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.
Posts Tagged ‘France’
Posted in Christmas, Hanukkah, Holiday, New Year's, Wine, tagged 1979 Kopke Colheita Port, 2005 CUNE “Contino” Rioja Reserva, 2012 Domaine Comte Abbatucci "Cuvee Faustine" Rouge, 2012 Domaine Tempier "Cuvée Classique" Rouge, Bandol, Corsica, food, food gifts, France, gift ideas, gift wines, La Cigarrera Amontillado VOR, La Rioja, Mourvèdre, Portugal, Provence, Sanlúcar de Barrameda, Sherry, Spain, Tawny Port, Tempranillo, Wine on December 18, 2014 | Leave a Comment »
Posted in France, Wine, tagged Agly Valley, Carignan, Clot de l'Origine, food, France, French wine, Grenache, Languedoc, Marc Barriot, Roussillon, schist, Soif de Plaisir, Syrah, whole cluster fermentation, Wine on October 9, 2014 | Leave a Comment »
Southwest of the Languedoc lies Roussillon, a region that has too often been reduced to mere suffix. Roussillon stretches from the river Aude in the north to the border of Catalonia in the South. In the West, the snow-capped Pyrenées rise above 2500m in places, with the jagged peaks of Pic du Canigou at 2,786m (9.140ft) above sea level. A sharp descent eastward brings you to back to the stifling heat of the Mediterranean coastline, where Vin Doux Naturels reign supreme. Roussillon is primarily known for these wines, which are made from partially-fermented grape juice that is fortified with alcohol before it fully becomes wine. Made from the most common regional varietal, Grenache (whether is be Noir, Gris, or Blanc) , these aperitif “wines” benefit from early ripening fruit in some of the hottest, driest vineyards in all of France. Overall Roussillon produces 90% of all French Vin Doux Naturel, the most famous of which is Banyuls, made in the southeasternmost corner of the region. In Banyuls-sur-Mer, Grenache grapes are grown on steeply-terraced schist slopes, allowed to shrivel on the vine, fermented, fortified, and aged in barrel for years at a time at which point they can achieve a depth comparable to vintage port.
Posted in Cheese, Jams & Preserves, Pairings, Wine, tagged affineur, Ardi Gasna, Arraya, Arraya jam, biodynamic wine, brebis, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cheese, cheese pairings, cherry jam, dîme, Domaine Ilaria, Ekiola, Ekiola Ardi Gasna, fermier, fermier cheese, food, France, fromage, Fromagerie Pardou, Irouleguy, pairings, Pardou Ardi Gasna, Pyrenees, red wine, sheep, sheep cheese, Tannat, tithe, Wine on March 27, 2014 | 1 Comment »
A trip through the French Basque country is one of distinct sights, scents, and flavors. Rolling hills of green pastures are punctuated by craggy mountain peaks and deep valleys, and sheep are everywhere! When Ihsan, Valerie and I traveled through the area in the fall, we tasted a huge array of sheep milk cheeses and an assortment of intense but beautiful wines. Here, we’re featuring a few of our favorite tastes: Ardi Gasnas from Fromagerie Pardou and Ekiola, and a killer red wine from Domaine Ilarria of Irouléguy. Ardi Gasna (or gazna) is Basque for “sheep cheese,” and these smooth, rich sheep cheeses are a specialty in the Pyrénées mountains.
Posted in Cheese, Producer Profile, Wine, tagged Cheese, cheese pairing, Chignin, food, France, Gilles Berlioz, Jacquère, kumquat, kumquats, La Piquette, organic wine, pairings, Pantaleo, Savoie, Wine, wine pairing, winemaking on February 27, 2014 | Leave a Comment »
Each winter, I chuckle when I hear myself describing 30 degree weather as “balmy,” while simultaneously shaking my head at the arctic outcrops of snow outside. With all the white snow setting everything in frigid, monochromatic contrast, I find myself craving shades of yellow and orange, and the warm spectrum of flavors that go along with them. A delicate, understated Savoie white from Gilles Berlioz, made of 100% Jacquère, is the perfect complement to one of my favorite aged Sardinian goat milk cheeses, Pantaleo. Coupled with some thin slices of exuberantly tart kumquats, I get all of the sunshine and fresh aromas I need to make it through the deep-freeze of winter. (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…)
At Formaggio Kitchen South End, we stock only small grower Champagnes made by winemakers who grow their own grapes. Chartogne-Taillet is one of our favorites! This small winery is located in the Champagne region of France in the town of Merfy and is that town’s only récoltant-manipulant, meaning that they are the only winery in town that grows their own grapes. To spot a grower Champagne when shopping, look for the letters RM for récoltant-manipulant on the label. (You will see the letters NM for négociant-manipulant on the labels of Champagnes that are made by larger producers who buy most of their grapes.) (more…)