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Posts Tagged ‘organic’

Château des Rontets Vineyard

Château des Rontets Vineyard

It was truly a pleasure to visit Claire and Fabio at Château des Rontets last October. The couple met as architects in Milan, Italy, and eventually relocated to France to take charge of Claire’s family estate in the town of Fuissé, Burgundy. Fabio and Claire don’t subscribe fully to all of the intricacies of the biodynamic philosophy, but they have adopted some biodynamic techniques such as following a lunar calendar for harvesting and other cellar jobs. All of the estate’s grapes are grown organically and carefully hand harvested. (more…)

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A Representative Selection of Our Top 10 for 2013

At the end of each year, staff members at all three of our shops – in Cambridge, the South End of Boston and in New York – fill out a staff survey. We reflect on what we have tasted over the course of the past year – moments where we were surprised (both pleasantly and unpleasantly), new and exciting food experiences, as well as the flavors we found ourselves returning to time and again. We pick our favorites and share memorable moments. Some tried-and-true items appear in our survey results year after year – other items are new and exciting finds from the current year – goodies in this instance that distinguished 2013 from all others. Here are our top ten picks culled from this year’s survey results! (more…)

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Beaujolais, France

The Rolling Hills of Beaujolais

If we had our way, every other wine article would feature Beaujolais. That’s why this post features three Beaujolais from three different cru villages, just in time for holiday sipping! All are made from organically grown Gamay grapes and pair well with a wide variety of cheeses and appetizers. We especially like to pair Beaujolais with Comté and our exclusive import Pyrénées brebis. Here are our top three picks: (more…)

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Venturini Baldini Lambrusco dell'EmiliaOne of our favorite fizzy reds, Lambrusco, hails from the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy. Emilia-Romagna is also the home of culinary heavy-hitters Prosciutto di Parma, Parmigiano-Reggiano, and balsamic vinegar. Lambrusco suffered for decades from a bad reputation after mass production of less than quality vino in the 1970s and 80s. But, during the past few years, we’ve seen Lambrusco sales jump as folks begin to import better quality, delicious wines made by careful and conscientious winemakers. Here are two examples we’ve been enjoying this season:

Venturini Baldini Lambrusco dell’Emilia
The organic grapes for this very popular Lambrusco are grown on hills overlooking fields of grazing cows whose milk will become Parmigiano-Reggiano cheeses. We like it for its dry earthiness and its affinity for cured meats like culatello as well as Prosciutto di Parma. This is ultimate pizza wine. (more…)

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Cascina Corte Dogliani Pirochetta

Dolcetto Dogliani from Cascina Corte

After working for Slow Food for many years, Sandro Barosi of Cascina Corte decided to purchase a small, six hectare farm and winery in Dogliani, Piemonte.  Located about 30 minutes south of the esteemed village of Barolo, Dogliani is considered one of the most noteworthy areas for the cultivation of Dolcetto grapes.  In fact, the name “Dogliani” has come to imply the varietal, and winemakers are no longer required to put the name Dolcetto on the label.  Sandro Barosi’s Pirochetta, is a unique expression of the Dolcetto. He produced his first vintage in 2003.
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The Team at Full Belly Farm

The Team at Full Belly Farm

As many of you know, the local produce season is winding down and we’re seeing a lot less variety coming in from the fields. Like much of the country, we look to California for fruits and vegetables when our own region cannot sustainably supply them. (more…)

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Seedlings - Red Fire Farm

Seedlings at Red Fire Farm

At Formaggio Kitchen, serious consideration is given to the impact of the land or terroir on each bottle of wine, wheel of cheese and bar of chocolate — for familiarity with soil and its composition yields a deeper understanding of the relationship between the Earth and our food. Many of our biodynamic and natural wine producers emphasize the importance of soil composition as it relates to the health of the vineyard as well as to the expression of the wine. I Clivi winemakers, Ferdinando Zanusso and Mario Zanusso, produce, “as ‘transparent’ a wine as possible, in which soil, climate and tradition may come fully through and be perceived without interferences.” (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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Rockville Market Farm - Harvesting

Harvesting at Rockville Market Farm*

The cheese counter at Formaggio Kitchen is pasted with articles, vintage cheese labels, stickers, helpful tips and lovely old pictures from our early days in business. All are interesting to peruse, but one sticker in particular always resonates with me as I pass it daily – a small, hardly noticeable, green sticker right at the entrance to the counter. It reads, “No Farms, No Food.” This statement may seem obvious, but in a time where triple-washed, packaged, pre-cut and peeled vegetables are the norm, it is difficult to remember that everything we eat was grown by farmers in wide spaces, deep in the dirt. By maintaining close relationships with the farmers that produce our food, the gap from field to consumer is ultimately closed and enormous benefits are immediately apparent. Not only is it now possible to know the exact date of harvest, but we can discuss the pest management techniques used on the farm, inquire about the diet of livestock and poultry, and even know the farmer’s most recommended crop of the week. With this in mind, Formaggio Kitchen aims to be an equally transparent connection between our customers and farmers. We are happy to talk at length about the practices of each farm and alert customers as to when we receive produce from each grower. Recommending the perfect fruit or vegetable comes naturally when we are so highly tuned into what is happening on the fields! In that spirit, here is an in-depth look at some of our favorite farms and growers in the New England area. (more…)

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