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Archive for the ‘Wine’ Category

Domaine de Montbourgeau Macvin du JuraTime out from cheese for a brief note about one of our new favorite wines, a curious liquid called Macvin du Jura. Ours is made by Nicole Deriaux, the 3rd generation winemaker at Domaine de Montbourgeau, a wonderful little winery whose L’Etoile we have stocked in the past.

The lovely elixir that is Macvin du Jura is made from the juice of a combination of red and white grapes to which the local Marc (“mac”) or grape brandy is added. This addition fortifies the sweet juice with alcohol and stops fermentation. The “wine” is then aged in oak casks for several years to develop and integrate the flavors. (more…)

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A Matter of Taste

I recently read a blog post titled “What’s the Point?”. I was directed to it via the New York Times Diner’s Journal Blog.

It’s worth a read but the opening paragraph gives you the gist:

I didn’t start this blog as an outlet for my rants but I have to complain a little bit. I’m over winemakers who have any agenda other than taste; those who want to make ‘natural wines’ or who set out to make wines which embrace some sort of philosophy. I know that we are all Children of the Earth, that we have only one planet and that we should treat the soil and groundwater (and each other) with respect. …but the next time I meet with a winemaker who claims to be driven by the will to be a ‘Steward of the Land’ and to ‘Express the soil’ I may just have to excuse myself. Call me ‘old fashioned’ but isn’t taste the point?

While I empathize with the frustration of being marketed to, doesn’t everyone who makes something have an agenda or a philosophy that drives what they do? Would you really want it any other way? Most producers I know set out to make the best tasting product they can, but they also consider the means they employ to get there. In my mind, it is imperative that retailers and consumers alike evaluate products on the basis of both taste and philosophy. (more…)

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Fattoria La Striscia ’09 Chianti Colli Aretini and I Clivi ’10 Friulano San Pietro

Wondering what to serve with your Easter feast? Gemma, wine buyer at our Cambridge location, is recommending a light, crisp white for appetizers and a fuller-bodied, flavorful red to pair with a traditional lamb dish. Both are from sustainable producers that we know and trust – below are descriptions of the two selected wines. (more…)

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Millesime BioDuring a short stint from January 23rd to 25th, I had the opportunity to once again attend Millésime Bio, an annual organic wine exposition in Montpellier, France. It not only proved to be an exciting and challenging experience with my struggling French but offered me a closer view into the diverse world of wine. A wide range of regions, traditions, styles and levels of quality were represented at the show. My goal this year was to further develop an appreciation for these differences and find language to capture them for my colleagues and our customers. For example, organic, biodynamic, and even no-sulfur added wines can be made quite conventionally through machine harvesting and high yields, with poor terroir, additives and invasive cellar techniques. For me, it is an ongoing effort to understand and be able to explain the differences between industrial, conventional, artisanal, natural, and heirloom even within the categories of organic, biodynamic and no-sulfur added wine. It takes tasting, re-tasting, traveling, and speaking directly with producers to be able to speak to these qualitative differences and really comprehend who is doing the work to make great wines. With this mission in mind, I reconnected with many of my favorite growers – and discovered new ones too. Here are some of the highlights! (more…)

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A Glass of Bubbly

South End wine buyer, Julie Cappellano, and Cambridge wine buyer, Gemma Iannoni, offer their top picks for bubbly to celebrate the holidays and ring in the New Year! Their selections subscribe to our philosophy of selecting authentic, terroir-driven wines from producers using organic, sustainable, or biodynamic viticultural practices. (more…)

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Formaggio Kitchen Wine ShelvesWondering what to serve with your Thanksgiving meal? Leave it to Formaggio Kitchen’s wine buyers to handle those details for you! South End Wine Buyer, Julie Cappellano, and Cambridge Wine Buyer, Gemma Iannoni, have chosen three delicious wines that will save you the time and effort:

Molière ’11 Beaujolas Nouveau (Burgundy, France)

There aren’t many producers out there that go to the lengths that Bruno and Isabelle of Domaine des Côtes de la Molière do – they make biodynamic Beaujolais Nouveau without added sulfites! (more…)

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Mario Zanusso

The man behind the wine: Mario Zanusso

Just in time for Thanksgiving, we will have two I Clivi wines made from Friuli’s star varietal, Ribolla Gialla. One bottle is a still white wine and the other is a spumante sparkling wine – both zippy and refreshing. This is the first arrival of these wines in the Massachusetts market and both will be available exclusively at Formaggio Kitchen Cambridge and Formaggio Kitchen South End.

If you’re looking for a dry, refreshing, organic and affordable white to drink every day, pick up a couple of bottles of the 2010 Ribolla Gialla! The still Ribolla has a fresh, citrusy mouth feel with plenty of minerality and is low in alcohol, which is important in order to highlight the fine aromas that shine in this wine. (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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