12
Jan

Rare Cacao Beans Discovered in Peru (Moonstruck Chocolate, Exclusive American Retailer of Chocolate) – New York Times, January 11, 2011

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At Moonstruck, the exclusive American retailer for the chocolate, Julian Rose, the chocolatier, is coating pure Nacional beans with pure Nacional chocolate. These will be introduced this weekend at the Fancy Food Show in San Francisco, and are sold as Fortunato Tumbled Beans at moonstruckchocolate.com ($12 for 3.5 ounces; bars of Peruvian Fortunato are $12 for 2 ounces). Mr. Rose said the flavor of this chocolate is so refined that it does not need vanilla, commonly added to chocolate, to round it out.

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10
Jan

LANE PR’s Amber Roberts Joins Other Experts to Discuss what Role Newswire Services Should Play in IR – PRWeek, January 2011

Posted by: Admin in: Lane News -

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Amber Roberts, Managing Director, LANE PR New York

In August 2008, the SEC revised Reg FD to allow the use of the Web to inform the public of earnings and other material disclosures. Companies now have the option of using RSS feeds, e-mail alerts, and website postings, in addition to, or instead of, newswire releases to disseminate financial information.

Using a newswire service for material disclosures can come with a heavy price due to the amount of information that typically must be included in earnings releases and other disclosures. In an age of self-publishing, that time and money might be better spent elsewhere.

However, before any company considers switching to an online-only distribution platform, it first needs to ask a few questions and follow some simple guidelines:

■  Survey your audience. How would investors and other relevant constituencies prefer to get their news? Is your website a recognized channel for timely and material information? What steps must you take to get your website to be such a channel? Truly understand your audience before you make a change.
■  Stick to key IR principles: transparency and responsiveness. Whatever vehicles you choose for news distribution, they must allow you to be as transparent as possible and not compromise your responsiveness to inquiries.
■  Communicate and communicate again your new distribution method and explain the value to your constituencies. Then communicate it some more, just to cover your bases.
■  Consistency is key. If you choose Web- only for your distribution and eliminate a wire service for material announcements, be consistent. In order to secure investment community buy-in and drive real change in behavior, the company must be consistent with the methods it ultimately chooses. Inconsistency can lead to questioned credibility.

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06
Jan

2011 Wine Resolution: Reach for Less Familiar Wines (Bagrationi) – the Kitchn, January 6, 2011

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For my third new wine I am heading to Georgia (the country – not the state!). Just before the holidays I had the opportunity to try the delicious sparkling wines of Bagrationi. Lots of unknowns here, except that I remembered from my studies over the years that Georgia had a long and prestigious history of sparkling wines. In fact as the people I met from Bagrationi explained to me, archeological finds show that winemaking in Georgia can be traced back 7000 years, which is even further than in Greece.

Georgia has a lot of very old indigenous grape varieties. The ones used to produce these sparkling wines are the white varieties Chinebuli, Mtsvane and Tsitka (I know, a mouthful to pronounce). I was intrigued by these varieties and keen to understand what each variety brought to the final blend. My hosts explained that Chinebuli gives body, acidity and fruit intensity. It is also highly prized for sparkling wine production. Mtsvane adds complexity, especially in the aromas. Finally, Tsitka adds freshness, acidity and citrus flavor.

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