Numerous winemakers are experimenting with underwater aging, but the jury is still out on whether the practice is truly beneficial or simply a fad. Argentinian winemaker Patricia Ortiz is among the believers, saying, "We tasted the underwater-aged wine and the cellar-aged counterparts blind, [and] the difference was stunning: the former was rounder, more elegant and with fresher fruit."
University of Pennsylvania graduate Francisco Garcia, who immigrated to the US from the Dominican Republic as a child, recently launched the tiny Strivers' Row distillery in Philadelphia. Among his first offerings will be Papa Juan, a spin on the Dominican drink mamajuana that uses malt whiskey infused with barks, honey and spices, rather than the traditional wine and rum.
Produce farmers in Santa Maria, Calif., are increasingly turning to automation and other labor-saving technology to bring in the harvest. Growers are using tools like mechanical harvesting equipment and a system called Lodar that lets operators control tractors from 50 yards away.
The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and other public and private entities will issue $5 million in grants to back projects aimed at improving the quality of 32,000 acres of pollinator habitat in 11 states. The projects, including one in Western Pennsylvania, will collect and plant milkweed seeds for monarch butterflies, bumblebees and other pollinators and educate the public about the importance of pollinators.
Amazon has confirmed plans to open four brick-and-mortar grocery stores in Washington, D.C.; Franconia, Va.; Chevy Chase, Md.; and Warrington, Pa., which would be its first East Coast sites. Amazon would not confirm whether the new locations would fly the retailer's Fresh banner, but did say it is now hiring "hundreds" of full- and part-time workers.
Jean Batthany, who spent more than four years working to shape the marketing of Walt Disney parks, products and brands, has been named Walmart's first chief creative officer. In a LinkedIn post, Batthany said she will develop "breakthrough and innovative marketing at all consumer touch points" for the retailer, and added she was happy to join "such an impactful brand with huge scope, scale and heart."
Lidl has introduced a new product logo for its own brands of items, such as toothpaste and soap, designed to raise awareness of water use and encourage customers to do more to conserve water every day. The "Save Water" logo, released to mark Earth Day and Water Conservation Month, also will guide shoppers to an online site that offers tips to cut water use and details Lidl's global commitment to the effort.
With restaurant demand decreasing and few events for many consumers to celebrate, Champagne sales have dropped -- except for the most prestigious, expensive varieties of the sparkling wine, whose prices keep going up, writes James Lawrence. "Three of the top five most traded wines by value in 2020 were newly released Champagnes" and "large formats of champagne also carry one of the largest premiums among fine wines and as a result, are increasingly in demand," said Justin Gibbs, a co-founder of the Liv-ex wine marketplace.
These grilled spiced pork kebabs are flavored with a North African marinade. Two pounds of pork can make kebabs for eight if you add grapes to the skewers and pair the kebabs with a spinach salad. The grapes add juiciness, so there's no need for a sauce.