On Saturday, Bethann from Cafe Europa is visiting and pouring all Argentine wine (is it Argentinian, or Argentine? We say Argentine!). When one hears ‘Argentina,’ the Tango, Che Guevara, and beef are probably what pops into your mind. This South American country also boosts a thriving wine industry: it currently ranks 5th in worldwide wine production! The Argentine wine industry started quite humbly back in the 1500’s when Franciscan monks traveled throughout Peru, Chile, and Argentina and planted grapes (like País and Criolla Grande) for religious purposes. These grapes didn’t exactly flourish in Argentina’s unique terroir – yields were quite low – it wasn’t until the late 1800’s when Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Carménère ‘took root’ and Argentina really found its wine voice. Fast forward to the early 2000’s when Argentine wineries began investing in new winemaking technology with the goal of sitting atop the international wine market – and they have indeed propelled themselves to the top! Read more about Argentina and Saturday's line-up here!
How you like dem apples? We’ve got some delicious cider in-house, and sharing is caring, so come visit the shop tomorrow and try dem apple cidahs (and ales) and say ahhhhhhh. We're featuring Cidergeist from Rhinegeist Brewing in Cincinnati, Ohio, as well as two local cideries, Prospect and Artifact. Read about tomorrow's line-up here!
Sparkling wine, warm day, drink you will. Master Yoda may have said that. We think that any true sci-fi/fantasy lover would agree that sparkling wines are the wine equivalent of Star Wars - you treat yourself to both when celebrating, with friends, or in times of strife. Bubbles and Star Wars never disappoint! To celebrate the release of Solo last week, we’ve paired each of these Italian sparkling wines with Star Wars’ actors who play the characters from Star Wars’ original trilogy as well as Solo: A Star Wars Story. We’ve taken nerd to a whole new galaxy, and we’re proud of it! Read more here, you will.
If you have yet to explore our Georgian wine section at the shop, here is your chance! We are huge fans of Georgian qvevri wines – that is, wine made in the 8000-year-old traditional ways in the country of Georgia. Grapes, skins, and stems, are harvested and deposited into 500-2000-liter clay amphora vessels, or qvevri, which are then buried underground so the wine can age and soak up all the earthen goodness. The clay must be free of impurities, have the right amount of minerals, be porous (but not overly so), and alike to oak barrels, the clay's origins determines the taste of the wine (different kinds of oak - like American or French - impart different flavors to wine).
Here’s a passage describing qvevri from Alice Feiring’s wonderful book on Georgian wine, For the Love of Wine: “So it was the qvevri that first made wines safe for the seasons. It was an extraordinary fact to consider. The qvevri must have seemed like a magic pot that could preserve the wine through the dangerous summer months, when wine without preservatives or temperature control could easily be destroyed. Buried in the soil, the qvevri remained cool, keeping the wine stable and safe. The Romans and the Greeks masked the taste of spoiled wine with resins and additives, but in Georgia there was no need to disguise the taste; the wine was built to last. If true, Georgia truly was the beginning of wine civilization.”
Kosta (who grew up in Georgia!) is visiting to pour some new Georgian wines on Saturday, May 26th from 4-6PM. Read more about the Kosta’s line-up here!
Jackson from Mise Wines is reffing 6 heavy-weight wines (more like light, medium, and full-bodied wines) this Friday, as they compete head to head at the shop! In one corner, we have FRANCE....in the other, we've got the USA. Who’s it gonna be?? Who is more delicious? Who is fiercer? Shall we call it a draw? Click here to read more about Old World and New World wines, and Friday's competing wines!
Join us for our 3rd Annual: Rosé Colored Glasses Grand Wine Tasting!
Come celebrate the start of summer with a rosé rumble! Joining us are wine experts from AP Wine Imports, Cafe Europa, Classic Wines, Matchvino, The Wine Trust and Vineyard Road. Each vendor will feature a table full of rosé for you to try before you buy! We guarantee you’ll leave seeing the world through rosé colored glasses!
Free to the public. $5 suggested donation to The Boys and Girls Club of Greater Salem.
Experience fresh Primavera ('new green' or ‘Spring’) wines with us on Friday when James from Mucci Imports pours a line-up of all-natural Italian wines! We’ll explore traditionally-made wines from the regions of Emilia-Romagna, Sicily, Sardinia, and Puglia. Read more about the wines here!
Save the date! Gabriele Scaglione is joining us at our FREE Saturday wine tasting to lead us through a line-up of his beautiful Piemontese wines! Gabriele’s vineyards are nestled in ideal locations throughout the Langhe and Roero regions of Piedmont, Italy. With the utmost attention to terrior and precision, he grows a plethora of grapes including Moscato, Arneis, Nebbiolo, Barbera, and Chardonnay. His pure affection for wine, the arts, and great food brought him back to his roots: winemaking! Gabriele, and his wine, will charm you to no end.
Join us on Saturday when the lovely folks from Cucina Aurora will be here showing off their deliciously infused olive oils. Perfect for marinating, sauteing, and dipping, Cucina Aurora uses only 100% pure Italian olive oil from Tuscany and the freshest herbs and spices. With mouth-watering flavors like Rosemary Oregano, Roasted Garlic, and Sundried Tomato and Basil, it’s the perfect Mother’s Day gift for Mom!
It has been a YEAR for women. Everyday should be a celebration of women everywhere and tomorrow we're showing even extra love to strong, fearless, inspiring female winemakers, cheesemakers, and tastemakers from around the world. So bring your bestie, bae, daughter, sister, aunt, grandma, and of course, Mom, to celebrate Feminist Friday at The Cheese Shop of Salem - and to all the mothers out there - Happy Mother's Day!!!
We'e pouring crazy good natural wines made by some of the coolest ladies in the biz. Read more about the wine line-up here!
Doves and Figs Jam Sesh
Join us this Saturday when Doves and Figs will be joining us to show off their delicious small batch jams. All of their products are created with bunches of sun-ripened fresh fruit grown on New England farms, pure cane sugar, and no added pectin or preservatives. Their jams are unique blends of fruits mixed with an array of herbs, spices, nuts, dried fruits, chocolate, and spirits. Delicious on your morning toast, but just as perfect paired with cheeses and meats!
On Saturday, Bethann from Cafe Europa is visiting with bag full of vino italiano - and some new wines from the picturesque, heavenly island of Ischia, which is part of the Campania region. Viniculture is the very heart of Ischian life and dates back to Greek civilization in 700 BC. Ischia was later colonized by the Romans who named the island “Enaria”, meaning “Land of Wine” - now that’s my kind of island. Like, I’m packing my bags and my wine key, and I’m on a plane as I type this…Ciao a tutti! Just moving to the Land of Wine, nbd. Read more about Saturday’s tutto italiano line-up here!
Mayflower Brewing Company is a craft beer microbrewery located in historic Plymouth, Massachusetts. Founded in 2007 by a tenth great grandson of John Alden, beer barrel cooper on board the Mayflower, Mayflower is dedicated to celebrating the history of the pilgrims by creating unique, quality ales for the New England market. The team brews and packages all of their beer at their 12,000 square foot production facility in Plymouth and uses only traditional brewing methods and ingredients. On Friday, our good friend and beer expert, Bobby, is joining us from Mayflower to pour out the latest brews. Do as the pilgrims did - and drink! Here's Friday's line-up!
Maryland winery, Old Westminster, recently made their wine debut in Massachusetts! The Baker family is producing Maryland wines with an ethos parallel to all natural European winemakers: hand harvested grapes, indigenous yeasts, and minimal filtrations and use of sulfites. Read more about the family wine affair in the Washington Post here! On Saturday, Jackson is pouring Old Westminster’s sparkling Albariño, as well as their newest canned wine. Also not to miss are wines from urban and artisan wineries from Portland, Oregon, Division Wine Co. and Walnut City WineWorks.
Join us tomorrow as Chris from OZ Wine Co. pours South American wines that will blow your mind, and taste buds!
South America has been making wine since the 1500’s when Franciscan monks planted vines for religious purposes from Peru down to Argentina, but to quote Wine Folly, ‘back then, the wine was crap’ until the 1800’s when it became a serious contender when locals began experimenting with grape varieties. More recent economic boom and international curiosity has made Argentina and Chile sought after wine regions.
Mendoza (pictured above) is a gorgeous semi-arid desert that runs on an indigenous irrigation system that was built to channel Andean snow melt into the city and surrounding farmland. They get a whopping 300 days of sunshine a year! While Chile rains occasionally it is mostly very dry and hot; it’s actually the Humboldt Current that moderates hot temperatures and helps vines thrive in the Mediterranean climate. From North to South are the three wine regions where tomorrow’s Chilean wines hail from: Casablanca Valley, Maule Valley, and Itata. Casablanca and Maule are both in central Chile and benefit from proximity to the capital, Santiago. Recent wine tourism has given the regions a boost! Meanwhile, Itata is further South and while historically a significant wine producing region was almost forgotten because it was difficult to transport products and people! Luckily, in the past several decades interest in Itata has rejuvenated. Join us tomorrow as Chris from OZ Wine Co. pours South American wines that will blow your mind!
Read more about Friday's Argentine and Chilean line-up here!
Kate from Charles River is joining us to pour ALL DONKEY & GOAT! We love Donkey & Goat winery based out of Berkeley, California, and now's your chance to fall in love too! Jared and Tracey Brandt are making some of the most delicious, unadulterated, real juice West of the Mississippi, and we can't wait for you to jump on the D&G train! This is a very special tasting you don't want to miss! Read about Saturday's D&G wine line-up here!
1634 is our best selling mead and for good reason. They are delicious! Mead is fermented with three basic ingredients: honey, yeast and water. Alike to sake not being “rice wine", mead is not “honey wine”. Although it is created using fermented honey, it is not fermented from fruit, even if sometimes it is flavored with different fruit. The honey used to make mead determines the overarching flavor of the mead, and can vary according to a honey bee’s daily intake of nectar and pollen. Traditional mead often uses mild honey like orange blossom, clover or acacia. Wildflower, blackberry and buckwheat honeys produce stronger spiced meads. Dan Clapp, owner of 1634 Meadery, is a mead expert and makes local, fantastic mead in Ipswich. This Friday the 13th (!!!), Dan is opening some of his newest meads: Mother Clucker, Strawberry Fields, Devils Footprint, Mooncusser, and Wicked Wench!
Claire Cheney of Curio Spice Company will be joining us on Saturday, April 7th 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 several 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 4 to 6pm to show you how to make your same old dinners into something special!
Witnessing 9/11 from a neighboring skyscraper in New York caused Scott Frank, the owner of Bow & Arrow, to deeply reflect upon his life and was ultimately the motivation for him to move to Portland, Oregon. After bluffing his way into his first wine job, Scott’s ‘wine bug' turned into an obsession; he has held wines jobs in retail, distribution, farming the fields, and is now the owner of Bow & Arrow! Scott is married to natural wine expert/rock star sommelier Dana Scott, a force of nature in the Portland natural wine scene. Dana opened her natural wine bar, Dame, in Portland and now works with the Holdfast restaurant group. Experience Frank and Dana's wines this weekend as Bill from Hogshead pours an all Bow & Arrow line-up – try a racy Sauvignon Blanc, a gorgeous Pinot Noir, a sprightly Gamay, or twirl ‘Rhinestones’ in your glass and admire it as you would a crown of jewels! Read more about Saturday's wines here!
Prospect Ciderworks was founded in 2014 to challenge the assumptions surrounding American Cider. They use cider making methods to create balanced, distinctive ciders right out of Boston. Join Parker from Prospect Cider as he opens these crazy-good ciders alongside some cheese! Read more about these awesome ciders here!
Are you an aspiring mixologist? We want to help! Join us on Saturday, March 31st from 4 to 6pm when Paul from Bootblack Cocktail Syrups will be joining us. Boasting three 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 Jalepeño Lime flavor we have one word…Margaritas!!
Easter in Italy is such a special time of year. The weather is getting warmer, cafés are stocking up on large chocolate eggs (with prizes inside!), the streets are buzzing with well-dressed families headed to the market to buy lamb, goat, artichokes, fava beans, spinach, asparagus and baking essentials and special Easter breads are being prepared (such as pane di Pasqua all’uovo, a traditional southern Italian bread with dyed eggs baked in the middle). Join us for our own Pasquetta, little Easter, at the shop this Saturday, alongside the tutto italiano wine importer, Matchvino, led by the one and only Stacey! We’ll have some homemade Easter breads for you to try, as well as organic and delicious wines from northern Italy. Happy Easter and Passover everyone! Read more about the wine line-up and producers here!
Bent Water is one of our favorite local breweries and located on Commercial Street at the site of the old Lynn lumber yard, in the heart of the newly developing Lynn Waterfront District. Bent Water is self-canning, self-distributing and boasts an awesome taproom featuring 13 rotating taps. In addition to using standard steel fermenters, Bent Water is the first brewery east of the Mississippi River to use concrete vats typically used for wine fermenting in Sonoma, California. Read more about Friday's line-up here!
Join us on Saturday when Patrida imports will be here sampling Lidrivio, their multiple award winning Extra Virgin Olive Oil from Greece. Picked and pressed within 3 hours, this blend of Koreneki and Athenolia olives has a fresh green olive taste, buttery viscosity, and a light peppery finish. Use it for salads or dipping, or as a finishing oil. It is literally THE BEST olive oil, and we are all addicted to it! Lidrivio will also be sampling their delicious olive tapenade - come taste Greece!