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Going Green: Celebrate Spring with a Tree House and Some of that World Famous Haldey Grass 
There are countless ways to recognize spring has arrived -- tiny red buds popping like corn kernels on the trees, beautiful yellow and white daffodils decorating both field and yard, tiny tulips puckering up and of course, the sight of Hadley asparagus being sold by the bunches at roadside stands and local markets.

Asparagus is a terrific vegetable to eat. Aside from the fact that it helps decrease inflammation, detoxify the body and is an excellent source of fiber, asparagus also happens to be an aphrodisiac -- 
which is why it makes a perfect pairing with wine! 

There is no better asparagus to eat than the world famous Hadley asparagus. This delectable delight is considered a delicacy in the food world. Many five star restaurants in France have the grass shipped over to them when it is in season and according to Saveur Magazine, Queen Elizabeth II personally requested it be served at her annual Spring Feast. A vegetable of such celebrity deserves a wine with equal super-star status. Last year, we recommend the K1 Gold Label Sauvignon Blanc. This year, our star choice is Vista Hills 2009 "Tree House" Pinot Gris!

Vista Hills is located in the Dundee Hills Appellation in the Willamette Valley. With 65 acres of prime, fertile land, it is the ideal place for growing Pinot Gris grapes. The 2009 "Tree House" Pinot Gris -- named after Vista Hill's actual tree house tasting room, is a blend of young vine Pinot Gris and older vine wine made by Dave Patterson at Panther Creek Cellars. The light, straw coloring and notes of lemon and green apple make this Pinto Gris crisp and fresh. The bright minerality of the wine pairs perfectly with the earthy qualities of the asparagus.

This month's issue of Real Simple had a terrific recipe for asparagus!

Lemony Asparagus with Pine Nuts and Parmesan:

2 tablespoons pine nuts
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 pounds asparagus ( 2 bunches) trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
Kosher salt and black pepper
1 teaspoon thinly sliced lemon zest
1 ounce Parmesan cheese

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Spread pine nuts on a rimmed baking sheet and toast, tossing once until golden brown, 4 to 5 minutes.

Heat oil in large skillet. Add the asparagus and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper and cook, tossing occasionally, until tender, 4 to 6 minutes. Add the pine nuts and toss to combine. Sprinkle with the lemon zest and Parmesan.


-Call your local wine shop today and inquire about the Vista Hils "Tree House" Pinto Gris and make grabbing a bunch of  Hadley  asparagus a "must do" on your weekend list of activites!
Panther Creek Rises Again in Massachusetts

Several years ago, my partners and I had the occasion to experience Panther Creek wines first-hand at an event held at Morton's in Boston's Back Bay.  

Shortly after launching Panther Distributing, we reminisced about the fabulous Pinot we tasted that evening, wondering what had become of Panther Creek as their wines had seemingly vanished from the Massachusetts scene.  

 

Destined to find out, in November 2010, we traveled to Oregon to meet with Panther Creek's Assistant Winemaker and Director of Sales and Marketing, Bill Hanson. This, our maiden pilgrimage to the Willamette Valley, marked the start of a wonderful and valued friendship with Bill, as well as several other highly respected Oregon producers. The relationships forged during that trip have enabled us to become the Commonwealth's leading distributor of ultra-premium, small production Oregon Pinot Noir.  

 

When recently provided with the opportunity to assume Massachusetts distribution for Panther Creek, we jumped at the chance knowing well the quality of these wines and the enhanced prestige that Panther Creek brings to our portfolio.

 

We look forward to having you taste the latest Panther Creek vintages in the weeks and months ahead.  Should you have any questions or wish to order any of the Panther Creek products, please give my partner Dan Paquette a call at (413) 427-8057.  

 

 

Cheers!  

 

Tony Ravosa, Principal, Panther Distributing

 

 

 

 

 

Panther's South African Stunners Break Through in a BIG Way!

Three of Panther Distributing’s top wine selections from South Africa have been
established as "Featured Wines of the Month” by two of the South Shore's most
recognizable names in fine dining, as well as at one of the top wine retailers in the
Commonwealth.
Errol Joseph, wine director at Tosca, selected the Chamonix Troika Reserve 2008 to be
spotlighted at this renowned Italian eatery. This beautiful New World style Bordeaux
blend has 50% Cab Franc, 30% Cab Sauv and 20% Merlot. The massive and forward
aromas of fresh herbs mixed with ripe black currant and raspberry flavors make the
Troika a delightful and enticing wine.
Though Valentines Day has come and gone, love is always in the air with the Troika.
Celebrate passion and love with a bottle of this South African standout at Tosca today!

, while wine director Carrie Casagrande placed the 2009 Botanica Chenin Blanc in the
limelight at the reputable Alma Nove. Both establishments are located in Hingham and
offerwas so enamored with the Chamonix Trioka Reserve that he just had to put it right
where it deserves to be -- in the limelight!
Tosca Tosca and Alma Nove, located in Hingham, selce

This comes on the heels of three other of Panther’s South African selections -- the Haute
Cabriere Chardonnay Pinot, Botanica Chenin Blanc and the Chamonix Pinotage, being
added to the stellar wine list at DelFrisco's Double Eagle Steakhouse in Boston's Seaport
District.

Wine Director at Alma Nove, Carrie Casagrande found herself wonderfully in awe of the
2009 Botanica Chenin Blanc
Alma Nova, co-owned by head Chef Paul Wahlberg and his famed brothers Mark and
Donnie Walhberg, has given it
Chef Paul Wahlberg has proven just how deep talent runs in his family with his signature
restaurant, Alma Nove. Co-owned with famed brothers, Mark and Donnie Walhberg, the
Italian/Mediterranean eatery has given great cause for applause. With it's recent addition
of the 2009 Botanica Chenin Blanc by Wine Director Carrie Casagrande as the "Featured
Wine of the Month," one might say it even deserves a standing ovation.

Ginny Povall, the producer of Botanica, is a native of Framingham. She found her destiny
in the Stellenbosch region of South Africa, where this delightful wine hails from.

Dry farmed, with 50% barrel fermentation in French oak, the wine has tropical fruit
notes and a firm acidity. Lovely to enjoy with fresh seafood and vibrant sunsets. All of
which can be enjoyed at Alma Nove!

The wines selected to be showcased by these highly esteemed establishments are
Chamonix Troika Reserve 2008 at Tosca.

Botanica Chenin Blanc 2009 at Alma Nove.

Haute Cabriere Chardonnay/ Pinot Noir 2010 at Table & Vine.

Alma Nove offers a Garden of Delight for its patrons with our 2009 Botanica
Chenin Blanc.

Chef Paul Wahlberg has proven just how deep talent runs in his family with
his signature restaurant, Alma Nove. Co-owned with famed brothers, Mark
and Donnie Walhberg, the Italian/Mediterranean eatery has given great cause
for applause. With it's recent addition of the 2009 Botanica Chenin Blanc by
Wine Director Carrie Casagrande as the "Featured Wine of the Month," one
might say it even deserves a standing ovation.

Ginny Povall, the producer of Botanica, is a native of Framingham. She
found her destiny in the Stellenbosch region of South Africa, where this
delightful wine hails from.

Dry farmed, with 50% barrel fermentation in French oak, the wine has
tropical fruit notes and a firm acidity. Lovely to enjoy with fresh seafood and
vibrant sunsets. All of which can be enjoyed at Alma Nove!

Tosca "Hearts" Troika

Our friend and Tosca's Wine Director, Errol Joseph, was so enamored with the
Chamonix Trioka Reserve that he just had to put it right where it deserves to
be -- in the limelight!
This beautiful New World style Bordeaux blend has 50% Cab Franc, 30% Cab
Sauv and 20% Merlot. The massive and forward aromas of fresh herbs mixed

with ripe black currant and raspberry flavors make the Troika a delightful and
enticing wine.
Though Valentines Day has come and gone, love is always in the air with
the Troika. Celebrate passion and love with a bottle of this South African
standout at Tosca today!

Table & Vine Values Uniqueness with the Pierre Jourdan Haute Cabriere

A blend of 60% Chardonnay, 40% Pinot Noir, the Haute Cabriere, appears
to 'own' the blending of these two notable cultivars, with the Chardonnay
contributing elegance and Pinot Noir intensity. This unique romancing of
grapes has captivated Table & Vine's wine buyer, Michael Quinlan. So much
so, that he has given it top billing as the wine of the month for March.

"Pierre Jourdan is the leading producer of South African sparkling wines in the
champagne style. The Haute Cabriere Chardonnay/Pinot Noir is a still version
of the traditional champagne blend."
-- Dan Paquette, co-owner of Panther Distributing
Three of Panther Distributing’s top wine selections from South Africa have been
established as "Featured Wines of the Month” by two of the South Shore's most
recognizable names in fine dining, as well as at one of the top wine retailers in the
Commonwealth.
Errol Joseph, wine director at Tosca, selected the Chamonix Troika Reserve 2008 to be
spotlighted at this renowned Italian eatery. This beautiful New World style Bordeaux
blend has 50% Cab Franc, 30% Cab Sauv and 20% Merlot. The massive and forward
aromas of fresh herbs mixed with ripe black currant and raspberry flavors make the
Troika a delightful and enticing wine.
Though Valentines Day has come and gone, love is always in the air with the Troika.
Celebrate passion and love with a bottle of this South African standout at Tosca today!

, while wine director Carrie Casagrande placed the 2009 Botanica Chenin Blanc in the
limelight at the reputable Alma Nove. Both establishments are located in Hingham and
offerwas so enamored with the Chamonix Trioka Reserve that he just had to put it right
where it deserves to be -- in the limelight!
Tosca Tosca and Alma Nove, located in Hingham, selce

This comes on the heels of three other of Panther’s South African selections -- the Haute
Cabriere Chardonnay Pinot, Botanica Chenin Blanc and the Chamonix Pinotage, being
added to the stellar wine list at DelFrisco's Double Eagle Steakhouse in Boston's Seaport
District.

Wine Director at Alma Nove, Carrie Casagrande found herself wonderfully in awe of the
2009 Botanica Chenin Blanc
Alma Nova, co-owned by head Chef Paul Wahlberg and his famed brothers Mark and
Donnie Walhberg, has given it
Chef Paul Wahlberg has proven just how deep talent runs in his family with his signature
restaurant, Alma Nove. Co-owned with famed brothers, Mark and Donnie Walhberg, the
Italian/Mediterranean eatery has given great cause for applause. With it's recent addition
of the 2009 Botanica Chenin Blanc by Wine Director Carrie Casagrande as the "Featured
Wine of the Month," one might say it even deserves a standing ovation.

Ginny Povall, the producer of Botanica, is a native of Framingham. She found her destiny
in the Stellenbosch region of South Africa, where this delightful wine hails from.

Dry farmed, with 50% barrel fermentation in French oak, the wine has tropical fruit
notes and a firm acidity. Lovely to enjoy with fresh seafood and vibrant sunsets. All of
which can be enjoyed at Alma Nove!

The wines selected to be showcased by these highly esteemed establishments are
Chamonix Troika Reserve 2008 at Tosca.

Botanica Chenin Blanc 2009 at Alma Nove.

Haute Cabriere Chardonnay/ Pinot Noir 2010 at Table & Vine.

Alma Nove offers a Garden of Delight for its patrons with our 2009 Botanica
Chenin Blanc.

Chef Paul Wahlberg has proven just how deep talent runs in his family with
his signature restaurant, Alma Nove. Co-owned with famed brothers, Mark
and Donnie Walhberg, the Italian/Mediterranean eatery has given great cause
for applause. With it's recent addition of the 2009 Botanica Chenin Blanc by
Wine Director Carrie Casagrande as the "Featured Wine of the Month," one
might say it even deserves a standing ovation.

Ginny Povall, the producer of Botanica, is a native of Framingham. She
found her destiny in the Stellenbosch region of South Africa, where this
delightful wine hails from.

Dry farmed, with 50% barrel fermentation in French oak, the wine has
tropical fruit notes and a firm acidity. Lovely to enjoy with fresh seafood and
vibrant sunsets. All of which can be enjoyed at Alma Nove!

Tosca "Hearts" Troika

Our friend and Tosca's Wine Director, Errol Joseph, was so enamored with the
Chamonix Trioka Reserve that he just had to put it right where it deserves to
be -- in the limelight!
This beautiful New World style Bordeaux blend has 50% Cab Franc, 30% Cab
Sauv and 20% Merlot. The massive and forward aromas of fresh herbs mixed

with ripe black currant and raspberry flavors make the Troika a delightful and
enticing wine.
Though Valentines Day has come and gone, love is always in the air with
the Troika. Celebrate passion and love with a bottle of this South African
standout at Tosca today!

Table & Vine Values Uniqueness with the Pierre Jourdan Haute Cabriere

A blend of 60% Chardonnay, 40% Pinot Noir, the Haute Cabriere, appears
to 'own' the blending of these two notable cultivars, with the Chardonnay
contributing elegance and Pinot Noir intensity. This unique romancing of
grapes has captivated Table & Vine's wine buyer, Michael Quinlan. So much
so, that he has given it top billing as the wine of the month for March.

"Pierre Jourdan is the leading producer of South African sparkling wines in the
champagne style. The Haute Cabriere Chardonnay/Pinot Noir is a still version
of the traditional champagne blend."
-- Dan Paquette, co-owner of Panther Distributing

Three of Panther Distributing’s top wine selections from South Africa have been established as "Featured Wines of the Month” by two of the South Shore's most recognizable names in fine dining, as well as at one of the top wine retailers in the Commonwealth.

 

Errol Joseph, wine director at Tosca, selected the Chamonix Troika Reserve 2008 to be spotlighted at the renowned Italian eatery. The Trioka (meaning: Russian sleigh pulled by three horses) is a beautiful New World style Bordeaux blend that is full, round and smooth with aromas of fresh herbs mixed with ripe black currant and raspberry flavors. It’s rare to find a wine as harmonious as this, which is why its not surprising Tosca declared it the top celebrated wine on their list.

 

Alma Nove, co-owned by head Chef Paul Wahlberg and his famed brothers Mark and Donnie Walhberg, have given the Italian/Mediterranean eatery great cause for applause with it's recent addition of the 2009 Botanica Chenin Blanc. The crowning of the Botanica by wine director Carrie Casagrande as the "Featured Wine of the Month,” might even be cause for a standing ovation. Ginny Povall, the producer of Botanica, is a native of Framingham. She found her destiny in the Stellenbosch region of South Africa, where this delightful wine hails from. Dry farmed, with 50% barrel fermentation in French oak, the wine has tropical fruit notes and a firm acidity.

 

Michael Quinlan, the wine buyer for Table & Vinein West Springfield, was so captivated by the unique romancing of grapes found in Pierre Jourdan’s Haute Cabrierre Chardonnay/Pinot Noir blend, that he gave it top billing as Table & Vine’s wine of the Month for April. A blend of 60% Chardonnay, 40% Pinot Noir, the Haute Cabriere, appears to 'own' the blending of these two notable cultivars, with the Chardonnay contributing elegance and Pinot Noir intensity.

 

All of this wonderful recognition comes on the heels of three other of Panther’s South African selections -- the Haute Cabriere Chardonnay/ Pinot Noir blend, Botanica Chenin Blanc and the Chamonix Pinotage, being added to the stellar wine list at DelFrisco's Double Eagle Steakhouse in Boston's Seaport District.

 

 

Rare Treat: Panther Distributing teams up with Morton's Steakhouse to deliver an Industry Tasting worth toasting to. 

On Sunday, January 22, Panther Distributing partnered with Morton's Steakhouse in Boston to hold an industry tasting showcasing Panther's complete portfolio of wines.   


The event was held at Morton's Steakhouse. Conveniently located across from Boston's Seaport World Trade Center, Panther's tasting coincided with the Boston Wine Expo, which had kicked off earlier that weekend. Fellow industry friends needed only to manoeuvre a quick hop, jump and skip from the Expo to Morton's -- allowing a smooth transition from the mayhem of the Expo to the pleasantries of Panther's tasting.

Those who attended snacked on top notch hors d'oeuvres like mini pizzas topped with smoked salmon and créme freché as well as crunchy chicken fingers with a tangy, honey mustard dipping. While platters of finger foods were passed around, attendants strolled from one table to the next, sampling different wines from different regions at each stop.



  


  
  Rita Jammett from La Caravelle Champagnes and Davide Sada from the Sada Estate in Tuscany, poured thier own products, happily informing guests on the history and qaulity behind them. Owners of Panther Distributing, Tony Ravosa and Dan Paquette, were seen mingling with notable guests such as Robert Dwyer from the Wellesely Wine Press, Susan G. Holaday from Food Service East and J. Charles Mokriski from The Improper Bostonian.
Panther was exceptionally proud to showcase their lineup of South African wines. Several of these wines, including the Huate Cabrierre Pinot Noir/Chardonnay blend, Botanica Chenin Blanc and Chamonix Troika Reserve, have been selected as," Wine of the Month," for notable locations around the state. The most recent spotlight being on the Troika Reserve, which is now the highlighted wine at Mark Walhberg's restaurant, Alma Nova in Hingham.
Panther's 12 Wines of Christmas!

Ho Ho Ho...Here are 12 wines you won't want to miss enjoying this Holiday Season!

Lab Red 2009 wine from Portugal. A low cost wine with a high class flavor. Notes of rich red and black berries are on the nose with juicy plums and dark berry fruit flavor on the palate. The finish has flavors or liquorice and spice. 

This is an easy sipping wine that makes for a fantastic stocking stuffer or simple gift for a co-worker. Perfect to keep on hand for the holidays or to bring to any winter celebrations!
Linen Chardonnay 2009 from Walla Walla Washington. Tropical fruit aromas, a touch of oak and creamy vanilla flavors. Well balanced with a pleasant mouthfeel. This a great chardonnay for those that are not fans of the "oakey" California style chards.

Substantial enough to pair with a Christmas ham, but light enough to enjoy with a Christmas cookie! 
Sada Integelo 2009 Made from Cabernet Sauvignon and Montepulciano grapes. Ruby red color with a fruity bouquet of red and black berries. A great wine for everyday drinking. This wine pairs well with meats, olives, cheese and red sauces. 
The term "Integelo" in Italian is a word used for the moment when, on your second glass of wine, you're trying to decide if you should move on to a third and keep the party going or cease drinking and call it a night. 
If you are enjoying this wine, the answer is obvious -- keep the party going!

“El Calié” Mosto D’uva This Frizzante from Italy is slightly sweet and effervescent with notes of peach, pear, apricot and golden apple. 


This is a very refreshing dessert wine that is perfect for those that like to end a meal on a sweet note.

K1 Silver Shiraz by Geoff Hardy A uniquely flavoured part of the vineyard was vinified separately to the K1 Silver Label Shiraz and co-fermented with Viognier to add it's floral and white peach notes, as a perfect match to the earthy Shiraz. Complex licorice and leather overtones with spicy black fruits, partly the interaction with viognier; These delicious characters follow onto the palate with lingering dark fruits and peppery spice.

This wine hails from the Adelaide Hills of Australia.


K1 Gold Label Shiraz by Geoff Hardy This wine has a dense, inky color with excellent concentration. A bouquet of red and black cherry with hints of spice. Concentrated fruit flavors are balanced with a mix of quality French and American oak. Soft, powdery tannins cote the mouth and lend spiciness and vanillin to the profile.

This wine ages very gracefully, making it an ideal gift for fellow wine collectors!
Sada Vermentino 2010 100% Vermentino made with all estate grown grapes. Straw -yellow in color with a floral bouquet, tropical aromas, full-bodied and flavorful on the palate. Good minerality and freshness.

A white wine for all seasons, the Sada Vermentino compliments delicious side dishes as well as scrumptious appetizers during holiday meals. Easy enough to enjoy on its own, this wine is a great way to step outside the "Pinot Grigio" comfort zone and give another Italian grape a try!
Vista Hills 2008 Tree House Pinot Noir Named after the whimsical tasting "Tree House" at the Vista Hills estate -- it's literally a tasting room in a tree house!  This wine is a bit dense in color with notes of sweet fruit, dark berries and a touch of oak and dry spice. Soft palate with a long finish.

This wine hails from Oregon.
Chamonix Greywacke Pinotage 2008 The Chamonix estate is located in Franshoek of the Western cape of South Africa -- just a short drive from the well known Stellenbosh region. Named after a type of sandstone derived soil common in the Cape, this wine is done in a ripasso manner. Aromas of cloves on the nose and red cherry, raspberry and blackberry on the palate.Very smooth, ripe tannins. A rich and supple Pinotage! 

Rated 89 Points in Wine Advocate.
This wine is truly unique  -- impressing all who taste it. Not something to be missed this holiday season!
Haute Cabriére Chardonnay Pinot Nior A perfect combination of elegance and intensity, this unique blend has a firm acidity with an abundance of ripe, zesty fruit and a fresh, full mouthfeel. Highly versatile, this wine will pair with well with just about anything. Added bonus -- the interesting blend creates a great topic for conversation!
Botanica Chenin Blanc 2009 A beautiful white from South Africa, the Botanica has very concentrated mineral flavors on the palate with a slight sweetness and bright acidity and hints of peach on the nose. Bright and fresh, this is an elegant wine suited divinely for those elegant affairs.
Angelvine Primitivo 2008  A wine that has won awards  from all over the country, this magnificent combination of Zinfandel (76%), Primitivo (18%), & Petite Sirah (6%) provides aromas of cherries, milk chocolate, roasted coffee, toffee and orange zest. Plush on the palate with rich, black cherries, peppercorn, blackberry and coffee.



La Caravelle Champagne From the famed restaurant in New York City, these brilliant champagnes carry all the class and distinction a true champagne should. Choose either the Blanc de Blanc, Rosé or Cuveé Nina or stock up on all three for the holidays. Whether you have a bottle of one or a bottle of each -- you have a bottle of classic perfection! 
For information on where any of these fantastic wines can be found, please go to our Products Location page or contact us directly to find out exact locations of the wine you are looking for.
Top 12 Reasons to Drink Wine & be Merry
picture from Telegraph.co
 In just one short week, Panther Distributing will be starting our 12 Wines of Christmas. This means that I will be handing out twelve wine recommendations for every one of the twelve days leading up to Christmas. I will be posting these suggestions on our facebook and twitter pages as well as on our website. In line with our upcoming 12 Wines of Christmas, I thought it would fun to include twelve great reasons to drink wine during this Holiday season. After all, nobody needs a reminder on how busy the holidays are, but we could all use a refresher on ways to stay sane throughout them.  

Drinking wine is a great way to stay mentally and physically in tune this season and here are 12 reasons why. 


Top 12 Reasons to Drink Wine & be Merry:

1.) Red Wine Makes You Smarter
 Consuming a limited amount of red wine and chocolate together makes you smarter by enhancing the brains capacity to resolve complex matters, according to a study done at Northumbria University Medical School. Not sure what to get who this year for Christmas? Enjoy a glass of Vista Hills Treehouse Pinot Noir with a few nibbles of that chocolate Santa Claus and the answers could become as clear as day!

2.) Red Wine Makes for Better Sex
Leave it up to the Italians to conduct a study on the effects of drinking red wine on a woman's libido. Research shows that woman who drink moderate amounts of red wine have higher sex drives than those who drink other types of alcohol or none at all, according to a study done at The University of Florence in Italy. Thank the Italians for this insightful and uplifting bit of news by sharing a bottle of  Sada Vermentino or Integolo with your loved one this season.

3.) Wine Boosts Your Immune System
Ever heard of Helicobacter pylori ? It is a good thing if not because this is the destructive bacteria behind such illnesses as gastris, stomach cancers and ulcers -- all of which the holidays are known to bring on. Wine contributes to the reduced risk of infection from this evil bacteria, a group of British researchers have discovered. Those who drink a glass a day reduce their risk by 11%. Perhaps a glass of  Lab Red would be wise in warding off those holiday stomach knots.

4.) Wine Keeps you Thin
Unlike beer and spirits, wine contains fewer calories, making it easier on your waistline. An even better reason to drink it -- wine actually burns calories -- up to 90 minutes after being consumed. Of course, this is only applicable to those who drink no more than a glass a day. Time to trade in that health shake for a glass of Big Flower Cabernet!

5. & 6) Wine Can Prevent Cancer and Slows Aging
Antioxidants play a large role in helping to ward off cancer and issues related to aging. The grapes used to make wine carry many of these antioxidants and thanks to the process used for making wine, these beneficial little gems are absorbed and concentrated even more. Raise a glass of Botanica Chenin Blanc to your health!

7.) Wine Strengthens Bones
On average, women who drink moderately seem to have higher bone density than those who abstain from alcohol. Alcohol also appears to boost estrogen levels, aiding to slow bone deterioration in the body. Sounds like reason enough to switch Santa's glass of milk over to a glass of Matys Merlot/Cabernet blend.

8.) Expand your Palate
Let this be the year you finally take that wine tasting class you were thinking of, or buy that varietel you have been to afraid to try. Wine is a great way to get out of your comfort zone and try something new. Why not start with our Chamonix Pinotage!

9.) Wine Enhances the Flavors in Food
There is nothing I love more than food, except pairing the perfect wine with it. Wine and food go hand in hand when paired accordingly and end up creating a symphony for the senses. Spice up tonight's dinner with a glass of Angel Vine Primitivo.

10.) Wine Brings People Together
Enjoying a glass of wine with a friend or loved one creates an opportunity to share in the enjoyment of something you love. Invite some friends over for a few laughs and a bottle of Haute Cabriere Chardonnay/Pinot Noir blend. 

11.) Wine Relieves Stress
A glass of wine has proven to lower stress levels by having a positive effect on the nerve system, helping people to feel more happy and relaxed. No matter what Panther wine you chose, all bring pleasure to those who enjoy them!

12.) Wine Is a Great Gift
A bottle of wine can be given for a major celebration or to just let someone know you care. Giving gifts also raises levels of happiness, so increase your joy by giving a bottle of wine to a friend today! 





11/9/11
Ooh-La-La Caravelle

 Rita and André Jammet, past owners of Manhattan's renowned French restaurant La Caravelle, are capturing eternity in a bottle -- one Sparkling Bubble at a time.

Once Upon a time at 33 West 55th street in New York's borough of Manhattan, there dwelled one of the worlds most influential and beloved French Restaurants, La Caravelle. Nestled between historic Central Park and the distinguished Museum of Modern Art, La Caravelle made a name for itself amongst the world's most sophisticated and hungry clientele.

 

On any given evening, a polished blend of courtly characters took their places at tables dressed in luxurious white linen. White-coated waiters bustled by with buckets of chilled champagne. The sounds of murmured conversations and jubilant laughter danced off hand-painted walls reflecting images of Paris Parks by French illustrator and muralist Jean Pagès. Candle-lit corners illuminated slender shadows cast from the well-known faces of Marlene Dietrich, Pablo Picasso and the Duke and Duchess of Windsor. American royalty like that of the Kennedys revered the restaurant so highly that they requested the owners recommend a French chef to create the same superior food for their own personal enjoyment at home in The White House.   

La Caravelle Dining Room

Before La Caravelle even opened its doors as a French restaurant on September 21, 1960, the Shoreham Hotel that eventually became its home played a major role in the world of underground drinking -- offering itself as a speakeasy during Prohibition. Flappers and high- faluters gathered within the very walls of the restaurant, sipping liquor served in porcelain tea pots, ready to make the slip out the back exit door to their hotel rooms should the "fuzz" swing by for a raid. Remnants of its speakeasy days remained through the course of La Caravelle's life by proof of the bar situated in the rear of the restaurant beside the back exit Most restaurants have their bar located in the front.

  La Caravelle was an institute in the world of all things French, food and fashion. It was a familiar place, a home-away-from-home that evoked warm memories and passionate feelings of love and respect from patrons around the globe. 

Upon the closing of La Caravelle on May 22, 2004, Florence Fabricant of The New York Times stated poignantly, "This elegant Midtown temple to French gastronomy offered a pampering, Paris-in-Manhattan experience to food enthusiasts and the A-list of American society for more than 40 years."


Though the demise of its French counterparts – Lutèce or La Côte Basque – was fatal in New York City's acropolis of haute-cuisine, the name La Caravelle has been a sort of phoenix from the flames thanks to its most recent owners, Rita and André Jammet.

Upon taking ownership of the restaurant in 1988, the Jammets did more than just maintain the pristine reputation of the name La Caravell: they elevated it to far greater heights. In 1997, ten years after the Jammets acquired ownership, La Caravelle made its debut as a branded Champagne.


In light of La Caravalle’s closing, the seemingly brilliant idea to brand the name as a champagne appears to be rather fortuitous. If anything, it stands as a clear indication of Mrs. Jammet’s keen perception towards the things of this world that are rare, exceptional, sophisticated and a true “treat”. That ability is the fuel for her fire. It is the esteemed reason behind why La Caravelle is stamped on the only other thing capable of carrying as much panache as its name – a bottle of Champagne. Mrs. Jammet enthusiastically declares,  

"Champagne has magic to it.... it is a mood lifter, an instant ambiance creator, the start of a good moment.”


All of these words could so effortlessly be used to characterize La Caravelle, the restaurant. 


Mrs. Jammet's keen insight and deep affection for La Caravelle is revealed further in the fact that she created not just one distinct champagne, but three- the Brut, the Rosé and the Blanc de Blancs. All of these champagnes are produced by De Castellane, part of the venerable House of Laurent-Perrier, world-renowned for its distinctive quality.

 

From Left: Rosé, Cuvee Nina, Blanc de Blancs

The Brut, named the Cuvée Niña after the type of ship Christopher Columbus sailed on when he discovered the New World, is a multi vintage cuvée that features 40% chardonnay, 30% pinot noir and 30% pinot meunier. It has an elegant, floral nose and notes of yuzu --a traditional Japanese citrus used almost exclusively for its aromatic rind and is distinct from any western citrus fruit such as lemons or limes.


The Rosé incorporates the same blend as the Niña with the addition of beautiful red wines from the regions of Bouzy and Aÿ. It evokes a floral, red berry bouquet with notes of cherry, almond, pomegranate and fennel.


The Blanc de Blancs is the most supreme of the three champagnes with an exclusive blend of the best chardonnay crus harvested mainly from the Côte des Blancs and aged for three years. The bouquet is elegant, perfumed with white flowers and a refreshing, lively flavor with notes of citrus and rhubarb. 

Wine Spectator gave this champagne 91 points and the Tasting Director Bruce Sanderson remarked on it, "A picture of elegance and finesse, this bubbly combines lemon, apple, mineral and a touch of honey with its lithe frame. It's all beautifully put together, with a crisp finish. (Drink now through 2012)."


The nostalgic factor played another large part in Mrs. Jammet’s decision to keep the spirit of the name alive. 

Mrs. Jammet states, "When the restaurant closed, a lot of people were saddened. Rarely a day goes by without me or André hearing, 'Oh, how we miss La Caravelle!’" 

It's not only the former clients of the restaurant that affirm the loss of La Caravelle, but younger generations as well. Mrs. Jammet says that, "The hardest thing to hear (but the greatest compliment as well) is, 'I really wish I had dined at La Caravelle'."


Naturally, the fame behind the name has helped to catapult the branded champagne into the world of hospitality. Yet, Mrs. Jammet makes it crystal clear that it is the quality of the product, not the label printed on it that has continued to add to the success of the champagne. 

" We are blessed to have a substantial number of wonderful friends in the restaurant industry: being an 'insider' definitely helps," states Mrs. Jammet. She continues further by stating, "However, at the end of the day, I believe the product should speak for itself, with its own attributes and qualities."


While the champagne has made its way through venerable parts of New York, such as Daniel, Le Bernadin, Momofuku Ko, ACE Hotel and earlier this year made a debut in Las Vegas on the wine lists at Sin City standouts like Joël Robuchon, Mix, and Rao's, it had yet to reach the state of Massachusetts…that is until now.


Back in early June, an article printed in the New York Times regarding La Caravelle Champagne caught the eye of Tony  Ravosa, co-owner of Panther Distributing. He was familiar with La Caravelle, having dined there several years before its closing. Panther Distributing was in the market for great champagne to add to its portfolio, but had not yet found one that upheld the esteem needed to mirror the list of high-quality wines. After coming across the article, Mr. Ravosa was immediately led to reach out to Mrs. Jammet.

 

The phone call was followed by a meeting at Print at Ink 48 Hotel in New York, where Mr. Ravosa, his partner Dan Paquette and myself met with Mrs. Jammet to sample the champagnes. By the meeting's end it was clear that La Caravelle would have a home in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts through Panther Distributing.

While Panther was obviously delighted to have found such beautiful champagne to offer in Massachusetts, Mrs. Jammet was equally enthralled for Mr. Ravosa’s initiative to reach out.

 Mrs. Jammet states, “I loved the fact that Tony Ravosa contacted me because he had read the article in the New York Times and he had experienced La Caravelle restaurant, and was so excited about it. He understands the brand and the history very well, and knows how important it is to the Champagne… he really believes in the product and the brand. That’s an important point: when I sell the champagne to an account, I feel strongly that it should only be where it is wanted…”


Though there can only be one La Caravelle restaurant, the glow of its memory is kept alive thanks to Rita and André Jammet through their line of quality Champagnes. Every time a cork is popped of La Caravelle Cuvée Niña, Rosé or Blanc de Blancs, the spirit of La Caravelle is released and the power of its esteemed name enjoyed yet again, one fruitful sip at a time.


Panther Distributing is pleased to offer this line of superior champagnes at a very affordable price. For details on how you can acquire these elegant champagnes, please contact Panther Distributing.

 

 


9/29/11

Getting Schooled on Tuscan Wine 
Winemaker Davide Sada proves why his Sada wines earn an A+ at Westfield's School Street Bistro
Written by Courtney Kopec
Edited by Betsy Gillen

September was an exceptionally exciting month for us at Panther Distributing, as we were given the pleasure of a personal visit from Davide Sada, esteemed owner of the Sada wines estate in Tuscany, Italy. During his previous visit to the state back in July, Mr. Sada poured Sada wines exclusively for an event at Bina Osteria to celebrate the Boston release of John Mariani's new book, How Italian Food Conquered the World.

This time around, Mr. Sada's visit brought him to points beyond Boston. Beginning at The Urban Grape in Chestnut Hill, Mr. Sada then visited Panzano Market in Southborough, followed by Tosca in Hingham and La Morra in Brookline. His final stop was The School Street Bistro in Westfield.


Dan Paquette, co-owner of Panther Distributing and Davide Sada enjoying a glass of Sada Vermentino
The School Street Bistro is one of Western Massachusetts' most acclaimed restaurants. Owners John Loveland and Bob Keehn have done a brilliant job of creating an atmosphere that is as enchanting as it is inviting, with a menu that would make even the toughest food critic soften at first bite. Attention to detail and fabulous family-like atmosphere made School Street a lovely venue for wrapping up Mr. Sada's tour. 

The Sada wines that were shared --  the Vermentino, Integolo, Baldoro and Carpoli --  captivated everyone. Each wine was paired accordingly to various appetizer stations. An example of one such pairing was the Vermentino sampled with a beautiful arrangement of grilled pineapple and cantaloupe encircling a small mound of blueberry Stilton cheese as well as a delicate display of almond, honey-glazed baked brie served with butter crackers. 

Once the reds were poured, trays of mini Beef Wellington, mushrooms stuffed with lump crab and pan-seared scallops in a lobster sherry sauce were passed around. 
Candlelight glowed throughout the room, casting an ethereal light on both the food and the wine, making it a true feast for the eyes. 

The crowd was in wine heaven.
The 12- liter bottle of Sada Carpoli
The scene-stealer of the evening was the 12-liter bottle of Carpoli that stood majestically on display. The Sada Carpoli, with its complex nose of ripe fruit and tobacco and an extraordinarily long finish, has built a steady fanbase for all who have had the pleasure of tasting it. While not the sort of wine one would sip on its own, the Carpoli certainly deserves as much a place on the dinner table as the fork and knife.
Tammy and Keith Imbiglio, long time custumers of the Bistro
John Loveland, co-owner School Street Bistro and Davide Sada
The evening was also a celebration of the first anniversary of Panther Distributing. 
Tony Ravosa, co-owner of Panther stated, " We are very proud of Panther and of these wines. We are a small company, but we work hard and have made real strides over this past year... It has been a real pleasure having the Sada family here in town with us."

Mr. Sada shared a few of his own words (in a thick Italian accent)"Wine makes you happy. It's like a good woman. It helps you socialize. Whether you are sad, depressed, happy, excited, wine just makes this life better!"

Truer words have never been spoken, Mr. Sada!

9/25/11

The Classy Classic
Spending the day "Berkshire Style" with wine pouring at the Tanglewood Wine & Food Classic
Written by Courtney Kopec
Edited by Betsy Gillen




 Amidst the rolling hills of the breathtaking Berkshires lies an oasis of culture known as Tanglewood. With sprawling green lawns, sandy-pebbled paths and a plethora of cultural activities, Tanglewood is the entertainment hot spot of quality and good taste. Every summer a line-up of cultivated events draws crowds from near and far. Whether spending an afternoon chilling out to a smooth jazz concert or an evening under the stars soaking in the sounds of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Tanglewood offers a host of events to suit every summer mood.


André Jammet (middle) and Jim Nejaime (right) toast with a friend
Nothing pairs better with music than fantastic wine and food, which is why the Tanglewood Wine & Food Classic is an event not to be missed. This September was the ninth year of the Wine & Food Classic, and Panther Distributing viewed it first hand. We brought in a stellar lineup of our distinct wines to pour. 

Joining us at our table were our good friends Rita and André Jammet, one-time owners of the acclaimed La Caravelle restaurant in New York City, a favorite dining spot of many high profile names such as John F. Kennedy. Rita and André have now branded the name La Caravelle on their own line of champagne.
Rita Jammet and Dan Paquette, co-owner of Panther Distributing
It was such a pleasure having the La Caravelle brand poured alongside our own distinguished wines. Mrs. Jammet offered all three of her champagnes --  a Brut, Rosé and Blanc de Blanc. 

Alongside the champagne, we poured a fabulous array of wines hailing from various regions including Oregon, South Africa, Australia and Italy. The whites were exceptionally popular, as much for being so darn delicious as keeping body temperatures down amidst the heat of the day. 

Tasters stayed cool with samples of  Bergevin Lane's "Linen" Chard (an easy drinking chardonnay that sees only a hint of oak), a Pinto Gris from Vista Hills, and our star performer, the Vermentino from Sada.

Of course, our selections of reds were cause for just as much jubilation. The "Lab" red from Portugal was a sincere favorite for many. It's a no-nonsense wine full of character and so approachable it can be enjoyed on a daily basis either by itself or with food. I prefer it with a huge hamburger, but I will look for any excuse to eat a huge hamburger, or drink a glass of wine for that matter, so it's an obviously perfect pairing to me. 
Dwight, "The Wine Doctor," samples "Lab" red while wearing a hat with a black lab dog on it
Another crowd pleaser came from our new line of South African wines. The brand is Chamonix and the varietal is Pinotage. This particular wine was just recently reviewed in Wine Advocate along with several of the Chamonix wines.

"Established in 1991, Cape Chamonix is one of Franschhoek's most respected producers...they have one of South Africa's most thoughtful winemakers who fashion Burgundy-inspired Chardonnay and Pinot Noir without the price tag. Their strong portfolio comes highly recommended."
                              -Neal Martin-Wine Advocate


Top: Tartufino Speziato, Bottom: Grana Padano Fresco
Pork and Duck Confit Terrine from Bistro Zinc
 All of us at Panther adore wine but another obsession that makes us melt is cheese! Thank goodness we were placed right near a towering table of stinky, ripe fromagé. The fabulous selection was the perfect accouterment to our "She Devil" Syrah from Bergevin Lane. The only thing more glorious than the cheese with our wines was the Pork and Duck Confit Terrine from Bistro Zinc in Lenox, MA. It was hard to refrain from going back for thirds, but believe me we all went back for seconds. The flavors melded in complete harmony with both our Capitello Pinot Noir and our Sada "Integolo."
The Tanglewood Wine & Food Classic was an absolutely memorable experience. We were honored to be a part of the days tasting as well as have a few of our wine -- signed by the winemaker -- auctioned off at the evening wine auction. So many wonderful people from all over the United States came to taste our exciting assortment of wines; it gave us great pleasure to put smiles on their faces as they shared in the tastings of them.

We look forward to sharing Panther wines at next year's Wine and Food Classic where we will be excited to showcase new wines to new faces and old friends alike. 
8/19/11

Va-Va-Va-Vermentino
The true star of Italian whites is stealing the spotlight from Pinot Grigio and ready to take its place on center stage

The Sada Vermentino in particular, has a leg up on the competition for many reasons. Most notably for the land on which the vineyard resides . Tuscany rates among the top three sites in Italy for growing Vermentino. Aside from nature nurturing the vines with salt air and warm sunlight, the consistency of the soil and temperate microclimate add to the grapes' ability to smoothly ripen to full maturity. This is also worth noting when comparing to Pinot Grigio. It is a grape that loses its acidity the longer it remains on the vine – thereby not given time to fully ripen.
Sadas vineyard is nestled near a very small village, with a population of roughly 1,100 people. There are few cars on the roads, with most traveling around by foot or bike. The lack of people and industrialization has helped the earth in this region maintain its natural elements, making agriculture the main focal point of commercial activity here, as well as wine making.
The close proximity of the sea provides more than just beauty and salt air for the Sada Vermentino vines.  It also provides a sidekick -- fresh fish.
Vermentino goes splendidly well with rich fishes and other oceanic delicacies such as snails found in the waters nearby.  Every year on the Sunday before the last, Casale Marittimo has a snail's festival.  A foodies' heaven, visitors and locals alike enjoy snail-based dishes served with local olive oil (some also produced by the Sada family), bread and tomatoes. It is also worth noting that unlike Pinto Grigio, Vermentino is a grape that stands up well against acidic foods like fruit and tomatoes.
If fish is not your forté, no worries. The Vermentino grapes are large in size with a good sugar/acid balance, making this wine perfect for accompanying those sugar craving, sweet-tooth suckers out there.
So here we have it. A grape born under the Tuscan sun, thriving on soil rich in minerals, taking in fresh, salt water air daily --a grape born to shine, and yet still left somewhat hidden in the shadow of the mighty Pinto Grigio. Well, like anything given too much press, the public soon loses interest and it appears as though Pinot Grigio's star power may be starting to fade. A few months ago, Lettie Teague had an article published in The Wall Street Journal about the up and coming Vermentino. Teague wrote, "
“At the end of my tasting, I couldn't help wondering why Vermentino was still so obscure. It's not only delicious and accessible but also reasonably priced and easy to pronounce. Its bright acidity and citrusy flavors were perfect for summer. Maybe Vermentino producers just needed some sort of collective slogan, one that would provoke Pinot Grigio regulars and also evoke its Mediterranean roots. Perhaps: ‘Pinot Grigio is perfect for drinking on boats, but Vermentino is the wine of yachts.’”
The wine of yachts. Now who wouldn't want to get in on drinking that? Certainly a wine labeled as such deserves a place on center stage. Even more certainly, the Sada Vermentino will be the first to do it, hailed as top biller in the category of Italian whites. It might just have to pay a few more dues before it gets there, but be certain, it is getting there.

Imagine yourself on a spectacular estate in Tuscany, Italy. Glorious views of the Mediterranean Sea and country hillsides surround you as you stand firmly planted above it, soaking in the elements at an altitude of 300 meters.

Such is the life of the Vermentino grape at the "Sada" vineyards. Located in Casale Marittimo,Tuscany, this utopian setting is brimming with rustic elegance. An easy distance from opulent waters and surrounded by vibrant flora, it's no surprise that Italy's largest region is a destination hot-spot for wealthy travelers who seek only the best in life, including fine wine. Many would give their right arm for the chance to summer here. The vast beauty that surrounds the vineyards at Sada is unparalleled. 

It is puzzling why a grape so lavishly pampered doesn't have  a slew of paparazzi surrounding it. A grape this divine should have its own billboard. Heck, it should have its own guest spot on "Glee." Still, the only name making headlines in the world of Italian whites is that over-exposed Pinot Grigio. Not necessarily a horrible style of white, but its heyday has long since passed. It  is so over produced, rarely a fine bottle is found on the shelves these days, though its name still appears in the credits of almost every wine list touting an "Italian" section. Perhaps the Vermentino just needs a better publicist or an upgrade in agents. Either way, one thing is for sure, its talents blow Pinot Grigio out of the Mediterranean water.

Especially Sada Vermentino. One sip and the palate is awe-struck by the grapes immense vitality. A single swallow washes away any foolish notions of a comeback Pinto Grigio may have had. It is a grape with far more depth. It is the rising star of Italian whites.

Grown in higher altitudes with hotter climate,Vermentino is a fuller-bodied style white, with a more floral aroma than most Pinot Grigios. It is bright, with citrus leaf and mineral notes on the nose and has a refreshing finish.

The Sada Vermentino in particular, has a leg up on the competition for many reasons. Most notably for the land on which the vineyard resides. Tuscany rates among the top three sites in Italy for growing Vermentino. Aside from nature nurturing the vines with salt air and warm sunlight, the consistency of the soil and temperate microclimate add to the grapes' ability to smoothly ripen to full maturity. This is also worth noting when comparing to Pinot Grigio. It is a grape that loses its acidity the longer it remains on the vine – thereby not given time to fully ripen.

Sada's vineyard is nestled near a very small village, with a population of roughly 1,100 people. There are few cars on the roads, with most traveling around by foot or bike. The lack of people and industrialization has helped the earth in this region maintain its natural elements, making agriculture the main focal point of commercial activity here, as well as wine making.

The close proximity of the sea provides more than just beauty and salt air for the Sada Vermentino vines. It also provides a sidekick -- fresh fish.

Vermentino goes splendidly well with rich fishes and other oceanic delicacies such as snails. Every Sunday, Casale Marittimo has a snail's festival. A foodies' heaven, visitors and locals alike enjoy snail-based dishes served with local olive oil (some also produced by the Sada family), bread and tomatoes. It is also worth noting that unlike Pinto Grigio, Vermentino is a grape that stands up well against acidic foods like fruit and tomatoes.

If fish is not your forté, no worries. The Vermentino grapes are large in size with a good sugar/acid balance, making this wine perfect for accompanying flavors more suited to those sweet-tooth suckers out there.

So here we have it. A grape born under the Tuscan sun, thriving on soil rich in minerals, taking in fresh, salt water air daily --a grape born to shine, and yet, left somewhat hidden in the shadow of the mighty Pinto Grigio. Like any over-publicized thing, it does not take long for public interest to soon dissipate and Pinot Grigio's fading starlight further proof of this.

A few months ago, Lettie Teague had an article published in The Wall Street Journal about the up and coming Vermentino. 

Teague wrote, 

“At the end of my tasting, I couldn't help wondering why Vermentino was still so obscure. It's not only delicious and accessible but also reasonably priced and easy to pronounce. Its bright acidity and citrusy flavors were perfect for summer. Maybe Vermentino producers just needed some sort of collective slogan, one that would provoke Pinot Grigio regulars and also evoke its Mediterranean roots. Perhaps: ‘Pinot Grigio is perfect for drinking on boats, but Vermentino is the wine of yachts.’”

Certainly a wine labeled as such deserves a place on center stage. Even more certainly, the Sada Vermentino will be the first to do it. It is being hailed as top biller in the category of Italian whites, with the class and structure needed to provide the staying power of a true star. 

8/19/11
Grape Ambition
How Panther’s newest wine salesman went from business major to Fenway Park usher to wine enthusiast 

From left: David Olsen-Billet and co-owner of Panther Distributing, Tony Ravosa at Boston's Fenway Park
David Olsen- Billet has guts. . .not only guts, but brains to boot -- a dangerous combination! After spending five years at Northeastern University, Billet graduated in 2010 with a shiny degree in international business. While such an achievement is truly commendable, it is not the crown jewel of Billet?s many accomplishments. 

On the contrary, it is precisely what he didn?t study at Northeastern that makes him such a force to be reckoned with. After all, not many young people fresh out of college would just take a five year degree in international business and throw caution completely to the wind to pursue a career in wine. Such a bold move might be better understood had it been made by a culinary major or someone studying hotel / restaurant management, but international business??  You?ve got to have some cojones to roll the dice and pursue such a radical career path.

For Olsen-Billet however, the world of wine was not a totally foreign concept. His father has been an avid collector since Olsen- Billet was a young boy.  ?I kind of just grew up around it,? says Olsen- Billett.  It was during those formative years that he began to develop his passion.  

?Growing up around it? and changing your life?s path to build a career around it are two very different things. When asked about the drastic change from international business, a seemingly more stable career than wine sales, Olsen- Billett responded by saying, ?I got bored working in an office. I wanted to be active, run around and do different things.?

In order to gain a greater foothold in his quest for an ?active? career, our modern day renaissance man enrolled in the Masters of Wine education program at Boston University taught by the esteemed Sandy Block, Wine Director for Legal Sea Foods. He also took a sales job working in Marty?s Wines and Liquors in Newton, Mass under the tutelage of Tom Schmeisser.

Aside from using his passion for wine to focus his talents as a Panther Distributing sales representative, Olsen-Billet also hopes to employ his linguistic abilities as well, ?I?m fluent in Spanish and in the future would like to be able to travel to other countries, including Spain, and do some sort of wine selling there.?
 
During the time he spent living in Madrid, Olsen- Billett developed a deep appreciation and affinity for Spanish wines, as well as a love of wines from the Rhone region. 

Currently, Olsen-Billet works as a sales rep for Panther in the Boston area. On days he is not sipping and spitting samples with clients, Olsen-Billet is rubbing shoulders with some of the most passionate sports fans on the planet moonlighting as an usher at Boston?s Fenway Park.

David Olsen- Billet has guts. . .not only guts, but brains to boot -- a dangerous combination! After spending five years at Northeastern University, Billet graduated in 2010 with a shiny degree in international business. While such an achievement is truly commendable, it is not the crown jewel of Billets many accomplishments. 

On the contrary, it is precisely what he didn't study at Northeastern that makes him such a force to be reckoned with. After all, not many young people fresh out of college would just take a five year degree in international business and throw caution completely to the wind to pursue a career in wine. Such a bold move might be better understood had it been made by a culinary major or someone studying hotel / restaurant management, but international business?  You've got to have some cojones to roll the dice and pursue such a radical career path.

For Olsen-Billet however, the world of wine was not a totally foreign concept. His father has been an avid collector since Olsen- Billet was a young boy. I kind of just grew up around it, says Olsen- Billett.  It was during those formative years that he began to develop his passion.  

Growing up around it, and changing your life's path to build a career around it are two very different things. When asked about the drastic change from international business, a seemingly more stable career than wine sales, Olsen- Billett responded by saying, "I got bored working in an office. I wanted to be active, run around and do different things."

In order to gain a greater foothold in his quest for an "active" career, our modern day renaissance man enrolled in the Masters of Wine education program at Boston University taught by the esteemed Sandy Block, Wine Director for Legal Sea Foods. He also took a sales job working in Marty's Wines and Liquors in Newton, Mass under the tutelage of Tom Schmeisser.

Aside from using his passion for wine to focus his talents as a Panther Distributing sales representative, Olsen-Billet also hopes to employ his linguistic abilities as well, "I'm fluent in Spanish and in the future would like to be able to travel to other countries, including Spain, and do some sort of wine selling there."
 
During the time he spent living in Madrid, Olsen- Billett developed a deep appreciation and affinity for Spanish wines, as well as a love of wines from the Rhone region. 

Currently, Olsen-Billet works as a sales rep for Panther in the Boston area. On days he is not sipping and spitting samples with clients, Olsen-Billet is rubbing shoulders with some of the most passionate sports fans on the planet moonlighting as an usher at Boston's Fenway Park.