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Drink Eat THE CONNECTED TABLE RADIO SHOW

Thomas Waugh’s Cocktails Dazzle at The Pool Room Lounge

Normally, we are not Cocktail Lounge Lizards. My idea of bellying up to a bar is heading to a barre class. I am more l downward dog than hair of a dog when it comes to recovering from a night out imbibing. But, who can resist an invitation to check out the swanky new cocktail lounge at one of NYC’s hottest restaurant openings, The Pool Room at the former Four Seasons Restaurant? The place is hopping with a mosaic of New York’s stylish deal makers, debutantes and downtown-heads-uptown types.

Thomas Waugh tends the bar at The Pool Room Lounge, NYC
Thomas Waugh tends the bar at The Pool Room Lounge, NYC

And we know why. Director of Bar Operations Thomas Waugh makes cocktails that build on a single ingredient without overdoing it. The cocktails are based on a vegetable, fruit, spice or herb, and then he layers. Cucumbers, tomatoes, watermelon, chamomile and cinnamon are just a few examples. Of course Thomas switches it up with the seasons, so who knows what may be up his bar sleeve next.

Originally destined for culinary school, Thomas caught the bartending bug working at Harry Denton’s Starlight Room in San Francisco as a means to earn money for school. His industry mentors, Jacques Bezuidenhout and Marcovaldo Dionysos, taught Thomas to mix his culinary inclinations into his drinks.  Prior to joining Major Food Group, which owns The Pool Room restaurant & lounge among many other NYC restaurants,Thomas was Head Bartender at Death & Co.

“The Millionaire’s Old Fashioned.” It’s fashioned around the flavor of cinnamon.

Listen to our show with Thomas Waugh, The Pool Room Lounge on iHeart.com. Click image below.

 

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Drink THE CONNECTED TABLE RADIO SHOW

Isabel Legeron MW on the Appeal of Natural Wine

Isabel Legeron is France’s only female Master of Wine and only one of 354 MW’s worldwide. She’s been named “Wine Woman of the Year” in Paris and is recipient of the Madame Bollinger Award for Excellence in Tasting. Her website refers to her as “That Crazy French Woman,” which is also the name of a TV show she’s hosted and her blog.  Isabel is Founder of RAW Wine and author of “Natural Wine: An Introduction to Organic and Biodynamic Wines Made Naturally.”

Isabel Legeron, Founder of RAW Wine

By day, Isabel, consults for London’s Bibendum Restaurant & Oyster Bar in Kensington, Elliot’s in Borough Market and The Richmond in Hackney. She also founded the wine education program at Divertimenti Cookery School, in London, and has consulted for several luxury hotels and resorts. Isabel’s latest claim to fame is the creation of RAW Wine, a two- day independent wine fair showcasing more than 100 vintners from around the world, whose mission is “to make natural wines  made from sustainably farmed, organic or biodynamic grapes, with nothing removed or added during wine making, bar at most a dash of sulfites.”  Info here:www.rawwine.com

 

Listen to our visit with Isabel Legeron on The Connected Table LIVE! on iHeart.com.

 

Purchase Isabel’s book here:

 

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Drink Explore THE CONNECTED TABLE RADIO SHOW

From Valpolicella- Raffaele Boscaini, Masi Agricola

We visit Valpolicella, the “land of many cellars,” with Raffaele Boscaini, General Coordinator of Masi Technical Group and Director of Marketing, who represents the seventh generations of this venerable 200-year-old wine estate.

The name Masi comes from “Vaio dei Masi,” the little valley purchased by the Boscaini family in the late 18th Century.  Masi Agricola also manages the most historic estate in Valpolicella, which once belonged to descendants of the legendary 14th Century poet Dante, the noble Serego Alighieri family.


Sandro and Raffele Boscaini (front row left) with the MASI Technical Group team

You can call the Boscainis one of the “noble families” of wine making in Valpolicella. Wine Writer Hugh Johnson has called Masi wines “milestones of enology in Verona.” We’ll discuss the family’s history and role in the production of Amarone and Recioto and evolution of MASI’s trademarked APPAXXIMENTO® (appassimento) method of drying grapes. In 1964 MASI introduced a “supervenetian” category of wine, Campofiorin. Masi also has projects outside the Veneto in Tuscany and Argentina, in collaboration with Serego Alighieri.

Listen to Raffaele Boscaini on The Connected Table LIVE! on iHeart here:

 

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Drink THE CONNECTED TABLE RADIO SHOW

Laura Bianchi, Castello di Monsanto, Chianti Classico

We met the lovely Laura Bianchi last July when she came to New York to present a vertical tasting of Castello di Monsanto‘s iconic Il Poggio Chianti Classico Cru dating back to the 1960s. This wine is only made in the best vintages using only estate grown fruit, and hand-picked grapes, Monsanto owns the largest reserves of Chianti Classico in Tuscany, and it was the first winery in the region to make a Chianti Classico Cru.

Castello di Monsanto was started by Laura’s grandfather, Aldo Bianchi, a native of San Gimignano, who left Tuscany before the Second World War to seek fortune in the North of Italy. In 1960, he came back to the area for a wedding and was enchanted by the view from the terrace of Castello di Monsanto, encompassing the Val d’Elsa with the backdrop of the Towers of San Gimignano.

He purchased the property within a few months. But if Aldo was bewitched by the landscape, Fabrizio, his son, immediately fell in love with the wines he found in the cellar. Thanks to a passion for wine handed down to him by his grandmother, who came from Piedmont, and to an innate entrepreneurial spirit, Fabrizio, together with his wife Giuliana, started to plant new vineyards and convert the numerous farmhouses. Today, Castello di Monsanto remains a family owned and operated company, overseen by Fabrizio and daughter, Laura.

Laura studied law and brefly worked in law before joining the family business where she works side by side with her father. She unwinds by practicing yoga.


Laura Bianchi, Castello di Monsanto


Bottles of Il Poggio from our tasting

Listen to our interview with Laura Bianchi December 20tth now on iHeart. Click below.

 

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Eat

The Feast of Seven Fishes (and Pastas)

Even though neither of us grew up in an Italian-American family, we both have adopted the celebration of the Feast of Seven Fishes as one of our holiday traditions. Called “Il Cenone or La Vigilia,”  the emphasis on fish comes from the Catholic religion’s centuries-old rule against eating meat on Fridays to honor the sacrifice of Jesus. The number “seven” refers to the seven sacraments, although there are varying opinions on why this specific number matters.

To our delight, we attended a dinner hosted by Santa Margherita USA with wine writer, Anthony Giglio, at Aunt Jake’s in Soho. It was a small group of industry friends, and Anthony kept us engaged with amusing stories about growing in a very traditional Italian-American family. We always enjoy seeing Anthony and his entire family at the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen, and this dinner was a wonderful way to catch up in a more intimate setting.

The dinner was abundant with the appropriate number of fish dishes and almost as many pastas, all paired with different wines. While we know the Feast of Seven Fishes has nothing to do with the “seven deadly sins,” this meal was sinfully delicious! Our special thanks go out to Lisa Friedman at Santa Margherita and to Anthony Giglio for putting us in the holiday spirit.


Whether your holiday feast centers around fish, meat, game or vegetables, we hope you enjoy it pleasure. And, save room for dessert!

Happy Holidays! Happy New Year!

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Drink Eat

Happy Hanukkah! And Lots of Latkes

Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights, starts December 12. For those of you who celebrate Hanukkah, we hope the upcoming eights days are filled with joy and plenty of latkes, the traditional pan-fried potato pancake served during Hanukkah to commemorate the miracle that a single jar of oil found in the Temple lasted for eight nights.

Last week we received this helpful free wine and latke pairing guide from our friends at Israel’s Yarden Wines, which includes Golan Heights Winery and Galil Mountain Winery. Here are some of their suggestions (link to download free guide):

Classic potato latke with sour cream with Gewϋrtztraminer: “The spicy off-dry notes of the Gewϋrtztraminer will accentuate the subtle spices of the latkes.”

Sweet potato latke with applesauce with Viognier. “The floral notes will accentuate the round sweet tones of this dish, while the notes of lychee and apricot will match and accentuate the crisp sweet tones of the applesauce.

Cheesy vegetable latkes with sour cream: “A Cabernet Sauvignon-Merlot blend has earthy, spicy and pepper notes that will match the earth and cheesy flavors of the latke.”

ID 64362913 © Oksana Kiian | Dreamstime

 

We’ve interviewed both Victor Schoenfeld, Golan Heights Winery and Micha Vaadia, Galil Mountain Winery on our podcast series, The Connected Table SIPS! In case you missed them, here are the iHeart.com links:

Victor Schoenfeld, winemaker at Golan Heights Winery, is a pioneer in the application of new technology and wine making techniques who has developed some of Israel’s most sophisticated viticultural advancements, from irrigation management to wind generated electricity. Founded in 1983, Golan Heights Winery has had a major role in developing and nurturing Israel’s modern wine culture Podcast link.

Micha Vaadia is chief winemaker for Israel’s Galil Mountain Winery located in the Upper Galilee, an ancient region with a new wine culture. Established as a joint venture in 2000 by Golan Heights Winery and Kibbutz Yiron, green living is a way of life at Galil Mountain. Podcast link.

Wishing you Happy Hanukkah and Lots of Latkes!

 

The Connected Table SIPS podcasts series spotlights vintners, distillers and producers in 3-5 minute recorded podcasts on iHeart.com and the free iHeart App.