Biliner Mineral Water from the Bohemian Czech Republic

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Thirst is a natural desire in humans, and thirst for refreshing water is the most natural of all. In places where there are regular droughts, such as in the State of California, that thirst turns many people to bottled water.

One of the newest entrants in the bottled water market is actually one of the oldest. Biliner Mineral Water’s spring source was discovered in 1664 on the noble Lobkowicz estates in royal Bilina in the Northern Bohemia region of what is today the Czech Republic. Balneologists flocked to Bilina, drafting extensive reports about the water’s healing and medicinal powers.

Some of these health benefits are linked to a high concentration of minerals (5000 PPM). The water is bottled as it flows from its source and contains sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium and iron, as well as anions of chloride, sulfate and bicarbonate.

Our tasters tried the “Premium Mineral Water” and concluded that for many Americans it might be an acquired taste. The flavor is a bit reminiscent of the slightly salty taste of carbonated Perrier, however because the Premium is not carbonated the experience is not exactly the same.

The tasters however found the “Royal Class Spring Water,” the higher priced of the two selections, to be very tasty and quite competitive with others currently available. TasteTV gives it a “Highly Recommend.”

Biliner is now available in several locations throughout the United States and North America, including San Francisco, San Jose, Florida, etc. For more information go to  www.biliner.com, www.facebook.com/biliner

 

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Master Sommelier Evan Goldstein authors new wine guide, Wines of South America

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Wine expert and author Evan Goldstein has a brand new guidebook out, called the Wines of South America, currently available in stores and on Amazon.com

Evan Goldstein is a Master Sommelier, and President and Chief Education Officer of Full Circle Wine Solutions, Inc. in San Francisco. He is the author of Perfect Pairings: A Master Sommelier’s Practical Advice for Partnering Wine with Food and Daring Pairings: A Master Sommelier Matches Distinctive Wines with Recipes from His Favorite Chefs, both published by UC Press.

Q: Evan, how many books on wine have you authored so far?

evan-goldsteinEvan Goldstein:  This is my third book with UC Press (the other two being ‘Perfect Pairings’ and ‘Daring Pairings’, two works on pairing wine with food) and I did a service book (now out of print) some years back

Q: South America is a gigantic continent, how long did it take you to research this book?

Evan Goldstein:  Well, off and on, it was over a 7-8 year period but the specific book centric focus was onsite (e.g. in South America over 5-6 weeks in 2012/3 and, via a series of good friends/embedded emissaries, if you will, over a year and a half more. And my own research spanned over 2 years (2012-2013)

Q: How do you categorize the wines, by country or varietal?

Evan Goldstein:  The book is organized, after the introductory chapters which cover off on continental history and a compendium of grapes found across the continent, by country with five core chapters- Argentina, Chile, Brazil, Uruguay and a compilation chapter covering off on Bolivia, Columbia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, and Venezuela, This is followed by a series of chapters on subjects ranging from traveling in South American wine country, dining locally, and a series of recommended wines via a series of ‘top 10’ lists….

Q: What do you think is most important for the reader to take away from using this guide book?

Evan Goldstein:  That South America is undervalued and underappreciated given its significance as a global wine producing continent (2nd most impactful, as a continent, after Europe). Also, that there’s much more to South America than the good-value entries made by a small number of higher visibility producers. Chile and Argentina are in their defining 3.0’s, if you will, and Brazil and Uruguay have yet to get their real day in the sun, until now!

Q: You have photos and maps. Did you take the photos?

Evan Goldstein:  The photos and maps were done by professionals (unlike me!) who have a keen sensibility about the regions they shot in. A big shout out to Matt Wilson, with five photos in the book, and whose work adorns the cover…the maps, serveral of which didn’t exist before this book, were all custom cartographed.

Q: What are some of your favorite South American wines?

Evan Goldstein:  Ahh—for that you’ll need to refer to my ‘top 10’s on pages 265-272!

Q: Any pairings you suggest?

Evan Goldstein:  Well, unlike my first two books with UC Press this one is not a specific paring book. That said, a few can’t misses—great beef (a staple of Argentina, Southern Brazil and Uruguay) with the robust reds of their respective countries (Malbec and Malbec blends (Argentina); Tannat and Tannat blends (Uruguay) and varied rich reds from across Brazil)—Peruvian takes of ceviche with Chilean Sauvignon Blancs, especially those from San Antonio and coastal Casablanca; traditional Argentinean empanadas (filled with meat, olives, raisins, and hard boiled eggs) with Torrontés (really); and any of the fried Brazilian pasteis (savory croquettes) served with, what else, Brazilian bubbly!

Chef Barb’s B Sweet rolls out Bread Pudding product line

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Frozen bread pudding may not sound appealing to foodie purists, but to many people it sounds like manna from heaven. And frankly, it’s pretty darn good, especially Chef Barb’s B Sweet‘s new product line. That explains why it has just been picked up for retail in more than 250 Super Target stores nationwide.

Bread Pudding 4-Flavors-TopThe bread pudding comes in the same size containers as ice cream, and the flavors range from Fudge Brownie and Apple Pie to Cookies & Cream and Glazed Donut. In the TasteTV office, the Apple Pie was a big hit, and there was much discussion about how after we had heated it in the microwave, we should have gone ahead and added a big lump of ice cream on top.

The only drawback is that it really is best served hot, so if you don’t plan on consuming what you have on your plate right away, then save some for later (or give it to the drooling friend staring at your plate).

Bread Pudding Stack-CelebIf you don’t know who Chef Barb is, here is a quick summary:

Barb Batiste founded Chef Barb’s B Sweet© in 2010 as a way to bring back the homemade taste in food and desserts we all love. From her kitchen at home, to now her third commercial kitchen, she continues to remain true to her “handmade like grandma used to make” ways. Barb and her committed team strive to create new recipes with an old-fashioned twist every day.

Chef Barb’s B Sweet© was named Best Dessert of CitySearch Los Angeles, has been a featured chef at the prestigious L.A. Food and Wine event for the past three years and was a featured chef at the Los Angeles Times’ The Taste.

Beyond desserts, Chef Barb’s B Sweet© is a full-service catering company with clients that include Disney, Nike, Apple, E! Television, Sony, the cast and crew of Modern Family and NCIS and more. Chef Barb’s creations have been seen on TV shows like The Bachelorette, local and national news and prominent talk shows. Chef Barb’s B Sweet© also has a fleet of mobile food trucks that cater daily to the local Southern California community. B Sweet™ is growing quickly, and the proof, as they say, “is in the pudding”! 

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More good news:

Chef Barb not only has her fleet of food trucks out in force, but has also just opened up their first brick and mortar store this past weekend in Los Angeles.

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TNT Cosmetics expands into Retail Outlets

View of guests inside Dylan Keith Salon

View of guests inside Dylan Keith Salon

TNT Cosmetics is going from online-only to an actual physical presence in a retail space. In this case, it’s at the Dylan Keith Salon in Burbank, California.

To celebrate this expansion, TNT hosted a red carpet celebrity event at the Salon in July. “Dylan Keith Salon is a gorgeous space and a clientele that matches our own demographic,” says Tasha Castagna. “There isn’t a better venue for us to partner with for our first retail outlet, or a better place to host an event!”

Makeup artist Robert Hensley and Hair stylist Ruzanna Kirakosyan touch up actress Danielle Inks on the Red Carpet.

Makeup artist Robert Hensley and Hair stylist Ruzanna Kirakosyan touch up actress Danielle Inks on the Red Carpet.

Celebs who attended included Valarie Pettiford (Jumping the Broom, True Blood, Tony Award  Nominee), Scott Baio (Arrested Development, See Dad Run), Galadriel Stineman (True Blood), recording artist Vano Kimmel, Veronica Alicino (Alvin and The Chipmunks, HOP), director Tobias Daniels (Black Velvet), Jillian Clare (Kitchen, Alien Abduction), recordign artist Acacia Brinley (lead singer WATERCOLORS), Celeste Thorson (How I Met Your Mother), Lela Brown (America’s Got Talent finalist), Gabriella Hillan (Children of the Dead), Sophia Strauss (Cooties, Bukowski), Paris Smith (Nickelodeon’s Every Witch Way), recording artist Lundon Knighten (featured in Cosmopolitan’s March 2014 issue), model Nadia Dawn, and Jennifer Jolliff (New Series Callbacks).

Owners of TNT Cosmetics - Hoyt and Tasha Castagna

Owners of TNT Cosmetics – Hoyt and Tasha Castagna

Dylan Keith Salon, named for salon owner Kristin Best’s late son, is a full-service salon, offering hair, nail and skin services. Best’s resume includes studio work, celebrity clientele and is noted for her dedication to customer service. TNT will fill the void left by the discontinuation of Dylan Keith’s signature line of cosmetics.

TNT Cosmetics is a full line of all-natural mineral cosmetics. Products in the line include mineral powder foundations, blushes, shadows, lip paints and nail colors. TNT will be placing a selection of their best selling items with the salon, rotating seasonal colors throughout the year.

 

Lots and lots of shadows!

Lots and lots of shadows!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A guest having makeup done at the launch event.

A guest having makeup done at the launch event.

 

Photography by Renee Appell Photography

 

TV Spot Pick: Kelly Osbourne Unwinds at Home with Wheat Thins

The TV Spot (Commercial) Pick of the week is

“Kelly Osbourne Unwinds at Home with Wheat Thins”

The Fashionable “Love Fashion Hotel” in Bali

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FashionTV, a global media network dedicated to all things fun and fashionable, has a new boutique hotel in Bali, called the Love F Hotel. It’s not hard to guess that the “Love F” could stand for “Love Fashion,” among other things. Interestingly the hotel goes by both names, just in case.

LOVE_F_HOTEL_LEGIAN_PRESENTATION1The goal is for the Love FH to be a glamorous destination for not only the fashionista, but for the fashion-enticed.

FashionTV explains:

“Located at the haute Legian district of Bali, most popular for its posh boutiques, dazzling bars, famed surf breaks, and magnificent sunsets, fashiontv’s Love Fashion Hotel, Bali is a stroll away from endless shopping, dining, and entertaining options.

Fashiontv’s Love Fashion Hotel, Bali is designed by the internationally-renowned firm, Marques and Jordy, who transformed the prestige and glamour of fashiontv’s brand into opulence and chic living. The hotel features a sensational catwalk lobby, 202 couture yet comfortable guest-rooms and suites, two casual dining options, a fine dining restaurant, a stunning bar, pool area with Jacuzzi and private cabanas, a tranquil spa, the exclusive Love Fashion Store, and an outdoor deck with magnificent sunset view.”

 

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More information:

Jalan Raya Legian No. 121, Kuta Badung 80361,

Bali – Indonesia

T : +62-361 8496 688

F : +62-361 8496 699