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Sarah Blatt, Wine Consultant

What is your “desert island wine region”, where the rest of your life will be spent drinking only the wines of this region, and why?

If all the music stopped in this world and I had only one chair available to determine the wine I’d drink for the rest of my days, sweet heaven let it be Champagne! I told my husband when we married that he could study all wine regions and styles, but when it comes to bubbly, I am the family expert. Why Champagne? First, the location defies reality. As the northern most wine region in the world it is arguably one of the most difficult and unforgiving, with weather patterns that even the most talented storm chaser wants to avoid. Secondly, the history fascinates me. The growers in Champagne outlasted the looting of Roman armies, the trenches of World War I, and the devastation of phylloxera. Despite all hardships, they continue to thrive, persevere, and produce wines lauded internationally as synonymous with celebration. Mark Twain might have put it best, “Too much of anything is a bad thing, too much Champagne is just right!” Amen, Mark, Amen. Let’s celebrate!

Describe the all-time best food and wine you’ve ever created.

My most memorable food pairing happened as such moments often do, completely unplanned and unexpectedly. On a gray Tuesday evening in December 2013, Brendan Quigley gave each consultant in the office one bottle of a stunning Premier Cru White Burgundy from the town of Rully. Our mission? Go home and fall in love with a recipe to recommend with the 2011 “Lex Cloux” from Chateau St. Michel. Some say that Burgundy is the last stop before reaching heaven and he wanted us to explore why.

As many before me already know, (and many after me will likely learn), when in search for great recipes turn to your mother-in-law! My husband Mike’s mom Michelle is an amazing cook and once we described the nuances of the wine to her, she sent over her favorite carbonara recipe out of Lorenza’s Pasta by Lorenza De’Medici. I got to work shredding the Pecorino and Parmesan while my Mike sautéed the garlic and pancetta. The creamy comfort of that Spaghetti Alla Carbonara washed down with the beautifully toasted apple and lemon fruit of the wine made for a winter evening worth remembering!

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