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Archive for the ‘Beverages’ Category

Peeper Ale

The Maine Beer Co. is based out of Portland and is a very young company. It was started by two brothers, David and Daniel Kleban, who began their brewing career experimenting in a garage. Their goal: to make something they would be happy drinking themselves. (more…)

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Pacina Wine LabelsRecently, we were thrilled to welcome Giovanna Tiezzi and Stefano Borsa to our shop. Giovanna and Stefano are the dedicated growers behind Pacina wine and they stopped by our Cambridge shop on a rare visit to the United States to taste out their ’07 Chianti Colli Senesi and speak to folks about what distinguishes them from other viticoltori in their region.

Where is Pacina?

Located about twenty-five minutes east of Siena in the Chianti district of Colli Senesi, Pacina is an old convent, dating to circa 900AD. The land where the convent is located is rich in wine history insofar as Pāca was the Etruscan god of the grape harvest, the equivalent of the Roman god, Bacchus, or the Greek god, Dionysius. For centuries, wine has been made in this region.

Flash forward to 2011: Pacina serves as a home to Giovanna Tiezzi and Stefano Borsa, along with their children, Maria and Carlo.  Giovanna took over the estate that was bought by her great-grandparents. Today, she and Stefano cultivate a wide range of produce – from cereals, to fruit, to vegetables, to extra virgin olive oil. Giovanna and Stefano are, however, probably best known for their wine. As with everything they produce, it is organic. (more…)

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Dolin Vermouths

Summer is the perfect time to acquaint yourself with the newest addition to our little family of wines from the Savoie: Dolin Vermouths.

Dolin has been making vermouth in Chambéry, France since 1821. Vermouth de Chambéry is actually the only AOC for vermouth in France, and Dolin is the last remaining independent Vermouth de Chambéry producer. Dolin starts with a light base white wine (no more than 10% alcohol) and then fortifies with sugar and infuses it with dozens of the local Alpine plants that grow in the hills above Chambéry. (more…)

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Brosé: [broh-zey–noun a pink wine enjoyed with friends.

Rosé Wine Tasting in Progress

‘Tis the season… to drink pink, of course! Everyone and anyone who knows me, knows that once spring has sprung and things are starting to blossom and turn green, all I’m thinking is pink.

The rosé wine display at Formaggio Kitchen

The rosé wine display at Formaggio Kitchen

I wait all year for this season to arrive and look forward to the array of rose-colored bottles that appears on the table at our Cambridge location. So, when a fellow monger asked me to write a little something about rosé for the Formaggio Kitchen blog, I figured it was the perfect excuse to revisit some old favorites while trying some new pinks too! (more…)

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1809 Berliner Weisse from Dr. Fritz Briem

1809 Berliner Weisse

At the moment, we have in stock two unusual beers crafted by Dr. Fritz Briem of Doemens. Doemens is a food academy and learning center based in Gräfelfing, Germany, just west of Munich. They offer a wide variety of in-depth courses for food professionals, including ones about brewing beer. (more…)

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VinItaly 2011

VinItaly 2011

After an exhilarating five days of intensive tasting in and just outside of Verona at VinItaly, VinNatur, and Vino Vino Vino, my palate has been reinvigorated and my “wine speak” in Italian has once again been thoroughly challenged and expanded.

VinItaly is Verona’s infamous wine expo that brings together over 4,000 producers in a cluster of twelve bustling, cavernous convention halls. Conversely, VinNatur and Vino Vino Vino are smaller, organic tastings that are held in historic sites outside of the city and exhibit less than 150 producers. I tasted recent vintages of some of my already established favorites and made some new discoveries along the way. (more…)

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This wine captures the essence of Summer and SeaWhen Valerie, Ihsan and I visited the Ameztoi Winery in October of last year, rosé season was months away. Now a cool but sunny April has arrived and with it has come our first shipment of Ameztoi Rubentis Rosado*.

Ameztoi is one among a cluster of wineries perched high in the hills of the Getaria province of Spain, overlooking the Atlantic ocean. On a clear day, you can see the city of San Sebastián from Ameztoi’s vineyards.

Ignacio Ameztoi is a 7th generation winemaker. He and his enormous German Shepherd gave us a personal tour of the family winery – a pretty building completely surrounded by grapevines with a stunning view of the Atlantic. Ameztoi’s vines are quite old, many 150 years or older. (more…)

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Peak Organic, based on Portland, ME is a relatively young brewery, having started operations in the ’90s. Jon Cadoux, the brewer behind the company, began with the goal of developing something tasty while striving at the same time for sustainability. Even in the early days, he tried to source as many of his ingredients from local, organic farmers as possible. Today, the company’s commitment to producing organic beers remains the same. In 2009, they helped Maine farmers grow the first harvest of commercial hops in that state since the 1860s. This harvest was organic.

Peak Organic Simcoe Spring AlePeak Organic focuses on doing “contemporary takes on traditional styles of beer.” Right now, I can’t get enough of their Simcoe Spring Ale. The Simcoe hop is a particular strain grown by the Maine farmers mentioned above. Simcoe hops are amazingly piney and have a dark sweetness like sap honey. Peak Organic has captured the essence of this hop perfectly. Their Simcoe Spring Ale is deep enough and dark enough to be a belly warmer for the first chilly days of early Spring but it really shines on those optimistic 50 degree days when you might think about sitting out on the back porch in the afternoon with a beer and a book.

Among the many hats he wears, Eric Meyer is the Beer Buyer, Grill Master and a cheesemonger at Formaggio Kitchen Cambridge.

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Eric's St. Paddy's Day Beer Recommendations
These days, St. Patrick’s Day is mostly a secular celebration of Irish culture and a day of mindless consumption of way too much Guinness or green beer. As a Boston native, and history buff, March 17 is as much about Evacuation Day as it is about the shamrock-toting saint (read more about Evacuation Day). As the beer buyer at our fancy little food store, I prefer to celebrate both events with a couple of bottles of exemplary craft brew.

Although the craft brewing revolution in Ireland is alive and well, there’s none to be had on this side of the pond and until I find a source, I’m recommending a few domestic ales for your celebrations. (more…)

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A Christmas Carol: Scrooge and Bob Cratchit

One evening in December, I found myself under the weather but with an unbreakable date. I had promised to take a fellow cheesemonger on his first visit to Drink. For anyone who hasn’t been, Drink is an elegant bar in the Fort Point neighborhood of Boston with highly skilled bartenders and no drink list. One orders by indicating an ingredient or ingredients they’re in the mood for – for me, that often means something like Bourbon or grapefruit juice. Then, the bartenders make cocktail suggestions based on these clues.

All I could muster up this particularly cold evening was,”I have a sore throat.” A few minutes later, head bartender, John Gertsen emerged from the back with a steaming pot of negus. A warm, sweet and comforting blend of port, hot water, sugar and lemon, negus was a popular drink in Victorian times, and is mentioned in more than one of Charles Dickens’ novels. In Dombey and Son, Mr. Feeder, “after imbibing several custard cups of negus, began to enjoy himself.” Just as I did after imbibing my several wineglasses full of negus at Drink (I also slept like a baby that night)! (more…)

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