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Isabel Legeron MW on the Appeal of Natural Wine

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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.” 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, […]

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From Valpolicella- Raffaele Boscaini, Masi Agricola

From Valpolicella- Raffaele Boscaini, Masi Agricola
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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 […]

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Laura Bianchi, Castello di Monsanto, Chianti Classico

Laura Bianchi, Castello di Monsanto, Chianti Classico
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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 […]

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Happy Hanukkah! And Lots of Latkes

Happy Hanukkah! And Lots of Latkes
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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 […]

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Thanksgiving: Traditional or with a Twist?

Thanksgiving: Traditional or with a Twist?
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Are you a Thanksgiving traditionalist or do you like your meal with an exotic twist?  We’re hosting 18 family members. Everyone brings dish. The next night we have a “Friendsgiving” dinner and invite neighbors to bring their leftovers for a mash-up meal. Every year when we plan the menu, I always sound like the odd man out. While most people are traditionalists when it comes to the Thanksgiving meal. I’m usually the lone voice suggesting something new. Yes, we have turkey, dressing, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie, etc. But, as a non-turkey eater who likes her greens, I’m always looking for […]

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120 Turkish Recipes. Many Published for the First Time in English

120 Turkish Recipes. Many Published for the First Time in English
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We’re talking about Robyn Eckhardt’s new book, “Istanbul & Beyond- Exploring the Diverse Cuisines of Turkey.” In the book’s introduction, Robyn says she traveled some 15,000 miles, village to village and market to market to chat up local farmers, fishermen, groups of women making grape molasses, families on a picnics and other local folks to learn about Turkish food traditions. Robyn’s sidekick is husband, David Hagerman, the incredibly talented photographer, who captures Turkish landscapes and foodscapes with equal finesse. If you are not familiar with Robyn’s work, check out her award-winning blog “Eating Asia.” It’s on our short list for […]

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Some Like It RAW And It’s Pretty Hot

Some Like It RAW And It's Pretty Hot
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We recently spent a damp Sunday afternoon navigating wine tables and elbowing hipsters in Bushwick, Brooklyn, to taste a global sampling of natural, biodynamic, organic and other low intervention wines at RAW WINE New York.  The event was conceived by Master of Wine Isabelle Legeron, author of “Natural Wine,” and featured over 150 producers, with just over 50 seeking representation. We’ve been curious about natural wines after attending a dinner at Rouge Tomate hosted by Wines of Georgia and led by Pascaline Lepeltier who was wine director there at the time. Recently on separate editions of The Connected Table LIVE!, […]

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“Flying Winemaker” Michel Rolland Touches Down with The Connected Table

"Flying Winemaker" Michel Rolland Touches Down with The Connected Table
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He’s called “The Flying Winemaker” and his international influence in the world of wine is unparalleled. Bordeaux-based Oenologist Michel Rolland consults for more than 100 estates in 14 countries. Another 400 estates utilize the services of his laboratories located in France and Mendoza for analysis and advice. And at an age when many contemplate slowing down to stop and smell the roses, Michel is still living a life in the air and on the ground tending the vines, blending with finesse and turning out world-class wines. He turns 70 on December 24 this year and celebrates his 45th harvest in Bordeaux. Michel was raised […]

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Meet the Man Whose Botanical Beverage is on Everyone’s Lips  

Meet the Man Whose Botanical Beverage is on Everyone's Lips  
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Ben Branson must be on to something. It seems like he’s popping up everywhere including a recent Food52 profile and last week’s Wall Street Journal feature story on “sophisticated mocktails.”  It’s not just a great public relations blitz. He really is on to something. Not drinking alcohol is now as fashionable as drinking it. Everyone, from chefs and bartenders to the consumers they serve seems to be seeking a balanced lifestyle of happy health and hedonistic pleasure. Ben grew up on a farm in Lincolnshire, England. As the story goes, “He stumbled upon a 1651 edition of ‘The Art of Distillation’ and […]

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A Cider House Rules – Meet Angry Orchard Cider Maker Ryan Burk

A Cider House Rules - Meet Angry Orchard Cider Maker Ryan Burk
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We live in apple country in the Hudson Valley. The trees have blossomed and are now heavy with fruit. You can smell the scent of apples in the air. Last week we attended a farm-to-table dinner at Angry Orchard in nearby Walden. It’s a 60-acre farm dating back to the 1700s that today makes both classic and modern styles of hard cider. Cider making dates back to colonial times. Now days it’s had a resurgence, growing 400% since 2010. We’ve tasted a good amount of hard ciders here in New York, one of the best regions for cider making and […]

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