Jean-Charles Boisset: Viewing The World Through Rosé-Colored Glasses

Jean-Charles Boisset shares his new book “Alchemy of the Senses” Photo: Lisa Stewart Photography

Dallas scored another culinary coup last week when Jean-Charles Boisset chose Del Frisco’s for a wine tasting and the launch of his stunning new book, Alchemy of The Senses. The Boisset Collection is truly a luxury lifestyle brand and includes over 20 wineries in the US and France.  These include Buena Vista Winery — California’s first premium winery, and Raymond Vineyards in Napa that is always rated as one of the must-visit wineries in the region. His family is one of the leading wine producers in Burgundy — chances are good that you have sampled or collected one of his wines.

But now with his acquisition of Oakville Grocery — the oldest continually running grocery store in California and an essential part of Napa history since 1881 — and his relationship with Signature Kitchen Suite, we can’t think of a better person to kick off our new series about some of the most exciting kitchens in Dallas and in our homes and second shelters. This well-traveled Technicurean® gave us great ideas on what to look for and where.

Mark Bittman, Jean-Charles Boisset, and A.J.Schaller speak about being True to Food at the opening of the Signature Kitchen Suite Experience and Design Center in Napa, CA. Photo: Lisa Stewart Photography

When I decided to make my Lifestylist® brand all about wine, dine, and great design, finding the right products and people that have the same values as my brand does was critical. Signature Kitchen Suite was a brand that caught my attention with their True to Food and Technicurean® values. I was recently in Napa for the opening of their Experience and Design Center and was fortunate enough to listen to a panel discussion and learned what True to Food is all about.

Hearing Jean-Charles Boisset and others discussions about how important it is to have the right wine preservation columns to protect and enhance your wine collection in caught my attention, but he was also passionate about sustainability, Sous-vide cooking and “making time for time.”

Kyle and Jazz Kepner explore Alchemy of The Senses Photo: Lisa Stewart Photography

Alchemy of the Senses is an interactive book like we have never experienced before, but we anticipate it will be seen soon in some of the most beautiful homes in Dallas. We couldn’t do it justice — it’s something you truly have to experience in person.  I’m hoping that will host a Boisset wine tasting at one of their Staff Parties and I’d be happy to bring my personal copy to share with you. While tasting some of his magical wines, we were able to speak with some of his biggest fans in the Dallas area and learned about their wine collections and how they store, preserve, and enjoy their collections at home.

Jean-Charles Boisset tests out the wine preservation columns at the SKS Experience and Design Center in Napa. Photo: Lisa Stewart Photography

It was exciting to hear how sophisticated these Dallas wine lovers were, and how carefully they took care of their wine collections. All had professionally designed wine rooms or cellars, but if they didn’t have the space for these they at least had the proper refrigeration products to protect their collections from the Texas sun and heat.

If the wine storage area in your home isn’t climate controlled and protected from sunlight, your wine collection will become very pricey vinegar more quickly than you could imagine. Remember when builders would build cabinets to store wine above the refrigerators, or high up in a built-in? According to Jean-Charles, there isn’t a worse place to store your wines — the higher up they are in a space, the higher the temperature usually is. Wine should be stored at 53-57 degrees. The lighter the wine, the colder it should be served, and red wines are typically served about 10 degrees warmer than white wine.

For this reason, a well-designed wine column will have two separate cooling zones. Hint: a wine column is also a great place to store a Charcuterie Board or cheese tray when you are entertaining — multi-tasking!

Jean-Charles Boisset shares his love of wine and architecture with guests at Del Frisco’s Photo: Lisa Stewart Photography

It’s also imperative to think about where you are purchasing your wine. It’s an organic product that reacts strongly to air, temperature, sun, and vibration, so it’s important to know where and how the shop and distributor stored the wine as well as how you store it when you bring it home. After visiting Napa Valley and learning all of this, I now understand why true wine lovers travel to their favorite vineyards and wineries and buy directly from them. I had no idea that many of them have vintages that they only sell there and through their wine clubs, and I’m excited to now be a member and wine ambassador of the Boisset Collection!

One of the things I appreciated the most about this man and his vision is his interest in preserving historical treasures so that they can be enjoyed for generations to come. When he visited the U.S. the first time when he was 11, he was immediately enchanted by California and it’s wine culture, and never forgot what a special place it was. When the timing was right, he purchased the Robert Mondavi Estate in Napa Valley that was built by noted architect Cliff May, The Buena Vista Winery that he has restored to its original grandeur and added a museum to it, and now will be making Oakville Grocery another jewel in his collection.

If you know of an extraordinary kitchen, wine room, or space that we should be sharing in our new series we’d love to hear about it. We already have a few in mind that we can’t wait to share!

Lifestylist® Suzanne Felber is one of those lucky people who truly loves what she does. By helping consumers discover their “inner-stylist,” Felber has helped thousands of homeowners design their own spaces to reflect their personalities and their lifestyles. Felber lives in her own Home Idea Factory — a circa 1942 factory that previously housed a printing company in Oak Cliff. She and her brood of rescue cats and dogs have been busy using the building as the perfect place to try out different ideas and products that she is excited to share here.