We love working with importers/wine portfolios that are organically driven, stressing the importance of wine that is made with integrity and soul, and not just bottled juice made in a laboratory. Hogshead Wine Co. is just that, and Bill is here to open wines from around the world, including South Africa, Spain, and France.
2016 Storm Point Chenin Blanc, $19
This Swartland Chenin Blanc is as exciting and stimulating as the legend on the label: 15th century ships sailing along the South African border alongside a great bearded sea-giant! New World Chenin Blanc is THE wine for Summer 2017. You are going to love it. #cheninsummer2017
2014 Succés Vinicola, Experiència Parellada, $23
In 2011, two Catalonian young winemakers, Mariona Vendrell and Albert Canela, teamed up to create organic, terroir-driven wine. This white blend of Parellada and Garnacha Blanc hails from the northern appellation Conca de Barberà in Spain. Full of lively notes of Meyer lemon, pineapple, and honeydew melon, this bright white will knock your socks off!
2014 Succés Vinicola, Conca de Barberà, Trepat, $23
This red wine from Mariona and Albert is made from the Trepat grape, one that is indigenous to Spain. With aromas of fresh cherries and dried violets, this light bodied red is perfect a bit chilled for a summer afternoon while lounging in a hammock.
2016 Famille Sumiere, Nautic Rosé, $15
Siblings Olivier and Sophie Sumiere have taken over their long running family business. Early evidence of the Sumeire family in Provence goes back as far as 1238! Their Nautic rosé is a Provençal blend smells like fresh strawberries, and finishes dry and refreshing. Hello, Summer.
2016 Bodegas y Viñedos Inteus, Aviadores, Rioja Tempranillo Joven, $19
A joven (young) Tempranillo just in time for summer! Unoaked, all stainless steel aged, with notes of dark fruit and clay, perhaps from the clay and limestone soils that the 25-year-old vines grow upon. Luís Palacio’s father planted the first certified organic vineyard in Rioja in 1980, and quickly converted the rest of his family’s holdings when he saw the great results. Three decades later, Luís has some of the most beautiful vineyards in Rioja full of lush green pastures amid a desert of red clay.
We love working with importers/wine portfolios that are organically driven, stressing the importance of wine that is made with integrity and soul, and not just bottled juice made in a laboratory. Hogshead Wine Co. is just that, and Bill is here to open wines from around the world, including South Africa, Spain, and France.
BBC is one of our favorite breweries, and knowledgable beer aficionado, Dave, is such a great guy to represent the company! Come taste some brews, and raise funds for the Western Mass Food Bank and Shea Theater too!
Shabadoo Black and Tan Ale, $6/22oz btl
Shabadoo is a delicate blend of amber ale and porter. It’s a full-bodied dark brew with notes of caramel malt and mocha notes. It’s a fabulous Black and Tan, PLUS Berkshire Brewing donates 10% of gross sales of Shabadoo to the Food Back of Western Massachusetts. Drink well and do some good too! 6.3%
Farmstand Raspberry Barleywine Style Ale, $7.25/22oz btl
This ruby-hued malt has balanced hopped bitterness with a sweet, tart character from the local, fresh raspberries that are added to the brewing during fermentation. This brew is distinctly drinkable, challenging the notion of what a fruit beer can be. 9%
Shea Theater’s Rebellion IPA, $5.25/22oz btl
B.B.C. released “Shea Theater’s Rebellion” to benefit Shea Theater in the Turners Falls near Deerfield of Western MA. This is a modern-style, hop-forward and well-balcned, fruit, hazy American IPA. Only 500 cases of Shea Theater's Rebellion were produced in its limited release, and all proceeds go to Shea Theater! These BBC guys and gals really care about beer and their community! Come join them! 6.2%
Inhopnito American IPA, $11/6pk cans
InHOPnito (in cans!) has arrived! A classic American IPA with a medium body and bitterness. It boasts fruity aromas of cantaloupe, light citrus and berries, but packs a punch of dangerous deliciousness. One of the best IPAs out there! 6.2%
Lost Sailor IPA, $11/6pk cans
This flagship classic British-inspired IPA boasts a well-rounded malt profile, complex floral and citrus aromas, and generous Goldings dry hopping. It's also super balanced in its malt sweetness and hop bitterness. 5.8%
Join Jerry and the team as we open an array of French rosés, blancs, and a rouge - including a fabulous Loire Valley Cabernet Franc bubbly that you cannot miss!
Bit Bar's Beer Garden is featuring Allagash Brewing all month long, and we thought we'd join in on the fun. Come join in too! What's better than a vertical tasting of Allagash beer and cheese pairings from The Cheese Shop of Salem. The tasting will be led your resident beer and cheese and video game nerds. Four beers, four cheeses, and only $40 per person!
Division Wine Co. is an artisan winery based in Portland, Oregon striving to make delicious, interesting and balanced wines with minimal manipulation. Kate Norris (pictured) and Thomas Monroe and their team are passionate about supporting sustainably farmed, terroir expressive vineyards that celebrate their favorite varietals (like Gamay, Chenin, Pinot Noir, etc.). Jackson is visiting from MISE Wines to open three Division wines - a superb Gamay Noir rosé, the 'Béton' - a red blend of Gamay, Côt (Malbec), and Cabernet Franc - and an ethereal Chenin Blanc. We'll also have a few French rosés open for kicks. See you there!
What do you get when you open three natural Tuscan wines, one Sicilian, and one French rosé? A party! Bethann from Café Europa is opening an array of our newest natural wine arrivals from Cosimo Massimo Macini, as well as a Sicilian Grillo and a Tavel rosé.
2016 Cosimo Maria Masini 'Annik' Bianco, $22
Rice cakes, apples, and honey notes that dart down your throat--can you handle it?!
2016 Cosimo Maria Masini 'Matilde' Rosato, $20
Anything named Matilde (or Matilda) is a good sign! This rose is as optimistic, intelligent, and powerful as Roald Dahl's Matilda Wormwood with its raspberry and violet notes.
2015 Cosimo Maria Masini "Sincero" Rosso, $17
This biodynamic blend of Cabernet Franc, Sangiovese, and Cabernet Sauvignon will wash across your palate with its cherry and spicy herbaceous notes.
2015 Civias Acanteo, Grillo, Terre Siciliane, $17
This white wine is a small town college grad visiting New York City for the first time. With it's straw colored hue and notes of hay, chamomile are the natural aromas of home while the mimosa notes embody a jovial brunch in the Big Apple.
2016 Pierre Rougon Tavel Rosé, $20
A Southern Rhone stunner. Think Pretty in Pink - all sass and class - made on 52 hectares of estate fruit
Join us in toasting the superb wines from the region of Trentino and the Alto Adige/Sudtirol in the northwest of Italy! The all-knowing Italian wine goddess, Stacey, is here pouring from her importing company Matchvino.
2013 Pravis 'Le Frate' Nosiola, $19
This Nosiola that grows on slopes that overlook tranquil lakes is named 'Le Frate' which translates into 'the friars'. Dedicated, serene, and as jovial as its namesake-this wine humbly presents hazelnut and white flowers notes.
2012 Pravis Dolomites Pinot Nero, $18
Have this wine around a fire in your backyard to accompany your gooey s'mores. The velvety tannins, red berries, and hint of tobacco will make any backyard camper feel as if they are in Acadia National Park!
2014 Cantina Bolzano, 'Mock' Sauvignon, $30
'Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand/France' is what I typically hear when customers are searching for their perfect Sauvignon; this one from Alto Adige will remind you that the perfect Sauvignon Blanc can be found worldwide.
2015 Cantina Bolzano, Chardonnay, $19
This is the perfect Chardonnay to shared with friends;the full peach and honeydew notes that cruise alongside balanced acidity will make the conversation flow...until someone notices the bottle is empty!
2016 Cantina Bolzano 'Pischl' Lagrein Rose, $20
Whether you are opening this rose to celebrate the beginning of the weekend or on Sunday evening to bid the weekend adieu the delicious raspberry and marzipan notes will make it better.
Claire Cheney of Curio Spice Company will also be joining us on Friday, June 9th to introduce you to her fabulous global spice blends. She has spent the last decade sourcing spices directly from farmers in 10 different countries, resulting in seven original spice blends that are inspired by the geography and culture of their origins. Her spices are toasted whole, then ground and packaged by hand to ensure maximum freshness. Claire will be here from 5-7pm to show you how to make your same old dinners into something special!
Adam is back to try you on a killer line-up of beer, featuring the newest cider from Bantam, Cascade Brewing, and a few favorites from Two Roads. We're also showing local love to Old Planters Brewing Co., a Beverly based brewery started by good friends with one thing in common: their love for good beer.
Our friend Karen is visiting with a heavy bagful of French and Italian lovies! Where else can you try a Jura Savagnin and a Amarone side by side? The Cheese Shop, of course!
2010 Florent Rouve, Arboise Savagnin – Jura, France, $36
In 1998, Mâconnais producer Jean Rijckaert started a domaine between Burgundy and the Swiss border in Arbois, an appellation within the Jura. Rijckaert has since passed the reins to his student, Florent Rouve. Savagnin is the major white grape of the Jura, which shows notes of ripe pears, quince and tangerine oil. These grapes are harvested from 60-year old vines, in 6-year-old barrels with natural fermentation, and Florent leaves the wine on its lees for 2 years. Talk about a mouthful! Also, only 250 cases were made of this 2010 vintage!
2010 Florent Rouve, Arboise Chardonnay – Jura, France ($16)
Florent also harvests the Jura’s other main white grape, Chardonnay. All hand-harvested from 30-year-old vines, and aged for 18 months on its lees to give it structure. This Chardonnay is pure, fresh, and slightly barnyard funky, just how we like our Jura juice.
2016 Château Henri Bonnaud, Henri Bonnaud “Steff” Rosé – Provence, France, $15
Château Henri Bonnaud is one of three producers located in the tiny AOC of Palette, the 3rd smallest AOC in France. In the early 2000s, Stéphane Sptizlous took over the operations from his grandfather, Henri Bonnaud, and farms organically with premiere southern exposure atop chalky and gravelly soils. While sipping this easy rosé, which is a blend of Syrah and Vermentino, think of rose petals and peach trees.
2013 Château Trillol, Corbières – Languedoc-Roussillon, France, $17
Château Trillol sits high in the hills of southwestern France. The local grape varieties of Grenache, Syrah, and Carignan are harvested by hand and blended to produce an authentic wine packed with intense color of regal purple, and a nose of redcurrant with some oak. The palate is silky with great finesse and balanced tannins.
2011 Monte Santoccio, Amarone della Valpolicella – Veneto, Italy, $50
What is Amarone, exactly? Amarone is a type of wine from the northwest region of Veneto and made from a blend of these grapes: Corvina, Rondinella, Molinara, and Corvinone. Grapes are picked, laid out on straw mats, and then aged for as long as 120 days until they turn into raisins. The grapes in an Amarone della Valpolicella DOCG must lose a minimum of 40% water content before they are pressed and then begin the fermentation process. During fermentation, the grapes' natural sugars are fermented out to dryness. Post fermentation, the juice is transferred into oak or chestnut barrels to begin aging for a minimum of 2 years. The result is an elegance of blackberries, plums, black cherries and a long, perception of sweetness. Pair with the raw, cow’s milk cheese Gorgonzola Tosi, which we scoop directly from the wheel because it is so soft and luscious…just like Amarone!
2014 Monte Santoccio, Valpolicella Classico Superiore – Veneto, Italy, $23
Valpolicella Classico Superiore differs from Amarone but uses the same grape varietals in its belnding. The grape varietals in a Classico are harvested prior to Amarone grapes, which impart a fresher taste in the wine. Also, Classico Superiore needs only a minimum of 1 year of aging. This Classico is light and bright with juicy red fruit, tart cherry notes, raspberry, and bitter blueberry. Two-thirds of the juice ages in steel and one-third in barrique, thus showing restraint as well as structure in its modern interpretation.
Champlain Orchards from Shoreham, Vermont has made their first sangria cider blend with juicy apples and cold hardy grapes from their 2016 harvest. The sparkling Sidria bursts with delectable cranberry, red fruit notes, and a finish of a red apple bite. Come stock up, it’s a limited release, and one you won’t want to miss! Jonny will also be sampling out their Original cider, a fresh blend of the finest eating apples, pressed and fermented on site to create a refreshingly crisp and balanced cider with just the right hint of sweetness.
They're baaaaack. The nicest guys around with the best ginger beer in town. Don't miss it.
Rhinegeist Brewery (Cincy Made) is in the house!! Tom is here to lead a tasting of a brewery that we first heard about from a customer who was a Cincinnati native. In fact, Rhinegeist's namesake translates to "Ghost of the Rhine" and refers to a place in the historic Over-the-Rhine Brewery District in Cincinnati. Within a bottling plant dating back to 1895, Rhinegesit brews killer beer and cider with tons of labour, love, and flavor. Check out their website, and come sample a whole array. We'll have their Mosaic Pale Ale, Cidergeist Bubbles (hopped rosé cider..whaaaat?!), Zen IPA Session, and Café Ink, an coffee infused imperial stout.
Chardonnay is the fifth most planted and consumed grape varietal in the world. There’s a lot of it – which is probably why a term I came across, ABC, was coined: Anything But Chardonnay. But enough with the haters. We stand by you, Chardonnay, you’re lovely and magical and one of the most versatile grapes in the world. But we only love you when you’re not riddled with preservatives and chemicals. The Chardonnays we’re opening tomorrow are organic, and totally different in style, terroir, and taste, but similarly, they will all topple that ABC perception.
2015 Les Lunes, Dobson Vineyard – Manton Valleym, California ($33)
Berkeley-UC Davis-trained friends, Shaunt and Sam, began making wine together after working a Burgundy harvest. Their methods are 100% organic and even follow the cycle of the moon (hence, Les Lunes) when farming. Fermented first in natural French oak barrels and then aged in big, fancy plastic vats that these chemists-turned-winemakers are over the moon for Chardonnay that expresses terroir, not movie theater popcorn. This juice is slightly smoky, rich, mineral – think Mt. Etna volcanic ash and Sicilian lemon trees.
2014 Woodlands Chardonnay, Margaret River – Western Australia, Australia ($34)
This one if for you oak-lovers. This Aussie Chard from 30-year old vines was fermented and aged mostly in French oak barrels, and some new oak as well, and its deep straw-gold hue is mirrored by its full body and vibrant notes of white peach, toasted marzipan, and cooked pears. This has that movie theater popcorn thing going on, but it’s elegant, like Aussie star Cate Blanchett – blonde, smart, and a class-act.
2015 Lone Birch Chardonnay, Yakima – Washington State ($14)
Whether you’re a Chardonnay lover or not, you will love Lone Birch. This juice is fermented with its grape stems imparting a fresh-leaf, almost autumnal quality to the finish. The nose has ripe citrus and apricot, and the mouthfeel lingers with a touch of salinity and vigor that even a Loire Valley Chenin could envy. Only 1500 cases made – keep 1-2 bottles in the fridge throughout the whole summer, and open with any meal.
2014 Mâcon-Pierreclos Domain du Château de Pierreclos – Burgundy, France ($24)
What’s Chardonnay without Burgundy? Chardonnay is Burgundy’s #1 buddy. Next to small amounts of another white grape, Aligoté, Chardonnay rules the Burgundian kingdom when it comes to making white wine. Anne-Françoise and Jean-Marie Pidault took over the Chateau de Pierrclos, located between the Solutré rock and Cluny Abbey. Their 8-hectare property only grows Chardonnay, and with south-eastern exposure at 300m, their grapes are getting a lot of atmospheric love. The clay and limestone soil gives their Mâcon a round, mineral drive, and leave you salivating for seafood or a hunk of Abbaye de Beloc sheep’s milk cheese.
2016 Donkey & Goat Lily's Cuvée, Pét-Nat – Anderson Valley, California ($45)
Cult wine, hip pét-nat, sparkling Chardonnay…whatever you call it, this wine is special and we just got the new vintage in. Jared and Tracey Brandt's wines reflect a down-to-earth, Californian disposition: the wines taste like the earth and aren’t trying to be anything they’re not. They’re pure grape juice without any gross additives or crazy additional sulfites. Their ingredients? Grapes and Yeast. That’s it. We can’t wait for you to try it tomorrow!
Chris is leading us through a hella good West Coast line-up, dudes and dudettes! Don't miss it!
Teutonic Sprockets, Willamette (2016), $22
Grapes: 50% Scheurebe, 25% Huxelrebe, 25% Pinot Noir
Teutonic Wine Company is a small-production winery that strives to make the finest German-style wines in Oregon led by Barnaby Tuttle. Working all organically and with dry-farmed vineyards, Barnaby's wines are unique and oh so good! "Sprockets" is medium bodied with rich aromatics of orange zest, apricot, and sea spray. Just slightly off-dry, and a killer Memorial Day BBQ wine!
Matthiasson Tendu White Wine (2015), $25
Grapes: 69% Vermentino, 27% French Colombard, 4% Chardonnay
Matthiasson is bottling big ole liters from pink, gravelly, alluvial soils, y’all! “Tendu” in ballet-speak refers to tension, or poise, and Steve and Jill Matthiasson achieve just that in their wine. This is the Californian alternative to the Austrian liter-sized bottles of Grüner Veltliner that you may have seen at the shop recently. So fresh and so clean, with plenty of zippiness. Take this liter of zing along to the beach, desert, mountains, ocean…to any of the elements! It works everywhere and anywhere!
Matthiasson Family Vineyards Rose (2015), $28
Grapes: 46% Grenache, 27% Syrah, 14% Mouvèdre, 7% Sauvignon Blanc, 6% Counoise
Matthiasson’s rosé is killer, vintage to vintage! Bright peach, white floral aromas, and grapefruit notes make it sing with vibrant acidity. Enjoy with all springtime favorites like fava beans, salmon, charcuterie, and melon with prosciutto di Parma.
Matthiasson Tendu Red Wine (2015), $25
Grapes: 47% Aglianico, 42% Montepulciano, 11% Barbera
This red blend is fermented in stainless steel and then aged in neutral barrels, with no sulfites added (they’re still naturally occurring) and is also unfiltered. This is like Californian Beaujolais, but instead of Gamay, you have indigenous Californian varietals. If anyone is going to be this baller and make killer Italian Beaujolais in California, it’s going to be Matthiasson.
Fable Pinot Meunier, Dommen Vineyard (2015), $20
Grape: Pinot Meunier
Brack Mountain Wine Company sourced these Pinot Meunier grapes from the sustainable Dommen Vineyard in the Russian River Valley from a hot bed of dusty red earth. This is a go-to summer red – light, dry, fruit-forward, no-nonsense – it has a clay-pot note that adds to its earthiness - and is a great alternative to West Coast Pinot Noir, but won’t break the bank.
Triple C’s: Comedy, Cheese & Cocktails!
Featuring Salem’s own Mark Scalia and Salem Comedy Festival’s Jess Miller!
The Cheese Shop of Salem pop-up be offering delicious cheese plates paired with gin and rum cocktails.
Doors open at 7pm and the show kicks off at 8pm.
Get your tickets below! Only $15. TICKET PRICE INCLUDES 1 DRINK!!
Riverwalk Brewing Co. was born when Steve Sanderson started brewing in a small garage along the Riverwalk Trail in Amesbury, MA . They’ve come a long way since then! You can visit their taproom in Newburyport, MA, and their new 20,000 square foot brewery is opening at the end of the summer. It will be another must-visit on the ever-growing North Shore!
CitraBus Pale Ale, 4.9% - The versatile CitraBus defies definition with a winning combination of Citra and Columbus hops. Crisp and clean, this blond APA is a total crowd pleaser.
Screen Door Hoppy Summer Ale, 5.5% - This is a bright pale ale with full flavors of citrus and hop goodness. Brewed with pilsner and wheat malts, it’s Riverwalk’s refreshing approach to a true summer ale.
Riverwalk IPA, 6.8% - The original flagship IPA with malt presence paves way to a dry, crisp, floral IPA experience.
Storm Door Porter, 6.3% - The key to this porter is the use of traditional dark, English malts, giving off complex, deep flavors. Its vanilla and cinnamon notes enhance its depth and leave you saying ahhhhh.
Come celebrate the start of summer with a rosé rave! Joining us are wine experts from AP Wine Imports, Cafe Europa, Giannoni Selections, and Vineyard Road. Each vendor will feature a lineup of rockin’ rosés while sharing what makes them special and delicious! We guarantee you’ll leave seeing the world through rosé colored glasses!
Free to the public! Bring your mom! Happy Mother's Day, moms!
The Cheese Shop of Salem, the New England Patriots and The Boys and Girls Club of Greater Salem are teaming up!
Kicking off our rosé season is a special visit from Nate Ebner, New England Patriots’ football safety/special teamer and member of the US Olympic Rugby Team!
Nate is visiting from 2:00pm-3:30pm. Come meet Nate, bring your mom, eat some cheese, and donate to The Boys and Girls Club of Greater Salem! Plus, stick around for Rosé Colored Glasses grand tasting at 3pm!
Jason is debuting an array of super-amazing-unbelievable libations. Green River Ambrosia makes award-winning mead with apples from Pioneer Valley and fermented with local, late season, wildflower honey. Their Whiskey Cyzer has been aged in Bully Boy whiskey barrels. What would Salem be without its love of mead?!
Ginger Libation is the original pre-prohibition, Jamaican-style Ginger Beer, with tons of spice and all organic ingredients including Costa Rican pineapple juice, lemon, lime, cane sugar, and of course lots of fresh ginger!
Cranberry Libation is a local twist on Ginger Libation, and brewed using all Massachusetts-grown ingredients including Bluewater Farms cranberries, and ginger from Old Friends Farm. It’s quite the treat!
Have you been dying to try the new Citra Hopped Ginger Libation? Here's your chance! Juicy, hoppy and spicy, and doesn't feel like 9% at all! Super light and easy drinking and a great summer beer with balance and spice.
Action Jackson is back and bringing all the goods, including good wine and great charm. #behere
Valli Unite, Allegretto (NV) – Piedmont, Italy ($20); Grapes: Cortese and Malvasia
Founded 30 years ago in Colli Tortonesi by three, young farmers dedicated to rural Italy, organic agriculture and sustainable living. Today the co-operative has over 30 organic growers producing wines, grains, fruits, vegetables, meats and cheeses, in addition to supplying their own restaurant, shop and inn with their organic products. The Allegretto is a Pét-nat (moderate sparkling) of Cortese and Malvasia with no added sulfites.
2015 Domaine Cabotte, “Colline” Côtes du Rhône Blanc – Rhône Valley ($16); Grapes: Clairette, Grenache Blanc, Viognier
An off-dry wine from the d'Ardhuy family (their biodynamic farm and winery looks absolutely divine, I want to transport there); think white peach in the nose with major apricot. Slight salinity and great minerality leads to a clean, long finish. A great white to sip while under the sun or at the beach.
Fuoristrada, Toscana Sangiovese Tetra Pak (2014) – Tuscany, Italy ($14); Grape: Sangiovese
Michigan native, Michael Schmelzer, moved to Tuscany and became winemaker extraordinaire at Monte Bernardi. Michael's Tetra Paks are 100% organic grapes sourced from smaller Italian vineyards to ensure high quality and great taste. Some nerdy facts about Tetra Paks! Tetra Pak cartons use 54% less energy, create 80% less greenhouse gasses, produce 60% less solid waste volume, and have 92% less package weight, compared to a 750ml glass wine bottle. That's more wine for you, while having a beneficial impact on the environment.
Domaine Yohan Lardy, “Les Michelons” Moulin-a-Vent (2014) – Beaujolais, France ($27); Grape: Gamay
In 2011, 29-year old Yohan Lardy returned to his native village of Fleurie in Beaujolais after spending a few months in Chile working a harvest and winemaking. Upon his return to Beaujolais, he bought a 2-hectare property named "Les Michelons" in Moulin-à-Vent, one of the ten Beaujolais Crus. His Gamay is layered, and plush, with notes of plums and pomegranate. It’s a fantastic wine, and we’re really excited to debut it!
Clos de Jarres “Abrensis” Minervois (2014) – Languedoc-Roussillon, France ($20); Grapes: Grenache, Carignan, Syrah
This wine is Sloane Peterson from Ferris Bueller's Day Off! First off, this wine and Sloane are both well-balanced and attractive. Sloane is popular, wealthy, and fashionably dressed for a 1986 Chicago teenager. This Languedoc blend is a beautiful purple-ish color with a dark rose rim. This wine is confident and bold - exactly like a teenager playing hooky from High School. Despite being serious in appearance, this wine is vibrant and a tad innocent with its plummy, peppery notes. It's totally Sloane!
Cabernet Franc is one cool grape. Susan will teach you all about it, and lead you through five new wines, red and rosé, including some from the Loire Valley in France, and a couple from the US. Come taste what all the Cab Franc fuss is about! #friyay
Laurent Herlin, “Cintré” Pét-nat – Loire Valley, France ($26)
An all-natural Cab Franc Pét-nat?? Yes, please! After working for over a decade as a computer engineer, Laurent Herlin dropped everything to follow his passion: wine. He took classes in Beaune, Burgundy and worked at various vineyards and eventually purchased a 5-hectare property in the Loire appellation of Bourgueil. His Cab Franc grows on sandy, gravelly clay, and limestone soil and he uses 100% biodynamic farming and cellaring methods. This is a happy wine, full of sunshine, positivity, grace, style, and strawberry-leaf notes.
2016 Domaine Plouzeau 'Rive Gauche' Chinon Rosé – Loire Valley, France ($18)
This fabulous blog and podcast from Amy C. Collins gives a lot of love to this fantastic Cab Franc rosé from Domaine Plouzeau. Situated on the “rive gauche” of Chinon around Ligré, Marc Plouzeau took over the estate in 1988 and produces organic, small-yield, 100% hand-harvested Cab Franc.
Laurent Herlin, “Tsoin Tsoin” Bourgueil (2015) – Loire Valley, ($21)
Another gem from Laurent, and this time as a still red wine. In the words of Michel, founder of the importer Vinotas Selections, “[It’s] like Bourgueil Nouveau. Happiness ensues.” How right Michel is. It’s a Cab Franc full of fresh fruit and depth. Terrior-driven and elegant and one of the best natural wines I’ve tried as of recently!
2012 Turtle Creek Cabernet Franc – Lincoln, Massachusetts ($35)
Estate-grown Cabernet Franc right from MA! A local wine made with love and passion by the wonderful Kip Kumler, owner and winemaker at Turtle Creek. Kip prides himself on “garagiste” style wine – small scale production, attention to quality and detail, and sustainable production. This Cab Franc hits all the distinctive notes of the grape varietal: medium-bodied, savory, ripe fruit, and a twinge of eucalyptus. Unlike its spawn of Cabernet Sauvignon (which is the baby (er, big baby) to its parent grapes of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon), Cabernet Franc has a lovely lightness of touch, with lower acidity and thinner skin than Cabernet Sauvignon, and Turtle Creek achieves this elegance with their 2012 Conservation Hill Estate Cab Franc.
2012 Bloomer Creek Cabernet Franc – Finger Lakes, New York ($29)
Bloomer Creek is a pioneer in natural winemaking in New York State, led by winemakers Kim Engle and Debra Berminham, who we had the pleasure of meeting at the RAW Wine Festival in Brooklyn last year. Kim and Debra refuse to use insecticides, finding them to be unnecessary in a healthy vineyard, and herbicides have not been used in over 20 years on their vineyard sites. Their 2012 Cab Franc is a powerhouse of red cherry and raspberries with an acidic bite. Earthy and fun, this unfiltered wine would pair with an herbaceous lamb meal or portabella mushrooms.
A special Wednesday evening tasting! Caleb is visiting from Pawtucket, Rhode Island where Farmer Willie is making the best Ginger Beer ever. Try to find a better one. We dare ya'.
Jerry from The Wine Pro is leading his first tasting at our shop on Saturday, April 29th! Opening up all French beauties, including some insanely delicious Provençal rosé and Burgundian Chardonnay from Domaine Leduc-Frouin, it is guaranteed to be a great night. Free to all!
Are you an aspiring mixologist? We want to help! Join us on Saturday, April 22nd from 4 to 6pm when Paul from Bootblack Cocktail Syrups will be joining us. Boasting two tantalizing flavors, these fantastic syrups can help you create modern interpretations of classic cocktails and sodas. Use the Ginger Cardamom Lime to make a super complex Moscow Mule or a spicy Old Fashioned. As for the Cranberry Jalepeno Lime flavor we have one word…Margaritas!!
Our friend Jon from Down the Road (and fellow cheese nerd) is pouring a line-up of all local Ipswich brews, including the crowd favorite: Cherry Feyborn Berliner Weisse. At 4.5% ABV, this wheat-based sour is slightly more sour than most wild ales yet less sour than most lambics, with a heavenly finish of tart cherries! Other beers being poured are the Patchwork Kilt Scottish Ale, the Fée des Fleurs French Saison, the Darkest Night Imperial Stout, and the Spring Heel Jack London Porter. Prost!
I recently returned back from the motherland - Italia! - and after a few crazy days at the largest wine exposition in the world, VinItaly, I'm trying to ween myself off of salami, prosciutto, and parmigiano. But, there will be no weening of wine, my friends! Oh, no, the wine is still flowing. What an incredible trip, and the most exciting parts of the trip were meeting inspiring and passionate producers throughout Lombardy, the Südtirol-Alto Adige, the Veneto, and Friuli. Come travel back to Northern Italia with us as I open traditionally made, organic and natural wines from every region that my salami-induced inflated feet stepped upon!
NV Contadi Castaldi Franciacorta Brut (Lombardy), $29: A frothy, full-bodied bubbly from Italy's most important sparkling wine appellation: Franciacorta! This is the Champagne of Italy, and for under $30 it's a steal. Get those patio chairs out, pop this bling, and kick back with some bubbles.
2014 Tessari Grisela Soave Classico (Veneto), $18: Having dinner with the Tessari family was such a treat in the Soave region of the Veneto. Claudia Tessari, and her brothers Germano and Antonio, make all Garganega, and this Soave Classico is everything you want the Garganega grape to be: ripe, tropical, refreshing, with a dry finish and a touch of honeysuckle.
2014 Cantina Bolzano, Sudtriol-Alto Adige, Sauvignon Mock (Südtirol-Alto Adige), $30: Meeting Kalus, owner and winemaker at Cantina Bolzano, was my favorite part of the trip. The Dolomites (pictured above, left) are a magical place, producing magical wine. Thinking about the beauty of the Alto-Adige is giving me chills, or as they say in Italian, "Me vengono i brividi." Cantina Bolzano works with over 200 growers, producing some of the best South Tyrolean wines out there. Highly aromatic from steep gravelly slopes of 500 meters, this Sauvignon Blanc is all peach-mint fresh and mineral, with a long, smooth finish.
2016 Ca' La Bionda Valpolicella Classico (Veneto), $15: The fourth generation Castellani family produces wine in the historically classic zone of Valpolicella where Corvina, Rondinella and Molinara are considered the ultimate holy trinity of grapes. Ca’ La Bionda’s vineyards are hillside facing east 400 meters above sea-level with rich soil content of clay and limestone. This light-bodied red blend is all pomegranate pith and raspberry, with a stone-driven, quenching finish.
2014 Marco Sara 'El Re' Refosco Dal Peduncolo Rosso (Friuli), $31: We flew through Marco and Sandra's Schioppettino last month, and now we're flying through their Refosco from the special DOC of the Colli Orientali in the province of Udine. Fermented in stainless then barrell-aged in oak for about a year, this unfiltered, unfined, natural wine is all dark cherry, tobacco, and plum - it's sexy without trying too hard. Here come those goosebumps again!
James, half of the dynamic duo leading Mucci imports, is here to lead an EPIC all-Italian Easter Tasting. Woot woot! Bring your drinking shoes and your love for Italy.
2015 Manaresi Pignoletto Frizzante ($23): This crisp and luxurious Pignoletto has delicate bubbles that enhance the pear notes and charm in this Frizzante!
2015 Cantine Rao, "Silva Aura" Pallagrello Bianco ($23): Treasure this ripe wine with its lovely notes of honey and freshness!
2016 Valentini Poesia Etna ($22): If your looking for a dainty rose keep on walkin', cause this fine Rose is no wilting rose. Poesia is brimming with strawberry and raspberry notes alongside a clear minerality.
2014 Cantine Rao, Pallagrello Nero "Silva Nigra" ($21): This is a hearty, and chewy dry wine from the indigenous grape varietal of Pallagrello Nero that can handle a rustic lamb stew.
2013 Pietrogiovanni Primitivo ($19): Intense notes of cherry and strawberry are balanced with earthy tannins in this fresh wine. Pair this with eggplant paramesan for an unforgettable evening!
2009 La Tollara Il Giorgione ($54): Decant this decadent treat to get the best show from this natural wine. This wine is filled with black currant and blackberry notes with a healthy dose of tannins, made in the style of an Amarone.
Our good friend Bob is back showing a line-up of special Easter week selections for your devouring pleasure! Let Bob teach you about wine, and make you laugh - just make sure you don't steal his corkscrew. It's his corkscrew!
2015 Domaine de Piaugier, La Grange de Piaugier Blanc ($15): This lively white has notes of lavender, anise, and pineapple. For a delightful evening, pair this Côtes du Rhône with BBQ chicken!
2015 Luigi Baudana 'Dragon' Langhe Bianco ($23): This unusual fusion of Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, and Nascetta will leave you in a mediative state of bliss. Its minerality is balanced by citrus and ripe peach notes.
2014 Thillardon 'Les Carrieres' Chenas ($23): While this Gamay comes from Chenas, the smallest of the ten Beaujolais Crus, it packs a knockout punch! It's filled with velvety cherry, raspberry, and orange pith notes that will leave you dizzy.
2014 Domaine D'Ouréa Tire Bouchon, Vacqueyras ($12): The name of this wine, Tire Bouchon, literally translates to corkscrew (not Bob's corkscrew). It's spicy and filled with blackberry and plum notes.
2014 G. B. Burlotto, Freisa Langhe ($23): Rich and deep, this Freisa has bold sour cherry and peppery notes with a strong backbone of tannins. Pair this with Osso Bucco or grilled mushrooms.
2009 Château Pedesclaux, Le Haut Médoc de Pédesclaux ($26): This Bordeaux blend has mouthwatering notes of cassis, tobacco, and dark chocolate.
Artifact Cider is so hot right now! Originating in Western Mass and now based in Everett, these cider masters are making some of the best artisanal ciders on the market. If you haven't tried Artifact, now is your chance!