Meet Mr. Pisco! Johnny Schuler

He’s passionate about Pisco! Johnny Schuler is Peru’s leading expert on Pisco and Master Distiller for Pisco Portón, whose Hacienda La Caravedo is the oldest Pisco distiller in the Americas (est. 1684). He explains the distillation process and grapes used to produce Pisco. Johnny is also a professional chef and restaurateur, owner of Granja Azul and Key Club, both in Lima.

Johnny Schuler is passionate about Pisco

Johnny says these four things distinguish Peruvian Pisco:

  1. Pisco is made from wine, not grapes. Juice is extracted from the grapes to ferment and distill rather than crushing and using the entire grape and stems.
  2. Pisco may only be made from the juice of eight designated grapes which are classified as ‘aromatic’ and ‘non-aromatic.’ The non-aromatic grapes are: Quebranta, Mollar, Negra Criolla and Uviña.  Aromatic grapes are: Albilla, Italia, Torontel and Moscatel.
  3. Pisco is a natural spirit whose distinct aromas and flavors come entirely from the terroir and grapes used. It is distilled to proof. No water, coloring, other flavorings or ingredients may be added. And we never utilize oak or any aging. Pisco is always crystal clear unlike a Cognac, Brandy or Armagnac.
  4. Distillation is a single process, always using copper pot stills. In comparison, other spirits like vodka may undergo double and triple distillation to achieve intended smoothness.”

Pisco has three distinct styles: Puro uses a single variety grape, either aromatic or non-aromatic. Acholado is a blend of two or more grapes of any kind. Mosto Verde a style that stops the fermentation process prior to the 100% conversion of grape sugar to wine. The result is a creamier, fuller style Pisco.


Pisco Sour is the signature cocktail of Peru.

Listen more on this edition of The Connected Table Live! Johnny is in the second segment.



Drink The Connected Table SIPS

Bob Blue, Chief Storyteller for 1000 Stories

Bob Blue, Winemaker and Chief Storyteller for 1000 Stories in Mendocino, CA, takes a deliberate small-batch approach to winemaking. 1000 Stories utilizes old bourbon barrels for aging, which Bob says he began using in the 1980s when French and American oak barrels were hard to come by.

Bob Blue with Melanie


What we tasted:

1000 Stories Zinfandel 2016 Batch 044Attractive flavors of red licorice and brown spice usher into this blend courtesy of Paso Robles vineyards. Hedonistic, juicy Zinfandel from Lodi brings round tannins and opulent notes of dark fruit, while a touch of soulful Lake County Petite Sirah completes the wine, contributing depth of color and profound suggestions of black pepper. SRP: $18.99



This wine is 1000 Stories first-ever release of Carignan as a single varietal. Look for notes of brilliantly racy red and black fruits set to a rich backdrop of toast, herbs and cocoa. SRP: $18.99


In this edition of The Connected Table Sips! Bob Blue explains how the char of bourbon barrels adds distinct and nuanced complexity to wine and specifically his 1000 Stories Bourbon Barrel-Aged Zinfandel and Bourbon Barrel-Aged Carignan.  

Instagram: 1000_stories_wines


1000 Stories Inspires

1000 Stories  works with the Wildlife Conservation Society  to develop programs to reintroduce bison into healthy environments where they may thrive and contribute to the ecosystems once again.

Thanks to strong conservation efforts started in the early 1900s by the American Bison Society (led by pioneering conservationist Theodore Roosevelt), the bison population has grown to about 450,000, yet fewer than 20,000 range freely. Realizing the bison population was still at risk, Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) re-launched the American Bison Society in 2005. Wildlife Conservation Society has built a network of experts and strong relationships with ranchers and Native American tribes in an effort to restore natural habitats for the bison population. Info:



Reflecting on The Who’s Who of Food & Beverage in America

While many industry followers quiver with anticipation for The James Beard Foundation’s announcement of its Restaurant, Book and Media Award Finalists (LINK). I have a soft spot for the less flashy Who’s Who of Food & Beverage in America.

This program pre-dates The James Beard Foundation, and I would like to shed a little light on its origins. The creators of the Who’s Who of Cooking in America (the original name) were Chris Kimball, founder, publisher and managing editor for Cook’s Magazine (the original one started in 1980 and later Cook’s Illustrated) and Jeffrey Berlind, at the time managing editor for Restaurant Business Magazine. For some reason Jeff’s name as co-founder gets omitted, and I know if he is reading this he will appreciate the shout out.

The program was started in 1984 to recognize leaders in all areas of food, beverage and hospitality. There were a few dozen original inductees including the late James Beard who also died the same year. I became involved in the Who’s Who of Cooking in America as a consultant in 1987. My role was to write short biographies for every Who’s Who member and handle publicity for the announcement of the new Who’s Who. I can thank Jane Freiman, a contributing editor for Cook’s Magazine, for introducing me to Chris and Jeff.

Initially, Chris asked me to write short biographies for all the current Who’s Who members and generate some publicity for the program. In 1988 he asked me to produce the event. In 1989, The Bonnier Group, owners of Cook’s Magazine, decided to close the publicaton. That was almost the end of the Who’s Who in Cooking in America. I worked with the owners to try to find a buyer for the Who’s Who. We approached the food magazines, Food & Wine, Bon Appetit, Gourmet, and credit card companies. But it was Peter Kump, the founder of The James Beard Foundation, who called me to say, “Let’s bring back the Who’s Who of Cooking.” Peter had been inducted into the Who’s Who in 1988. A deal was negotiated in 1990, and in 1991, the program was reinstated under the newly lanched James Beard Foundation Awards. The rest is history.

I’ve always felt this program deserves a bigger spotlight. The Who’s Who is a history of the individuals who truly shaped the industry from every aspect. If you ever have the chance to look through complete list you will know what I mean:

Congratulations to this year’s new group of Who’s Who of Food & Beverage in America: Jody Adams, Chef/Owner, TRADE, Porto, and Saloniki; Lally Brennan, Ti Adelaide Martin, Co-Proprietors, Commander’s Palace; Allison Hooper, Co-Founder, Vermont Creamery (Vermont), Daniel Johnnes, Wine Director, The DINEX Group.

Listen to our show with Ti Adelaide Martin with Miss Ella Brennan here LINK


Listen to our show with Daniel Johnnes here LINK