Bordeaux’s Next Generation Steps Out

Many people associate Bordeaux wines with classic Grand Crus, collectible fine wine that you lay down in a cellar and enjoy with a sumptuous meal. On our first trip to Bordeaux, we were fortunate enough to have private visits to some great houses: Château Le Pin and Vieux Château Certain in Pomerol, Château Pontet-Canet in Pauillac and Château D’Yquem in Sauternes. But we don’t drink wines like that every day. Most of us enjoy approachable, everyday wines when dining at home. The quality is still good; the price is more affordable, and the wines more accessible.

A new generation of 30-something year-old Bordeaux vintners who have studied, trained and traveled outside of the region are embracing innovations and new techniques and bringing them home. Their goal is to produce easy drinking wines for every day enjoyment. These young Bordelais winemakers have even formed organizations to exchange ideas such as Bordeaux Oygène and Arômes de Jeunesse .

Of course, they had to convince their seniors that change and innovation is good for the business and doesn’t refute or replace longstanding traditions, just to build upon the family business and introduce more consumers to their wines. Much like fashion, there is haute couture and there is ready to wear. So goes it with their wines.

Recently we met four young producers at a lunch and presentation at Aureole in New York City to learn about their mission and taste their wines.  We learned they are passionate about sustainability; disease management, better matching of varieties, rootstocks, and and pruning – and crafting wines that deliver a sense of place on the palate.

YOUNG BORDEALAIS GROUP PHOOT- GEERY TEUWENAdrien-David Beaulieu (Château Coutet), Rachel Hubert (Château Peybonhomme-Les-Tours), Sylvie Courselle (Château Thieuley) and Alexander Sichel (Maison Sichel) at Aureole. Photo: Geery Teuwen

Some like 5th generation winemaker, Rachel Hubert,  Château Peybonhomme-Les-Tours, are committed to producing biodynamic wines. Others like 14th generation Adrien-David Beaulieu, Château Coutet, remain committed to being 100% organic since its inception and still plow their vineyards by horse.  Sylvie Courselle, who runs Château Thieuley with her sister, Marie, is betting on the future of Bordeaux white wines. Their estate in Entre Deux Mers  has planted more Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon and now produces 50% white wines  and 50% reds. Alexander Sichel, Maison Sichel, continues his family’s legacy, to expand and offer wines to appeal to every type of wine consumer.

Silvie Courselle and Adrien-David Beaulieu
Silvie Courselle and Adrien-David Beaulieu

Sylvie Courselle, Château Thieuley, and Adrien-David Beaulieu, Château Coutet, visited us on The Connected Table LIVE! July 27th to discuss their approach to winemaking, the cameraderie among the young Bordelais and how their senior generation reacted to the changes they presented. Listen anytime on and the free iHeart App at this link


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Wines we liked at the tasting:


Clos Floridène Le Rosé de Floridène Bordeaux 2014, (92% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Sauvignon, 1% Malbec). Organic. Grateful to have this wine waiting for us outside on a very hot summer afternoon in NYC. Those who love France rose will enjoy this wine.  SRP $17


Château Thieuley Bordeaux Blanc 2015 (50% Grand Cru, 35% Sauvignon Blacn, 15% Sauvignon Gris). Pepper personality filled with citric notes and loads of minerality. SRP $15


Château Coutet Cuvée Emeri, St. Emilion Grand Cru 2014 (65% Merlot/35% Cabernet Franc). Only 200 bottles were made of this wine, so we felt lucky to have a taste. Elegant, still lean but drinkable. Interesting fact: The bottle is handblown with a handmade glass stopper and is a replica of a 200 year old bottle discovered in the winery’s cellar. (no importer)

Adrien with a bottle of Chateau Coutet Cuvee Emeri
Adrien with a bottle of Château Coutet Cuvée Emeri,

The Creole Queen- Still Cooking at 93- July 20 on The Connected Table LIVE!

She’s called “The Queen of Creole Cuisine.” And we are honored to have a seating with this amazing lady who is truly Louisiana culinary royalty this week in New Orleans when we head to Tales of the Cocktail.

That’s right! We’re visiting with the venerable Ms. Leah Chase, owner of New Orleans landmark Dooky Chase Restaurant on our July 20th edition of The Connected Table LIVE!

Ms Leah Chase
Ms Leah Chase

Born in 1923, one of 14 children, in Madisonville, Louisiana, Leah moved to New Orleans to live with an aunt to pursue her education since there were no high schools for black children after the sixth grade. She juggled some pretty interesting jobs for a woman back in those days to make a living including managing two amateur boxers and becoming the first woman to mark the racehorse board for a local bookie. And she waited tables in the French Quarter where she caught the restaurant bug.

Leah married New Orleans musician Edgar “Dooky” Chase in 1946. Together they took over the po’boy and lottery stand opened by Dooky’s dad in 1941 and turned it into a full service restaurant. Dooky Chase has been the gathering place for political titans, food cognoscenti, literary lions and dedicated locals ever since. During the Civil Rights movement it was the only public place in New Orleans where mixed race groups could meet to discuss strategy. Maybe thought leaders need to gather at Dooky Chase for a soul nourishing meal and to discuss how to heal the challenges today faced in our nation.

Leah Chase is said to have chided President Obama for putting hot sauce in his gumbo. (photo from Dooky Chase Restaurant website)
Just about every U.S. president has dined at Dooky Chase. Leah Chase is said to have chided President Obama for putting hot sauce in his gumbo. (photo from Dooky Chase Restaurant website)

At 93, Leah is still behind the stove and Dooky Chase, lovingly restored after being devastated by Hurricane Katrina, remains a hot spot on the New Orleans culinary trail. Leah has received numerous honors for her work in the community, in civil rights and for her role in American’s culinary heritage. She’s even been the inspiration for a Disney’s Princess; Tiana in Princess and the Frog. This past May, Leah was honored with the James Beard Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award, and this Dooky Chase restaurant celebrated its 75th anniversary. That’s more than a lifetime for any restaurant!

Dooky Chase Restaurant has been a gathering place for generations of families, politicians, entertainers, writers and food lovers since 1941

We visited Ms Leah at Dooky Chase July 20 and enjoyed a delicious conversation about her life along with heaping portions of fried chicken. You could call it Ms. Leah’s “Fried Chicken for the Soul!” Listen here and share!



The Spirits Guru of Gardiner, New York

For 25

years “on the rocks” meant climbing the ‘Gunks in New York’s Hudson Valley and managing rock climbing gyms in New York City for native New Yorker Ralph Erenzo. These days it has a new meaning  for him as Co-Founder of Tuthilltown Distillery, located on a former gristmill in the verdant Gardiner countryside just a short

drive from where we live.

Ralph purchased the land, conveniently located near the base of the Shawangunk Mountains, a rock climbing mecca, originally to set up a climbers campground. Fate and nosy neighbors intervened and these plans did not happen. Left with a large amount of land and no business plan, Ralph did his research. He found the best solution was to secure an agriculture license. Doing more research he decided to build a distillery, joining up with business partner, Brian Lee in 2003 to establish one of the first distilleries in New York State since Prohibition. Two years later they produced their first small batches of vodka made from discarded apples from nearby orchards. Today Tuthilltown has many brands including our favorite, Hudson Four Grain Bourbon Whiskey.


We remember our first visit to the small distillery; today the compound has grown to several buildings and Tuthillhouse Restaurant.


Tuthilltown’s a game changer in the Hudson Valley. Through his lobbying efforts in Albany, Ralph is widely credited with helping to bring back small batch production to the region. Last weekend we attended the Straight Up New York Crafts Spirits Festival at Black Dirt Distillery in Orange County. Many of the newer distillers we met at Straight Up New York credit Ralph for their move into the business. His work at the State level resulted in the passage of the Farm Distillery Act which permits New York farms to establish distilleries on site and sell their agricultural spirits at the farm.

Ralph joined The Connected Table LIVE July 13, on t share his story. Listen here and

the free iHeart App.

Ralph Erenzo at the Straight Up New York Craft Distilling Festival in New York's Hudson Valley
Ralph Erenzo at the Straight Up New York Craft Distilling Festival in New York’s Hudson Valley

Melanie Young and David Ransom are the insatiably curious culinary couple. Connected on Twitter@connectedtable Facebook/connectedtable. Learn more at

Our mission is to engage and connect our audiences to the diverse world of food, fine beverage and hospitality and the dynamic people who help shape it through our shows, digital media and educational events. All of our 50 minute shows and SIPS! podcasts can be heard anytime  on and the free iHeart App.

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A Dash of Sass, Spice and Sparkle- New Orleans Bartender Abigail Gullo

We have many reasons to love New Orleans, from the amazing food and architecture to the southern hospitality and good friends and family. It’s our home away from home, and we always find reasons to return as often as we can and look forward to attending the annual Tales of the Cocktail conference each summer (July 20-24 this year)

We enjoy visiting Chef Nina Compton’s Compère Lapin for the Carribbean spiced food and to see the smiling face of Abigail Gullo who tends to her bar and to her customers with the same generous enthusiasm. A transplant from the North, Abigail’s colorful style and charm fit right at home in the Big Easy.

During our interview with Abigail we learned her theatrical training (her college major) has served her well on her current stage, the bar, where she says she’s learned to listen to her customers and read  person’s body language to decide what cocktail to make.

When Abigail’s not behind the bar at Compère Lapin she’s behind her computer screen blogging at, petting her dog, Ronnie, and dreaming of singing in a rock-n-roll band.

Abigail was recently named Heaven Hill Brands Bartender of the Year, winning $15,000. Now that’s heavenly!

Wednesday, July 13, 2pmEST, on The Connected Table LIVE! on W4CY.  Listen here one the and the free iHeart App.




Sipping with Argentina’s Santiago Mayorga



Nieto Senetiner is one of

Argentina’s great wine producers.  The history of Nieto Senetiner Winery dates back to 1888, when Italian immigrants founded it and grew the first vineyards in Vistalba, Luján de Cuyo, province of Mendoza. Over the first decades of the last century, the winery was run

by several families who succeeded in passing on the secret of fine wine making and the love for their land.

In 1969 it was acquired by the families Nieto and Senetiner, who expand the facilities signalling the beginning of a new stage of growth and brand development. In 1998 it becomes part of the Grupo de Negocios de Molinos Río de la Plata.


The Connected Table SIPS! visits with winemaker Santiago Mayorga who discusses Argentina’s wine making history, unique climate and terroir, including how vines adapt to high elevation growing conditions. and wine making philosophies. Also discussed are the country’s main wine making regions and some of the most important varietals including Malbec and Bonarda. This show is brought to you by Talk 4 Radio on the Talk 4 Media Network. Listen here

Learn more about Nieto Senetiner here:





The Connected Table SIPS! podcasts spotlight wine producers and distillers around the world. If you’d like to record a podcast email for information.



Meet the Founding Father of New World Cooking

We love celebrating America’s Independence Day and hope you enjoyed as well. We wondered what the Founding Fathers drank to toast the signing of the Declaration of Independence. We’ve seen a number of references to Madeira.  Founding Father and First President George Washington owned a large distillery.Patrick Henry owned a tavern. Thomas Jefferson collected fine wines. And according this article in Modern Drunkard they all enjoyed imbibing. Surfing the internet we stumbled upon the Founding Fathers Bar in Buffalo, named one ofEsquire Magazine’s “Best Bars in America.” These days some high end whiskies are as difficult to find as tickets to “Hamilton.” We’ll leave you with this thought from BFFF – Benjamin -Founding Father -Franklin:

July 6 2pmET on The Connected Table LIVE! at W4CY Radio

He’s been called the “Founding Father of New World Cuisine.”

The late Charlie Trotter called him “The Walt Whitman of American Cuisine.”

Smithsonian Magazine said about him, “Before the celebrity chef craze and before the start of Food Network, Norman Van Aken was starting a revolution.

He was doing something unheard of at the time, taking local ethnic flavors, merging them together at restaurants where he worked.”

He started a movement that led to mainstream. Now “fusion cooking” is part of our everyday culinary vernacular. Chef, Restaurateur, Mentor and Poet of New World fusion cooking Norman Van Aken joins us July 6, 2pm ET. We’ll discuss his career, his books and his many next chapters which include a cooking school in Miami (In the Kitchen with Norman Van Aken), a new restaurant in Mount Dora outside Orlando (1921 by Norman Van Aken), a sixth cookbook, “My Florida Kitchen,” with wife, Janet, plus his weekly NPR radio show, “A Word on Food.”

Norman Van Aken
Norman Van Aken joins The Connected Table LIVE! July 6

First tasting Norman’s food was more than a revolution; it was a revelation for Melanie who says, “Until Norman Van Aken, my only memories of dining out in Florida were limited to awful early bird specials while visiting my grandparents in the late 1970s and early 80s. It was, indeed, a New World for me to taste his food and it opened my world to new flavors and an appreciation for a type of fusion cooking that I had never experienced before.”

Listen to our show with Norman anytime on and the iHeart. Here’s the link to his episode.

Listen live Wednesdays, 2pm EST Connect with us on Twitter@connectedtable,Instagram@theconnectedtable and Facebook@connectedtable

Did you miss last week’s show with George Sandeman, Sandeman Port, and our Summer Fancy Food Show roundup with Bonnie Tandy Leblang, Here’s the link

Books by Norman Van Aken. Shop now on