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Prosecco’s Enore Ceola, Managing Director & CEO, Mionetto USA

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Sales of Prosecco, the sparkling wine produced in the Veneto region of Italy, are bubbling.  According to Vinexpo CEO Guillame Deglise, “Sales of Prosecco will surpase 412 million bottles by 2020, as the sparking wine tases over from discounted Champagne.” (The Drinks Business, March 2017).

Many years ago we took on the responsibility of promoting Prosecco in the USA. It was tough sell!  Now days, bottles of Prosecco are flying off the shelves.

So, what caused the sure in Prosecco’s popularity?

We discuss Prosecco’s appeal with Enore Ceola, CEO and Managing Director of Mionetto USA, who has had a large role in helping change the image and driving sales for Prosecco and his brand in the USA.

Enore Ceola, Managing Director, Mionetto USA

Born in the heart of the Prosecco region, Enore Ceola grew up on a winery bordering the Friuli and Veneto regions of Italy. He graduated from the Institute of Technology at Pordenone with a degree in architecture. He had a brief stint as a civil engineer before deciding to drop everything to marry the love his life, Ursula, an American exchange student after a two-year courtship.

In early 1997, he returned to his family roots and reached out to Mionetto for employment prior to leaving for the U.S. With a stroke of luck, he was informed that the Director of U.S. Exports position had recently been vacated and was promptly introduced to the entire Mionetto family, leading him to immediately accept an offer at the company.

Soon thereafter, he found himself in New York City, newly married, introducing not only Mionetto Prosecco, but also the Prosecco category itself to the American market.  Mionetto, est 1887, just celebrated its 130 anniversary.

 

In our conversation, Enore reflects on the past, present and future of Prosecco. Listen now on The Connected Table LIVE! iHeart.com.

 

 

Read Melanie’s article explaining Prosecco in Wine4Food.com

A Prosecco Primer for Savvy Sippers

 

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Thomas Waugh’s Cocktails Dazzle at The Pool Room Lounge

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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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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.”

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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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 “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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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 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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The Feast of Seven Fishes (and Pastas)

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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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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 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.
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The Art & Science of Making Bread

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What’s your favorite childhood bread memory? For David it’s his mother’s cinnamon toast, most likely sweetly dusted homemade English Muffin Bread.  For me, it’s my Aunt Rachel’s homemade challah, braided into a shiny brown loaf and all pillowy inside. My mother made challah French toast for every holiday brunch and still does for Christmas (challah + Christmas? That’s right.)

Making good bread is both an art and a science. And Modernist Bread is a 2,642-page tome on the craft of baking bread as well as bread’s future.  The five-volume masterpiece is the culmination of over four years of nonstop research, photography, experiments, writing, and baking. The books cover the science, history, cultures, and personalities behind bread, along with tools you can use to shape its future.

 

The authors are Nathan Myhrvold and Chef Francisco Migoya.

After retiring from Microsoft in 1999 as its Chief Technology Officer, Myhrvold established Intellectual Ventures and pursued several lifelong interests in photography, cooking, and food science.  The Cooking Lab is his state-of-the-art research kitchen in Bellevue, WA. Nathan is lead author of Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking and Modernist Cuisine at Home and author of The Photography of Modernist Cuisine. 

Nathan Myhrvold

Chef Migoya grew up in Mexico and studying art (painting, sculpture and drawing). But a stage (internship) at a restaurant at age 16 sparked his passion for cooking. He attended culinary schools in Mexico and France and went on to work at some major restaurants in the USA such as French Laundry, Bouchon Bakery and most recently, as a professor at the Culinary Institute of America. Chef Migoya is author of three books on pastry: “Frozen Desserts”  (2008), “The Modern Cafe” (2009) and “The Element of Dessert” (a 2014 International Association of Culinary Professionals  cookbook award recipient.

Chef Francisco Migoya

So, besides four years of research with over 230 recipe testers and expert contributors, what other fun facts should you know about Modernist Bread? Statistic nerds take note:

Number of pages: 2,462

Weight of book:  50 lb.

Weight: of ink: 4 lb

Words: 1,000,000+

Number of recipes: 1500

Photos: 3,000+

Loaves baked: 36,650+

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Modernist Bread’s Chef Francisco Migoya joined us November 29, The Connected Table LIVE! Here is the show:

 

 

 

We bring you the dynamic people who work front and center and behind the scenes in food, wine, spirits and hospitality. Listen anytime on iHeart.com and the iHeart and live Wednesdays, 2pm EST onW4CY.com. Connect with us on Twitter@connectedtable,Instagram@theconnectedtable and Facebook@connectedtable

 

Photo credits: Nathan Myhrvold / The Cooking Lab, LLC.

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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 a tasty and healthy side option.

This year we’re trying Melissa Clark‘s Wild Mushroom and Rice Casserole, a hearty dish of mixed mushrooms, leeks, spinach, wild rice and beans. Here is the recipe, recently featured in the New York Times(link)

I’m always in charge of making a salad. Yes, I like a simple salad amid the holiday carb -fest. After years of tossing up kale with fresh apples, dried cranberries, walnuts and assorted seeds for an autumn harvest salad, I am going rogue. Researching this week’s edition of The Connected Table LIVE, I was drawn to a salad of baby greens with grapefruit and mint in Debi Mazar and Gabriele Corcos‘ cookbook “Super Tuscan.” I’m adding pomegranate seeds and sliced almonds for some added pop and crunch. The lightness of the greens and citrusy zip of the grapefruit seem like a nice twist to the heartier side dishes.

Whether you plan to enjoy your Thanksgiving meal at home, in a restaurant or traveling elsewhere…served traditional or with a twist….we hope it is abundantly delicious and flavored with love.

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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.

More than 120 recipes. Many published in English for the first time.

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 inside information when we finally plan our trip. They lived on Asia for many years and are now based in Italy. (wanderlust envy alert!) Robyn’s articles have also appeared in The New York Times, Travel & Leisure and Saveur.

Robyn Eckhardt explores the world, and we are hungry to learn more

 

Listen to our show with Robyn here on The Connected Table LIVE – iHeart.com