Tag Archives: blue cheese

Oregon Themed Beer & Wine Boxes for May

OREGON BEERS

Portland’s reputation as a thriving mecca for everything hip, organic, and artisan is a well-known one, either through personal experience or because of today’s media. It wasn’t until I experienced the Portland beer scene however, that I really understood how significant craft products are in the lives of Portland residents. The sheer number of small craft breweries is overwhelming, let alone the ridiculously unique styles, methods, and products that they produce.


With this month’s box I wanted to bring back a small view of the beer being created in this great Western state. For Portland makers, craft beer isn’t about making the hoppy-est, most popular beer around; it is about the beer making, the enjoyment of that process, and the sharing of their products with the eager public. A few of these beers are from breweries you have probably never heard of and might never try again, so I can only hope that you will enjoy what you taste and feel a little of the Portland spirit while you do.

Ecliptic Brewery Zenith GoseEcliptic Brewing was one of the breweries that stood out to me on my first trip to Portland. The astronomical theme behind the brewery, not only gives the beers cool names and designs, it also drives the way in which they make the beers and the seriously tasty food they serve at the brewery. Named after the Earth’s yearly path around the sun and through the seasons, Ecliptic celebrates this journey by creating beer and food that reflect the time of the year and the seasonal resources that are available. Zenith Grapefruit Gose is a great example of this seasonality; as a beer meant to be crisp, tart, and refreshing for the warmer months. ABV {4.5%}

Ecliptic Brewery Orbiter IPAThe second brew from this sky high brewery is their classic Orbiter IPA: an incredibly balanced IPA that was dry hopped with a constellation of C’s – Cascade, Centennial, Chinook & Columbus. ABV {7.4%}

Stormbreaker Brewery Right As Rain Pale AleStormBreaker Brewery is another brewery the majority of people on the East Coast have probably never heard of, but for me is yet another quintessential Portland brewery. Located right across from a plot of food trucks, StormBreaker offers outdoor seating under terraced wooden overhangs, which of course are adorned with string lights and a firepit. The cozy interior also offers that Portland charm with more wooden furniture, a woodcut mountain wall scene, and the best part: beer and whiskey pairings! Since I couldn’t bring the brewery back with  me, I decided to bring a bottle that I thought would nicely represent the city: Right As Rain Pale. Adorned with an illustration of a determined Portlandite facing the rainfall on one of the many bridges in the center of the city, this pale ale is refreshing as the summer rains; earthy malts comingle nicely with notes of passionfruit, grass, and herbal hop bitterness. ABV {5.6%}

Rogue Brewery Cold Brew IPAThe Oregon brewery that needs no introduction, yet still made the list for this box: Rogue Brewery. A powerhouse of a brewery, Rogue started as a brew pub in 1987. Today Rogue Brewery is responsible for hundreds of unique beers, several spirit offerings, and a full farm where they grow ingredients and their own hop varieties for their beers. Despite the commercial success Rogue has rightfully earned, their spirit and methods are fiercely Oregon-esque and I respect that. I did have a hard time choosing one beer out of their many offerings, but I decided that this Cold Brew IPA was an excellent marriage of two of Oregon resident’s favorite things. Strong roasted and bitter notes from the cold brew coffee of Stumptown Coffee Roasters (another Portland co) is skillfully intertwined with the bold citrus, pine hops of this Rogue IPA.     ABV {7.5%}

OREGON WINES

A taste of place was the goal for this wine box this month. Good winemakers know that wine should express the terrior in which they are made. In a sip, the cool air off the Pacific ocean can be felt; a velvety texture in a glass can speak to how long the grapes were left to ripen. It is the gorgeous landscape and interesting climates of Oregon state that I wanted to portray in this month’s box. The unique and natural winemaking processes of these wineries will allow you to experience Oregon in a clear, unadulterated form.

Illahe Vineyards Pinot Gris 2015A taste of place is incredibly possible in the wines of Illahe Vineyards, due to their extreme dedication to a solely natural winemaking process. The vineyard gets its name from the Chinook language; this local Native American word means “earth” or “soil”. When Lowell Ford bought the 80-acre vineyard in 1999, he was determined to preserve and display the Illahe of the area by creating the most natural wine possible, from soil to bottle. Illahe makes this possible by using age old techniques and materials to make their wines. They are one of the very few horse-powered vineyards in Oregon that uses a team of Percheron horses to mow their fields and carry grapes to the winery. Their 2015 Pinot Gris is brimming with bright, naturality. Aromatic notes of peach, honeycomb and lime, are followed by a full palate of ripe pear and soft acidity.

Teutonic Wine Company Rosé 2015: The owners of Teutonic Wine Company, Barnaby and Olga, are probably one of the most interesting couples and wine producers I have ever met. Inspired by the classic German style wines of the Mosel Valley, Teutonic Wine Co began in the early 2000’s after Barnaby left his restaurant position as a wine buyer to pursue one of the most difficult careers: winemaker. In order to pay homage to the German wines he loves, Barnaby only grows and sources specific grape varieties from the coolest climates of the Oregon state. Pinot Noir is of course one of the quintessential grapes of the Pacific Northwest and under Teutonic’s influence, this 2015 Rosé is incredibly light and silky, with bold fruit notes of tart raspberry and smooth acidity.

Teutonic Wine Company Foiled Cucumber 2015On my latest visit to Portland, I was fortunate enough to meet Barnaby at the Teutonic Wine Co’s tasting room in the city. While we sampled flights of their wines, Barnaby carefully explained the different wines and vineyard sites, pausing only to put on a new record of what he described as “weird Jazz” for us to listen to. It was during this visit that I realized how quirky and humorous the masterminds behind Teutonic Wine really were. Despite the serious style and look of most of their other wines, it only made sense after meeting Barnaby, that they would release a wine series inspired by the classic movie Spinal Tap. Foiled Cucumber, a reference to Dereck Small’s embarrassing moment in airport security, is 100% Gewürztraminer; silky notes of stone fruit and honey fill this lightly acidic bottle of wine.

OREGON MUNCHIES

Just like wine, the food products in this box also express the land from which they came. Oregon products give us the unique opportunity to experience the West coast of the country. Whether it’s salt, honey, or cheese, these artisan products were created by passionate makers, who gratefully source their ingredients straight from nature.

Bee Local Lemon & Sour Cherry Honey SticksFor the snacks in this box, I wanted the passion of Portland to continuously drive my picks; that drive that this city has for respecting traditional gastronomical methods, as well as the natural world they source ingredients from. To me there is nothing more natural than bee produced honey. The flux of urban beekeeping has thankfully increased in recent years, as bee lovers fervently fight for the safety and lives of our bee population. Damian Magista is one of these bee lovers, who started Bee Local in 2011 after discovering the magical variety of honey sourced from various urban neighborhoods around Portland. These honey sticks are a small example of the natural, locally sourced honey that Bee Local collects. Take some fun flavored sticks with you as a tasty, energized snack, or squeeze some on top your morning yogurt, afternoon toast, or night time dessert!

Jacobsen Salt Co. Chili Lime SaltWhere Bee Local is, Jacobsen Salt Co, can’t be far behind. These two companies joined forces in 2014 to literally create a sweet and salty collaboration. Fueled by a similar mission as Magista from Bee Local, Ben Jacobsen started his salt company in 2011 in order to provide a superior crafted, natural product to to the public. The meticulous hand harvesting process that goes into creating Jacobsen Salt, is truly extensive, yet ultimately worth it when you consider the clarity and quality of their product. Jacobsen Salt is the closest you will come to tasting the waters in the Pacific Northwest. This jar of Chili Lime Jacobsen salt is a seriously fun and unique way to experience that taste – add it to your summer corn, atop a grilled pork chop, or even sprinkle it on a slice of watermelon!

Rogue Creamery Oregon Blue: Named after the Rogue River Valley of Central Point, Oregon, Rogue Creamery started in the midst of Depression in the 1930’s. Tom Vella wanted to grow a business that would employ many people in the area, as well as support the small farms in the valley during those dire times. Fast forward to present day where Rogue Creamery has been awarded numerous trophies and awards from their world famous blue cheeses. The milk used to make Oregon Blue is from certified sustainable, cow’s milk that is then aged for at least 90 days in Rogue’s blue cheese caves that are modeled after the infamous Roquefort caves of France. Oregon Blue is approachable and satisfying, with a buttery paste sporting notes of sweet cream, briny bite, and a mellow earthiness.

All photos taken by Caley Mahoney.

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! 

February Beer & Wine of the Month Club

Beers To Love

The slightly cynical, male driven nature of the beer world makes us hesitant to fill this box with fruity, romantic beers just to meet the status quo of the Valentine holiday that drives this month. Having said that, these beers are all beautiful and somewhat “Valentine-esque” in their own way…even if it’s a stretch.


Driven by enchanting natural scenes, passion filled ingredients, and simply the color red — these beers will romance you with their killer flavors, seducing textures, and overall attractiveness. Whether you are spending this V-Day alone or sharing these “love” themed goodies, we wish you a happy February — one month closer to spring!

Omnipollo Fatamorgana DIPANamed after the Arthurian shape shifting enchantress Morgan le Fay, a Fata Morgana is a superior mirage that occurs above the horizon. Henok Fentie, one of the founders of Omnipollo Brewery, named this Swedish IPA after the optical phenomenon he witnessed on one of his many trips to Ethiopia when he stumbled upon an hidden oasis deep in the middle of a dry savanna. Mystic and enchanting, this double IPA will hopefully be a luscious haven of tropical fruit scents and flavors in the midst of our New England winter. A generous dry hopping with Columbus, Centennial, and Citra creates a plethora of tangy flavors like mango, pineapple, and clementine, which are beautifully matched by piney floral hops and a slightly sweet oaty body.    ABV {8%}

Brouwerij De Dochter van de Korenaar Crime Passional Belgian IPAWhile not exactly a crime of passion, this Belgian IPA may be guilty for stealing some characteristics from different beer styles. Almost all of the beers coming out of Brouwerij De Dochter van de Korenaar have this unique similarity in that they are very difficult to categorize, while all stunningly crafted by this talented small brewery. Although labeled an IPA, Crime Passional does have signature Belgian wheat beer qualities, such as a dough like sweetness, as well as notes of spicy herbs like coriander, white pepper, and juniper. The hops do make their presence known with a good amount of grassy, citrus bitterness, as well as a dry finish.  ABV {7.5%}

Alesmith Brewing My Bloody Valentine Red Ale:  While the other beers in this box are subtly romantic, this choice brew may go overboard with its heavy connotations towards the Valentine season. Despite the somewhat violent exterior to this bottle, the interior is nothing but smooth sweetness and balanced hops. AleSmith Brewing Company puts this crimson colored ale out every February as a tribute to all the go it alone singles on Valentine’s day. But that doesn’t mean that anyone can’t enjoy (and share!) this handcrafted ale. True to it’s name, My Bloody Valentine pours a dark ruby, almost bloody color, but boasts bright fruit and pine driven hop aromas. Slightly creamy and medium bodied, this bottle offers all our favorite flavors: sweet caramel malts, bittersweet chocolate, and fruity bitterness! ABV {6.66%}

Vino

Wine makes romantics of us all. Whether you’re sipping it alone for a sappy movie night or sharing the liquid wealth with your boo, this powerful concoction is too enticing to deny. So let us wine and dine you with this February box –we’ve covered all the bases:

A bursting bottle of bubbles for a celebratory start; a sensuously textured, incredibly vibrant white wine just waiting for it’s bivalve buddy from the sea; and a drop dead gorgeous lady-in-red bottle of wine with a presence so commanding it has us falling in love…

Celine et Laurent Tripoz Cremant de Bourgogne Nature: Start off your second Valentine’s celebration with a bottle that will beautifully display your affection for that special someone. This gorgeous bottle of 100% Chardonnay comes to us from the organic, small run estate of husband and wife team Celine and Laurent Tripoz in the revered Mâconnais region of Burgundy. Their Cremant de Bourgogne Nature is made with a process very similar to Champagne méthode traditionnelle but with slightly reduced levels of carbon dioxide, which produces a wine with a creamier mouthfeel and soft, luxurious bubbles. Bright notes of crisp green apple, buttery brioche, and fragrant white flowers fill the palate after a sip of this lovely wine.

André-Michel Brégeon Muscadet Sèvre-et-Maine 2014For the month of love, we wanted to find a wine that essentially begs to be paired with one of nature’s strongest aphrodisiacs: oysters. And for such decadent sea offerings, the wine that comes to mind is Muscadet. Made from the Melon de Bourgogne grape, Muscadet wine is known for being fresh, citrus driven, and young. There are those who are challenging this particular notion however, by keeping Muscadet for as long as seven years! Michel Brégeon is the fun loving crusader who is expertly lengthening the sur lie time of his wines — producing complex offerings with such unexpected freshness and depth that the critics can’t comment on his processes. This 2014 Muscadet Sèvre-et-Maine does not spend seven years on the lees, yet it is far from ordinary with its seductive texture, enticingly tangy citrus notes, and savory acidity.

Domaine De Le Bergerie La Cerisaie 2013: These wines have ranged from pretty to seductive, but now — for the romance. Fall in love with “La Cerisaie”, a lovely bottle of red wine from Domaine de Le Bergerie, an estate run by the 7th generation of the Guégniard family. Nestled in the heart of Côteaux du Layon in central Loire Valley, Domaine Bergerie produces highly crafted, organic, fascinating wines by adhering to strict sorting and vinification processes. That standard of excellence is evident in this gorgeously expressive bottle of Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon. The deep garnet colored body glistens attractively with dark purple tints, while wafting an enticing aroma of ripe blackberries and cherries. Rich and full, this elegant red displays great fruit and depth – perfect for a romantic dinner for two.

The Goods

Askinosie Chocolate Malted Milk Bar & Crunchy Sugar Crystals & Vanilla Bean Bar: Besides being uber typical Valentine-esque, chocolate is just downright delicious..so we hope you enjoy these interesting bars from an even more interesting producer: Askinosie Chocolate. The founder of this Missourian company is Shawn Askinosie, who created the company in 2005 after quitting his grueling job as a criminal defense attorney. As one of the first to source beans directly from farms, a practice we now know as “bean to bar”, Askinosie Chocolate does everything in house from pressing their own cocoa butter to molding the chocolate.The Malted Milk Bar is a collaboration with Jeni’s Ice Cream, giving the bar a creamy malted milk texture. The Crunchy Sugar Vanilla bar is made with unrefined sugar which gives the bar an added extra crunch.

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Weak Knees Gochujang SrirachaGo weak in the knees this V-Day with this traditional Korean spicy sauce! Based on Gochujang sauce, this fermented condiment is created from red chili peppers, glutinous rice, soybeans, and salt. Made in Brooklyn, NY,  MixedMade has created this Sriracha sauce hybrid by adding sugar, garlic, and vinegar. The simplicity of this recipe is a testament to MixedMade’s mission to let their beautiful, natural ingredients shine. This adorable squeeze bottle is perfect for squirting into Bloody Mary’s for an added kick, mixing into eggs for a spicy morning, or as a hoppin’ topping on some succulent oysters!

Obere Mühle Co-operative Chiriboga BlueThis cheese is truly the result of a love story; one that involves an Ecuadorian man falling in love with a Bavarian woman to make beautiful cheese together and live happily ever after… That might not be exactly the whole story but we’d like to think so. This Ecuadorian man is Arturo Chiriboga, who heads up the Obere Mühle co-operative dairy, which is based in the Bavarian Alps. This pasteurized cow’s milk blue that Arturo stamped with his own name is one of the most decadent, creamy blue cheeses you may ever taste. We suggest pairing this rich hunk of goodness with some of the Askinosie chocolate in this box, for a pairing that was “made to be”!

Opinel N°09 OYSTER KnifeThere is really no excuse to not buy your own bag of fresh oysters to accompany this month’s wine box. You already have the perfect wine for the succulent aphrodisiacs, and now you are equipped with the ideal oyster knife! Not only are these Opinel knives beautiful to use and look at, they come with over 200 years of history. The Opinel line can be traced back to the 1800’s when Victor-Amédée Opinel first set up his blacksmith workshop. Two generations later, in 1897, Joseph Opinel manufactured a line of 12 different size knives, which would become the foundry of many more to come. Following a tradition that King Charles IX put into place in 1565, Joseph added the Crowned Hand emblem to the Opinel blade to signify their origin and quality. The N°09 OYSTER knife you have before you is a 6.5 cm long blade, perfectly crafted to gently open oysters and shellfish. Made with a handle of a compact African wood called Bubinga, this gorgeous knife also sports the Opinel invented Virobloc® system, which allows you to lock the blade while open for added safety.

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!

Photos all taken by Caley Mahoney