All cheesemongers on our counters hear a tremendous amount about Fort Saint Antoine where Marcel Petite ages their finest wheels – it is a storied and highly respected place for us – where Philippe Goux, General Manager, and Claude Querry, Chef de Cave, bring wheels of this extraordinary mountain cheese to its full potential. Here are a few photos from my first visit – a very special experience for me as a cheesemonger and cheese lover. (please click on one of the photos to open the slideshow)
Archive for the ‘France’ Category
One of the great perks of working at Formaggio Kitchen is the opportunity to travel around the world in search of delicious foods. Ihsan and Valerie Gurdal, owners of the Formaggio Kitchen family of shops, feel strongly that being on the ground to meet with farmers, affineurs and food producers is the best way to find the most delicious goodies to stock our shelves and fill our cheese cases. That philosophy has yielded and continues to yield marvelously tasty results! (more…)
Posted in France, Valentine's Day, Wine, tagged Alexandre Chartogne, Brut Réserve, Champagne, Chardonnay, Chartogne-Taillet, Cuvée Sainte-Anne, half bottles, Jean Vesselle, Laherte Fréres, Pinot Meunier, Pinot Noir, Ultradition, Wine on February 12, 2014 | Leave a Comment »
A half-bottle of Champagne is the perfect size for starting off an evening of romantic dining for two. The bubbles refresh and perk up your palate, but you still have room to share a full bottle of wine with dinner. Likewise, a half bottle of bubbly can give you just the right amount of buzzy cheer if you’re serving it with a bit of cheese in lieu of a large meal. Here are three of our favorite Champagne halves paired with three Valentine’s Day moods. (more…)
Posted in France, Producer Profile, Wine, tagged Bourboulenc, boxed wine, Carignan, Côtes-du-Rhône, Cinsault, Clairette, Counoise, Grenache, Jean David, Martine David, Mourvèdre, red wine, rosé, Roussanne, Seguret Village, Syrah, Wine, wine box on January 30, 2014 | 1 Comment »
Last fall, I had the opportunity to visit the winery of Jean David in the town of Seguret in the southern Rhône valley. Seguret is a walled medieval town perched on the edge of the Dentelles de Montmirail mountains, equidistant between the towns of Rasteau to the northwest and Gigondas to the south. We were there in October and the weather was great! We had come directly from cool, rainy Burgundy where everyone was clad in thick sweaters, and when we arrived in the Rhône, we saw people everywhere walking around in flip-flops and t-shirts.
Jean David and his wife run their small winery together with just a bit of help harvesting in the fall. They farm around 17 hectares of vineyards where they grow red grapes – Grenache, Syrah, Cinsault, Mourvèdre, Carignan and Counoise – and white grapes – Roussanne, Bourboulenc and Clairette. Jean also has a little Tempranillo in his vineyard that his father planted. When asked about the proportions of grapes in the vineyard, Jean replied: “sometimes I say to myself, ‘Jean… you should plant more Syrah…but then…’” and he shrugged and smiled. (more…)
Posted in Cheese, France, Jams & Preserves, Producer Profile, Travelogues, tagged Ardi Gasna, Arraya, Cheese, Christian Pardou, Claude Querry, Comté, Désiré Loyatho, Espelette, Ferme Fagaldia, food, Fort Saint Antoine, France, Fromageries Marcel Petite, Hotel Arraya, Kati Loyatho, Les Bergers du Haut-Béarn, Marcel Petite, Ossau-Iraty, Pardou, Piment d'Espelette, San Sebastián, Sebastien Fagoaga, travel on September 10, 2013 | 6 Comments »
Landing in Geneva, our first day began auspiciously with 65°F blue skies and a new convertible (our reserved sedan was unavailable) to drive us west into the Jura. Tripp (domestic cheese buyer for our Cambridge shop), and Sarah (Tripp’s counterpart at the South End), and I marveled at the snow-capped mountains in the eastern distance and how the yellow brilliance of patched rapeseed fields rested calmly in their spaces. The three of us were in France to visit with cheesemakers and food producers, checking in with old friends and making new ones. Climbing up into the hills, we arrived at our first destination, Fromageries Marcel Petite at Fort St. Antoine. (more…)
Posted in Beverages, Education, Food History, France, Wine, tagged Champagne, disgorgement, disgorging, Dom Perignon, fermentation, négociant-manipulant, récoltant-manipulant, riddling, second fermentation, sparkling wine, Wine on August 22, 2013 | 1 Comment »
In part one of this sparkling wine series, we explored the many ways wines can become bubbly. In this post, we focus just on Champagne. The Champagne region of France is considered to be the home of the world’s finest sparkling wines. Champagne is so famous, in fact, that it’s common for folks to refer to any bubbly wine as Champagne, however true Champagne is produced only within the boundaries of the designated province. European Union law forbids the use of the word Champagne on wines made anywhere else, as do the laws of many countries (including the United States). (more…)
Posted in Beverages, Education, Food History, France, Wine, tagged carbonation, Champagne, Charmat Method, disgorging, fermentation, first fermentation, lees, Méthode Traditionnelle, Methode Ancestrale, riddling, second fermentation, Traditional Method, Wine on August 2, 2013 | 6 Comments »
When we pop the cork of a sparkling wine at a party a flurry of bubbles are released. We love sipping those bubbles, but how do they get in the bottle? There are several ways that it can happen.
Sparkling wine is bubbly because carbon dioxide gas, a byproduct of fermentation, is trapped within the wine. During fermentation yeast feeds on the grape juice’s natural sugars and produces heat, alcohol, and carbon dioxide. During the initial fermentation, this gas is released into the air. When wine is allowed (or encouraged!) to undergo a second fermentation within the bottle the carbon dioxide gas is trapped inside in the form of bubbles.
The following methods are a few different ways to produce bubbles in a bottle of wine. There is a lot more information behind each of these techniques, but this is a good start to get the general idea. We’ll start with the oldest method and move forward through time and technological advances. (more…)