Meet The “Crazy French Woman” Behind RAW Wine Fair

screen-shot-2016-10-31-at-4-14-24-pmIf you haven’t heard yet, here’s the good news: RAW Wine Fair, the natural wine expo originally founded in London, is popping-up in Bushwick next weekend, Sun + Mon Nov 6-7 (99 Scott Av in Brooklyn, a 5-minute walk from the Jefferson L Train). There’s still time to get tickets–and you can also plan to attend one of the after-parties happening around Brooklyn and Manhattan. For Vogue.com, I profiled Isabelle Legeron, the only French female Master of Wine and an incredibly passionate spokesperson for the natural wine movement. Check out the story here.

You can find out more info on RAW Wine here (I think if you show up on the day-of without a ticket, it should be fine, FYI). Below, I’ve compiled a broad representation of the after-parties and dinners happening around RAW. The easiest thing to do is just show up at The Ten Bells on any given night between Nov 4-8 to find winemakers parties and plenty of juice flowing. See you there!

RAW Wine After-Parties, Dinners, Events // note that prices generally do not include tax or gratuity

Sunrise Sunset: Post-RAW pop-up dinner party, Sunday Nov 6th, starting at 6pm 

Keep the party going post-RAW while staying in Bushwick, with Asian-themed bar food by chef Gary Kim (Sheep & Wolves / co-founder Anju) alongside wines BTG or bottles from Alexandre Bain, Chateau de Beru, Finca Parrera and Zanotto.

Rouge Tomate Chelsea: Jean-Pierre Rietsch and Tom Shobbrook, Nov 4, 6:30-10pm

These winemakers will be taking over the bar room of Rouge Tomate Chelsea, with special BTG offerings. No tickets or reservations necessary.

Also at Rouge Tomate Chelsea: Dinner with Sepp Muster and Franz Strohmeier Nov 9, time

The 16 seats at RTC’s communal tables will be filled for this dinner, with a family style menu featuring the hosted producers. To complement the pours from these Austrian natural wine rockstars, a vegetable-focused Austrian feast will be served (spaetzle and kraut!). $99; email or call restaurant for reservations.

Il Buco: Live music and Italian winemaker dinner, Tues Nov 8, 7-11pm

Producers will be on hand for the evening and chatting with guests, including: Franco Terpin, Il Cancelliere, Cantina D’Angello, Cantina de Barone, Fabio De Beaumont, La Maliosa, Andrea Scovero, Viña Enebro and Denis Montanar. Sugarman 3 will be performing live during dinner, featuring Neal Sugarman on saxophone, Adam Scone on Hammond organ, and Rudy Elbin on drums. Buy tickets here, $75/person (drinks will be charged separately).

Barano: Andrea Scovero & Franco Terpin dinner, Monday, Nov. 7, 7:30pm

At this new casual eatery in Brooklyn, these two iconic Italian producers will host a tasting of some of the finest offerings coming out of Piedmont and Friuli. Featured wines include: Scovero 2013 Nebbiolo, 2014 Dolcetto, 2014 Barbera; Terpin 2015 Quinto Quarto Bianco, 2015 Quinto Quarto Ramato, 2008 Ribolla Gialla, 2011 Sialis Pinot Grigio Ramato, 2009 Jakot, 2015 Sauvignon Blanc. Tickets $105; buy here.

Sel Rrose: Special dinner with Theo Milan (Domaine Henri Milan), Nov 9, 6:30-9pm

In the chic, intimate Sel Rrose space on Delancey, enjoy a specially prepared, 4-course menu with 8 delicious wines from this Provence producer, including a vertical of Clos Milan from ’06-‘09. $110; email doreen@diamondsommelierservices.com for reservations.

El Quinto Pino: Alta Alella dinner, Nov 7, 7-10pm

This is a 4-course dinner prepared by chefs Alex Raij & Eder Montero with winemaker Jose-Maria Pujol Busquet of organic estate Alta Alella in Northern Spain. $68; buy tickets here.

Brooklyn Wine Exchange: Zusslin wines seminar, Nov 2nd at 7pm

One of Alsace’s most iconic naturally-working estates, Marie Zusslin will conduct a seminar about her winery and her biodynamically made wines, showing a vertical of her Rieslings Grand Cru, no-sulfur-added Crémant de, and Pinot Noir. More info here, reserve seats by calling the store.

Diner Airstream: Joe Swick dinner hosted by Uva Wines, Nov 5th, 7:30pm

A 3-course meal paired with Joe’s beautiful Oregon wines, including some back-vintages—in a vintage airstream behind Diner! $85; for reservations email lucy@uvawines.com.

Tertulia: “Soleras & Smoke: A Night of Sherry And Wood-Fire-Grilled Fare” Nov 7, 9:30pm until late (un-related to RAW, but still cool!)

Pop-up sherry bar hosted by En Rama, with food from Speedy Romeo. Organizer Nick Africano aims to provide a relaxed, fun setting for discovering “the mysteries and myths of sherry,” for “novices and pros alike.”

The Ten Bells: “Meet the Winemakers” parties, Nov 5-8, around 8:30/9pm until late

As usual, The Ten Bells will be the point de rendez-vous for winemakers and wine lovers alike who want to get loud and rowdy. There will be 50 wines by-the-glass at low margin, so you can re-taste whatever you loved at RAW, along with—these are Sev’s words—“dancing on the tables, burning the place down!” On election night (the 8th, duh), there will be a special American natural winemakers night, featuring Brianne Day, Joe Swick, Evan Lewandowski, and more. Below is the complete line-up:

MEET THE RAW WINEMAKERS @ THE TEN BELLS

Saturday Nov. 5th, 8:30pm

Géraud Bonnet – Ferme apicole Desrochers

Jaques Perritaz – Cidrerie du Vulcain

Clémence Lelarge – Lelarge-Pugeot

Jérôme Bretaudeau – Domaine de Bellevue

François de Nicolay – Domaine Chandon de Briailles

Isabelle Jolly & Jean-Luc Chossart – Domaine Jolly-Ferriol

Luca Garbarolio – Carussin

Xavier Ledogar – Domaine Ledogar

Antonin Azzoni – Le Raisin et l’Ange

Philippe Chaigneau – Château Massereau

Even Bakke – Clos de Trias

Sunday Nov. 6th, 9pm

Marie Zusslin, Domaine Zusslin

Franz Strohmeier – Wein & Sektmanufaktur Strohmeier

Eduard Tscheppe & Stephanie Tscheppe-Eselböck – Gut Oggau

Sepp Muster – Weingut Maria & Sepp Muster

Rudolf Trossen – Weingut Rita & Rudolf Trossen

Ewald Tscheppe – Werlitsch

Petr Nejedlík – Dobrá Vinice

Kim Engle, Debra Bermingham & Katy Koken – Bloomer Creek Vineyard

Tracey & Jared Brandt – Donkey & Goat

Christian Tschida

Jason Edward Charles – Vinca Minor Wines

Hardy Wallace – Dirty & Rowdy Family Winery

Tony Coturri – Coturri Winery

Joe Pedicini – Montebruno

Monday Nov. 7th, 8:30pm (also Sev’s birthday!)

Jean-Pierre Rietsch – Domaine Rietsch

Ricardo Zanotto – Zanotto Col Fondo

Alexandre Bain – Domaine Bain

Athenais de Beru – Château de Beru

Alberto Anguissola & Diego Ragazzi – Casè

Fred Niger – Domaine de l’Ecu

Theophile Milan – Domaine Milan

Olivier Paul-Morandini – Fuori Mondo

Rubén Parera Renau – Finca Parera

Tom Shobbrook – Shobbrook Wines

Tuesday Nov. 8th – “bad ombrés and nasty women” theme, 8:30pm

Brianne Day – Day Wines

Deirdre Heekin – La Garagista Farm & Winery

Joe Pedicini – Montebruno

Joe Swick – Swick wines

Kim Engle, Debra Bermingham & Katy Koken – Bloomer Creek Vineyard

Evan Lewandowski – Ruth Lewandowski

Shaunt Oungoulian, Samuel Baron & Diego Roig – Living Wines Collective

Kenny Likitprakong – The Hobo Wine Company

Hardy Wallace – Dirty & Rowdy Family Winery

Tony Coturri – Coturri Winery

Shaunt Oungoulian – Samuel Baron – Diego Roig – Living Wines Collective

Darek Trowbridge – Old World Winery

Phillip Hart & Mary Morwood Hart – Ambyth Estate

Jason Edward Charles – Vinca Minor Wines

Lewis Dickson – La Cruz de Comal

Tracey & Jared Brandt – Donkey & Goat

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Meet Sauvage’s Chef, The Ambitious, Fiery, Producer-Obsessed Lisa Giffen

IMG_1511Greetings, and I hope your 4th of July weekend was filled with delicious food and wine! Just one update here: I’m sure some of you who live in New York have already checked out Sauvage, which opened recently in Greenpoint (if you haven’t, I recommend it!). I profiled the ambitious, young, producer-obsessed chef there, Lisa Giffen, for Food Republic. I really admire her forward-thinking approach to sourcing ingredients, as well as the way she takes inspiration from the restaurant design and bar program. Read here

It’s Muscadet + Oyster Season, Here’s A Guide To This Loire Valley White Wine

IMG_2649For Brooklyn Magazine, I wrote about one of my favorite white wines, Muscadet, with the help of awesome head bartender Will Elliott, of Maison Premiere and the newly-opened Sauvage. Check out my story on Muscadet hereAnd then go out and drink some delicious Muscadet!

I’m headed to France now, and will be there until the end of the month. Alsace, Loire Valley, Paris! Will try to update when I can! A bientôt!

New Website Feature: My Most Useful Articles For Learning Abt Wine + Restaurants

IMG_1402People ask me two things, quite often:

  1. What kind of wine should I drink?
  2. Where should I eat?

My answer, much of the time, to the first question is, “Whatever you want! But probably Chenin, or Gamay. . . ” (not very helpful) and for the second question I usually just start waxing poetic about the fried squid at Wildair. So, I thought I would try to make a section on my website that contains my most informative articles (listicles, usually) about eating and drinking. Although, for people wanting to learn about wine, my Eater column is pretty good, too, I would say.

Here is the new section. It is a work-in-progress. So is this website. I focus mostly on constructing actual sentences, and doing interviews with people, in my work as a journalist. I also try to get paid for my writing. Which means that my blog is not really much of a blog (although, lately, I’ve been posting about my visits to interesting natural winemakers, which is something I can’t really publish on a media site but I’m still motivated to share). And my website is not really much of a website. What can I say–I’m hopelessly analog. If anybody has suggestions for this site, I am all ears! I’m not all moneybags, though, so please don’t recommend your friend who charges $3K to design sites. Other ideas welcome.

Meet The #LadyChef Who Cooks For Marc Jacobs (And Throws Secret Dance Parties)

Squid course Heatonist popupWhy is Marc Jacobs’ personal chef throwing secret dance parties in Chinatown? How did she come up with that insanely beautiful activated charcoal-dusted squid dish, served at a pop-up dinner in a hot sauce boutique? Who is Lauren Gerrie, anyway, and why is she so damn talented?

Answers in my profile of this dynamic, self-made chef, on Taste Talks. If you haven’t yet checked out Taste Talks, it’s a fairly new media endeavor from Northside Media (same folks running Brooklyn Magazine and L Magazine, plus the annual Taste Talks event in Brooklyn, which is this year expanding to L.A. and Chicago). Read my story here

The Intrigue of Mezcal

El Silencio Palenque_RSignerA few weeks ago, I had the incredible experience of traveling to Oaxaca with El Silencio, one of the newer mezcal brands on the scene. We visited their palenque in San Baltazar, drank a lot of Espadín, and held a fairly raucous cocktail competition with bartenders from all over. Wine press trips, by the way, pale in comparison to spirits trips. Bartenders are ten times crazier.

Mezcal is a fascinating, beguiling spirit, which I’ve written about previously for Esquire and Food Republic. Following the trip with El Silencio, I stayed for a few days on my own, and met with other mezcal producers, and wrote a story for Food Republic about the spiritual, cultural aspects of mezcal. Read it here.

I have another feature on mezcal coming out in a few weeks. I also had a feature published this week on Brooklyn Magazine’s site, which lists some of the best wine + spirits shops in Brooklyn. I wrote it because people always ask me where to shop, so now I can just send them the link! Check it out here. At the moment, I’m in northern Portugal, learning about the wines of Vinho Verde, which I’ll write about for my Vine Pair column next week. For now, all I’ll say is that there is definitely more to Vinho Verde than spritzy, “cheap + cheerful” wine, but it’s one of those cases where the market provides a barrier to winemaking. To come!

 

Article + Photos From The Big Glou

I’m just back from two weeks in France, jet-lagged and writing at 5am. It turns out that an impassioned blog post I wrote in my hotel room, in Peripgnan (the Roussillon), was not actually published. Probably a good thing?

While I was away, my article about The Big Glou finally came out in Brooklyn Magazine (it also touches upon Vivent les Vins Libres, although not as much). It’s a look at who natural winemakers are, and why they are in a movement that cannot be defined. Read it here.

And here are some of my photos from that fantastic weekend event,

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at the end of February.

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