Tag Archives: Illahe wine

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! 

Rosé All Day, Erryday

“Rosé all day” has not only become a popular new expression, a trending hashtag, & a recurring t-shirt logo, but it is also a forceful motto of the warm weather seasons. As soon as April rolled around, the shelves and fridges at American Provisions grew immensely brighter in color — that color is pink. Pink wine has carried a negative connotation for many years, but is now becoming one of the most sought after styles for wine drinkers. This major shift in rosé popularity can be attributed to a rise in rosé quality, a consistent level of affordability for such quality, and the all around versatility and general awesome-ness that is rosé wine.

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Ain’t no party like a rosé all day party…

At American Provisions we are currently carrying 15 different rosés, with an expected half dozen more in the very near future. We are loving the fact that the store is covered in pink wine, so much so that we are becoming pink wine pushers. Haunting memories of cloyingly sweet bottles of white Zinfandel still linger in the minds of customers as they gaze at the rows of pink wines on our shelves. We are determined to wipe away those memories and replace them with a shared love and acceptance of the misunderstood rosé wine. We are here to suggest – nay – INSIST, that you not be blinded by the bright colors, but instead embrace them and join us while we revel in their glory.

Despite all the praise and insistence I have just placed on rosés, I do believe that not all rosés are created equal and therefore not all worthy of our love. We understand the wary approach when it comes to choosing a bottle from the rows of pink wines, which is why we have taken upon ourselves to taste all the rosés in order to safely guide you through your choices. It was a lot of hard work, but here they are, and You’re Welcome.

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“Ooh la la”

We will start with France, as it is arguably the most well known and abundant producer of rosé wines:

Domaine le Clos des Lumières 2014: A classic example of a Southern Rhône blend, the Lumières  rosé contains Syrah, Grenache, Cinsault, & Mourvèdre grapes. This pretty pale salmon rosé is light weight and full of bright strawberry and tangerine flavors. The sunny climate of Southern Rhone shines through this wine with its rich characteristics, as well as subtle notes of wet stone. Pair this bottle with a salad of crunchy greens and ripe tomatoes to get a completely fresh experience.

Couly Dutheil Rene Couly Chinon 2014: The Chinon region of Loire Valley is known for producing mostly red wines made from Cabernet Franc grapes. This rosé is no exception, made of 100% Cab Franc, it boasts a medium body full of red berries, rose petals, & strawberries. This Chinon rosé has a strong personality, but is very approachable with its soft palate and light acidity.

Domaine du Petit Clocher Rosé d’ Anjou 2014: A new bottle to join our shelves is this Loire rosé from the family run vineyards of Petit Clocher. This wine is made from an indigenous grape variety called Grolleau; a variety that is primarily grown in the Loire Valley of France and is almost strictly used for making rosé wines. These deep black berries produce light, elegant bodies with noticeably high acidity, which is why this rosé carries some residual sugar for balance. Now I know what you’re thinking, but this is NOT a sweet wine! It may not be bone dry like some of the other options we carry, but the slight sweetness from the berry fruits only helps to offset the acidity — steering this wine towards the middle of the road as a very balanced option of our rosés.

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And representing the US of A…

To transition to domestic wines, we will start with a Provençal style that is made in California:

Bonny Doon Vin Gris de Cigare Rosé 2014: This wine’s light coloring is owed to a very light pressing of the grapes, which were harvested at the specific maturity for this style — less ripe than necessary for red wines. Elegant and crisp, Bonny Doon’s rosé has a savory acidity with notes of strawberry, mint, and subtle bergamot characteristics. Made with a typical base of red Rhône varieties such as Grenache and Mourvèdre, this rosé is also composed of some traditional white Rhône varieties like Grenache Blanc and Marsanne, which give the wine an unexpected richness. The flying UFO over the vineyards on the label and alien eyes on the screw cap are also unexpected, if you are not familiar with the quirky style of vintner Randall Grahm.

Matthiasson Rose 2014: From a family run vineyard that likes to explore classical styles of wine, we have a unique expression of the California landscape that can easily match its foreign competitors. This creatively labeled bottle holds a blend of Syrah, Grenache, Mourvèdre, and Counoise. A truly elegant wine, this rosé is light bodied with delicate acidity that will perfectly compliment springtime fare. Bright flavors of white peach and grapefruit will quickly seduce you, if the packaging hasn’t already.

Tuck Beckstoffer Hogwash 2013 (soon 2014): Made as a byproduct from a vineyard that mostly produces serious reds, Hogwash is a lighthearted offering for the summer months (specifically those times when it is too hot out to drink heavy reds during a pig roast). From 100% Grenache grapes, this rosé is vibrant and bone dry, with flavors of ripe melon, grapefruit, and wet granite. It is reminiscent of a a light red but seriously refreshing and beautifully concentrated.

Illahe Estate Rose 2014: From a slightly warmer site than most vineyards of the Willamette Valley, the Illahe rosé is made from 100% Tempranillo grapes. At the Illahe estate they whole-cluster press the Tempranillo grapes; a process that is more time consuming, yet produces wines with greater clarity. In this case it has produced a delicate wine with a crisp strawberry palate and a fleshy body that is begging to be paired with tangy goat cheese, like any of the offerings from Twig Farm in Vermont!

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“Bastante en rosa”

Martinez Lacuesta Rioja Rosé 2014: From a bodega more than 100 years old in Rioja, Spain, the Martinez Lacuesta rosé is made of 100% Garnacha. Know also as Grenache from France, this variety of grape originated in Spain and produces fresh, fruity wines. This rosé is lively with a supple medium body. Bright notes of mandarin citrus, strawberries, and roses will happily meet you mouth and liven your taste buds!

Ostatu Rosado 2014: Another offering from Rioja, the Ostatu rosé is a blend of Tempranillo and Garnacha. This is a very modern variation of a classic Rioja style, made from some of the oldest vines in Ostatu and fermented in stainless steel. A store favorite, the Ostatu rosé is medium bodied, tart, and lively. It runs the gamut for fruit, with notes of red berries, watermelon, cherries, and light citrus. This is one of three offerings we carry from the Ostatu vineyards, and believe us, they are all on point!

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“Il dolce far niente”

Cantine Mucci Valentino Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo 2014: From Italy’s eastern coast, Cantine Mucci is a vineyard that is run and loved by three generations of the Mucci family in the unique landscape of Abruzzo. This rosé is made from 100% Montepulciano, a dark, luscious grape. The particular method of reducing contact time between the skins and the juice of the Montepulciano grapes, is what gives this wine its lovely cherry-like color, hence the name Cerasuolo, which means cherry in Italian. This method also gives this rosé its bright and fruity (cherry & blackberry) characteristics, which stand out within its soft, full texture.

Colli di Salerno Reale Getis Rosé 2014: The deceivingly dark bottle of the Getis Reale rosé may have some thinking it is a red wine, but it believe us it’s not! This wine pours a beautifully rich orange-y crimson color, releasing a prominent scent of fruit and flowers. The incredibly pillow like texture of this rosé slowly rolls over your tongue, accented by very soft bubbles of carbonation. Made from two indigenous grapes, Piedirosso and Tintore, this wine shows off dark Mediterranean fruit like raspberries and strawberries. If you let it, this wine will hug you warmly like an sweet Italian grandmother.

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Fuschia and coral and crimson, oh my!

Next up: Austria!

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Schloss Gobelsburg Cistercien Rosé 2014: This authentically classy looking bottle comes to us from the vineyards around castle Gobelsburg in Kamptal, Austria. Pouring out a glowing hue of pale coral, this wine has quite a commanding presence for such a light body. The blend of Zweigelt and St. Laurent grapes are softly pressed and fermented in a manner that nudges this rosé closer to a white wine style. The fruit presence is minimal, yet there are whiffs of fresh berries and wild cherries beneath loads of bright acidity. This rosé will awaken your senses with its slight tingle of carbonation, as well as thoroughly impress you with its unwavering elegance.

Sattler Zweigelt Rosé 2014: Last but certainly not least,we have a Terry Theise selection from the Burgenland region of Austria. Erich Sattler’s rosé is produced in the traditional saignée method, where after a short period of maceration, the juice is separated from the must and then vinified similar to a white wine. This method produces the vibrant fuchsia color of Sattler’s rosé, as well as giving the wine a fuller body. The Zweigelt grape gives this wine zippy notes of raspberries and wild cherries, as well as herbal flavors like mint. The color of this rosé is so pink it is almost ridiculous, but believe us, the taste will make this a pink drink no one will be embarrassed to sip!

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Armed with this new knowledge, we expect you to embrace these colors and make bottles of rosé your summer long companions. Come pick a lucky bottle from our selection or maybe grab a bunch and do what I did on this beautiful Wednesday — rosé all day!