Leggy and luscious: Oaky - the other four-letter word
July 25th, 2011
09:15 AM ET
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This is the second installment of Leggy and Luscious, wherein Jill Billante, a Senior Producer at AC360°, studies at the American Sommelier Association. She's quite tall and she enjoys great wine.

When you hear people talk about "oaky" wine, what comes to mind? Are you thinking to yourself, "obviously Chardonnay," or is that just me? More specifically, I think of a California Chardonnay. Do you love an "oaky" wine or do you hate it? Do you judge people who ask for an oaky Chardonnay?

I've noticed an oak backlash as of late. Those who still wholeheartedly admit they love an oaky, buttery Chardonnay may find they're the recipient of snooty stares and full-on judgment, possibly along the lines of "that's so 1999."
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Filed under: Leggy and Luscious • Sip • Wine


Leggy and Luscious: Meet our sommelier-in-training
June 13th, 2011
10:00 AM ET
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This is the first installment of Leggy and Luscious, wherein Jill Billante, a Senior Producer at AC360°, studies at the American Sommelier Association. She's quite tall and she enjoys great wine.

I love to drink wine and I love it enough to know that I have a lot more to learn. There is an ocean of knowledge and producers beyond the mass-produced wines with clever names and flashy labels, cramming the shelves of my wine shop. I want to know how to describe the kind I like to drink, ask for it at a wine store, or a restaurant - and stay within a certain price range.

With that in mind, I signed up for the very basic foundation course at the American Sommelier Association. This seemed like the right place for me to start, since I realized a few weeks ago that I've been mispronouncing the word oenophile when describing myself. The proper pronunciation for the Greek term describing a lover of wine is EE-no-file. Kind of a phony don't you think? It's time to get legitimate.
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Filed under: Leggy and Luscious • Sip • Wine


May 5th, 2011
05:30 PM ET
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Chef Gabrielle Hamilton was going a million miles a minute when I met her for an interview at her wildly popular Prune restaurant in Manhattan's East Village.

Fresh from an interview uptown, she ran in, her assistant ran out and waited in Hamilton's idling car double parked outside while we talked.

As soon as we were through, she jumped back into the car, started chatting on her cell phone and waited for a spot to open up.
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Filed under: Books • Celebrity Chefs • Gabrielle Hamilton • News • Think • Video


Super Bowl Smackdown: Bratwurst and cheese vs golabki and pierogies
February 3rd, 2011
11:30 AM ET
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Jill Billante is a Senior Producer at AC360°.

Gridiron pundits say the Pittsburgh Steelers and Green Bay Packers are pretty evenly matched for Sunday's Super Bowl. The odds-makers seem to believe the same.

The spread is a low 2.5 points to the Steelers as underdog, but when it comes to game day grub, how do the two cities stack up?

iReport: Planning a Super Bowl road trip?

I'm a Pittsburgh gal, born and bred. I'll be cheering for the boys in black and gold, with an Iron City beer in one hand and a plate of pierogies in the other, as they go for an unprecedented seventh Super Bowl win. That doesn't stop me from indulging in the rich food heritage fueling both teams.
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Filed under: Holidays • Super Bowl


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