. Each event will walk tasters through a journey that exposes them to a full sensory experience, guiding them through a whole new way to enjoy wine.

Initially at launch, Porter & Plot will be sold online through, Club W (, and via, in addition to select restaurants.

 Guests were treated to a journey through the different regions of the Porter & Plot Wine – each guest received a “flight ticket” to get them through the below stations. Each station embodied a different aspect of the wine experience and delivered a full experience with the accompaniment food pairings

About Porter & Plot 

Porter & Plot creates wines of exceptional quality from lesser known varietals and unique appellations with a distinctive story. With a focus on the details, winemakers create limited-production artisan wines to bring drinkers first time access to micro-production bottles with the same ease of availability you would experience from a macro-producer. Through simple, balanced and approachable wines, their goal is to make it easy to explore the undiscovered world of wine and enjoy the journey.


Aroma Adventure:

2013 Columbia Valley Pinot Gris

Jars of pineapple, sage, rosemary, apples, pears, green grass, honey, vanilla extract and green peppers were some of the scents that were experienced at this station. Food that was paired with this wine was the ‘Roasted Red Pepper with Balsamic and Basil’ and ‘Burata with Cumquat, Celery and Walnut Pesto’

Texture Trek:

2012 Edna Valley Single Vineyard Pinot Noir

Guests went through a variation of textures that translate to different wines – the textures consisted of wool, silk , satin, felt, sandpaper and burlap. Food paired at this station was the ‘5 Spice braised pork belly with quince-grazed turnips’ and ‘roasted pumpkin skewers with lemon & mint’

Locavore Voyage:

2013 Costieres de Nimes

Guests were treated to local produce and cheese that complimented this wine. Food paired at this station was ‘Pomegranate glazed lamb loin’ and ‘Crab salad on endive with apple saffron vinaigrette’

Brian Smith Sommelier /Wine Maker





Pallavi Patil Brand Manager, Brian Smith Sommelier /Wine Maker, Sydney Munteau Marketing













Jen Betts

President | Pivotal Public Relations

544 S. San Vicente Blvd | Los Angeles | CA 90048

P 323.933.4646 ext 4002 | F 323.305.7696 | T @pivotalpr

160 W. 24th Street | Suite 11-O | New York | NY 10011

P. 917.477.4117


Michael Hepworth

287 S.Robertson Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA 90211

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NATIONAL MARGARITA DAY 2014 Award Winning ORTEGA 120 Cocktails

Michael Hepworth


 120 House Margarita*

Montezuma Tequila, Patron Citronge, Triple Sec, 120 Citrus Sour

 HOLLYWOOD(Spiritsman)2/22/14/–You can also order this margarita by the pitcher, accompanied by the “Shut Up Carafe”.  When the pitcher was initially offered, customers kept complaining they couldn’t taste the tequila because Demi Steven’s secret 120 citrus sour House mix tastes so good.  To remedy the problem, servers are now sent the table with a  pitcher of the mixed ingredients and a separate carafe FULL of tequila. So the next time a patron commented that there wasn’t enough tequila the server would then show the tequila carafe and pour in the pitcher to “shut them up”


1966 Classic Impala
Giro silver, 1966 Impala mix (secret recipe of fresh lime and 100% Organic Agave Nectar)













Marigold Margarit
Sauza Blue, Elderflower Liqueur, 1966 Impala mix, edible marigold pedals












120 Pomegranate Ginger Margarita
Sauza Blue, 120 citrus sour House mix, Fee Brother’s pomegranate, Elixir G ginger accents











LeAnn Muy
Don Benito Reposado, Triple Sec, 1966 Impala mix, Mango, Li hing mui powder on rim of glass



















Carl Larsen: Photography


Michael Hepworth

287 S.Robertson Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA 90211

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Michael Hepworth


Michael Mina 1842 Pub MGM Grand Las Vegas

LasVegas,NV(Spiritsman)2/17/14/–This upscale version of a gastro pub at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas is the Michael Mina version that opened in the summer of 2013 replacing his Seablue restaurant in the same spot. What you have is a spacious and relaxing area that serves gargantuan portions of well prepared food at fair moderate to high prices. The standard classic rock style music plays the background, and there is a large craft beer list and a fairly comprehensive cocktail selection all priced at $13. The wine list is compact enough with about thirty to Choose from, where bottles are uniformly priced at $65, and there are only five wines to choose from by the glass, plus one dessert wine from Portugal.











 There is also an extensive beer menu with some hard to find English beers to choose from, and this is the celebrity chef’s take on a British pub, and he loves the concept. It is also working, and on a good night I have heard that up to 900 people walk through the doors.

 The menu is also carefully constructed and just about the right size with eight snacks and bites, seven appetizers and six salads to choose from. Burgers and sandwiches have five choices, steaks that are wood fired include skirt, rib eye, New York and Filet. There are also ribs and barbecue including St.Louis style either half-rack or full, but the main entrees are rather limited in scope

 Mina has assembled a lively team to run the place led by manager Patricia Murtaugh, And although his visits are infrequent, I understand he was fairly hands on in setting everything up and running. Service is brisk and very smooth, and thee is also a chef middleman who ensures that everything leaving the kitchen is exactly as it should be.









 The 1842 Nachos ($16) is a dish that is more than enough for three people and a good option to kick off a meal here. Heritage Pork Chili, cheddar, black bean & jicama relish & pickled fresno peppers spice up this version just right. Ahi Tuna Poke ($18) comes with avocado shrimp crackers and butter lettuce and unfortunately did not last on the plate long enough to give it justice..

 One of the specialties of the house is the Michael Mina Tomato Bisque Soup ($18) with lobster grilled cheese and is considered a bit of a signature dish from the high profile chef.

 Also tried the 1842 Burger ($19) with caramelized onions, mushrooms and truffle Aioli, and the all natural American beef used makes this a stand out. Pretty much a meal in itself, and the quality of the meat really shines through.

 The fish tacos ($24) come three on a plate and of course are a substantial meal by themselves. Included are sweet & sour cabbage, chipotle aioli and pico de galla. The fish was as fresh as you could get, and I believe it was cod, and like the burger is pretty much a meal in itself.

 I did go in on a quiet Monday lunchtime, so cocktail consumption was limited even though I was not driving. I had the Iceberg Slim reasonably priced at $13, Plymouth Gin, fresh lemon, velvet falernum and basil. All the carbonated drinks are created in house and ice-cube infused with hibiscus.

 The wine list contains about 30 wines to choose from and they all cost the same $65. Best bets would appear to be the 2010 Pinot Noir from MoMo Vineyards in Marlborough in New Zealand or the 2011 Sauvignon Blanc from J.Christopher in Willamette Valley in Oregon.

 However if you have had a good day in the casino you might want to splurge a bit on some wine from the secret cellar with prices from $92 up to $311. That includes champagne Eglu-Ouriet ($211) and Jean Vesselle ($139) from France.






 Michael Mina Pub 1842-3799 Las Vegas Blvd South.


Hours :Monday-Thursday   11.30 am-10 pm

            Friday                       11.30 am-Midnite

            Saturday                   10.00 am-Midnite

            Sunday                      10.00 am-10 pm        


Michael Hepworth

287 S.Robertson Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA 90211

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Kobe Steakhouse & Lounge, sushi bar, table dining, open grills and LIVE music

Michael Hepworth






By Chef Peter

Seal Beach, CA(Hollywood Today)2/3/14/–As we go throughout our day we are surrounded by great music options.  I was meeting with an old friend enjoying some sushi at Kobe steakhouse and lounge located in Seal Beach.   The restaurant is very nice, open, clean and the staff was very accommodating.  They have a sushi bar, table dining and open grills.  Average per person will be between $20 and $30 dollars.  Both food and service was excellent.  The bar was small and is attached to the lounge.  While dining, I noticed Boxcar 7 was gearing up to play in the lounge.  Last week I was at the NAMM show in Anaheim and this band was playing at the Hilton on Saturday night.  And if anyone has been to NAMM show Saturday is quite the music experience.

Catch one of Kobe’s favorite bands on the greatest night of the year! Single tickets are available for purchase or, for a discounted rate, Kobe is also offering dinner and ticket packages for two.

Boxcar 7







The lead singer, Scott has the perfect voice for this style of music.  It has that deep, throaty resonance reminding me of the original Motown artists.  I asked Scott how he was able to sing so well and he stated that when he was younger his band had no PA, so he had the wail out the music and it became his style.  Well it works and these guys put out a fantastic performance.  Stay to the end of the show and watch the drummers solo.  It was impressive.  They can be contacted via their website  until next time – Enjoy food and music and the bond it brings –

Boxcar 7 is a seven-piece show band from Southern California. Our passion is the blues, soul, old school R&B, classic rock, swing and a taste of funk. Setlists of inspirational blues music include B.B. King, Otis Redding, Ray Charles, Blues Brothers, Wilson Pickett, Sam & Dave, and more. Whether you choose to dance or listen to us, you’re sure to have great night out.

If you would like us to guarantee you a seat in the lounge during these dinner performances, please follow the links under each performer to make your reservations. The charge for reservations is $10 per seat on Fridays and Saturdays and $5.00 per seat on Thursdays and Sundays (unless otherwise noted), but walk-ins are free as long as there is room available.

Kobe Steakhouse & LoungeKobe has become one of the hottest spots in LA and OC for live music, drinks and Japanese-fusion dining from steaks and seafood to sushi and teppan-style cooking! Come by to create new memories and meet new friends!

Served with Onion Soup, Green Salad, Steamed Rice, Hibachi Vegetables Assorted fresh

vegetables and gently seasoned fried tofu
Fresh tender chicken breast Large cut of grilled and seasoned calamari Tender, succulent

seasoned fresh shrimp Fresh tender swordfish seasoned and grilled to perfection Thinly

sliced USDA Choice New York steak Fresh, tender scallops grilled with garlic butter and

lemon juice USDA Choice New York steak Well-aged angus beef tenderloin grilled to

request Two fresh Maine lobster tails
Garlic butter fried rice with mixed vegetables and eggs
For each instance of a guest sharing a meal, a “plate sharing charge” will automatically be

applied to your bill. With this charge you will receive an additional onion soup, green salad and steamed rice.
Served with Steamed Rice, Hibachi Vegetables and a choice of Onion Soup or Side Salad
Fresh tender chicken breast Tender, succulent seasoned fresh shrimp USDA Choice New York steak
Served with Onion Soup, Green Salad, Steamed Rice, Hibachi Vegetables
Tender hibachi chicken and fresh hibachi shrimp USDA Choice NY steak and tender

hibachi chicken Fresh ocean scallops and hibachi shrimp USDA Choice NY steak and hibachi shrimp USDA Choice NY steak and ocean scallops
Grilled filet mignon and ocean scallops
A combination of hibachi shrimp, scallops and swordfish
USDA Choice NY steak and fresh Maine lobster tail
A seafood lover’s combination of ocean scallops, lobster tail and calamari
A perfect combination of ocean scallops, lobster tail and NY steak
A premier combination of fresh Maine lobster tail, ocean scallops, and tender filet mignon
Choice of vanilla, green tea or red bean ice cream
Battered and deep fried vanilla or green tea ice cream
Chocolate cake base surrounded by a decadent chocolate mousse dusted with cocoa powder Smooth and rich N.Y. Cheesecake.

Tempura-fried strawberries rolled around in cinnamon and sugar and served with cre?me anglaise and chocolate
Rice cake filled with green tea or strawberry ice cream
Frozen zambione cream center covered in chocolate gelato with caramelized hazelnuts
Mango sorbet served in its natural shell
Hibachi Chicken / NY Steak / Hibachi Shrimp (Your choice of two)
Hibachi Chicken Hibachi Shrimp Ocean Scallop New York Steak Filet Mignon
Hibachi Chicken + Ocean Scallops Hibachi Chicken + Swordfish New York Steak + Ocean

Scallops New York Steak + Calamari
New York Steak + Swordfish Swordfish + Hibachi Shrimp Swordfish + Ocean Scallops

Ocean Scallops + Hibachi Shrimp
Hibachi Chicken Hibachi Shrimp New York Steak

Address: 3001 Old Ranch Pkwy, Seal Beach, CA 90740
Phone:(562) 596-9969



 Monday 11:30 am – 2:00 pm, 4:30 – 9:30 pm


Michael Hepworth

287 S.Robertson Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA 90211

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Oxnard Beach with the Channel Islands in the background…


Michael Hepworth


Oxnard,CA(Spiritsman)1/29/14/–What is the perception of Oxnard, a seaside town about 70 miles from Los Angeles and on the way to Ventura and Santa Barbara. Those two places are still very fashionable and Oxnard has always struggled a bit as a poor relation, but the gap is shortening and a recent all too brief early New Year visit confirmed that fact to me.

It is also becoming the place to be for world class boxers, and is the training camp for world middleweight champ Sergio Martinez and the star of the future in the humble opinion of this ex boxing writer, unbeaten featherweight champ Mikey Garcia.

Oxnard palm Lined Beach with Bike Lane

It is also the training camp for the Dallas Cowboys in July/August at the River Ridge Playing Fields, and frankly considering how ideal conditions are it is surprising that the team is not doing so well lately. Maybe Oxnard treats them too good.

Herzog Wine Cellars – Wine Tasting in Oxnard Beach











Food is now one of the up and coming scenes in Oxnard, and we can start with the Tierra Sur Kosher restaurant situated in the Herzog Wine Cellars in the industrial section of Oxnard. Fine dining indeed with some outstanding sea bass and lamb on the menu. Zagat rate this place as probably the best restaurant in Oxnard.

Tierra Sur Restaurant (inside Herzog Wine Cellars)











Head winemaker at the Herzog Winery is Joe Hurliman and the legacy of wine making in the family goes back nine generations. The winery tasting room is adjacent to the restaurant.

Moqueca is the only South American restaurant in Oxnard and since Brazil is the hot destination this year with the World Cup in the summer and the Olympics in 2016, business is good. The modern looking spot with plenty of parking specializes in the Mocqeca, a South American version of gumbo served for two people with rice in a clay pot. The seafood and vegetables are cooked without water, and include onions, tomatoes, garlic, cilantro, olive oil and urucum.

Herzog Wine Gift Store










The “urucum” is a Brazilian prickly red fruit, and the seeds are used to make powder used for cooling and seasoning. It also gives this particular dish its bright orange color and the rich taste. Live music and a great atmosphere makes this a place to visit when in Oxnard.

Aerial shot of Embassy Suites Mandalay Beach Hotel & Resort











Also keep an eye out for the Salsa Festival that takes place every July, and the Tamale Festival every December. Talking of tamales, we discovered this long standing and really old fashioned Mexican restaurant called Parels located adjacent to Heritage Square. In the square you will find a well established farm to table Italian restaurant called La Dolce Vita in a two story Victorian mansion, and a wine tasting room, Rancho Ventavo Wine Cellars .. Also sticking with the food festivals, the annual Strawberry Festival always takes place the third weekend in May, and this has now been running for thirty years.

Embassy Suites Mandalay Beach Hotel & Resort


The place to stay is the EMBASSY SUITES in Mandalay Bay, where the beach is just a stroll away. We are not talking here about crowded beaches either, but if you prefer the pool or the Jacuzzi then you will be well served as the pool here is one of the biggest around. There are two whirlpools that are open till late night, spa and exercise facilities, and bike rentals are also available. A buffet style breakfast is included in the room rates, and runs till about 10.30 pm on weekends and a bit earlier during the week. Advance bookings are strongly advised especially during the summer months

Channel Islands Maritime Museum, Channel Islands Harbor










The hotel is close to Marine Emporium Landing where you can participate in harbor Cruises, sport fishing, whale watching and kayaking.

Inside of Channel Islands Maritime Museum











For those of you into movies And nostalgia, long before Malibu became the place to be, Hollywood Beach in Oxnard was the place. Clark Gable used to live there as well as many other Hollywood stars,  and Rudolph Valentino filmed “The Sheikh” on the beach. Recent films where segments have been shot include “Back to The Future,” “Sideways” and “Bridesmaids.

Channel Islands Harbor, Oxnard


Embassy Suites     805-984-2500

Moqueca    805-204-0970

Tierra Sur at Herzog Wine Cellars      805-983-1560

Maritime Museum-3900 Bluefin Circle   805-984-6260


Michael Hepworth

287 S.Robertson Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA 90211

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Michael Hepworth

HOLLYWOOD(Spiritsman)1/23/14/–A new Italian restaurant does not really create a major buzz because there are always a never endless supply ready to take on the challenge, and especially on the West side of Los Angeles. However in the case of Il Piccolo Verde in trendy Brentwood, new owners have taken over the spot formerly occupied by San Gennaro, and the overall package is impressive. It has everything the locals seem to go for-extensive menu of traditional and signature dishes, large portions, excellent service, relaxed atmosphere, open kitchen and two owners who really seem to care.

 Partner and manager is Oscar Morel who spent the past 25 years running Spumoni in Santa Monica, and the focus here is gluten free grains, organic and fresh vegetables and organic unrefined cold pressed oils.

 Lets focus on some of the dishes you can expect at Il Piccolo Verde and that I tried and enjoyed. Burrata is an appetizer that you cannot go wrong with, and this version at $13 is no exception garnished with olive oil and oregano.

 The free range organic chicken which is baked and then grilled is probably their signature dish, and you should also try the New York Steak with mushroom sauce.

Also outstanding here was the Cioppino ($21), a mixture of clams, mussels, calamari, Shrimp, fresh fish and crostini, but I decided to combine it with the angel hair pasta for probably the best dish of the night bar the free range chicken.

 Pizza lovers have a choice of New York style to choose from priced between $17.95 through $21.95, or they can select from ten Pizza Napoletana 12 inch versions that are cooked for just one minute in temperatures of 800 to 1000 degrees Fahrenheit.

The oven at Il Piccolo was handmade by the Marra family out of Naples using sand and ash from Mt.Vesuvio.

 The wine list is fairly extensive and the corkage fee if preferred is $15. I just tried the Zardetto Prosecco from Venice at $13 a glass, but there is a large selection of Italian and California wines to choose from, with an encouraging amount of seventeen to choose from by the glass if you don’t want to splurge on a bottle which tend to be on the high price. The most inexpensive are a few at $35 like the Barbera d’Alba from the excellent Batasiolo portfolio or the California Merlot from Benziger in Sonoma. If you want to show off,  then go for the outstanding Pinot Noir Blanc de Noir sparkling wine from the excellent Schramsberg Winery in Napa ($83).

 There are all kinds of special deals and promotions listed on the paper menu that are designed to bring in business especially the repeat kind. Although it doesn’t really hurt in the short term for a new restaurant, this place is decent enough to dispense with this hit and miss approach once it becomes established.

 Il Piccolo Verde-140 S.Barrington Place, Los Angeles, CA 90049


Open 7 days   11 am  to  10 pm.


Michael Hepworth

287 S.Robertson Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA 90211

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Golden Globes 2014: V Wine Room Selected for GBK’s Exclusive Pre-Golden Globes 2014 Gift Lounge

Michael Hepworth


Local West Hollywood and Los Angeles’ Only Wine Tasting Room, V Wine Room Selected for GBK’s Exclusive Pre-Golden Globes 2014 Gift Lounge

Beverly Hills, CA(Spiritsman)1/14/14/–On January 10th and 11th, V Wine Room will be pouring wines for the GBK Productions exclusive pre-Golden Globes 2014 Gift Lounge held on the rooftop of the L’Ermitage Hotel in Beverly Hills, CA.  The event will recognize and honor nominees and presenters for the 2014 Golden Globes.  V Wine Room is the only dedicated tasting room in Los Angeles; proudly pouring limited production boutique California wines not found anywhere else in Los Angeles.  First time and repeat visitors rave about the 1930’s inspired library, almost speakeasy setting, where people can gather for a relaxed and conversational atmosphere.


V was chosen as the exclusive wine provider because of the unique nature of its Napa style tasting room.  V will pour a Sauvignon Blanc made by Tara Gomez of Kita Wines.  Gomez is the only Native American winemaker in the country and her crisp, citrusy Sauvignon Blanc is not to be missed.  Joining Gomez’s Sauvignon Blanc is an artful blend of Sangiovese and Syrah crafted by Tessa Marie wines, Tessa Parker being the granddaughter of Fess Parker the noble actor and vintner.  Other featured wines include floral Viogniers from both Four Brix and Sol Rouge and an earthy Pinot Noir from CNagy wines.  Proprietor Mikey Consbruck exclaims, “I’m proud to operate a unique and local business promoting boutique California wines and their vintners.  Our regulars rave about the wines and I’m sure the presenters and nominees will agree.”  V’s gift to the nominees is a yearlong membership to V’s wine club.  “The wine club allows people to enjoy our wines and participate in exclusive events together while expanding their palates.”  Mikey invites everyone interested in the wine club to come in and sample some great wines, sure to be enjoyed by Hollywood elite, and learn about membership benefits.

About V:
The concept for V was envisioned as a true tasting room and vinoteca such as those found in California wine country or European wine bars.  Twenty-two limited production California wineries are featured in the tasting room, presented by the highly trained staff.  V was opened in February 2013 and in 10 short months was selected by RundownLA as one of the top 5 bars in all of Los Angeles naming it the best place for after dinner drinks and conversation.  V is located in a historic building at 903 Westbourne Drive in West Hollywood which once housed Charlie Chaplain’s actors studios, then later a library.  V is dominated by its amazing wine selections, the large live Fig tree in the center of the “V” shaped marble bar and the library theme throughout.

For more information please contact
Michael “Mikey” Consbruck, Owner



Michael Hepworth

287 S.Robertson Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA 90211

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Media ListOur mailing address is:V Wine Room903 Westbourne DriveWest Hollywood, CA 90069
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