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Archive for the ‘Holiday’ Category

holiday_wine_picks_2014

Our wine buyers’ top picks for the holidays! La Cigarrera Amontillado VOR, 2012 Domaine Comte Abbatucci “Cuvee Faustine” Rouge, 2005 CUNE “Contino” Rioja Reserva, and 1979 Kopke Colheita Port

 

The holiday season is upon us, and once again this year we’ve asked our wine buyers at both shops to recommend the wines they’re most excited about gifting this year. These are not every day wines, but rather special bottles that you will want to gift or sip with loved ones. If any of these wines strike your fancy let us know so we can set a bottle (or more) aside for you, as some of them are rare and available in very limited quantities.

 

La Cigarrera Amontillado VOR
Julie Cappellano, Wine Buyer at Formaggio Kitchen South End

Ignacio Hildago, is the ninth generation of his family to make sherry in Sanlúcar de Barrameda. This extremely rare Amontillado comes from the family’s Sacrista, where their oldest wines are kept. Here Ignacio, upon receiving permission from his family, recently tapped a single barrel of Amontillado Viejo that was a part of his grandmother’s dowry. The average age of the wine from this solera is 100 years. We were lucky to receive ½ of a case out of the 50 cases of 375mL bottles that made their way to the United States. This ancient, bronze elixir, rich with hazelnut aromas and flavors, should be served at cool room temperature. This wine can be served with a simple goat’s milk cheese like Garrotxa or Garcia de Paredes, but when I open my bottle I’ll be sipping it on its own to inhale and taste every flavor nuance to the fullest.

This wine is available at Formaggio Kitchen South End, or available for pick-up at Formaggio Kitchen Cambridge with one day’s notice.

 

2012 Domaine Comte Abbatucci “Cuvee Faustine” Rouge 
James Hull, Wine Buyer at Formaggio Kitchen Cambridge

If undeniable character, quality and a little romance are what your wine-lover craves, this standout from Jean-Charles Abbatucci brims with everything the island of Corsica can throw at it. History buffs know Jean-Charles Abbatucci as a heroic general and brother-in-arms to Napoleon, but the current Jean-Charles has become a modern-day hero by expressing Corsica’s unique grapes and terroir with passion and skill. He grows his grapes with a religious commitment to biodynamics and a good dose of eccentricity (he drives his tractor around the vines blaring traditional songs of the island because he believes they’re part of the terroir and keep the vines happy!). The aromas jumping from the glass will make you a believer—layers of wild herbs, juicy cherries and rocky mineral notes swirl around your senses and ignite the imagination. Savor it with Corsican cheese like Corsu Vecchiu, a hunk of salami and the album “Corsica” by Petru Guelfucci.

This wine is available at Formaggio Kitchen Cambridge, or available for pick-up at Formaggio Kitchen South End with one day’s notice. 

 

2005 CUNE “Contino” Rioja Reserva
Stephen Meuse, Wine Buyer at Formaggio Kitchen Cambridge

Not many wine estates can boast a winery designed by Gustaf Eiffel (of tower fame) and CUNE (kew-nay) is truly an exceptional property in many ways. Located in Haro, at the very heart of La Rioja, Spain, this winery has long enjoyed a reputation for taking a forward-thinking approach while maintaining traditional values—and this elegant wine is a case in point. In a region known for the artful blending of wines from many vineyards, CUNE breeds Contino from the grapes of a single privileged site, established in 1974. Mainly Tempranillo, it benefits from small amounts of Graciano, Mazuelo, and Garnacha Tinta. It is fermented in stainless steel then matured for two years in French and American oak. It sees extended bottle aging before release. Contino shows all the stately charm of mature Rioja, with an abundance of dark red fruits and notes of spruce forest. Tannins are beautifully conditioned and the wine is table-ready. A truly splendid holiday gift for the wine aficionado on your list.

This wine is available at Formaggio Kitchen Cambridge, or available for pick-up at Formaggio Kitchen South End with one day’s notice. 

 

1979 Kopke Colheita Port
Marianne Staniunas, Formaggio Kitchen South End Wine Department

A Colheita Port is an aged Tawny Port, made from the grapes of a single vintage, aged in wooden casks and released by the winemaker only when it is at its peak—and ready to be relished. Traditionally, a Colheita must be aged for at least seven years, but many winemakers age them for much longer. This year, we were thrilled to receive a limited quantity of a 1979 Colheita from Portugal’s first and oldest Port House—established in Oporto in 1638 by the Kopke family. For any lover of Port, this wine is a must-have once-in-a-lifetime gift.

This wine is available at Formaggio Kitchen South End, or available for pick-up at Formaggio Kitchen Cambridge with one day’s notice. 

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2014 Holiday Gift Guide!

Every year we look forward to the holidays and the excuse to share our favorite foods and kitchen accessories with friends and family. If you’re shopping for a food lover, tyrophile (cheese lover), budding chef, or seasoned culinarian this year, check out our list of top gift ideas that will please any palate! And if you’re giving in the greater Boston area, check out our “Locals Only” gift guide for special treats at our Cambridge shop!

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Thanksgiving Cheese 2014

Our top Thanksgiving cheese picks for 2014: Shelburne 2 Year Cheddar, Verano, Bayley Hazen Blue, and Sage Farm’s fresh goat cheese

One of our favorite ways to celebrate Thanksgiving is with a round up of some of New England’s best cheeses. While we love the fruits of Europe’s great cheese-making traditions, Thanksgiving is the perfect time of year to reflect on and celebrate American cheese makers, and our country’s own tradition of beautiful cheeses of all milk types and textures. This year, our Cambridge store’s domestic cheese buyer Tripp, along with the rest of the cheese team, have brought together four of our favorite Vermont cheeses for a perfect addition to the holiday table!

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Get ready for Thanksgiving turkey!

Get ready for Thanksgiving turkey!

As a young girl my family would travel every year to share Thanksgiving dinner with family. I remember singing “Over the river and through the woods…” ad nauseam at least one of those trips. I grew more and more excited as the car crossed the Connecticut River, then through the mountain forests; the Appalachian Mountains. I knew with each landmark I was that much closer to seeing my cousins and the feast they would have prepared. Images of the giant bird, dripping with juicy gravy, made me anxious to arrive.

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Honeys for Rosh Hashanah

Three different honeys to celebrate Rosh Hashanah

I always look forward to celebrating Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. It is a lovely time of year when the weather is just cooling off, fall produce is coming into season and my craving for my grandmother’s brisket is at its highest!

A traditional aspect of Rosh Hashana is enjoying fresh apple slices with honey. The sweetness of this treat represents our hopes for a sweet new year. Since becoming the honey buyer almost 7 years ago, I have taken this tradition a step further by bringing home a selection of my favorite single varietal honeys each year. This year I decided to focus on a selection composed of very distinct honeys with geographic, visual and textural diversity. If the hopes for my new year are proportional to how lovely these honeys are, then my year is looking bright!

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Farmers Jane Field Blend WhiteIn celebration of Independence Day weekend, we’re featuring one delicious American wine. The Farmers Jane project is run by friends and wine lovers Angela and Faith in southern California. This tasty white is made from grapes purchased from a Santa Ynez valley vineyard belonging to the Native American Chamush tribe. In this vineyard Grenache Blanc, Marsanne and Roussane grow together, and the grapes are harvested, pressed and fermented all together at the same time, old-school style. (more…)

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Comté Le Fort

Comté Le Fort

Mother’s Day is this Sunday and, in recognition of the day, we surveyed a few of our fellow staffers to see what cheeses their mothers like them to bring home! (more…)

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