August Beer & Wine of the Month Club

We cannot believe it’s almost September. Where did the summer go? Doesn’t it feel like the polar vortex, like, just ended? If it seems like you were only just beginning to indulge in warm weather proclivities, fret not—we’ve got a box full of treats here that take basic summer tastes and kick them up another notch. We’ve all had our fair share of whites and rosés, ciders and summer beers at this point, and while we may not be ready to trade in our sandals for boots, we could all use an exciting new riff on the classic crisp, citrusy refreshers.photo (24)

This month, we’ve got a rosé that combines all our favorite aspects of this season’s offerings; a unique & sustainable white that shares a name with one of our favorite local producers; and a daring French red with a wild side. For beers, we’ve got a sweet, cloudy Belgian that hides a shocking ABV behind a pretty smile; a cidah from Down Undah boasting the addition of tropical fruits; and a zesty hop-heavy lager that’ll take you places other lagers haven’t even heard of. For seasonal eats, this box contains a once-a-year opportunity to try sustainably-raised honeycomb; an award-winning spiced crumbly goat cheese; and salt water taffy unlike any boardwalk variety. We hope you use the contents of this month’s box to party last-hurrah style, before we start talking to you about pumpkin beers and turkey table wines. 

The Drinks

Founders Brewing Dissenter Imperial IPLThe 2014 addition to Founders annual Backstage series, where they showcase beers that differ from their traditional line-up and styles—essentially, beers outside the comfort zone of this much-respected brewer. This India Pale Lager is the first lager Founders has attempted in 12 years, and it is their attempt to prove the flavor possibilities in an unabashedly robust lager. They packed it full of citrusy California hops, clocking in at 70 IBUs and nearly 9% ABV, both of which are concealed well by the tropical West Coast hop profile. A pale golden lager that is surprisingly easy to drink, we think this might make a believer out of some die-hard ale-drinkers.    ABV {8.7%}

Moa Brewing Company Kiwifruit Cider: From an enterprising bunch of Kiwis in Marlborough, New Zealand, this cider is fermented and aged in French oak barrels, which lend the crisp, sweet brew a boozy personality. Aromas of oaky bourbon invite you into an otherwise refreshing summer cooler, brewed with 100% New Zealand-grown apples and kiwifruit. Moa achieves perfect balance between the acidity and quenching dryness of apple peel and zest, while keeping things fruity with notes of pear and green grape. Pop this elegant bottle for celebration, or on a fancy sunlit evening on your porch.      ABV {5.6%}

 De Dolle Brouwers Dulle Teve 10˚: A classic tripel out of a Belgian town called Diksmuide, this euphemistic brew’s name translates to “mad bitch,” and we understand why. With a whopping 10% ABV, this bottle is chock full of unfiltered, unpasteurized pale malts and candi sugar, which contribute to its cloudy amber pour. Full of floating esters, you’ll get lots of biscuit notes and sweet, ripe fruits like fig and peach. This tripel can age for years without much change in its flavor—though a few years of cellaring will mellow out any bitterness this bottle has from the addition of Goldings hops. Enjoy the foggy golden buzz of this tripel beside the hazey raw honeycomb in your box for a decadent dessert that, we think, is appropriate any night of the week.         ABV {10%}   wine box photo

Cuvée Don Quichotte Fronton Le Roc 2011: Dark fruit, smoke, and must lead the profile of this animalistic red that belongs next to your grill, when it’s not being enjoyed on a bear skin rug. A blend of the local Negrette & Cab Franc from Fronton in south-west France, just north of Toulouse, this bottle really lets the underrated Negrette grape shine in all its savory yet floral glory. Very approachable and full of personality, this medium-bodied red has supple, soft tannins and a spicy finish. Don’t be shy, pair this with pork chops, roast duck, or just ribs & burgers. And we think it’s especially nice next to the green peppercorn-laced goat cheese in your box.

 Domaine Pélaquié Tavel Rosé 2013: Famous for being the first rosé of France, and specifically the Côte du Rhone, Tavel wines had a spot on the Pope’s table in the 14th century, when the papacy was located in the Avignon. So you’re truly partying like the pope when you taste this blend of Grenache & Cinsault that are harvested and destemmed by hand, then macerated for a few hours before being pressed in the saignée method of rosé production. Smooth and generous, the wine is surprisingly dry given how fruit-forward it is. A beautiful deep amber-fuschia makes this bottle perfect for dessert, and its balance of dry and fruit make it best friends with the Bergamot Salt Water Taffy in your box.

Gurrieri Sicilia Grillo 2013A lively yet soft Sicilian white, made with the heirloom Grilllo grape varietal native to the area. Grown sustainably and organically on a biodynamic vineyard, this extremely low-yield wine is limited in quantity—very few cases of this small-batch bottle were brought to Massachusetts. Balanced, warm, and fruity, this wine earned the DOC Nero D’Avola classification, typically vinified as a red wine. This explains this wine’s robust character that can stand up to even full-flavored foods, though it is balanced and delicate enough to serve with your peppercorn goat cheese and a chunk of honeycomb, too.

The Eats

The Salty Road Bergamot Salt Water Taffy: You don’t need to hit the boardwalk for a late-summer fix of taffy this year. In fact, you can get some beyond your wildest childhood dreams right out of a box of Salty Road taffies. Made in Brooklyn by Marissa Wu & Carolyn Walsh, using local fruit pureés, raw honey, and copious amounts of big-grain sea salt (the salt is folded in by hand, before the smooth mass of taffy gets folded, pulled, and twisted full of air until that characteristic pastel hue is achieved). Your box contains the Bergamot variety, flavored with the oil of the citrusy Bergamot fruit native to Calabria, Italy. It’s also one of the main ingredients in Earl Grey tea, which lends a note of familiarity to this otherwise incredibly unique and addictive confection.

 

Salty Road's taffy-stretching  machine, photo courtesy of ediblebrooklyn.com

Salty Road’s taffy-stretching machine, photo courtesy of ediblebrooklyn.com

Coach Farm Peppercone: An “Outstanding Classic” winner, according to the 2013 American Cheese Society awards panel, this cone of super-fresh goat cheese is laced with zesty green peppercorns for a perfect twist on a style we’ve been eating all summer. With the cheese being made just days after milking, you’re guaranteed a crisp, clean farm-fresh piece, aged just long enough to set up its pun-ny shape (about two weeks). The folks at Coach Farm raise 900 Alpine goats on the same property where they craft these cheeses, on a small stunning piece of land in the Hudson Valley.

 Golden Angels Apiary Chunk Comb HoneyWe’ve been waiting all year for honeycomb, the waxy structure built by bees to house the honey they produce. Because the bees make their comb out of honey itself, and because only freshly-made comb is edible, it is harvested just one month of the year—August. During this time, the folks at Golden Angels in Linville, Virginia jar some of their new wax with the honey itself. This year’s crop is extra light, not too chewy and excellent spread on toast or just eaten straight from the jar. We love Golden Angels for their chemical-free approach to raising bees, which is often more labor-intensive. Instead of chemically removing bees from the comb at harvest, or filtering, they use an air-blowing technique, and instead of pesticide mite control, they employ vinegar vapor and essential oils. The resulting unfiltered, never-heated honey tastes remarkably like the plants themselves—and the comb makes a stunning add to any cheese plate.

If you’re interested in becoming a member of the Beer & Wine of the Month clubs, please email linni@americanprovisions.com for more details!

If you’re a member already, please feel free to leave your tasting notes or suggestions in the comments!

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