from the filets to the spareribs to the
headcheese and sausages.
“We should have bought three per
store,” Burke says. “So far, so good. We
trust in the farm. We think the whole
natural thing and a little relationship
with where you’re getting your product
makes a lot of sense.”
All in the Family
The relationship with purveyors makes
a lot of sense to Orla Murphy LaScola,
the owner and wine director of American Seasons on Nantucket. She’s always
looking for small-production wines—
less than 250 cases, if she can get it—to
match the food of her husband, chef-owner Michael LaScola.
But such wines, especially those from
California, are often made by people
for whom winemaking is a second job.
They’ve already put up their life savings
to buy the vineyard; they don’t have the
time or money to market and deliver
their wines to the East Coast.
“The only way to get your hands on
these is to go out and walk the fields
The bar at American
Seasons on Nantucket
with them and let them know their baby
is your baby,” says Orla LaScola. “We
actually go out and see the soil that the
stuff has been grown on. It makes you
understand the product.”
So she heads out to California, hikes
up her wellies with both hands and gets
out there to learn.
“As interested as you are,” she says,
“they’ll give you as much information as
And then she’s able to pass that
information on to her guests. If someone’s looking to find a wine to match
Michael’s oven-roasted duck breast
with wild rice risotto and a Bing cherry
vinaigrette, she’s able to help them
choose among several pinot noirs. The
ones from the Sonoma coast will be soft
and pretty—something that matches
the lighter meats and vegetables. The
ones from Napa will do better in the fall,
when there’s a little more fat in the food.
The ones from Oregon? They’re greener,
more acidic, more Burgundian. They’ll
go great with meat or fish.
“When we’re sourcing, we’re
always looking for wine to go with our
food—that’s not just quaffable,” she
says. “I don’t want them just to drink it.
I want them to pair it with the food that
And if she gives them a little back
story, like how the wind blew the dusty,
rocky soil out of the palm of her hand,
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