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Malbec Match Made in Heaven: Alain Dominique Perrin and Michel Rolland

Malbec Match Made in Heaven: Alain Dominique Perrin and Michel Rolland
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One made a name for himself running one the world’s most renowned luxury brands. The other is a world-renowned oenologist. When Alain Dominique Perrin, formerly CEO /Chairman of Must de Cartier and Cartier International, purchased the historic 16th century Chateau Lagrézette in Cahors, France, he tapped Michel Rolland to oversee construction of the new wine production facility. Using his eye for detail and design, Perrin oversaw Chateau Lagrézette’s restoration, and Rolland tended to the vines. At the time (1988) Chateau Lagrézette was still a winery cooperative. Says Rolland, “This was a first for me: to consult for a private client with wines […]

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Everything is Coming Up Vermentino in Sardegna

Everything is Coming Up Vermentino in Sardegna
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The wisp of a fresh sea breeze and the soft scent of wildflowers and Mediterranean brush remind me of a recent trip to Sardegna just before summer crowds of tourists flooded the island and just in time to taste some newly released wines. My trip was an immersion experience to learn about Vermentino, a light-skinned white grape that produces vibrant citrusy high-acid wines that make you salivate for a plate of fresh shellfish or just-caught, lightly grilled branzino with fresh herbs. Vermentino is also cultivated in Corsica, where it’s called Vermentinu and in parts of Languedoc-Roussillon, where it’s called Rolle. […]

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A Little Joie de Vivre with Jean-Charles Boisset

A Little Joie de Vivre with Jean-Charles Boisset
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Does Jean-Charles Boisset have a James Bond complex? Perhaps. He definitely blends dapper and debonair in his style and businessman-meets-bon vivant. The descendent of Burgundy wine producers, Jean-Charles oversees the family business on two continents. In France this encompasses: Jean-Claude Boisset Winery, Domaine de la Vougeraie, Bouchard Aîné & Fils, Ropiteau Frères, J. Moreau & Fils, Château de Pierreux, Mommessin (all Burgundy), Bonpas (Rhône Valley) and Fortant (Languedoc).   In the U.S.A., Jean-Charles acquired Buena Vista Winery (Carneros) the first bonded winery in California, Raymond Vineyards and De Loach Vineyards. And he’s created the lifestyle “brand,” JCB by Jean-Charles Boisset.  The Boisset Collection also includes […]

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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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The Breakers Palm Beach- Ageless & Timeless

The Breakers Palm Beach- Ageless & Timeless
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I’ve been fascinated with grand hotels ever since my father took me to New York when I was five to visit Eloise at The Plaza. The front desk told us she was with her Nanny in Central Park. Eloise mailed me a thank you postcard for stopping by.  A girl with manners! One of the items on my travel “bucket list” is to visit many of the grand dame hotels around the world. While staying with David’s mother in Florida last week we spent the day at The Breakers Palm Beach and hosted our show at the hotel. Our guest […]

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The Sweet Smell of Success – Our Maple Syrup Weekend

The Sweet Smell of Success - Our Maple Syrup Weekend
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After a week of intensive wine tasting in Napa Valley, we decided to treat ourselves to a maple syrup weekend in the Hudson Valley. We picked two farms to visit in nearby Dutchess County: Madava Farms, producers of Crown Maple Syrup, and Soukup Farms. A “farm” can be many things much like a “country house.” The large stone sign at the entrance to Madava Farms was followed by a long driveway opening up to a vast property still covered with snow and surrounded by a forest of maple trees linked by sap tubing. The large sap production building and company […]

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Spring (Bud) Break In Napa

Spring (Bud) Break In Napa
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The spring buds are breaking in Napa Valley which puts everyone in a good mood after recent rains. Driving along Highway 29 gazing out at expansive wine estates, it’s hard to envision the ranch towns of the 1960’s when Napa Valley’s earliest vintners scooped up farmland for a fraction of what it would cost today. It was an investment that paid off, and a gamble that hit the jackpot with international media attention from promotional stunts like the 1976 Judgement of Paris and numerous accolades for Napa Valley wines.  Still, in spite of its international reputation, Napa Valley is still […]

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Sonoma Stars

Sonoma Stars
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It had been awhile since either of had spent much time in Sonoma Valley, so we felt lucky to add three nights for a visit following our stay at Meadowood in St. Helena for the Professional Wine Writers Symposium. Where Napa feels gentrified and sophisticated, Sonoma feels bucolic and achaten-suisse.com laid back. It’s like comparing cashmere to fleece; they both feel great and will keep you warm outside, and you want both for different reasons. The first two nights were spent at Jordan Winery in Alexander Valley tasting wines, exploring the expansive estate and enjoying a quiet dinner with Lisa Mattson […]

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Harlem’s Queen of Comfort Food: Melba Wilson

Harlem's Queen of Comfort Food: Melba Wilson
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“The way I see it,” says Melba Wilson, “Soul food is the foundation of American comfort food.” She’d know. For Melba, a Harlem native, or as she likes to say “I am Harlem born, bred, and buttered,” owns one of  most influential soul food restaurants in New York City’s most exciting dining neighborhood, aptly named Melba’s. Like many children, she grew up watching her mother and grandomother cook and learned to love food, and soul food, in the process. But, Melba actually went into marketing and sales after school, anything from cosmetics to limo driving, finally entering the restaurant business […]

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Meet the Golden Girl of Persia

Meet the Golden Girl of Persia
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There’s just something about the name “Persia” that seduces us. We are drawn to the flavors and aromas. Mint, cumin, cinnamon, oranges, pomegranates, dates and honey are ingredients we like add to many of our everyday dishes. Aside from Melanie’s coming of age tour to Israel as a teenager, we’ve only traveled to the Middle East by way of our palates and the few restaurants we’ve experienced here in the USA. One of our favorites is recent JBF Award Winner Shaya in New Orleans. Lucky for us a book entitled, “SIROCCO: Fabulous Flavors form The Middle East” by Sabrina Ghayour […]

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