More than 20 million bottles shipped in 2015, according to Champagne Bureau, USA.

The Champagne Bureau, USA announced today that 20,508,784 million bottles of Champagne were shipped to the United States in 2015, an increase of 6.61 percent from 2014. This marks the third consecutive year of growth in Champagne shipments to the United States.

The United States is the second largest export market for Champagne, trailing the United Kingdom, which imported 34,153,662 bottles in 2015. Worldwide, Champagne shipments totaled 312,531,444 bottles, an increase of nearly 2 percent over last year.

"It is wonderful to see U.S. consumers buying Champagne at record numbers and highlights the important role Champagne plays in the growing U.S. wine market," said Sam Heitner, director of the Champagne Bureau, USA.  

 Gambero Rosso’s Wine Travel Food Magazine now available online, free

Gambero Rosso, the Italian wine guide, is now making available the  latest issue of their beautiful Wine Travel Food Magazine, for free, as well as a library of all previous numbers.

Log on to: and read about Food, Drinks, Trends, Tips, Recipes, Stories from Italy as well as articles and experiences from Gambero Rosso’s tour to over 30 cities worldwide .

A Hong Kong company has joined the ranks of Chinese wine estate owners in Bordeaux after securing a deal for cru bourgeois property Château Tour Saint-Fort.

Hong Kong company Long Fait International is believed to be only the second Chinese investor in the Bordeaux appellation of St Estèphe with its deal for Château Tour Saint-Fort.

The 14-hectare cru bourgeois property, formerly owned by Jean-Louis Laffort, is in the northern part of St-Estèphe near to Châteaux de Pez and Le Tour de Pez.

A price was not disclosed, but average vineyard prices in St-Estèphe were €350,000 per hectare in 2014, according to the latest data available from France’s Safer land agency.

Long Fait International joins Yi Zhu & Hongtao Yu, who bought Château Vieux Coutelin in St-Estèphe in 2013.
The deal also follows closely after Alibaba founder Jack Ma bought Château de Sours and serial Bordeaux investor Peter Kwok acquired Château Le Rey in Castillon.

Château Tour Saint-Fort was almost entirely destroyed during the World War Two. Previous owner Laffort recreated the property in 1992 by bringing together Cru la Tour du Château Pineau and parts of Château Saint-Estèphe. These parts were owned by the Calon family in the 18th century.

Eddie Yuan, of Langan Consulting, the agency responsible for the sale, told, ‘The purchaser has employed a former director of a Grand Cru Classé estate in St-Emilion to run the château. He intends to continue the current sales system with one third sold direct in France, one third through Bordeaux merchants and one third sold in China.’

Yuan also confirmed that Long Fait International wants to enlarge the estate to between 25 and 30 hectares and is in the process of looking for other St-Estèphe vines to purchase.

There are also plans to renovate the cellars and vinification buildings to assure a reception capacity for 30 hectares of vines. Lafghan Consulting was also responsible for the purchase of Château Loudenne by the Group Moutai in 2012.


They Feast on the Vines of Chianti, the Swine

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Efforts in Chianti to reduce an exploding population of wild boars and deer, which devour grapes and the vines’ tender sprouts, are creating issues of their own.

simply.italian.2016Simply Italian Great Wines Americas Tour, kicks off its annual trade tasting in Toronto, Canada and eagerly returns to Miami, Florida, to showcase Italy’s vast range of varietals and bring together over 40 Italian wineries and US importers, distributors, retailers, restaurateurs, media, educators and other professionals in the industry.

Presented by International Event and Exhibition Management, I.E.E.M., and I.E.M., International Exhibition Management, this year’s exclusive trade event promises a program featuring the richness of Italian wine through a series of guided tastings followed by an afternoon walk-around tasting complimented by Italian delicacies from prominent local restaurants.
Keeping with the philosophy that wine is a cultural attribute, this year’s tour is held at the Miami Culinary Institute and Miami’s historic landmark, The Freedom Tower, February 10th.
The program features a multitude of guided tastings, “Vino Classics: The Uniqueness of Veneto” presented by world-renowned wine expert Charlie Arturaola, and for the first time in Miami: “Traceability & Regulation of Italian D.O.C. Wines, Focus on Frascati D.O.C.G.” moderated by famed wine educator of Italian Wine Central, Geralyn Brostrom, and “Chianti Classico Introduces its Top Tier Wine: Gran Selezione” guided by James Beard Award-Winning writer Lyn Farmer.

In partnership with the Vinitaly International Academy, a series of executive wine seminars will be conducted by esteemed wine journalist Ian D’Agata including: “Grignolino, or the incredible lightness of wine being”, “Are artisanal wines the new Italian icons? Powered by FIVI, The Italian Federation of Independent Winegrowers” and “Carmignano: Tuscany's great red from the Medici to modern times".
From 2.00 pm – 6.00 pm  Simply Italian attendees will have the opportunity to discover Italy in a glass at the splendid Freedom Tower ballroom by meeting with newcomers as the Piedmont Red & White Group, boutique wineries showcasing their superb wines from the rolling hills of Piedmont. Consorzio Vini Frascati from the Lazio region will also present for the first time their unique denominations Frascati D.O.C., Frascati Superiore D.O.C.G. and Cannellino di Frascati D.O.C.G. The Consorzio of Chianti Classico will unveil their prestigious Gran Selezione, along with one of South Florida favorites, the United Wines of Veneto. Iconic wineries and local importers will be showcased including: Amastuola Società Agricola, Arctic Wine & Spirits, Cantine La Pergola, Cantine San Marco, Castello Banfi, Cesconi, Colle Manora, Consorzio Alba Export Wine & Food, Conte D’Attimis, Corte Adami, Enovation Brands -  Voga, Federdoc, La Chimera D’Albegna, Monte Schiavo, Ornella Molon Traverso, Piera Martellozzo,
PR.AS.CO, Cantina Sampietrana, Tenuta Roveglia, Ricci Curbastro, Tenuta Coppadoro, Tenuta San Jacopo, Valori, and Zonin 1821.
During the walk around tasting culinary bites will be offered from well-regarded South Florida Italian local favorite restaurants such as Bocce, La Moderna, Oyster Leaf, Toscana Divino, and Via Verdi, which will also be honored with the coveted Simply the Best Award.
MIAMI CULINARY INSTITUTE                      
Wolfson Campus
415 NE 2nd Avenue #9104
Miami, FL 33132
600 Biscayne Boulevard
Miami, FL 33132
Walk around wine and food tasting open to accredited trade representatives and members of the press only.

Wine trade and media are invited to attend Simply Italian by registering at this link.
Please visit for more information.

On Tuesday, February 2, 2016 Gambero Rosso kicks off the season with tastings of the fresh and crip Falanghina wines from 21 wineries in Sannio, Italy at Cibo Wine Bar, 200 South Pointe Dr., in South Beach.  The event is open to trade and media professionals only.   To register

Journalists are requested to please contact Chelsea Kurnick chelsea@mccuecommunications.comfor interviews, photos, and more information about Gambero Rosso/The Sannio Region or for assistance on related stories.

 caves du louvre ouverture

A Museum of a new kind has just opened its doors in Paris. Les Caves du Louvre, not far from the eponymous museum, offer an new take on wine and terroir with an interactive cultural visit.

With the help of Wineinparis, a mobile application downloaded prior to the visit on cell pones or tablets, the journey of initiation is meant to awaken every one of your senses to the tasting of wine.

The experience unrolls in an incredible atmospheric 18th century cellar which happens to have been the wine cellar of the King of France Louis XV, curated by his sommelier Trudon,    

Blending workshops, tasting room and boutique combine to make the visit a different experience in wine.   

Admission starting at 11€, 52, rue de l’Arbre sec 75011 Paris

Fruit breeders have been creating varieties with flashy names like Cosmic Crisp and SnapDragon, leaving Red Delicious and McIntosh behind and hoping to knock off recent favorites. 

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Fruit breeders have been creating varieties with flashy names like Cosmic Crisp and SnapDragon, leaving Red Delicious and McIntosh behind and hoping to knock off recent favorites.

Even newer varieties — with flashy names like SweeTango, Juici, Opal and SnapDragon — that could knock Honeycrisp and its generation of fruit from their lucrative perch atop a national apple industry that reaps about $3 billion for farmers each year.

Several, including Cosmic Crisp, are under development in central Washington, which produces almost two-thirds of the apples grown in the United States.

Click here for Slide Show

The house of Chanel, which owns several crus or prime vineyards in Bordeaux, has recently purchased St. Supéry Estate Vineyards & Winery from the Skalli family.

The Wertheimer brothers, owners of the renowned luxury and cosmetics group, already own Château Rauzan-Ségla, cru Classé Margaux, acquired in 1994, and Chateau Canon, grand cru Saint-Emilion since 1996. This is their first acquisition in the United States.

The winery and over 600 hectares of vineyards in Napa Valley, was created in the 1980s by Robert Skalli, a winemaker and négociant in France who says he is happy to hand St. Supéry to a company as respected as Chanel  that will ensure a continued high quality wine production.

While the financial terms have not been released, the deal is expected to be finalized before the end of the month. No major change is planned for the operations or management of the vineyard, which produces about 100,000 cases a year of prime wines. 

Click here to read main story in the NYT 

In a sweeping change to how most of its 1,800 employees are paid, the Union Square Hospitality Group will eliminate tipping at Gramercy Tavern, Union Square Cafe and its 11 other restaurants by the end of next year, the company’s chief executive, Danny Meyer, said on Wednesday.

The move will affect New York City businesses that serve 40,000 to 50,000 meals a week and range from simple museum cafes to some of the most popular and acclaimed restaurants in the country. The first will be the Modern, inside the Museum of Modern Art, starting next month. The others will gradually follow.

A small number of restaurants around the country have reduced or eliminated tipping in the last several years. Some, like Atelier Crenn in San Francisco, put a surcharge on the bill, allowing the restaurants to set the pay for all their employees. Others, including Bruno Pizza, a new restaurant in the East Village, factor the cost of an hourly wage for servers into their menu prices.

Union Square Hospitality Group will do the latter. Menus will explain that prices include “hospitality,” and checks will not provide blank lines for a tip. “There will be one total, as if you were buying a sweater at Brooks Brothers,” Mr. Meyer said.

Continue reading the main story

It's white truffle season and MALIA WOLLAN tells us how best to find them in The NYT magazine Click here to read full story:

‘‘Hunt at night,’’ Matteo Gatti says. During white truffle season (mid-September through December), Gatti and his fungus-sniffing dogs walk the Italian countryside from midnight until morning, seven days a week. In the daytime, other truffle hunters crowd the landscape crying, ‘‘Cerca, cerca!’’ (‘‘search’’) to their excitable dog packs. ‘‘When the sun is out, there are too many other smells in the forest,’’ says Gatti, 44. Always wear a headlamp and attach LED lights to your dogs’ collars — ‘‘that way you can see where the dog goes when he is deep in the bushes.’’

Don’t leave the digging to your dog; even a trained one will mar the delicate lumps. Once a dog indicates it has detected the earthy funk of a mature truffle, use the small, trowel-like tool that Italians call avanghettoto unearth it. The first truffles to mature — at which point their scent becomes detectable by dogs — will be near the surface, but as winter progresses you will need to dig deeper to find ripe specimens.

On a good night, Gatti might find $5,000 worth of the mottled, cream-colored fungi, which are prized for their rich flavor and scarcity. Unless you plan to eat them all yourself, sell your truffles immediately. Once disinterred, they rapidly lose water weight. In Italy, brokers are currently paying about $185 to $195 an ounce for the highest-quality finds. Last year, Gatti dug up a 4.16-pound white truffle near his home in Umbria that later sold at Sotheby’s for $61,250. But don’t do this for the money. ‘‘The truffle is a passion,’’ Gatti says, ‘‘and you need that passion to find them.’’

If the sun comes up and you’re empty-handed, or if you find yourself exhausted after months of graveyard-shift hours, remember that at least you have a dog to work with. Men like Gatti’s grandfather relied on the snouts of unruly and insubordinate hogs. ‘‘Pigs just want to eat the truffles,’’ Gatti says. ‘‘Dogs are much easier to work with.’’ He owns six lagotto romagnolos, the preferred canine breed for the job. ‘‘If you are just starting out, get an expert dog,’’ he says. ‘‘A dog can teach its owner to find truffles.’’

uncorkedBased on the documentary "SOMM,” "Uncorked" charts the journey of six of New York's hottest wine stewards as they attempt to pass The Master Sommelier Test.

Master Sommelier is more than just a title; it’s a badge of honor - and to earn it you need to be a wine expert in mind, body, and spirit – an achievement measured by passing one of the world’s most grueling exams. 

Only 230 people across the globe have passed the test in its 40 + year history, but this accomplishment allows a person entry into one of the world’s most exclusive clubs, where membership can lead to some of the most desirable jobs in the food and wine industry. 

Produced by Left/Right productions, and based on the fascinating documentary "Somm," this one-hour, six-part docu-series will chronicle six aspiring Master Sommeliers preparing for, and finally attempting to pass, this ultimate test. 

 UNCORKED premieres Tuesday, November 10 at 10/9c only on Esquire Network.

UNCORKED is produced by Left/Right with Banks Tarver and Ken Druckerman serving as Executive Producers. The directors of the documentary “Somm,” Jason Wise, and Christina Wise, and Peter Goldwyn also serve as Executive Producers.  

Ferran.AdriaThe Miami Culinary Institute (MCI) at Miami Dade College (MDC) will welcome world-renowned Spanish chef Ferran Adrià alongside an all-star lineup of international chefs for the Estrella Damm Gastronomy Congress Monday, September 21.


The event will kick off with other chefs conducting a private demonstration with 50 MCI students at noonfollowed by the Congress at 7 p.m. This is a private event but some tickets have been made available while supply lasts at


The Congress will include a live cooking demonstration as restaurant insiders learn the latest culinary trends and techniques from other influential chefs from Spain.  Adrià, rose to fame as the head chef of elBulli, a three-star Michelin restaurant that has been rated No. 1 among the world’s best restaurants for a record five times by Restaurant Magazine. His avant-garde, deconstructionist cuisine changed culinary history. He is the world’s most awarded chef and winner of “Chef of the Decade” in 2010.


Joining Adrià at the Congress to explore the topic of “The Changing Face of Modern Gastronomy” is Fran Agudo, head chef at Michelin star rated Tickets Bar in Barcelona, which was voted 42nd in the ‘World’s Best Restaurants of 2015’; and David Gil, creative pastry chef for Albert Adrià’s restaurants in Barcelona.


Additionally, Adrià along with Lluís Garcia, director of the elBulli foundation and former elBulli restaurant director, will provide a presentation focused on the future of “the restaurant” as a concept, as well as the evolution of elBulli into the elBullifoundation, which is a creative think tank for the culinary world with the mantra of "eat knowledge to nurture creativity”. Adrià and Garcia will also provide details about their work with the Heart Ibiza and the Cirque du Soleil projects.


Adrià also consults as a Brand Ambassador to the Barcelona-based brewery and event presenter Estrella Damm, which will donate a $5,000 scholarship to MCI during the student demonstration at Noon.


Guests at the Gastronomy Congress will receive complimentary passed tapas, Estrella Damm beer and a copy of Albert Adrià’s latest recipe book,Tapas: The TICKETS Cuisine.


MDC’s Miami Culinary institute has been a regular stop for the world’s top chefs, from the Roca brothers and Juan Mari Arzak to Lidia Bastianich and Scott Conant and many others.

WHAT:           Estrella Damm Gastronomy Congress


WHEN:           Monday, September 21

                        Student Demonstration: Noon

                        Welcome Reception/Registration: 6pm

                        Start of the Gastronomy Congress: 7pm

WHERE:        Student Demonstration: MDC Wolfson Campus, Building 9, 3rdFloor

                        Room 9301, 415 NE 2ndAve

                        Reception/Gastronomy Congress: MDC Chapman Conference Center,

                        Building 3, Room 3210, 2nd Floor, 245 NE 4th Street


This is a private event but some tickets have been made available while supply lasts at

Saturday September 26,  11am- 630pm. Matter Of Taste Miami , Vip Preview: 12 Noon- 1pm , Walk-Around Tasting: 1pm-6pm    Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate is bringing its inaugural Matter of Tastet our to Miami, with 150 iconic wines of South America and Spain, rated 90+ points by The Wine Advocate and handpicked by wine expert, Luis Gutiérrez,    Tickets to the walkabout tasting are specially priced at $50 for members (master classes will be priced separately). Non-member tickets are $99 and will include a free one-year, annually renewing membership to    Moore Building, 4040 Ne 2nd Ave, Miami, FL 33137

by Ana Mari Cox for The New York Times   Read story here

alton.brownTen or so years ago, you said that food in this country was like what sex was in the ’70s: our last decadent act. Are we out of the ’70s yet?   I think we’ve moved into the ’80s. The decadence is being replaced by a potentially appropriate austerity. The orgy of the unfamiliar and new has given way to something more focused and thoughtful.

We’re practicing safe foodYes. We have seen what happens when we just go crazy with three different kinds of saffron.

In the past you’ve talked about being an observant Christian, but late last year, you said that you were leaving the Southern Baptist Convention and searching for a new belief system. Does your spirituality inform your love of food? There is more to the act of sharing food with one another than simply saying ‘‘Here is some food.’’ I do believe that there is a spiritual act in breaking bread and sitting down and being thankful. The pornification of food takes away the importance of sharing it with one another and instead focuses only on the food.

Do you think your employer, the Food Network, might bear some responsibil­ity for that?  I think all food media certainly bears responsibility, which is not the same as saying we are at fault. When you take a subject that becomes a massively popular phenomenon, like food, it’s mirroring other things in society as much as it’s driving things in society.

You were on ‘‘Food Network Star’’ for three seasons. What do you think is the difference between wanting to be a chef and wanting to be a Food Network star?As mutually exclusive terms?  They seem pretty different to me. It’s funny. On ‘‘Food Network Star,’’ I got so tired of hearing people tell me that the reason they should have their own show is that they love food so much. Well, so freaking what? I love food. We all love food. If we don’t, we die. Even supermodels in New York secretly love food. That doesn’t make you special. And people who want to be stars often make the mistake of thinking that it does, and that if they can just show you how much they love it, they will somehow become compelling. This is not the case.

Seems as if what they actually love is convincing you that they love food. At best, love is the gasoline. It’s not the car.

You gave a speech in Washington a few years ago, and it was reported that you said that if you’re dumb enough to eat fast food three times a day, you should just die and get out of the way of the rest of us. Well, I don’t remember saying that! I do, however, believe that if you’re going to eat fast food three times a day and then complain about it, there is a problem there. But the price gap between junk food and real food only seems to be widening, so I wouldn’t say that anymore. We have designed our system to force people into nutritional slavery.

You’re a big believer in self-reliance and responsibility. Do you see cooking as a form of self-reliance? I am, and it is. I get that there are people who can only afford to fill their stomachs with bad, cheap food. But I do think that most of us need to actually take responsibility for what we’re putting in our mouths. Obesity is not a disease. Can it be caused by diseases in certain rare cases? Yes, but the second that our society starts thinking that shoveling Big Macs into our face is a disease then we’re done, we’re done as a culture.

You also fly your own plane, and I read that you carry a gun. Is that true? It depends on where I am. But yeah. I have guns. I have an office in a questionable part of town, and I’m often working there rather late at night. I have been accosted before, so I may or may not be armed at certain times.

Ted Cruz, the senator from Texas, recently made a video in which he cooked bacon on the barrel of a gun. Would you recommend such a technique?There are so many other cheaper, easier ways to cook bacon.

BBVA (Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria, Bilbao, Spain) and its U.S. subsidiary, BBVA Compass, announced the selection of two Miami Dade College (MDC) / Miami Culinary Institute (MCI) students who will complete apprenticeships under the famed Roca brothers of El Celler de Can Roca, which landed at No. 1 on Restaurant magazine’s influential World’s 50 Best Restaurants list this year. 

As part of its three-year partnership with El Celler de Can Roca,, BBVA is sponsoring the four-month culinary internships including all travel and lodging costs. 

Marcelo Sardina and Sachi Statz  will embark on their four-month culinary and cultural journey at the Girona, Spain-based El Celler de Can Roca, where they will work side by side with the Roca brothers: Head Chef Joan, Sommelier Josep, and Pastry Chef Jordi Roca.  “This opportunity is priceless,” said Chef Collen Engle, MCI chair. “To work and learn at the best restaurant in the world is a dream come true for these students. The internships furthers our mission and our continued efforts to have a culinary school that is global in scope.” 

Marcelo Sardina and Sachi Statz were chosen from a group of 10 MCI students who assisted the Roca brothers and their staff in prepping meals for 200 BBVA Compass clients and invited guests aboard the SeaFairMiami, a luxury yacht on Biscayne Bay.   

For more information, visit

To coincide with the official re-opening of the US embassy in Havana on Friday, August 14, Miami will be sizzling with a unique culinary exchange and cultural engagement.  

From August 10 through August 14, the third installment of its Cuba Entrepreneurial Exchange Program, The Cuba Study Group has invited four of Cuba’s Top Chefs for a week of exchanges with Miami-based chefs during which each Cuban chef will spend a day at a different restaurant to work alongside their hosts.

The week culminates on Friday, August 14 with a demo for MDC Miami Culinary Institute students at 10 a.m. and with a stellar interactive culinary fundraiser at Tuyo restaurant where Chefs participating in the exchange and their Miami-based hosts will whip up exciting dishes for one-hundred guests. Cost: $150. Proceeds will support the Cuba Study Group’s Entrepreneurial Exchange Program. This exchange is made possible through the generous support of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. The dinner limited to 100 guests takes place at Tuyo, Downtown Miami, on Friday, August 14, at 7 p.m.  To purchase tickets and RSVP log on to:

Among the Cuban delegation: Chef Luis Alberto Alfonso Pérez of El Gringo Viejo; Chef Michael Alejandro Calvo Oviedo of Atelier; Chef Yamilet Magariño Andux of Andux; and Chef Gilberto Smith Álvarez of Pizzanella.

The Miami-based chefs are: Executive Chef Wolfgang Birk of Area 31; Chef Bernie Matz of Bodega; Chef Alberto Cabrera of Bread and Butter; Chef Santiago Alvarez of Cantina la 20; Chef Michelle Bernstein of Seagrape and Crumb; Chef Douglas Rodriguez of De Rodriguez Catering ; Chef Tomas Prado of Golden Fig; Chef Victor Santos of Tuyo; Chef Miguel Aguilar of Wynwood Kitchen and Bar; Chef Steve Hosang of Sushi Maki

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