Tag Archives: chardonnay

A Wrinkle in Cheese

Have you ever gone up to a cheese counter, picked up a hunk of cheese, and asked the cheesemonger there “What is this cheese like?” Their responses try to tell you something about the qualities of the cheese – the taste, texture, type of milk – there’s common words and truths about taste that we rely on to describe cheeses. Words that most people can identify in their mind as a particular taste, and they know whether or not they like that familiar descriptor. Of course, the type of milk – cow, goat, or sheep – is a constant. Words like nutty or sharp have a distinct taste – they seem to be divergent. However, a cheese can be both nutty and sharp at the same time. It’s a peculiar paradox.

In Madeleine L’engle’s A Wrinkle in Time, the characters end up on a planet of beasts with no eyes. They’re gray furry blobs that communicate by thoughts and feelings – they don’t have the sense of seeing. The main character Meg tries to explain things like light or sight to the creatures, and putting these concepts into words eludes her.

Essentially, all cheese has the same basic starting points. Milk. Starter cultures. This is how yogurt is made, and ricotta, and mozzarella and aged cheeses take their first steps with these ingredients. It is how they are aged, in what kind of molds, as well as the starting point of the milk, that begins to diversify the flavors and bring about aspects of different cheeses.

It really is remarkable how wide-reaching and completely different cheeses can be with the same basic starting ingredients. These variances are owed mainly to terroir – a term used to attribute a cheese’s unique flavor profile to the environment in which the animal producing the milk feeds. The environment and what they are eating translates to the milk, which translates to the cheese.

So herein lies the difficulty of describing taste. We use specific words to describe them, but there is no one common perfected language used to describe each and every cheese. This in part is due to the fact that when you eat cheese it’s not only what you’re tasting that matters – it’s the way the cheese feels in your mouth. It’s how it interacts with what you’re drinking. For example, a chalky aged goat cheese tastes even better when it’s paired with a lightly sparkling white wine or a dry chardonnay. The wine brings out the richness and fruitiness in the cheese, so that it becomes an even better experience than enjoying just the wine or cheese alone.

So acknowledging all of that, where does that leave us? Terroir of cheese can tell us a lot – if the cheese is earthy, buttery – we know that the animal must’ve been eating something that lent it those aspects. But, as an animal is a living creature, it grazes and it goes to the next pasture and finds its next meal. So day to day, their milk is changing and those multitudes are going into the artisan cheese that you pick up and ask “What is this cheese like?” We can tell you – but the best thing to do, in my opinion, is to taste.

All photos taken by Hillary Anderson.

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!

October Beer & Wine of the Month Boxes

Pumpkins dominate the month of October. They infiltrate our homes and porches, our lattes and pies, and most significantly, our beers. We at American Provisions are great supporters of fall gourds and of their rightful place in this wonderful season. Despite this fact, we believe that their rightful place is not necessarily in our beers. The over soaked market of pumpkin beers and ciders throughout the fall season have us searching for alternative alcohol expressions for the month of October. For this month’s beer box we are not just creeping away from pumpkin spiced brews, we are sort of ignoring them all together…
So how do you properly represent October without orange bottles and spiced ales? October in New England is a month that can range in various days of unwarranted heat to surprisingly chilly nights. If we can accept such variety in terms of weather, then why not in terms of beer styles? This logic will prevail for these three bottles as we stretch the concept of what “fall beers” can be. For these beers, we are drawing inspiration from our rustic New England surroundings, our desire for anything barrel aged during the cooler months, and finally, we are embracing a firm refusal to miss out on any opportunity for lots of hops.

Da Beers

Crooked Stave  Vieille Artisan SaisonWe are incredibly psyched to start our October beer box off with a bottle from the small production speciality brewery from Denver, Colorado – Crooked Stave Brewery. Since starting Crooked Stave Brewery in 2010, Chad Yacobson has been unable to keep up with the demand of his beers due to their almost instant following. For a brewery that specializes in Saisons and wild yeast beers, this is an amazing accomplishment in our predominantly hop driven craft beer world.  This  brings us to the small gem you have before you – Vieille Artisan Saison. This truly rustic Saison earned it’s name Vieille, meaning “old”, because it comes from a blend of various barrel aged batches, all of which have been fermented with Brettanomyces – a wild yeast strain that adds a great complexity to the Vieille. Six long months of aging and light dry hopping results in this funky complex beer that will intrigue your taste buds with its yeasty spice, fizzling carbonation, and slight lemony tartness. ABV {4.2%}

Breckenridge Brewery 471 Double IPAThe second bottle for October also comes to us from Colorado, but this time from the charming town of Breckenridge. In 1990, Richard Squire started Breckenridge Brewery, which at the time was Colorado’s third craft brewery. For over 25 years Breckenridge has been dedicated to creating unique, but approachable hand crafted beers. This dedication can especially be seen in the time and care they took to make the bottle in this box – 471 Double IPA, which they created with laborious processes like dry hopping the beer every quarter while transferring it back and forth from whiskey barrels to tanks each time. This time intensive methods pay off in the final result of a beer that is simultaneously oaky and rich, but also pleasantly hopped and bitter. 471 DIPA is hopped with the unique variety Hüll Melon, which strays from the typical citrusy aromas of most hop varieties and instead accents this brew with flavors of honeydew melon and apricot. These bright hop fruit flavors mingle nicely with light whiskey spices in a malty barrel aged body, making this beer a strong October beer contender. ABV {9.7%}

Revolution Brewing Mosaic Hero: For our last bottle in the October beer box, we not only have for you a delicious specialty beer, but also a Halloween costume idea! This year dress up as your favorite new super hero: Revolution Brewery’s Mosaic Hero! This literal Hop-Headed Hero draws his strength from big hop varieties like Warrior and Zythos, which are added in the brew kettle to create an intensely herbal, earthy base. The superpower of the newest addition to Revolution’s Hero Series, however, stems from the generous amount of dry hopping of the rare and unique variety: Mosaic. Mosiac hops give this beer a funky range of tropical fruit flavors like grapefruit, orange peel, and pineapple, as well as surprising notes of earthy pine. Revolution Brewing opened in Chicago in 2010 with a mission to provide beer lovers with a wide variety of unique beers loaded with big flavors,, which is exactly what you’re getting here with Mosaic Hero IPA. This specialty brew is mostly about the hops, but we believe that its respectable malt backbone of wheaty spice and its  toasty orange color can earn it a place in an October beer lineup. ABV {7.5%}

Cooler months call for warmer foods, and with warmer foods come fall flavors, spices, roasted meats, and root vegetables. This shift in season also affects the way we think about the wines we drink. No longer will we look for lean racey bottles of white or light fruity reds – Tis the season for fuller, more complex white wines with bigger bodies; rich reds with heft and spice to stand up to the bigger meals we are eagerly consuming.

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This box will slowly move you towards the heavier offerings that the cold months demand. The white bottle in this box is a 2003 vintage – a unique example of a white with significant weight and funk. The reds as well will be a slow transition into the darker, denser bodied wines we have been secretly waiting for all summer long. Get ready for fall with toasty oak and spicy fruit flavors in this October wine box!

Vino

Fabien Coche Bouillot Meursault Charmes Premier Cru 2003The wine region of Meursault in France is one of the most well known and sought after areas for Chardonnay production in all of Burgundy. Luckily for you, that is exactly where the first bottle in your wine box is from. From Domaine Coche Bouillot, vineyard run by Fabien Coche – the third generation owner of the estate. The vineyard is noted for their award winning white wines known for excellent balance and fruity freshness. Their Premier Cru from 2003 is incredibly full bodied and complex, with toasted, nutty notes from extended oak aging, but enough powerful fruit to create an elegant balance and lively structure. Many white wines are not built to be aged this long, which is why we hope you enjoy this rare opportunity to experience this extremely unique bottle from Meursault.

Mas de Libian Vin de Pétanque Vin de Pays des Côteaux de l’Ardèche 2014The Thibon family fondly named this wine Vin de Pétanque, as it is the wine they drink while playing a game of pétanque – the French equivalent of bocce ball. Jean-Pierre, his wife Jacqueline, and their three daughters tend to the vines of their terraced land in Southern Rhône. This loving family uses certified biodynamic practices in their winemaking, even using their family horse Nestor to tiddy between their vines. Though deemed perfect for consumption while playing bocce ball, this vibrant Rhône red is good to drink any time. A blend of mostly Grenache and some Syrah, this Vin de Pays is rich with pretty strawberry and blackberry fruit. A maceration period of five days gives the wine its intense crimson color and silky mouthfeel. Enjoy the herbaceous notes of thyme and rosemary, as well as pepper and spice of this beautiful red on a crisp fall day.

Scagliola Frem Barbera D’Asti 2013The last wine for our October box takes a step towards heavier, deeper reds. This Barbere D’Asti from the Scagliola family is a deep inky color, ready to face the cooler air of fall nights. From Calosso, a small village in southern Piedmont, Italy, the 2013 Frem is crafted by brothers Maggiorino and Mario, who co manage the estate their grandfather started in 1945. Il cane e frem means the dog is pointing – the dog on this label alludes to the focused, energetic nature of this wine. Frem is aged in large oak barrels for 12 months, which gives the wine a silky smooth medium bodied texture, with bright acidity. Aromas of ripe plum and wild currant meet your nose upon opening this bottle, followed by flavors of dark red berries with significant spice, reminiscent of fall meals and flavors.

Snacks

Big Spoon Roasters Chai Spice Nut Butter: Spices play a large roll in fall cuisine, which is why we wanted to incorporate a product that was chock full of them. Cue the Chai Spice Nut Butter from Big Spoon Roasters, which is made with a blend of traditional Masala Chai spices like cloves, ginger, cinnamon, vanilla, and black pepper. This southern nut butter company believes in only using ingredients from trustworthy producers who follow their philosophy that food should be delicious and nutritious. These beliefs are core to Big Spoon Roasters’ founder Mark Overbay, who started the company in 2011 with a desire to recreate the honest hand crafted nut butters he experienced while in the Peace Corps in Zimbabwe. Mark follows the techniques he learned abroad like freshly roasting and grinding different varieties of nuts, to which he adds simple ingredients like local wild honey and sea salts. The Chai Spice in this box is made from a simple mix of milled peanuts and almonds but is perfected by the warming blend of spices.

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Jasper Hill Farm WilloughbyThe one orange item you will find in this October box is the gorgeous washed rind of Vermont made Willoughby cheese. From the hailed “Northern Kingdom” of Vermont, or Greensboro, as it is geographically known, Willoughby comes to us from Jasper Hill Farms, a spectacular working dairy farm and creamery. Jasper Hill Farm strives to set a high standard quality with their cheese making, which they achieve by sourcing directly from their own or local farms. Their motto, taste of place, rings true as not only a representation of the Vermont landscape, but also as a supporter of it as they often help other Vermont businesses with their cheesemaking processes. Willoughby for instance was originally a creation of Ploughgate Creamery that Jasper Hill continued to develop after a fire at Ploughgate ceased their production. Jasper Hill Creamery thankfully revived the making of this pudgy washed rind cheese, which you are lucky enough to now taste. Roasted aromas of fall shine in the gooey paste of Willoughby with its flavors of beef, onions, and herbal fruitiness.

Daniele Foods Uncured Meat ChubSpices being a prevalent theme through our October snacks, it should be no surprise to find the last product of locally made dried meats. Daniele Foods is a family run operation that dates back to 1945 when two Croatian refugees,  Stefano and Carolina Dukcevich, started their new life and meat business  in Italy. Their passion and traditional methods were carried on by their son Vlado, who moved the business to America in 1977. Dried Italian meats at this time were not well known, so selling this speciality product was a struggle for the Dukcevich family at first, but thankfully they kept at it and now sell to some of the finest delis and stores across the country. These uncured chorizo and sopressata chubs are dried with natural spices, sea salts, and coarse pepper.

Empire Mayonnaise Co. Smoked Paprika MayoAs a nod to the bright orange colors prevalent during the month of October, we have this beautifully natural neon orange colored mayo from Empire Mayo. A small artisanal production out of Brooklyn, New York, Empire Mayonnaise was founded by chef Sam Mason and designer Elizabeth Valleau in 2011. This hip duo only used pasture-raised eggs from happy cage free chickens, as well as strictly local and seasonal ingredients to flavor their small batch mayos. They usually do short runs of each flavor, which is why we are particularly excited about this Smoked Paprika mayo for our fall themed box! The smoked paprika gives the mayo a natural smoky and sweet complexity, which we think would pair with anything from roasted sweet potato fries to baked whole chicken.

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! 

May Beer & Wine Box Club

Summer is Coming, but not just yet. We are still enjoying mild temperatures and cool nights. The heat has yet to make us curse at the sun (despite our intense desire for it all winter long..) Before it becomes necessary to huddle in the shade or crank the AC, we are still able to sit outside for long periods of time, sipping on refreshing beverages in in the utmost comfort. And we are here to bring you those beverages.

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This wine box is a continuation of the last, as it is providing you with wines to enjoy outside, but this time with a slightly more sophisticated approach. Two wines come to you from the banks of Austria’s largest body of water, Lake Neusiedl. The magic this lake has imparted on these two very different wines will convert you into an Austrian wine devotee. Then from one of the best regions in the world for Chardonnay, we bring you a 12 year old bottle of wine that will make you rethink the possibilities of a white wine.

This month’s beer box has a strong emphasis on local brewers, specifically the East Coast. Starting super local, from Massachusetts, we have a limited release IPA from the once solo brewer – Brewmaster Jack. From  Two Roads Brewery in Connecticut, an barrel aged saison took the road less traveled to arrive in this box. Finally, thought up in New York City and brewed at someone else’s brewery, an extremely unique Cherry ale from a fascinating brewing duo called Grimm.

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The Libations

Brewmaster Jack The Little Brother: Limited edition offerings from local breweries are always a welcome addition to our beer boxes, because they are showing the best of what we know. You may be familiar with the year round beers coming out of local favorite Brewmaster Jack, but it is always exciting to snag one of the more limited releases. Here we have a double IPA named for the younger brother of the brewmaster himself, Tyler Guilmette. Tyler started his solo adventure in 2011 with a mission to create high quality, readily available craft beers, using unique hop varieties and local grains. This DIPA features two unique hops: Cintra and Simcoe, from which the beer gets its tangy citrus flavors of pineapple, apricot, mango, and sweet melon. These tropical fruits keep the bitterness of this double in check, as does the fuller body with its slightly malty base. ABV {8.5%}

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Two Roads Brewery Worker’s Stomp Saison: Another local limited release comes to us from Two Roads Brewery in Stratford, CT. The theme of this brewery is taking “the road less traveled”, which is a motto they live up to by creating beers that are incredibly unique, adventurous, and carefully crafted. For this special bottle, Two Roads has taken their regular saison, Worker’s Comp, and as they say “stomped all over it!” This Stomp-ed saison has been aged in white wine barrels, which give the beer a wonderful round texture of woodsy oak flavors. Open this beer carefully for the cork holds back loads of carbonation which will top the honey colored brew with huge fizzy head. An aroma of farmhouse funk and graham cracker toastiness will greet you after the foam settles, followed by slightly tart notes of lemon, peppery spice, and floral saison qualities. Pair this aged delight with it’s Conneticut neighbor: Mystic Cheese Co’s Sea Change. ABV {7.5%}

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Grimm Artisanal Ales Cherry Oak Shapeshifter: Last but certainly not least is a very exciting newly released beer from Grimm Artisanal Ales: Cherry Oak Shapeshifter! Joe and Lauren Grimm are the mastermind duo behind Grimm beers, which was started in 2013. Acting as “drifting brewers”, the couple develops recipes in their kitchen apartment in Brooklyn, NY, before traveling to use the facilities of other breweries on the East Coast. Grimm Artisanal Ales epitomises the experimental spirit of American craft brewing by pushing the boundaries to create complex limited edition beers. The gorgeously designed bottle of Cherry Oak Shapeshifter is yet another example of their ingenuity. This wee heavy style was aged with Montmorency cherries for six months in used brandy barrels. Pouring a deep mahogany hue, Shapeshifter releases scents of cherries and toffee that waft off of some healthy carbonation. Tart cherry flavors continue in the taste, accompanied by malty caramel, woodsy oak, and decadent notes of marzipan and vanilla. Enjoy this fascinating beer as a cold and refreshingly tart beverage to be sipped on a spring evening. ABV {8.3%}

Fabien Coche Bouillot Meursault Charmes Premier Cru 2003: The wine region of Meursault in France is one of the most well known and sought after areas for Chardonnay production in all of Burgundy. Luckily for you, that is exactly where the last bottle in your wine box is from. From Domaine Coche Bouillot, vineyard run by Fabien Coche – the third generation owner of the estate. The vineyard is noted for their award winning white wines known for excellent balance and fruity freshness. Their Premier Cru from 2003 is incredibly full bodied and complex, with toasty notes from extended oak aging, but with enough powerful fruit to create an elegant balance, and lively structure. Many white wines are not built to be aged this long, which is why we hope you enjoy this rare opportunity to experience a bottle from Meursault.

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Sattler Zweigelt Rosé 2014: The shockingly fuschia colored bottle standing out in this month’s box is a very special rosé from the Burgenland in Austria. Vintner Erich Sattler is the 4th generation owner of his family’s estate in the village of Tadten, which has been in operation since 1999. The Sattler’s vineyards are located on the east side of Lake Neusiedl, an important body of water that moderates the warm air and growing environment of the vineyards.This bottle is made from 100% Zweigelt grapes – Austria’s most widely planted red grape variety. The vivacious pink color might make you feel silly, but believe us once you take a sip, the infectious quality and texture of this rosé will wash all your cares away. Juicy acidity and a zippy body of candied strawberry and watermelon flavors dominate the palate, followed by a delightful herbal mint quality. This wine is perfect to be enjoyed in the beautiful spring weather; the fabulous color might even inspire you to jump up and go frolic around in the sun!

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Judith Beck Blaufrankisch 2013: Here we have another wine influenced by Lake Neusiedl of Austria. Judith Beck’s estate, also located on the eastern side of the lake, is washed in very warm sun throughout the growing seasons. The high temperatures of this region are known to produce some of the country’s finest full bodied and dry red wines. Beck’s 2013 vintage of Blaufränkisch is a beautiful representation of the region, as well as a testament to the profoundly elegant and authentic style that Judith Beck has become known for. The grapes at her estate are hand picked and sorted; the Blaufränkisch grapes for this wine were taken from vines around 15 years old, grown in Seewinkelschotter soil (sandy limestone gravel). The result is a superb wine with luscious flavors of dark cherry and plum, notes of herbs and pepper, and a slight minerality within a plush textured body. This wine is an extremely versatile option to pair with, so go ahead and picnic with it with cheese and a baguette or add it to a fancy night of filets!

The Snacks

Quin Candy Rosé Gumpdrops: Spring time in candy form is possible with these rosé gumdrops from Quin Candy out of Portland, Oregon. Quin Candy is a small operation out of Portland, dedicated to making re-imagined versions of old timey candy with modern, high quality techniques. Lovingly handcrafted, these gumdrops are made with rosé wine from Union Wine, another Oregon company. The wine is cooked first to reduce it and then again to make it sweet, removing any alcohol as well. The result are these pale pink drops of luscious tropical fruit covered in a fine coating of sparkling sugar! Pop one or two in your mouth for a sugary blast from the past.

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Lilly’s Hot Mess Sauce: To prepare you for the hot mess that will be our New England summer, we have decided to equip you with Lilly’s Hot Mess sauce, a hot pepper sauce from Chicago, Illinois. This bright colored concoction started as a hot pepper vinegar that was marinated with pickled cayenne peppers for five days. After the peppers are removed, the leftovers create quite the mess – hence the aptly named “Hot Mess” result. Also in the blend are pimientos, dried scotch bonnet peppers, and cane sugar vinegar. This sauce is an excellent representation of traditional Southern cooking and can be used on pork, chicken, steak, shrimp, and even vegetables! At AP we mixed this hot sauce with some mayo to create our own spicy aioli for sandwiches.

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Mystic Sea Change: The ridiculously unique methods of cheesemaker Brian Civitello have been impressing cheese eaters all over New England and we at American Provisions are steadfast followers. A learned student of cheesemaking, Brian’s techniques stem from Italian influences, as well as his own desire to let the flavor and unique quality of the milk reign supreme with minimal intervention. He also made killer decisions concerning the imagery and literature inspired names for his cheeses. Sea Change, for example, is named after a verse in Shakespeare’s The Tempest. Similar to the Robiola styles of Northern Italy, Sea Change is a bloomy, soft rind cheese with a buttery elastic texture. The subtle fruit and yeasty qualities make Sea Change an incredibly easy cheese to continuously snack on, perhaps paired with a luscious red like Beck’s Blaufränkisch or with Two Roads’ Workers Stomp Saison.

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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! 

 

 

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