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The Fabric of New York with James Shrum at Blue Ribbon

T. Edward Wines, New York wine importer/distributor, James Shrum, Karen Ulrich for T. Edward WinesJames Shrum with Victor, behind the bar at Blue Ribbon Brasserie

“I’m not the first person you think of when you think of Blue Ribbon, unless you’re a customer who’s been coming in for a long time and you see my face when you first come in the door.” It’s been 22 years since James Shrum, bartender extraordinaire, helped demolish the walls of what was then the Crystal Room on Sullivan Street in Soho. As one of the foundational members of Blue Ribbon, James, along with owners Eric and Bruce Bromberg and General Manager Sean Sant Amour,  opened and closed the Crystal Room in four short months.

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All in the Family, Succession at Tenuta Fiorano with Prince Alessandrojacopo

T. Edward Wines, New York organic wine importer/distributor, Tenuta di FioranoPrince Alessandrojacopo of Tenuta Fiorano

“In 1998, he told me everything about the Tenuta Fiorano estate. He told me everything about the vineyard, the wine, the vines. The method of producing wines,” said Alessandrojacopo Boncompagni Ludovisi, of his cousin Prince Alberico. “So, in this moment, I started this relationship with my cousin, getting closer each year.” After he tore up his vines, he began to recognize himself in his younger cousin. And while no one can say at exactly what point Prince Alberico realized he would pass his estate to Prince Alessandrojacopo, in retrospect, the latter realized that he was being tested and trained. Read more

#ExPat on the Ground and Running in France

T. Edward Wines, New York wine importer/distributor, Patrick Burke, Chantal Tortochot Patrick Burke with Chantal Tortochot

As the vines near budbreak, we stole a moment to catch up with Patrick Burke (#ExPat), our French Portfolio Manager, who’s been living with his ear and palate close to the terroir for the past eight months. “I’ve spent a lot of time with our existing producers and it’s deepened the existing friendships,” he said. “When you see them once or twice a year, it’s business. But being able to see them more often, in a casual setting, it’s allowed me quality time that’s not the standard of a winery visit. It’s strengthened relationships.” Such immediate access has also given Patrick a more intimate understanding of each producer’s winemaking style, he said. “You see how they relate to other people in their villages, you get more insider information.” On the road seven to ten days a month, Patrick recently introduced Chateau de Lavernette, a historic property that straddles Beaujolais and Maconnais, and just joined our ranks. “His family has owned the property since they bought it from the Tournus monks, in 1596,” he said. “They have vineyards all around the chateau and Xavier [de Boissieu] is the latest to take over the estate.” Read more

Freestylin’ in the Kitchen at Semilla

T. Edward Wines, New York wine importer/distributor, Semilla Brooklyn, Karen Ulrich for T. Edward WinesPam Yung & José Ramírez-Ruiz of Semilla 

While dining at Semilla, Williamsburg’s recent 18 seat restaurant, we were served 10 stunning plates of vegetable based dishes that might have evolved from one seating to the next. Chef José Ramírez-Ruiz and his partner Pam Yung describe the format as ‘freestyle’, which allows them to work with what’s been made available to their kitchen by the farmers and producers with whom they work.  “We base the menu on availability rather than impose a demand on the farmer. That demand is very capitalist,” said José. “The idea that this is my menu and I’m now going to search for the products and try to get the best price on all of those products, it’s a very industrialized mentality. The approach that I have toward my menu, is seeing what’s available, and if the dish changes organically, then it’s a good thing. It’s not that we change it because we want to change it. We change it because the product changes, the season changes, or because the guys we’re buying products from, might have it today and not tomorrow. We’re small enough that we’re able to make those changes.” Read more

In the Santa Cruz Mountains at Mindego Ridge

T. Edward Wines, New York wine importer/distributor, Mindego Ridge Vineyards“We didn’t think we’d have great wine so soon,” said David Gollnick, of Mindego Ridge Vineyard. “We thought it’d be 7-8 years before we got something so expressive. “ Yet, at this year’s In Pursuit of Balance, winemakers kept referring tasters to their table. “We’d asked Ehren [Jordan, the winemaker] if we should send the wines to critics and he let us know that 200 wines were submitted to fill four slots at the IPOB tasting, where Jon Bonné was one of the blind tasters. ‘What more do you need?’ Ehren asked,” added David and laughed. Read more

TEW’s 3rd Annual Rosé Tasting

T. Edward Wines, New York wine importer/distributor, Rosé tasting, Karen Ulrich for T. Edward WinesBig thanks to all who came out to taste. This week’s Rosé Tasting was our best yet, with over 150 in attendance! After a long winter’s crawl, we couldn’t have asked for more – sunny blue skies, an extra hour of daylight, and 40 rosé wines from some of our top producers, from all over the globe. Finally…it’s safe to say, spring is near.

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1100 Selections at Marea with Francesco Grosso

T. Edward Wines, New York wine importer/distributor, Francesco Grosso, Marea, Karen Ulrich for T. Edward WinesFrancesco Grosso at Marea

“I wanted to open my own wine bar,” said Francesco Grosso, the soft-spoken Beverage Director at Marea. “I fell in love with wine and there was a place on the Lower East Side called ‘inoteca. I went a few times and said I’d love to open a place like this. It was my then plan to go to school and open a place like that, but instead I said, why don’t I keep my money in savings and work for the people that know how to do it. I got a job there after completing my degree at the Culinary Institute of Education and took it from there.” Read more

Drink Big. Seeking Truth in Wine with Michael Madrigale.

T. Edward Wines, New York wine importer/distributor, Michael Madrigal, Boulud Sud, Karen Ulrich for T. Edward Wines

“Where’s Burgundy?” asked Michael Madrigale of Bar Boulud, when he interviewed for a job at the Burgundy Wine Company. “I don’t understand the concept here. I thought Bordeaux was the best wine in France.” Yet despite his brutally honest naiveté, his interviewer liked his energy and so she called him in to trail for a day. “I met these two people,” Michael continued, “one wore wrestling tee-shirts and could wax poetic about Chablis like no other person.” The other was a communist in his mid-60’s. After a half an hour, Madrigale said, “I loved this place. Whatever they were doing, I wanted to be a part of it. It was there that I fell in love with Burgundy and got to know Burgundy. It was a gift.” Within a year or so with the company, Michael left New York and moved to the motherland itself. Read more

Revisiting the Classics at The Library with Tiffany Short

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Like an artist that masters figurative drawing before approaching the abstract, Tiffany Short of The Library at the Public, learned the classics while tending bar at The Inn at Little Washington, before she resurrected the Shrub, a colonial cocktail, at the Library. Hired as a bar manager at PS7, Tiffany assembled a cocktail there that started to garner attention. “That’s when I started putting effort into it,” she said. “I read a couple of books for inspiration…I [came to] think of drinks like a dish. You have the main at the center, the meat, and then the accents.” Inspired by food at the time, she’d mimic certain plates in a cocktail, like the enchilada, using ingredients such as tequila, cilantro and chili. Nowadays, she said, “I lean towards classic ways of doing things with little twists. I take something like a Gin Fizz and give it a tweak. No one is reinventing, it’s just variations of the theme. It’s where the creativity lies.” Read more

Catching Up with Natalie Tapken at Lure

T. Edward Wines, New York wine importer/distributor, Natalie Tapken, Karen Ulrich for T. Edward WinesJohn Coyle with Natalie Tapken & Matt Krueger of Bowery Meat Company

“People would look on their phones for Parker points,” said Natalie Tapken of her early days at Lure. Nowadays, thankfully, the “Parker Universe” has imploded and guests no longer scan their phones while considering what to order. “I think the younger generation of drinkers are willing to go anywhere on the list. I think you can see that trend in wine anywhere, including California. Matthew [Rorick] is a great example of working with varietals in California, like Ribolla. His Verdelho is insane. I think Steve [Matthiasson] does a great job of mentoring the [younger] producers. It’s exciting that you have these varietals in California. Ten years ago it would have been a hand-sell on the list. Now it’s, How many can I have?” Read more

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