Monthly Archives: November 2014

November Beer & Wine of the Month Club

We have family on our minds as we watch fall chill slowly into winter. Often the promise of an upcoming reunion or cozy gathering is what keeps us feeling the glow of sunlight long after the days get shorter. We feel prepared to tackle the upcoming blizzards because we spend this time strengthening our arsenal of good people, soothing drinks, and rich, celebratory foods.

vscocam844The beers in this month’s box feature high ABVs to heat your bones on a chilly night, dark malty bodies that make them feel decadent and lush–and the wines are equally full and robust. These bottles taste like ripe red fruits and vanilla, toasted nuts and spice—all flavors of the holidays. And the food pairings all come from American artisans who work closely with their families to make the products in your box. These are folks who understand the restorative power of family—be it your given family or your chosen family. It’s what gets us through, so we welcome you to batten down the hatches and enjoy these warming brews with those who mean the most to you this November. Continue reading

Talking Holiday Wine with Vineyard Research

We love local. You all know this, and I bet you could list some of the criteria we look for when sourcing new products, because we talk about them all the time. Proximity to the store, the use of ingredients made nearby or farmed without harsh chemicals. Visibility, traceability, sustainability. It’s second nature to our buyers, a rote set of values that we nevertheless hold extremely dear.

So you can imagine how hard it is for us to loosen the reins and trust someone else to be our eyes and ears on the ground when it comes to wine buying. We can’t go to France as often as we go to Vermont, and we don’t casually meet winemakers at local street fairs the way we happen upon, say, a new cheesemaker at a farmers market. Because some of the world’s best wines are made overseas, and because we want to sell only the best, we have to seek out amazing people to go over there and find the best for us.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetOne of these people is Mike Ryals, one half of the team at Vineyard Research. Based in Foxborough, Massachusetts, VR is Mike and David Raines, who both log plenty of ground miles in Europe seeking out the smaller, less well-known vineyards and tasting what they have to offer. David started VR 12 years ago, and Mike joined in shortly thereafter. Together they seek out a certain hidden value, from little guys off the beaten path who may not have the name recognition of their counterparts, but who are working with the same soil and climate. Continue reading

AP Does Connecticut Again: The Mystic Cheese Co.

Last week we told you about the second half of our day in the Constitution State, drinking sour beers at Two Roads Brewery. Today, we have the daunting task of sharing with you the incredible wealth of knowledge that is Brian Civitello.brianlinnicow

We started our day with Brian, on the beautiful rolling hills of Lebanon, Connecticut. Tucked deep in some dense woods, the landscape opens up suddenly to reveal the vast expanse of fall foliage and pastureland of Graywall Farm. Herds of cows were lapping up a drink at a small brook and it was peaceful and quiet—the only sounds we heard were cows grunting lazily, a flock of birds singing on the roof of the barn, and breezes rustling the orange treetops.

This utopia is where Brian keeps the two shipping containers that house the Mystic Cheese Co. Continue reading