Natural wine: WTF is it, and why do I care?

So here’s the thing. I love wine, and it makes me happy opening up people’s eyes to great bottles, something I’ve been doing professionally for the past 10 years. But something changed for me in the last few years: I learned about natural wine, essentially just fermented grape juice, and was shocked that all wine wasn’t made that way. So I started researching, learning how different producers were working, and discovering a whole range of delicious natural wines that I wanted to drink.

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Vegan Bourbon Butterscotch Pudding

Once a year on his birthday, my husband, born without a sweet tooth, wants dessert. But not just any dessert. He’s not a fan of chocolate (what??), so that rules out most anything I’d pick. He likes lemon, so we generally do some sort of not-sweet lemon cake. But what he really loves is butterscotch pudding.

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Chunky Monkey Muffins

This recipe for chocolatey-banana muffins is adapted from a great pregnancy nutrition book called Feed the Belly.  I made them dozens of times during my two pregnancies, tinkering with the recipe as I went.  They’re a great snack for mamas-to-be, as they’re high in fiber, protein and omega-3s, and they got me through many a serious […]

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Spiced Cold-Brew Coffee

I have an on-and-off again relationship with coffee.  I love the smell of it, and the idea of it, and how well it serves as a vehicle for my favorite accoutrement, like nut milks, cinnamon, and chocolate. But I’d almost given up on coffee – the acid is rough on my gut – until I discovered cold brew, which is less acidic […]

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Whole-Grain Gingerbread Cookies

I grew up with a strong Christmas cookie tradition.  “Cookie Day” was a really big deal, planned months in advance.  We spent a full Saturday each season baking dozens and dozens of cookies with my wonderful Martha Stewart-esque aunt, who would prepare as many as eight different batches of dough in advance so that my sister and I […]

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Cranberry-Orange Smoothie

Fresh cranberries are everywhere this time of year, and I love their sweet-tart punch.  Plus, they’re a potent antioxidant and pack a ton of Vitamin C and fiber.  But what does one really do with them, besides make a cranberry sauce or relish for Thanksgiving (one that looks pretty, but no one really eats, that […]

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Turkey Meatballs

Everybody needs a killer go-to dish that they can whip out, practically from memory, for guests or special occasions. One that pleases just about everyone, and doesn’t stress out the host. Preferably one that can be assembled ahead of time. For me, this is the dish, my “famous” turkey meatballs. Famous because I’ve made them so many times, at one point or other for every single person who has joined us for dinner, and are always a hit.

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Querceto di Castellina Chianti Classico L’aura

This is classic, clean Chianti from a small family producer near Panzano in Chianti. I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know the proprietor, Jacopo di Battista, over the past two years, and stay with them for a few days last summer. His family has farmed the small hilltop estate organically since inception in 1998, and has been certified since 2012. They’re equally low-intervention in the cellar…

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Apple Pie Smoothie

Apple picking has been a tradition in my family for as long as I can remember.  My auntie used to take us every year when we were kids, to the orchards of Oak Glen or Tehachapi, in Southern California.  We’d come home with bushels of apples, and she’d go into apple processing overdrive.  Apple butter, apple […]

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Pierre Morey Bourgogne Aligote

I love the way natural wine critic Alice Feiring describes Aligoté: “the much maligned other white grape of Burgundy, which a few brave and romantic vignerons slave to elevate to greatness.” One of those is Pierre Morey, the former winemaker at Domaine Leflaive (very famous Burgundy producer), who maximizes the grape’s capacity for complexity and terroir transparency with this biodynamic Aligoté bottling from his family’s vineyards in Meursault.

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