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


Natural Wine on the Lower East Side / Aged Rosé

Double-header today!

On Food Republic, I have a story about the natural wine scene on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. A loooot of drinking research went into this! And I collaborated with Erika DaSilva, a talented illustrator who also works as the general manager at Wildair. Read here

In the August issue of Wine & Spirits, you can find my article on aged rosé wine; it’s also available online here. Once you’ve read it, you might start poking around for some back vintage bottles of pink wine! I highly recommend it!

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.

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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There’s A Great Wine Bar Pop-Up Happening Right Now

IMG_9436There’s a great wine bar pop-up happening . . . right now (in Manhattan). Sorry if you missed tonight’s, but you can go tomorrow!

I meant to post about this a few days ago so people would know about it, but got too busy. Hopefully those of you who actually read my blog (you exist, right?) also follow me on Twitter and Instagram; those are good ways to follow my writing since I don’t often update here.

But anyway, here’s the deal: this pop-up is a really great opportunity to taste mature vintages of world-class wines, in a relaxed setting, for less money. And it’s happening weekly. Details are in my Gothamist write-up, read here

In other news, I’ve started binge-watching “Cheers!” on Netflix and have an essay in mind inspired by the series that could either be really good or really bad, we’ll see.


Cassoulet Weather In Full Effect, Plus Where To Have A Great Lunch

IMG_7314It’s finally cold in NYC! In addition to writing about the City’s best hot chocolate (there are some seriously above-and-beyond cups of cocoa out there–article here), I recently spent a glorious day testing a recipe for Cassoulet, the iconic Southern French dish, which I wrote about for Vine Pair along with some reviews of wines from the Languedoc, one of France’s lesser-known (but very important and wonderful) wine regions. Check it out here(P.S. if any cookware brands would like to sponsor my future articles, I am officially accepting Dutch ovens, skillets, and, well, whatever else because I have basically nothing in my humble freelance writer slash single woman’s kitchen.)

Also, I’ve been working on a series about where to have lunch in New York City, for Gothamist. It’s specifically aimed at people who work full-time jobs, so it encompasses all kinds of lunch, from grab-and-go to sit-down to the infamous “power lunch.” Writing these round-ups has involved a lot of footwork, a few tasty meals, and many afternoons spent reading Yelp.

Measure_RachelSignerIf you want a laugh, please check out how the grumpy and indignant owner of Park Italian responds to bad Yelp reviews from his customers. Here are the latest few: Midtown West, Midtown East, and the Financial District (which I refuse to call “FiDi” of my own accord). If you know of great lunch spots in other neighborhoods, please send tips my way!

And if you missed it, my send-off to 2015 included a round-up of somms and beverage directors around the country sharing their best wine experiences of the year. Some pretty amazing stories came my way; check out the article here. Cheers to a fresh start for 2016.

Where To Drink Lovely Fermented Grape Juice In NYC, According To Me

IMG_6507.jpgHow to be a wine journalist: 1) spend all your disposable income drinking wine around New York City; 2) try to get a very paltry sum back by writing about all the amazing places.

Here is my list of places where you can drink wonderful bottles and glasses of wine, at reasonable prices, without fancy Coravins or a squadron of sommeliers. Just real wine, from real winemakers, served by real people who love to drink real wine. Please keep in mind that 18 was a completely arbitrary number (I had a longer list but of course, it was trimmed down by the editor) and “best” is just a word used in headlines. Cheers!