Drink The Connected Table SIPS

Sipping with Rita Jammet, La Caravelle Champagne

We’ve known Rita and André Jammet for more than two decades. The Jammet family is a tight-knit clan and are always ready to support their friends in the industry. In 2004, they made the tough decision to close their iconic New York Cty restaurant, La Caravelle, which stood as a standard bearer for timeless French food in an elegant setting for more than four decades (it opened in 1960).  Many wondered if the Jammets would open another restaurant. They left that move to one of their their sons, Nicolas Jammet, who is cofounder of the super-successful healthy dining, quick service chain sweetgreen 

Instead, the senior Jammets reinvented, but without leaving restaurants and hospitality behind. They launched La Caravelle Champagne. Producing  a high-quality, proprietary blend champagne was not a far reach. La Caravelle restaurant had been serving a signature house cuvée, a common tradition among the better French restaurants. In fact, Andre Jammet’s ancestors in France had been blending proprietary wines since the 1700s for their Paris restaurant, Le Bœuf à la Mode, and later for the renowned Le Bristol hotel, which they owned for many years.

Rita and Andre Jammet

Rita Jammet has become the tireless ambassador for the La Caravelle brand. Again, this is nothing new since she was the first to sign up and support many causes and initiatives to support the industry when she and Andre ran La Caravelle (and she still does).  Hospitality and serving the community are in the Jammet’s DNA. Rita Jammet, with Melanie, is a member of Les Dames d’Escoffier, an international organization of leading women in wine and food, and she is active in many other organizations.

As for La Caravelle Champagne, it’s everything you’d want in a classic champagne without paying the higher price of many well-known châteaux labels.

Here’s what we tasted:

Champagne Cuvée Niña: The signature brut is named after one of the Caravelle ships built by Columbus for his voyage to the New World. The multi-vintage cuvée features a blend of 40% chardonnay, 30% pinot noir and 30% pinot meunier, with an elegant floral nose and notes of yuzu, white peaches and gingerbread.

Champagne Rosé: A beautiful salmon pink Champagne blended from the same base as the Niña with the addition of elegant red wines from well-known appellations such as Aÿ and Bouzy. With a floral and red berry bouquet, the rosé evokes hints of cherry almond, pomegranate and fennel.

Champagne Blanc de Blancs: Made with an exclusive blend of the best chardonnay crus harvested primarily from the Côte des Blancs and aged for three years, this complex wine has an elegant bouquet perfumed with white flowers and a refreshing, lively flavor with notes of citrus and rhubarb. Wine Spectator: 91 points

Learn more at


Melanie (center) with fellow Les Dames d’Escoffier members (left to right): Rachel Martin, Oceano Wines; Rita Jammet, La Caravelle Champagne; and Carol Brock, founder of Les Dames d’Escoffier.


Listen to our podcast with Rita Jammet on The Connected Table SIPS. This podcast is part our Women Making History in Wine & Spirits series, which also supports Les Dames d’Escoffier. We are expanding the series to include women in food. For information on participation, contact:





Meet Champagne Jacquart Cellarmaster Floriane Eznack

For International Women’s Month in March, we’re recognizing inspirational women in wine, spirits, food and hospitality. In this post we spotlight Floriane Eznack, Cellarmaster for Champagne Jacquart.  Floriane works with a cooperative of 1800 grape growers in 60 villages and oversees blending and daily taste-testing for Jacquart’s signature Mosaïque Collection (Brut, Extra Brut, Rosé) and Blanc de Blancs, Jacquart produces a modern-style champagne dominated by the Chardonnay grape in its blends, and with longer aging- 5 to 6 years for vintage wines.

Floriane Eznack



Drink Eat Events

What Pairs with Dishes from 35 Chefs? Champagne, Of Course!

Recently we spent five days on the East End of Long Island visiting friends. Luckily for us the visit coincided with The James Beard Foundation‘s 27th annual Chefs & Champagne July 29 which featured more than 35 chefs from New York City and Long Island. We had not attended Chefs & Champagne for several years and were surprised at how large the event has become with more than 1,000 attendees under the large tent erected on Wolffer Estate Vineyard in Sagaponack. The tent looked like the top of the Baked Alaska we recently tasted at The Breakers Palm Beach.

Chefs & Champagne July 27 2017 at Wölffer Estate Vineyards

Marcus  Samuelsson was this year’s honoree which made us happy since he is one of the kindest chefs we know. In addition to being owner of Red Rooster Harlem, Ginny’s Supper Club and Streetbird Rotisserie, Marcus is a cofounder with Herb Karlitz of the annual Harlem EatUp! which is a love letter to his neighborhood. Whenever I see him, Marcus always smiles and inquires about my mother asking “How’s the Purple Lady?” I warn him that she’s going to tap him to cook at one of her charity events in Chattanooga some day and he will experience true Tennessee style hospitality!

Marcus and Melanie

Events like these rely on the generosity of its sponsored. In particular we want to give a shout out to Roman Roth at Wolffer Estate Family Vineyard as venue host. JBF President Susan Ungaro and Roman presented the 2017 Christian Wolffer Scholarship, named after the winery’s late founder, to Jordan Werner, a student at International Culinary Center (ICC)’s Intensive Sommelier Course.

Roman Roth and David

Thanks to the generosity of  Champagne Barons de Rothschild we were well satiated with their Rosé and Brut, and we look forward to scheduling a visit with Philippe Sereys de Rothschild soon to discuss the estate on The Connected Table LIVE!

Others sponsors included: Audi, Alfredo Prodotti, Big Green Egg,  Brewery Ommegang, FreshDirect + FoodKick, Gokokuya,, Hamptons Magazine, KAMUT®,  Melissa’s® Produce, Neuman’s Kitchen Events & Catering, The Ritz-Carlton Residences, Miami Beach Royal Cup Coffee and Tea, Saratoga Sparkling Eater, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Ver’Terra Dinnerware, Windstar Cruises and WVVH.

Georgette Farkas, Owner of Rotisserie Georgette, strikes a glamorous pose on this Audi.

Chefs & Champagne raised over $100,000 to support The James Beard Foundation’s scholarship, education and JBF Impact Programs. The timing for the event was perfect preparation for our visit with Susan Ungaro August 9, 2pm EST, on The Connected Table LIVE (W4CY Radio/  During Susan’s 11-year tenure she has initiated programs to align with mission of JBF and its commitment to education, philanthropy and advocacy, and in the process raised its profile beyond the JBF Awards and special events. These include initiatives such as The annual JBF Food Summit, the JBF Leadership Awards and the Women in Culinary Leadership Program.

Susan Ungaro, Melanie and David at Chefs and Champagne. Susan will be our guest on The Connected Table LIVE! August 9th.


We profile the dynamic people who work front and center and behind the scenes in food, wine spirits and hospitality.

Two Grapes Get a Makeover

Recently we attended two tastings that sparked our interest. Neither of the varietals spotlighted were front and center in our minds, and we welcomed the chance to educate our palates and try the wines.

Alicia Linis family has been making Lambrusco wines in Emilia-Romagna since 1910. A fourth generation family member, Alicia was recently in New York at i Trulli restaurant to share her family’s portfolio of LINI 910‘s sparkling wines, one produced in the metodo classico style and the other through the charmat process. She joins us June 7 to discuss why she feels the time is now for Lambrusco


Alicia Lini


Meunier Steps Out 

The invitation was to learn about Meunier (a.k.a. Petit Meunier), one-third of the Holy Trinity of Champagne grapes, the others being Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. It’s the second most widely grown grape in the region after PInot Noir and the least known. So, nine producers decided to band together to show Meunier some love, which they did at a tasting at Corkbuzz June 6th.

Fanny Heucq‘s family is an organic grower producer in the Marne Valley. She joins us June 7 to share Champagne-Heucqs story and why she feels the time is now to spotlight Meunier.


Fanny Heucq


Listen to this show on here and please give it a “thumbs up” and share”



Vitalie Taittinger on the Art of Her Family’s Champagne- Jan 27

Sometimes, if your name is on a product, you’ll do anything to make sure you own it. That’s certainly the case with Champagne Taittinger, the venerable producer of one of the world’s most sought after sparkling wines who famously in 2005 lost their interest in the family winery only to buy it back in 2007 after much resulting debate within the Champagne community (and wine-drinking public) over what parameters constitute the foundation for making Champagne what it is.

Yet, for all the news that story generated, it’s the wine and family behind it that is what keeps Taittinger on the tip of the tongue for any Champagne aficionado year after year.  The House of Taittinger, founded in 1932 by Pierre Taittinger when he purchased an estate in Reims that had been producing Champagne since the 18th Century, is arguably one of the great producers of true classified Champagne in the world.

Taittinger is now run by third generation family member Pierre-Emmanuel Taittinger, son Clovis and daughter Vitalie, who as Artistic Director and Global Ambassador is the public face and oversees all creative and public endeavors for the House, which along with the usual, also include sponsorship of non-wine industry events like this month’s SAG Awards in Los Angeles where 600 bottles will be uncorked.

Vitalie, Pierre-Emmanuel and Clovis Taittinger
Vitalie, Pierre-Emmanuel and Clovis Taittinger

As with most Champagne houses, Taittinger produces a well-rounded line of Champagnes, including a non-vintage Brut (made from Chardonnay, Pinot Noir & Pinot Meunier); and their flagship Comtes de Champagne, made only in the finest vintages and available in both Blanc de Blanc (Chardonnay only), and Brut Rosé (Chardonnay and Pinot Noir). It ranks third in amount of vineyard holdings with about 750 acres.

Champagne Taittinger

Known for its pale colors and lively finesse, Taittinger, with its lighter, less oaked style, is considered one of the more versatile Champagnes on the market and fits into almost any setting. An everyday champagne? Well, maybe the Brut, but the Comtes is a Champagne to savor and celebrate those most serious milestones, like a romantic Saturday night at home by the fire – or New Years Eve, of course.

Do you know who the blonde woman is in this iconic Taittinger poster?
Do you know who the blonde woman is in this iconic Taittinger poster?

Vitalie Taittinger joins us January 27, on The Connected Table LIVE.  With a degree from the Emile Cohl School of Design in Lyon and passionate about drawing, painting and design, Vitalie formed her own business promoting clients in the Champagne and gastronomy sectors, then joined Taittinger in 2007. Today Vitalie uses her artistic talents in the marketing and communication department at Champagne Taittinger. Her mission: to develop and reinforce the image of the Champagne house through its visual identity, design and public relations. She lives in Reims with her husband and children.

Vitalie Taittinger
Vitalie Taittinger



Twitter: @TaittingerUSA

U.S. Importer: Kobrand.

Melanie Young and David Ransom, The Connected TableLIVE
David Ransom and Melanie Young, The Insatiably Curious Culinary Couple. Follow:  Twitter@connectedtable  Facebook/theconnectedtable. Learn more about how The Connected Table connects brands and people and follow our blog at

He’s the 7th Cellarmaster in Champagne Perrier-Jouët’s 200+ Year Old History. Meet Hervé Deschamps

BELLE EPOQUEOne of the most delightful drives from Paris is north to the Champagne region. It’s worth spending a few days meandering from town to town, especially starting with the bubbling centers of Reims and Epernay and then villages in between to visit both chateaux and petits maisons to taste and discover.

One of the most spectacular visits is to Maison Belle Epoque, the historic ‘home” for the Perrier-Jouët family (est 1811) filled with Art Nouveau architectural accents and art treasures. What makes a visit even more special is uncorking a bottle of Perrier-Jouët Belle Epoque, one of Champagne’s most venerable brands.

Maison Belle Epoque
Maison Belle Epoque

We speak with Perrier Jouët‘s Chef de Cave and Cellarmaster Hervé Deschamps about the brand’s history and styles, the renovation of Maison Belle Epoque and Perrier-Jouët’s significant commitment to the arts on The Connected Table LIVE! November 18, 2pm EST on W4CY and podcast to and the iHeart App.

Herve Deschamps, Cellarmaster, Champagne Perrier-Jouet
Hervé Deschamps, Cellarmaster, Champagne Perrier-Jouët

Born in the Champagne region and schooled in Dijon, Hervé  has worked Perrier-Jouët since 1983 and has been Cellarmaster since 1993. He is only the 7th person to hold that title in the 200+ year history of the house. In fact, for the first time the doors of Maison Belle Epoque are not “open” to all guests through a virtual tour of its historic cellars.

To work with these iconic wines one must keep a sense of preserving the legacy while working to improve the brand at the same time, a delicate balance of philosophy and wine making that does not come easily. In fact it was 12 years before Hervé was able to put his own stamp on one of the wines he made, his first blend coming in 1995 with that vintage’s release of Belle Epoque, a distinctive champagne so well known for the Art Nouveau style Flower Bottle.

Belle Epoque Blanc 2007 shows one of the distinctive floral designs on the bottles that distinguishes Perrier-Jouet Belle Epoque Champagne
Belle Epoque Blanc 2007 shows one of the distinctive floral designs on the bottles that distinguishes Perrier-Jouët Belle Epoque Champagne

Tune in November 18, 2pmEST to hear from Hervé Deschamps and connect to learn more:  Twitter@perrier-jouet  Facebook/perrier-jouet  Instagram/perrer-jouet

Melanie Young and David Ransom, Hosts The Connected Table LIVE!
Melanie Young and David Ransom are the Insatiably Curious Culinary Couple on The Connected Table LIVE!. Contact them at

Listen to all of our shows on and the iHeart App. Here is the cut and paste:

Connect with us: Twitter@connectedtable   Facebook/TheConnectedTable



Families in the Business: Rita and Nicolas Jammet on The Connected Table LIVE! March 25

Rita and Andre Jammet
Rita and Andre Jammet

We have many friends in the food and beverage industry but none as dear to us like family as the Jammets. Parents Rita and André Jammet were proprietors of the La Caravelle restaurant, continuing the restaurant’s legendary reputation for exceptional French food, wine and service. Always, an evening at La Caravelle was delicious and memorable, and we had many.  At the helm of La Caravelle, Rita and André truly “walked with kings” while keeping the common touch. Everyone who dined at La Caravelle was treated like royalty.  The Champagne flowed as generations of couples and families celebrated special occasions and moguls inked deals over classic French food served with quiet refinement.

It was the end of an era when the Jammets decided to close La Caravelle in 2004. The socio-economic fallout from the September 11th attacks had not been kind to many New York City restaurants. The closing of La Caravelle was a terrible loss to the city and to the legions of customers who relished every moment dining at this amazing restaurant. But doors shut and others open. In Rita’s case, it wasn’t just doors opening; it was champagne corks popping.

Rita decided to carry on the torch and name with line of exceptional La Caravelle Champagne. The portfolio includes a blanc de blanc, brut cuvée and rosé, as well as a red Bordeaux from the Listrac-Medoc appellation. Her wines are now sold in dozens of NYC restaurants and elsewhere.

Rita jammet
Champagne Lady Rita Jammet

Rita applies the same dedication and hospitable nature to selling her champagne as she did to running her restaurant. On any given night she is out and about trying new restaurants, supporting charitable events and posting Tweets to acknowledge and praise chefs and sommeliers for their hard work and dedication. Even without her own bricks and mortar restaurant to oversee Rita is an indefatigable brand ambassador for exceptional hospitality, wine and food and all things fabulous and French. We are delighted that the spirit of La Caravelle continues with this sparkling reincarnation. And we are delighted to have Rita join us, followed by son Nicolas on March 25th on The Connected Table LIVE! as part of our Families in the Business series.



resturant business magazineWe were pleased to see Rita and Andre Jammet and entrepreneurial sons Patrick and Nicolas on the cover of the recent Restaurant Business Magazine. Third son Christophe, also an entrepreneur, was on a holiday that included a marriage proposal on a mountain-top at the time of the photo shoot,

On March 25th we also chat with son Nicolas Jammet, Founder and Co-CEO of  sweetgreen, the much-loved, organic, farm-to-table salad shops originating in Washington, D.C. To say “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree” is an understatement with any of the Jammet sons and especially Nicolas.  His is a classic success story of three college buddies with an idea and a business plan. Nicolas graduated from Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business in 2007, where he met his business partners, Jonathan Neman and Nathaniel Ru.

The three entrepreneurs founded sweetgreen during their senior year, opening their first location in Georgetown in August 2007 – just three months out of college. The idea was born from their belief that the community would benefit from a healthy, delicious, and eco-friendly dining option.  They passionately believed it was possible to create “food that fits” – your values, your budget, your tastes, your imagination, and your community.

Nicolas Jammet
Nicolas Jammet

Since then, they have built sweetgreen to become the market leader in local, organic, healthy fast food, with over 1,000 employees and 29 stores throughout Washington, D.C., New York City, Boston, Philadelphia, Virginia, and Maryland. 2015 will see a West Coast launch with stores opening in Los Angeles and Santa Monica in early spring. sweetgreen has become a local favorite not only for its delicious, healthy, high quality and affordable fast food, but also for its commitment to local farmers, the community, sustainability, and an outstanding company culture.

In 2010, the sweetgreen partners founded sweetlife, which over the last four years has grown to become the Mid-Atlantic region’s largest music and food festival. The event features a curated selection of cutting edge and high profile artists and attracts 20,000 attendees – not to mention outstanding food from top chefs, food trucks, local purveyors and farmers. The event embraces good living, along with health and well-being, community and sustainability, and leaves a gentle footprint as a carbon-neutral event – a party with a purpose.

Nicolas and his partners have been selected as Forbes magazine’s “30 under 30: Food & Wine” and Food & Wine magazine’s “40 Big Food Thinkers 40 and Under.” The brand has received numerous accolades from the press, including The Washington Post, USA Today, Food & Wine, Forbes, Bloomberg, Washingtonian, CBS, and CNBC, among others.



Melanie Young and David Ransom, Hosts, The Connected Table LIVE!
Melanie Young and David Ransom, Hosts, The Connected Table LIVE!

Join the Insatiable Curious Culinary Couple Melanie Young and David Ransom Wednesdays on The Connected Table LIVE! 2pm ET/11 am PT on  Shows podcasts are available on demand anytime at  Each week we bring you the dynamic people who work front and center and behind the scenes in food, wine, spirits and hospitality.  Connect with us at:

Direct link to shows on iHeart:


Savory Chatter on the Connected Table Live! Dec. 3

Her Miami Herald “Dinner in Minutes” column is distributed on the McClatchy Wire Service to over 6 million readers each week. She is the “go to” source for all things culinary in South Florida and the Keys and is author of The Flavor of the Florida Keys (new!) and Keys Cuisine.

She is the producer and host of the weekly segment part of Topical Currents, “Food News and Views,” on WLRN 91.3 FM and National Public Radio where she dispenses great tips on cooking for the family and showcases well-known chefs and personalities from around the world, such as Francis Ford Coppola, Lee Iacocca, Paula Deen, Martha Stewart and Emeril Lagasse.

She is an award winning author of over 30 books, including three recently released books covering diabetes friendly cooking published in cooperation with the American Diabetes Association: No-Fuss Diabetes Desserts, Simply Smoothies: Fresh & Fast Diabetes-Friendly Snacks & Complete Meals, Fast and Flavorful: Great Diabetes Meals from Market to Table.

Linda Gassenheimer
Linda Gassenheimer

TV and Radio Personality, Syndicated Journalist, Best Selling Author, Spokesperson, and Food Consultant Linda Gassenheimer joins us December 3 to discuss her latest books, the culinary scene in South Florida and cooking for both your pleasure and for your health.


You have to love a woman whose Twitter description reads: Wife. Author. Speaker. Traveler. Biker. Fave hobbies: breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

You have to love a woman who recommends bread, Champagne, chocolate and romance as key ingredients to a balanced diet and lifestyle,

You have to admire a woman who has written three international best-selling books on the art of living well: French Women Don’t Get Fat: The Secret of Eating for Pleasure, Women for all Seasons: A Year of Secrets, Recipes and Pleasure and French Women Don’t Get Facelifts: The Secret of Aging with Style & Attitude

You have to respect a woman who reached the top echelon of both the wine and spirits and luxury goods industries as CEO of Clicquot Inc. where she is credited with growing Champagne Veuve Clicquot’s market share in America grew from less than one percent to more than 25 percent.

Mireille Giuliano
Mireille Giuliano

We’re talking about Mireille Giuliano, who has been called “the high priestess of French lady wisdom” (USA Today), “an ambassador of France and its art of living” (Le Figaro), “an idea entrepreneur” (Harvard Business Review) and “an art-of-living guru” (The New York Times).

We call her uber-preneur. Her savoir faire lifestyle has been admired, adopted and followed by legions. Mireille is out with a delightful new book, Meet Paris Oyster, just in time to enjoy holidays on the half shell. We’ll be speaking with Mireille about all things we love about food, champagne and France and her approach to la joie de vivre


Join Melanie Young and David Ransom Wednesdays, 2pm ET/11am PT on The Connected Table LIVE! Each week this Insatiably Curious Culinary Couple features the dynamic people who both work front and center and behind the scenes in food, wine, spirits, cookbook publishing and hospitality. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook