Monthly Archives: January 2016

January Wine & Beer of the Month Boxes

New Year’s Resolutions….

…you may have set them for yourself — you might even be keeping to them still! At American Provisions we have resolved to ignore any pressure to diet and to just keep consuming what we like. Resolve to live for today (or at least that is what we are telling ourselves as we continue to consume meats, sweets, beers, and CHEESE)!

Seasonal guidelines suggest we should only be drinking stouts and porters during the winter months…well, we think these guidelines are a little too restricting. So, we will be enjoying our hoppy IPAs with no shame, and no hesitation, as these bottles carry enough weight to keep you just as warm in these chilly temps as the dark porter will. So go for a run! But then come home and enjoy these beers with no regrets in the New Year!

Dem Bottles

Foley Brothers Prospect Imperial IPAQuietly nestled down an unpaved road in quaint Brandon, Vermont, the Foley Brother’s small facility looks more like an extra garage next to an eldering Victorian house, rather than a killer beer making facility. It is in this magical Northern oasis that quintessential Vermont-esque beers are crafted by the hard working team of Foley Brothers Brewing. Prospect, a double IPA, is yet another example of the excellent quality we have come to expect from Foley Brothers, who have rightfully earned a coveted spot among the Vermont “must haves” of the beer world. Citra and Galaxy hops satiate this beer with profusely strong tropical fruit flavors. Candied mango, passionfruit, and pineapple notes ride a soft wave of creamy carbonation towards your taste buds, along with a touch of biscuit-y malts. Prospect will have you gladly looking to the future, because with beers as good as this, the new year looks bright. ABV {9%}

Crux Fermentation Project Half Hitch DIPACrux Fermentation Project is aptly named because of the constant innovation and creativity of this Oregon brewery when it comes to challenging the way beer is made. Brewmaster Larry Sidor and his team use a plethora of non traditional methods in their brewing process, which is not only risky but difficult if not done right. Thankfully for us, these guys are awesome at what they do, which makes their “project” results even more enjoyable. With their double IPA Half Hitch, they challenge the idea of what an Imperial should be, first off by cleverly hiding its boozy 10% content. The use of Mosaic hops ramps this beer up with incredible tropical fruits like mango, peach, and lemon, all floating on a fluffy medium body. ABV {10%}

Ithaca Beer Co. 18th Anniversary Baltic PorterThere had to be one dark beer in this January box, and when we say dark, we mean DARK. To celebrate their 18th year of brewing, this Finger Lake brewery released their version of a historical beer style, the Baltic Porter. Pouring out as black liquid velvet, Ithaca’s 18th Anniversary Baltic Porter, has that “coat your insides” quality we look for during the colder months. We recommend giving this big bottle some time to open up in order to fully enjoy the nose of light cocoa, chocolate, and coffee notes. Smooth and sultry, this Baltic Porter is full of sweet toffee, caramel, and interesting dark fruit flavors like notes of cherry from the use of cherrywood smoked malts. ABV {7%}

Winter Wines

Winter wines, mean cracking into the older, aged bottles we have been saving. The colder months may force us into hermitdom, but as long as we are stuck inside, we might as well enjoy ourselves with a few bottles of rich red wines. Drinking seasonally in the winter can fashion a sophisticated experience as we dive into reds with loads of complexity and flavors that have been carefully crafted over several years of aging.

Despite our enjoyment in drinking seasonally, we also wish to challenge the resistance to white wines in the winter. White wine, with enough body and acidity, can be the perfect companion to cut through the rich roasts and fatty foods we consume throughout the chilly days.

Domaine A. Chopin et Fils Cotes de Nuits Villages Blanc 2008Chardonnay may seem like the obvious choice for a winter wine box, but this is no oaky, butter laced California Chard that you will be enjoying. From the esteemed Cotes de Nuits Village of Burgundy, we have for you the 2008 Boncourt from Domaine A. Chopin et Fils. Currently in the talented hands of Arnaud Chopin, this noted domaine was purposefully downsized in order to better focus on the best parcels of land out of which the Chopin family is handcrafting a smaller number of truly classic, elegant wines. With a lengthy bottle aging, Chopin’s Boncourt Les Monts is immensely rich and complex; full of toasted oak notes and vibrant citrus fruit, this 100% Chardonnay is ready and able to stand up to a hefty January meal.

Domaine Thunevin-Calvet Cuvée Constance 2009:The seductive aspect of high quality soil and vines in the Roussillon region of the Languedoc is what influenced Jean-Luc Thunevin to buy a few hectares there in 2000. It was at this time that he partnered up with the native winemaker Jean- Roger Calvet to begin their Cuvée Constance project. When they began this fortuitous partnership, they were making their wines in something genuinely resembling a garage. Many vintages later, we have the current display of their hard work in this 2009 blend of Grenache and Carignan. Pouring an inky dark violet color with ruby edges, the 2009 is earthy with notes of juniper and cool stone among the textured fruit flavors of black raspberry and plum.

Le Calle Poggio D’Oro 2005The final and eldest bottle in this January wine box comes to us from Tuscany’s coastal village Montecucco, where Le Calle resides. Riccardo Catocci, the owner of Le Calle, makes his wines from certified organic grapes, a practice that he utilizes in the growing of the several other agricultural products on his farm. Unlike an entry level Rosso blend using Sangiovese grapes that is fresh and juicy, this straight Montecucco Sangiovese is an excellent display of how dark and rich this variety can become. Le Calle’s 2005 vintage is dry and intense, due to extended aging in small oak barrels. The muscular body of this Sangiovese is filled by dark cherry and herbaceous notes, perfect for a rich meal by the fire.

Treats

Willow Hill Farm La FleurieScrew resolutions this year and dive right into the oozey butter round of cheese from Willow Hill Farm. Another spectacular cheese producer from Vermont, Willow Hill farm is run by a husband and wife team who make and age their handcrafted cheeses on site of their Burlington farm. All of their cheese are aged in an unique underground cave that was built eight feet underground into the natural bedrock of the landscape! La Fleurie is their only bloomy rind, cow’s milk cheese, similar in style to a French Camembert. La Fleurie is bright and fruity when young, while showing notes of rich mushroom as it ages.

Red Table SalbandoIgnoring dieting resolutions continues and gets easier when you come face to face with the exceptionally made cured meats from Red Table Meat Co out of Minneapolis. This small farm to fork company was the predestined product of Minnesota native Mike Phillips. His passion for carefully crafted products, as well as his dedication to humane livestock practices are key factors that make Red Table meats so great. This hunk of meat you have before you is a spicy Sopressata style salami called Salbando. Made with black pepper, red pepper, garlic, and white wine, the subtle spice of Salbando will creep up on you, as a killer addition to your morning eggs or just chunked off straight into your mouth.

Sweet Lydia’s Stout & Pretzel Marshmallows:  We hope that even wine lovers can appreciate the last treat in this January box: locally made Stout and Pretzel Marshmallows from Sweet Lydia’s. A local sweet shop that started at out as a small kitchen operation for friends and family of the famed Lydia, this small business in Lowell is cranking out several varieties of custom made treats! From gourmet smores to handmade candy bars, Lydia’s creativity is only  matched by her delicious products. Exemplifying their hand crafted aesthetic and support for locally made products, Sweet Lydia’s stout and pretzel marshmallows are made using Ipswich Brewery’s Oatmeal Stout, as well as other high quality ingredients.

Call the store at (617) 269-6100, email us at info@americanprovisions.com, or ask a staffer for more information on signing yourself or someone you love up for the Beer or Wine of the Month Club!

December Beer & Wine of the Month Boxes

Tis the Season, to drink and be merry. It is the holiday season, a time in which we come together with family and friends – to share, to indulge, and to celebrate everyone’s traditions. Traditions like Christmas are ones we have adopted from European origins, which is why we see fit to celebrate the holidays by recognizing some truly traditional beer styles from our comrades overseas. With hundreds of years of brewing excellence under their belts, Germany and Belgium are the quintessential countries to source beers that defy alteration by standing the test of time.

While keeping up traditions is important, the holidays are also filled with a plethora of the New and the Shiny. After paying homage to the foreign greats, we can’t help but exclaim excitement for the eye catchingly new bottles of beer from a distinctively unique American brewery. And because it’s almost Christmas, we have thrown in an extra beer in this month’s box! So get ready to deck the halls, to sip slowly from special selections, and to beer geek out with your shiny new bottles!

Libations

Mahr’s-Bräu Christmas BockTis the perfect season to enjoy this new offering from one of Germany’s oldest breweries: Mahr’s Bräu. Only a few hundred cases of this Christmas Bock were produced for the U.S., making it an exciting addition to this December box. Mahr’s Bräu is a family owned operation with roots in baroque Bamberg dating back to 1895. This brewery prides itself on producing  high quality beers in the traditional methods of which this area is known for. This Christmas Bock fulfills the historically expected qualities of German bocks with its intense malty characteristics, blended fruit flavors, and sweet caramel tones. An impressive balance of sweetness comes from the assertive hopping, which gives the beer a spicy herbal liveliness, as well as a slightly citrus, pepper finish .ABV {6%}

Rodenbach Vintage 2013From possibly the most well known Belgian brewery, Brouwerij Rodenbach, we have for you their Vintage 2013 – a Flanders red ale created by mixing the best of young and aged batches. Started by the four Rodenbach brothers in 1821, the Rodenbach Brewery has been thriving in the West Flanders province of Belgium for almost 200 years. Flanders red ales are distinguishable by their unique coloring and distinctive sour sweet flavoring. Creating a beer of this style is no easy feat, which is why we love to marvel at the consistently delicious vintages put out by Rodenbach. Vintage 2013 exceeds expectations with the perfect balance between the sweet notes of rich oak, cherry, and caramel that dance alongside acidic bites of balsamic vinegar and sour apple. ABV {7%}

Stillwater Contemporary Series Mono & SurroundFresh out of a new line of beers called the Contemporary Series, the last two beers in this box fall into the shiny and exciting part of the holidays. Maryland based brewery Stillwater Artisan Ales are known for their  line of unique Belgian style ales decorated in macabrely beautiful illustrations that are meant to enhance the entire experience and inspire contemplation. With the Contemporary Series, Stillwater has changed the mold again by introducing their own aesthetic into the modern brewing culture. Mono, a Galaxy Dry Hopped Pilsner, is created with a method that is seen widely in the beer market nowadays , but infrequent from the Stillwater cellars: single hop brewing. Having said that, this brightly bitter pilsner is also hopped with Centennial and Sterling which help to enhance the Galaxy’s clean notes of tangerine rind and fresh grass. Surround, an Imperial Oak Smoked Wheat Stout, does as it’s name implies and engulfs your taste buds with flavors of smoky meat, dark chocolate, and earthy tang. ABV {5.2%} ABV {10%}

Vino

To celebrate the holidays we have chosen an extremely limited bottle of sparkling wine that was created by immense passion and devotion. The white wine in this box is not just a pretty package (although it is), but a specially selected bottle on the list of one of the best wine importers in the world. And finally, not to be overlooked is the elegant bottle of red Sardinian wine. Made by two wise Sardinia locals, we are sure that this wine will fill your hearts with warmth and happiness during this joyful time of year.

Buronfosse La Mouscaille Brut RoséThe first bottle in this December wine box is meant to be shared with loved ones; a celebration of family, dedication, and a fierce love of the land – all factors that played a part into creating this bottle of Brut Rosé! From the small town of La Combe in the Jura region of France, Peggy and Jean-Pascal and their three children live off the land as much as possible. Beyond making their livelihood as vignerons, the Buronfosse family raise their own animals and grow their own produce. Not expecting to become a well known winemaker, Peggy stumbled into the revered occupation out of necessity. She slowly became more involved as she began renting small amounts of land to experiment with, until finally taking over her own vineyard and producing her first vintagein 2001. This 2014 vintage “La Mouscaille” Brut Rosé is dry, but lively with delicate fruit flavor from the Pinot Noir grapes.

Von Winning “Winnings”  Riesling 2014The gorgeous star speckled bottle of Riesling in the December box is the 2014 vintage from Von Winning winery in the Pfalz region of Germany. Historically known for producing unique, elegant wines, the Von Winning was founded in a joint estate in 1849. In the modern wine world, Von Winnings is quickly gaining recognition, mostly due to the obsessively attentive workings of winemaker Stefan Attman, who joined the production in 2008. The pristine soil and climate of this tediously cared for vineyard produces incredibly high quality grapes. Enter the biodynamic principles and minimalist approach of Attman and it’s no wonder the Von Winning wines are praised for a distinctively indigenous quality. For the 2014 vintage, the Riesling grapes give the wine it’s lovely notes of honey, apple, pear, and tangy pineapple. Wonderfully balanced between dry and sweet, this almost effervescent bottle is beautiful and refreshing.

Cantina Lilliu Cannonau di Sardegna Presciu 2014The last bottle in our December wine box is meant to be gift not only for your taste buds, but for your heart as well. The locals on the Mediterranean island of Sardinia have been known to live well past 90 years old, possibly due to the antioxidant rich compounds found in the indigenous varieties of wine they drink. Husband and wife Pietro and Roberta, both born and raised on the island, strongly believe and defend the immense wealth of the Sardinian land. The philosophies and goals behind their winemaking include a harmonious approach to the earth in order to yield the most natural and best quality grapes possible, while still giving back to their environment. Presciu 2014 is made from a blend of Cannonau de Sardegna (the local name for Grenache), Bovale, and Syrah. This stunning bottle of red wine oozes of plush red fruit and tender spice. Drink to your health and drink up!

Presents

Antica Torroneria Piemontese Soft Nougat with CherryThis time of year we indulge in sweets and treats that we normally wouldn’t..and if you’re going to indulge yourself, what better than with authentic nougat from Italy? This Torrone Morbido Con Ciliegie (soft nougat with cherries) is made with only the best ingredients, specifically Piemontese hazelnuts by the Sebaste family. Started in 1885 by Giuseppe Sebaste, Antica Torroneria Piemontese is currently run by the fourth generation with the same amount of passion for the craft and appreciation for the fruits of the land. Chewy and soft, this decadent nougat is gluten free, made from only honey, sugar, and egg whites.


 

La Casera Robiola di Capra di FicoGet ready to open presents with this little gift of cheese in this December box. This Robiola di Capra is literally wrapped like a present in the fig leaves that help it ripen for 15 days. Made with only goat’s milk from small farms in the Piedmont region, this soft ripened beauty is a classic example of the traditional Italian excellence bursting out of the family owned La Casera company that has been based in Verbania for several generations. The fig leaves packaging of this Robiola imparts a slightly vegetal taste into its fudgy white paste.

Ames Farm Honey BuckwheatIn an effort to spoil you this club box, we have added an extra item to our regular snacks! In mini form, your first stocking stuffer is a teeny jar of Buckwheat honey from Ames Farm Honey in Minnesota. Despite its size, this jar holds a whole lot of flavor – notes of dark brown sugar, cherry, plum, and even tobacco! Ames Farm harvests their honey from Carniolan bees, a Slovenian variety of bees that are well suited to the Minnesota climate. These bees are known for their gentle nature and superior sense of orientation, and of course for producing delicious single source honey perfect to drizzle on soft goat or blue cheeses!

Quince & Apple’s Pear with Honey & GingerStocking stuffer #2 is also a Midwest product – made by small batch production Quince & Apple out of Madison, Wisconsin. Owners Matt & Clare pride themselves on crafting preserves from locally and organically produced ingredients. As these jams are made in Wisconsin, one could rightfully assume that they pair well with cheeses! This bitty jar of Pear with Honey & Ginger is a delightful sampling of a sweet and tangy jam begging to top an oozey bloomy rind or fresh goat cheese like the one in this box!