Category Archives: stores with cats

Freaky, Geeky and Weird?

Lately it seems all we hear about is orange wine.   The newest rage in wine has been referred to as a wine geek’s wine, a freaky wine and just plain weird.  Huh.  Considering this so-called novelty is really the traditional method of white wine making, I can hardly agree with these descriptions.  Is it that different than the more familiar methods? Yes, but not freaky.

Nowadays, you know that white wine is made through harvest, crush and the immediate move of the juice to the fermentation vessel.  The juice spends absolutely no time on the skins so as to not impart any tannins or astringency to the wine.  This is all in the pursuit of the perfect white wine.

To us, it is more interesting to read about winemakers turning their backs on innovation (making technically perfect wines) in favor of experimentation.   Before the modern style of wine making came to be, wine was left to macerate with the skins to provide color, phenols, and tannins.  The color ranged from pink, yellow to a vivid orange.

The term orange wine is a bit of a misnomer, by the way.  It really should be referred to as skin-contact whites because the term doesn’t necessarily describe the color of the wine but more of a winemaking process/style.  The result is a white wine of a silkier, emollient texture with a more exotic flavor profile.  If you are looking for another white wine other the Gewürztraminer to accompany your spicy fare than this wine style is for you.  Think any umami foods like mushrooms, garlic, aged cheese and fish sauce.  Because these wines command attention, I wouldn’t say orange wines are meant for casual drinking.  Stick to the more familiar style of white wines for the “sitting on the back porch, having a glass” evenings.

For our part, Bauer has two different orange wines to offer you:

2011 Attems Cupra Ramato Pinot Grigio Ramato :   Cupra Ramato continues a

Attems Cupra Ramato

tradition of the Republic of Venice, since “ramato,” or coppery, was the term that referred to Pinot Grigio in contracts. A special vinification practice led to the use of this term: the must remains in contact with the skins for 36 hours and this practice gives the wine a very distinctive coppery hue. Attems Cupra Ramato boasts a rich, fruity bouquet, and opens full and weighty on the palate, with multi-faceted flavors.   It is perfect when paired with fatty fish, with delicate or vegetable-based antipasti, the ideal companion to summer dishes, and is delicious as well as an aperitif.  This wine is a great entry point into orange wine.

And

2007 La Stoppa Ageno:  This wine is made from a combination of three white

La Stoppa Ageno

grape varieties: Malvasia, Trebbiano, and the extremely local Emilia variety known as Ortrugo, with the majority of the wine being Malvasia grown on 36-year-old vines.  La Stoppa spends the next 30 days in contact with the skins. After this it is pressed off into a combination of steel tanks and neutral oak barrels where it ages on its lees (the sediment that settles to the bottom of the barrel) for 12 months before bottling without filtration of any kind.  A gorgeous medium amber-orange color in the glass, with a distinct haze of cloudiness, this wine has a phenomenal, almost otherworldly nose of exotic flowers, saffron, and orange creamsicle. On the palate it is weighty, with a texture that is almost tannic in quality, gripping the tongue with a velvet glove. From a flavor standpoint it is nearly indescribable — brown sugar, honeysuckle, saffron, cream soda, and unbelievably, the distinct flavor of coffee and cream on a finish that can be measured in minutes. Evolves gorgeously in the glass, and I highly recommend decanting for 1-2 hours prior to serving, especially if you can keep it cool while decanting.

Enjoy the La Stoppa with hard Italian cheeses, charcuterie, pork and oily fish like salmon or swordfish.

So there you have it.  Orange wines for everyone!

A Night to Remember at Deuxave Restaurant

The library ladder that leads to a wall of wine at Deuxave

To continue on in our recent journey of Oregon wine, the Bauer team headed over to Deuxave Restaurant and Bar on Monday, October 1st to attend a winemaker dinner with Dave Adelsheim of Adelsheim Winery.

Glass cubes full of wine flank the front door

Before we get into the wine, the dinner and, of course, Dave.  I want to talk about Deuxave.  Those of you in the Boston area need to do yourself a favor and go have dinner in this restaurant.  Starting from the moment you walk in the door, you will be awed.  The décor is fresh, beautiful and modern.   It was in this dining room that I saw two features to covet and dream about putting into my own home.  It can only be described as a wine lovers paradise.  Starting with the glass block cubes holding wine to the library style ladder to climb to beautiful shelves of wine (both pictured above), I can picture my home office with them and I want them now.

Deuxave is a food and wine lover’s paradise.  Executive Chef and Owner Chris Coombs may be young but he commands the kitchen with panache.  Plenty of high-end restaurants can crow about their food and wine pairing abilities but few can match the talent of Coombs.  His courses were impeccably prepared but what really stood out was his ability to match Dave Adelsheim’s wines perfectly.  This was no ordinary wine dinner.  Each course was so well thought out and perfectly paired that you could almost imagine that this meal was planned from the moment the grapes were planted and each cow, duck and clam was groomed from birth for this night.

The Dinner Menu (try not to drool):

Adelsheim Winery was established in 1971.  Dave was among the first pioneering men to decide to plant vinifera in the cool climate of Oregon.  Dave, admittedly, “never grown grapes, never made wine, never sold wine, and never ran a business; the four skills you really need” to open a winery.  But what he did have was passion.  Thankfully, his passion turned to skill after he traveled to Burgundy, France.  In 1978, they turned out the first vintage, roughly 800 cases and never looked back.  Yes, it was hard to sell in the beginning.  No one had ever heard of growing grapes in Oregon and the Adelsheims put their wines in the back of their station wagon and hoped they could at least sell their product to the local restaurants.

After making headway in their own state Adelsheim knew it was time to step out and show his wines to the rest of the country.  Howie Rubin and the rest of the Bauer team are proud to say that Boston is the first city to embrace Oregon wines.  Being a pioneering city, it makes sense that these wines made their way to the national stage through Boston.  Bauer stocked Oregon wines and began to hand sell them until they took off.  Now our clientele come in and ask where they can find these wines on the shelf.

The wines we relished in were all distinctly Oregon.  The cocktail wine, 2011

John enjoying the Auxerrois at the bar

Auxerrois, was a very fresh white that is traditionally an Alsatian grape but has all but disappeared from the landscape.  We are so glad that a couple of producers in Oregon are growing it now, including Adelsheim.  It had an herbaceous nose of tarragon and fennel that led to flavors of green pear, citrus blossom and fresh herbs.  The perfect wine to start the night.

With our first course, the 2011 Pinot Gris was perfect with the littleneck clams.  Coombs is a genius with sauces and this was no exception.  The Chorizo oil pick up the papaya notes and the apple salad highlighted the apple flavor in the wine.  The touch of creaminess in the Pinot Gris was brought out by the cream in the sauce.  Not overdone but just right.  John and I slurped every bit of the sauce on the plate with our clam shells happily!

Mid course was an amazing duck confit that had the 2010 Estate Pinot Noir paired with it.  As silence fell over the table, I knew we had something great on our hands.  The candied fruit aromas and flavors were highlight by the Black Mission figs on the plate.  The acid of the Pinot Noir cut into the fattiness of the duck.  It was elegant, refined and the tannins were seamlessly integrated and silky.

Not to be outdone by the duck, the following main course was  the herb roasted beef tenderloin that was served with 2009 Elizabeth’s Reserve Pinot Noir.  As we all buried our noses into the glass, there was a collective, “whoa” as we took it all in.  More powerful than the estate Pinot, the intense and multi-layered Elizabeth’s Reserve offered us raspberry, brown spices and a little woodiness that was picked up by the herbs on the beef.  Each of us ate slowly, savoring each bite and taking a sip of wine.  This was an expression of Pinot Noir at its greatest.

Part of what made this dinner so great was the fact that Coombs and Adelsheim did not follow that path of traditional American restaurants and end our dinner with dessert.  Rather, we switched back to a white wine and delved into the cheese course.  A Vermont goat cheese with the various accoutrements was served with the 2009 Caitlin’s Reserve Chardonnay.  The wine was beautifully balanced with acidity to slice through the rich goat cheese.  Layers of lemon blossom, apple, honey and a touch of nuttiness polished us off completely.

After being spoiled for hours on end, all of us here at Bauer can only beg the question… When is the next one?  Please Chris and Deuxave…we need another fix!

Crisp, Bubbly American Summer

Boston may be a port city but in the everyday hustle and bustle…when do we get to enjoy the water?  Do we Bostonians ever get out on the water?  Most of us can answer that with a disappointed no.

When the days get longer and the temperature starts to to rose I begin to daydream of blue waters and crisp white sails.  I may not be able to hop on a sailboat and dead out to sea, but I certainly can continue the fantasy when I open up a bottle of Domaine Chandon Brut Classic’s Limited Edition of American Summer.

The look of the bottle IS the picture of summer: A trio of red, white and blue give the feel of looking at the mainsail of a sloop in Boston Harbor.  This refreshing sparkler that is crisp, lively and made in the Methode Traditionelle (Classic Champagne Method) that allows a second fermentation in the bottle.  In doing so, the wine gives aromas of green apple, cinnamon, lime and vanilla that lead to flavors of tropical fruit, pears and a hint on toast.

Chandon is comprised of the three classic Champagne grapes of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier.  Grown in some of California’s finest appellations: Yountville, Carneros and Mount Veeder, Chandon’s sparkling wines are Pinot Noir heavy due to the structure and body the grape gives to the wine.  Chardonnay adds delicacy with the tropical fruit and pear notes and the Pinot Meunier offers nutty and earthy flavors.

Pinot Noir

Chardonnay

Pinot Meunier

Most people save their bubbly for special occasions, but with Domaine Chandon’s competitive price…there is no need.  Drink this one whenever the mood strikes!  Ceasar Salad, Fried Calamari, oyster, or sushi are the perfect compliments to Chandon’s Brut Classic.  But really any salty, creamy or nutty foods will go great with this summer quaffer.

Bauer Celebrates Local Distilleries!

Featuring Beloved Local Distilleries

I am sure you all know by now that Bauer LOVES local products.  Ever since distilleries began popping up in recent years, the Bauer team has encouraged, critiqued and sold local spirits.  Better yet, the people responsible for creating small batch, hand-crafted spirits in the Boston area are getting some great recognition for all of their hard work these days in competitions and write ups in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and other publications.
To celebrate local success, Bauer has decided to highlight a couple of the summertime favorites in our new window display.   You will find Bully Boy, Privateer Rum and Ryan & Wood gracing the window and framing a sleeping Sofia these days.

Bully Boy, owned and operated by Will & Dave Willis, hand produces small batch premium spirits and is made right in the city of Boston.  Their White Rum is made from black strap molasses and is wonderfully light bodied with vanilla notes.  It is a white rum with depth and complexity that is not seen in the mass-produced rums of the world.  Along with the rum, we have Bully Boy’s White Whiskey.  A spirit that was hugely popular during Prohibition, Bully Boy has brought the tradition back with a certified organic, unaged whiskey that is clean, bold with smooth notes of coconut, vanilla, banana and salt water taffy.  A peppery spice finishes long.

Andrew Cabot and Nelse Clark of Privateer Rum have also continued Boston’s legacy of producing rum.  The original Andrew Cabot, a merchant and privateer who lived 1750 to 1791, rolled barrels of molasses off sailing ships down the pier to his Beverly rum distillery.  Six generations later his descendant, also Andrew Cabot, is distilling in Ispwich, MA.  Made with pure cane sugar rather than molasses, Cabot and Clark are making a Silver Reserve rum that is lightly floral, with notes of sweet basil, anise and just a hint of butterscotch.  This is a rum that needs nothing added to it to enjoy.  Privateer’s Amber Rum is what mass-produced spiced rums dream of being!  Instead of syrupy sweet, their Amber rum has flavors of orange citrus, sandalwood, leather, cinnamon and a silky finish.

Gloucester may have a long history of fisherman,  but Ryan & Wood distilleries is showing that Gloucester can produce world-class spirits as well.  Family-owned and operated, Ryan & Wood is the first North Shore distillery in existence since Prohibition.  Their Beauport Vodka is grain based and distilled with local, filtered water to keep the local character intact.  It certainly has made a difference.  The Beauport is clean, fresh and has an interesting grassy aroma.  A standout in a shelf of vodkas with no character.  Their Knockabout Gin is one of the most flavorful gins we have come across in a long time.  Juniper berries, corriander seed, angelica root, orris root, orange peel, licorice root, cinnamon, nutmeg, cassia and lemon peel all go into making this gin taste like you are drinking summer.  It is complex with layers and layers of flavor that really pop in a well-made Gin and Tonic (we suggest Fever Tree Tonic).  Lastly, Ryan & Wood’s Rye Whiskey is in the new window.  A smooth whiskey with cinnamon, clove and a little sweet corn flavors followed by hints of blueberry, pear and toast.  It’s lingering finish is like a honey drop with a rye snap.   It was featured in the Wall Street Journal back in December 2011…not bad considering it had only been available for about 8 months.

So there they are….our wonderful local distilleries in the window.  Sofia loves the new set up and can be found most of the day snoozing in between Privateer and Bully Boy!

Move Over Bland Ciders. There’s a New Kid in Town-Bantam Cider Wunderkind.

Two years ago two enterprising women in Boston had an idea. They wanted to pursue a dream that blended a love of the culinary arts and local agriculture with a business opportunity. Dana Masterpolo and Michelle da Silva noticed that there were many fine wines and craft beers out there but very few fine ciders, especially locally made. Mass produced, unmemorable ciders that were on the sweet side gave inspiration to Dana and Michelle to “create a nicely crafted product, packaged in a more sophisticated way.” Two years later, Bantam Modern American Cider Wunderkind hit Bauer’s shelves and has become a favorite of the staff. Of course, at Bauer, we love local companies! We love being part of the homegrown movement that has been sweeping the Boston area, especially when we are introduced to a product like Bantam Cider.

But a lot had to happen in those two years between inspiration and realization. Good thing it’s in the blood. Michelle grew up making wine with her grandparents, so she knew the perseverance that was needed to make this endeavor a successful reality. To prepare themselves, Dana and Michelle took an intensive course at Cornell University (taught by a top UK cider maker) and dove into the technical aspects of production, such as bio-chemistry.
These two ladies are not afraid to experiment either. It’s through trial and error and endless experimentation with local apples that Wunderkind came to be. Thankfully, New England is one of the largest growing regions in the US for apples, so Dana and Michelle have access to the freshest products and inarguably, some of the country’s best fruit.

Continually inspired by other cider makers, orchard owners and apple enthusiasts, Dana and Michelle have been encouraged by the brewing business. Let’s face it…there are a lot of men in the brewing business so it is refreshing to see a couple of enterprising women making their way. Having the support of great people like Andris Veidis at Blue Hills Brewery, Bill Russell and Harry Smith at Just Beer/Buzzards Bay can go a long way. Not to mention what great write ups in publications like Bevnet, Brewhound and DrinkCraftBeer can do for your sales.

Bantam’s flagship cider, Wunderkind, is named for one of America’s greatest adventurers, Amelia Earhart. Dana and Michelle channel Earhart’s courage and sense of adventure and never allow themselves to settle for something less than extraordinary. This is why we are enjoying Bantam’s Wunderkind today. The cider is crisp and clean and on the first sip you get a nice aroma and flavor of honey. Not overpowering but just a hint of honey that is followed by crisp apple flavor. This is one you can enjoy on a hot summer day (and we know we have a lot of those coming in the next few months).

Drink Bantam by itself or because of its versatility, you can enjoy Wunderkind with an array of different foods at any point of the day. Think brunch with eggs, pancakes or crepes. Have it with your favorite cheese platter, Dana suggests a rich, creamy one such as Brie. It also goes great with salads, fish, oysters, pork and all spicy foods. Dana and Michelle love Indian or Thai with their Wunderkind!

You can find Bantam Cider Wunderkind on the shelves now at Bauer in 22 oz bottles! Pick up a few for your Memorial Day BBQ today!

Bantam Cider will also be at Bauer On Friday, June 18th from 6-8 pm handing out samples of Wunderkind.

Happy Valentine’s Day from Bauer and Cow & Crumb

This past Saturday Bauer was lucky enough to host Hilary Koloski from Cow & Crumb again for a tasting of her Valentine’s Day themed cookies and some of Bauer’s best dessert wines!

The savory snacks offered up to Bauer’s faithful were delicious.  Hilary’s three Valentine’s themed cookies: Sexual Chocolate (dark chocolate and dried cherries), My Honey is Nuts (honey & cream glaze, chock full of home made honey roasted peanuts baked into a honey cookie dough) , and Roses for your Date (Oats are ground with flour to give this date-filled cookie a delicious nutty undertone and chewy texture, rolled in sugar sifted with edible rose petals) were moist and mouthwatering good.  Hilary also brought with her a Cow & Crumb staple, C&C L’Orange (Cranberry, coconut, orange zest and white chocolate) which is a crowd favorite.

Hilary's Spread of yummies

For Bauer’s half of this decadent tasting, we supplied the dessert wines to pair with Hilary’s cookies.  We started you off with the Hugel Cuvee Les Amour Pinot Blanc that picked up the orange zest and white chocolate in the C&C L’Orange. Then we offered our La Spinetta Moscato D’Asti that seemed like it was made just for the My Honey is Nuts.  The honey and floral characteristics of the Moscato picked up the honey and roasted nuts in the cookie so perfectly.  With Hilary’s Roses for my Date, we paired up the Marenco Brachetto.  The nose of fresh strawberries and rose petals picked up the rose in the cookie.  Who knew that roses in a cookie could be so delicious?!?   Last, but not least, Hilary’s Sexual Chocolate was offered with a taste of the Domaine La Fage Ambre.  The rich, port like nose and flavors of La Fage’s 100% Grenache dessert wine was perfect with the rich dark chocolate.  So much so, that tasters and Bauer staff alike kept going back for more!

The wines.

Cow & Crumb is an online store (for now) that ships all over the country and offers an array of different choices.  Check them out at www.cowandcrumb.com for a full list of Hilary’s treats!  Great to give as gifts to both your loved ones and as a gift to yourself! If you haven’t had the chance to try the Gran-ooh-la-la than you need to do yourself a favor and order some.  Bar none, it is THE best granola I have ever tasted.  Howie and I have obsessed about it since we tried it back in December!

Gran-ooh-la-la!

Wine, Hangovers & Work…Thanks Boston Wine Festival!

With head in hand, I take my sip of coffee and swallow down the enormous portion of Advil I need to start my recovery.  It seemed like such a great idea yesterday and today I can only say…ouch. But we had a great night at the Boston Harbor Hotel for the Opening Reception of the 23rd annual Boston Wine Festival.  So the pain is worth it.

About 5:45 last night, Howie, John and I started shaking off the dust of an otherwise normal workday.  We put on our nice duds and set off for the Boston Harbor Hotel in great anticipation of delicious wines and Chef Bruce’s ridiculously good food.

For once, the traffic gods were on our side and we got to the BHH early.  In our world, that means a quick stop at the bar before heading to the reception.  Howie, John and I cozied up to the bar and ordered some spirits to “cleanse our palates.”  Yeah.  Right.  Like we really needed an excuse for a pre-game cocktail.  Naturally, we weren’t the first ones there.  Our friend Donna was one Manhattan in already and she was feeling festive!

After our pre-reception cocktails, we approached the Wharf Room right on the water and I knew we were in for a special treat.  In fact, I was so in awe of the beautiful setting that I totally forgot to take a picture.  So here is a stock picture I pulled off the internet to give you an idea of what it looked like inside.As we walked in we were greeted by both Chef Daniel Bruce and a lovely young women holding a tray of Champagne Piper-Heidsieck Brut.  Chef enthusiastically welcomed his friends from Bauer Wines and told us to get inside to taste his delicious food.

Chef Daniel Bruce & Howie

Stepping inside, we were wowed by the surroundings but it didn’t take us long to get on task.  Heading right over to Tom Vincent’s table we indulged in the 2008 Mica Cabernet from Napa Valley.  Silky with rich black fruits, Mica lingered perfectly.  We also tried Sean Thackery’s Pleiades Old Vines.  A blend of several varietals, it was earthy with rich, mouth filling flavors of bold cherries, raspberry liqueur and a hint of oaky vanilla.

Next we took a quick stop to see our good friend Jacob Jata to see what his table was offering.  There we were poured Ramey Chardonnay and Donelan Family Winery’s Venus, a delicate offering of 90% Rousanne and 10% Viognier.  If the Venus is any indication of the rest of the Donelan Family’s portfolio, I am guaranteed to have a great dinner with them on January 18 at the BHH (tickets still available!).

Jacob talking wine.

From there on out, it was a blur of good food, great wine and fun conversation.  Yes, John and I took a time out to enjoy some of Chef ‘s food.  We would have never made it if we hadn’t.  Not to mention, who would want to miss out of Chef’s creations?  That’s just crazy (Yes Howie…I am talking to you).

Seared Tuna, Calamari, Lobster, Hake Cake and Pork Tenderloin.

The highlights for myself were the Mica Cabernet and both of the Trimbach Wines: 2004 Reserve Personelle Pinot Gris and the 2005 Frederic Emile Riesling.  Howie loved the Elio Grasso 2006 Barolo, the Forman Vineyard’s Napa Cabernet Sauvignon and Sean Thackery’s Pleiades Old Vine.  John agreed with our choices but added in the La Jota 2007 Cabernet Franc and the 2009 Justin Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon.  We may have had our different favorites, but we all agreed that there were some stellar wines being poured for us.  I can’t lie…working in the wine business does help one get a bigger pour than the average person.  Perhaps that is why I felt so awful this morning.  Yup.  That’s exactly why John and I are walking a little slower, head hanging, and intolerant of any noise today.

More pictures of our night for you but first, I must warn you.  My camera’s battery died and I was forced to take pictures with my iPhone.  So, by no means, are these high quality pictures:

John & Chris

John taking a time-out from tasting

John posing with his wine

Donna, Howie and John

Reflections on a Great Year of Drinking…

As 2011 comes to a close in just a few short hours, I can’t help but sit back, sip some bubbly and reflect on what an incredible year it has been.  From the ups and downs of a rocky economy, seeing freedom become a reality through the Arab Spring, watching an already toxic political environment grow worse in the US, witnessing natural disasters around the world to a royal wedding and the end of the Iraq war, we have seen our fair share awe inspiring and anger inciting events.  But we made it through and that is cause for celebration.

For Bauer we have had some wonderful events that included top winemakers and incredible chefs coming into our store to pour wine and cook for us.  Being part of events like the Taste of the Back Bay and the Newbury Street Gala were hardly work and more like fun!

Some highlights that stick out in my mind:

Randall Grahm joining us for a tasting and signing of his book “Been Doon So Long”

Howie and Randall

Cathy and Julia from Red, White Boston with Howie

A visit from award winning wine maker Nik Weiss from St. Urbans Hof in Mosel, Germany

Gris listening to Nik

Chef’s Series Tasting took off with a bang!

Rob and Sean from City Table at our first Chef's Series Tasting

Vibrant Rioja, Tapeo and Bauer working together for a huge Rioja and Tapas Tasting

Partnering up with some other important people also helped make 2011 memorable.  Kathy from The Fish & Bone gave me an eye opening experience when she had a dog food and beer tasting in her store.

Working with Andrew Cabot and Nelse Clark for launching Privateer Rum in Boston made me see that rum is not just for making fruity cocktails.  If it is made right, you only need a glass.  Now they have launched their Amber Rum and started their barrel program with us as well.  I can only hope that 2012 is just as prosperous and exciting for them as 2011.

2011 had some low lights as well for us.  But thankfully, those low lights were turned into highlights.

Bauer Alum, Nick Demjen, left us in the beginning of the summer for a great sales position at Origin Beverage.  Good news for us…Bauer is in his sales area so we still get to see him once a week!

Nick's "private" going away party in the back of Bauer. Cake and Champagne courtesy of Sue!

Nick's public going away party where he received the gift of a lifetime. Look closely and you will see that jersey is signed by the Stanley Cup winning team!

As much as we miss Nick, our new Beer Manager, Tom, has been up to the task and bringing in great brews for everyone!  He has been a great addition to the Bauer staff.

We can’t close 2011 without mentioning Gris.  Our little grey man lived in Bauer for 12 great years protecting the store and giving joy to all that came into contact with him.  Our hearts broke when he died in August and it did make walking into work a little tough with no one at the door to greet us.

Checking out what wines he likes

Our sweet boy sleeping with a toy

But something good came out losing Gris.  A little homeless kitten named Sofia came to live at Bauer and she has taken to the store life very well.  She loves all and is loved by all.  Well, except maybe the dogs that is.  For something so small, she sure knows how to intimidate even the toughest of canines.

Passed out under the tree in the French wines.

Christmas morning at Tom's house with her presents

From all of us to all of you, we wish you a very Happy New Year!  May it be filled with joy and may only good things come out of the sorrows.

Now that we’ve all sufficiently recovered from our Thanksgiving holiday, its time to start focusing our attention on the festivities during the next few weeks. I’m sure there will be many Frank Costanza “SERENITY NOW!” moments along the way, but I look at it as a time to celebrate the holidays with friends and partially-dysfunctional family. And that’s what we’re here for, to supply the right ingredients to help you make it to the finish line.

Laurent-Perrier always helps

First of all, if you’re planning a small, or not-so-small, gathering at your house or office, we can come up with the right type, and quantity, of libation, and deliver it for you, at no charge. Its fun to have a variety of wines, fun seasonal beers, and perhaps a signature cocktail to ensure that your attendees will be holding their heads the next day thanking/cursing your good taste! We have many people on staff who can assist with the setup.

Secondly, gift-giving can quite frankly be a pain-in-the-ass (ask my wife), but once you walk through the door of Bauer Wines, that endless list can shrink very easily. Just do a little research and find out what your recipient likes to drink, because it’s the personal touch that hits the mark. We have all categories of all things spirits, artesenal beers, and wines at every price point. If you have a brain freeze and can’t come up with the right bottle, go for the increasingly-popular gift card. Let them decide what to choose.

Ask us about the "One for you. One for ME!" Gift card promotion

Thirdly (is that even a word?), we have some killer tastings coming up in the month of December, as we bring in some of our favorite purveyors to pour their wares. Here’s a list of whats coming up during the next few weeks. You can always sign up on our Facebook  page or follow us on Twitter to see whats happening in our hedonistic corner of the world.

And since it wouldn’t be a Bauer blog without the ramblings of young Sofia Bauer, here’s some photos to show you how she’s getting into the holiday spirit!

All I want for Christmas is a cute kitten...Oh...I got one!

Sofia loves hiding under the tree in the French wine.

She still loves her Clicquot

Lastly, and certainly not leastly, we’d like to thank all of you who support what we do, and how we do it. Its very gratifying to work with people that share the same passion about this business that we do. Have a great start to the holiday season, and try not to leave everything to the last minute.

 

Cheers,

Howie

Hola Rioja

As the weather threatened all day to put a damper on our Rioja celebration on October 1st, we could only sit back and wait.  I looked nervously outside every few minutes while I set-up all afternoon.  Dark skies looked ominous and the store was quiet. Uh-oh.  Tonight’s going to be a dud I thought to myself.

Would the rain or the threat of rain keep people in?

As it turns out, my answer was no.  The rain held off and the Back Bay showed up to help us celebrate our month long promotion of Rioja.  Known as the “little black dress” of wine, Rioja is one of the most food-friendly wines on the market.  Winemakers in the Rioja region of Spain only release their wines to the public when they feel that they are truly ready for consumption, so when you purchase a bottle you can open it with confidence that night.  They also age well, so buy the Gran Reserva to save for a special occasion and know that you can store the wine until you are ready to open it.

Food among some Spanish flair

 

Because we wanted to feature as many wines as possible we set up two tasting areas.  One right in the front of the store and was manned by Kristen Butke of European Cellars, Eric Solomon Selections.  Kristen poured for the eager crowd two high-end Riojas and two other Spanish wines.  She started everyone off with the 2010 Gessami Gramona (a muscat blend), then a 2006 Izadi Reserva Rioja, 2006 Orben Rioja and 2008 Black Slate Priorat for fun.

Tom helping Kirsten at front table

Muga and Juve

The Riojas

The second tasting area had both Marco Dreary of Winebow Boston and Coleen Noonan from Tapeo Restaurant.  Marco was pouring for the crowd a 2007 Juve Y Camps Gran Reserva Cava, 2009 Muga Bianco, 2009 Sierra Cantabria Tinto, 2007 Sierra Cantabria Crianza and the 2007 Muga Reserva.  Coleen’s adjacent table, for the tapas, was set up with a Spanish flair with flamenco dancer figurines and a shawl to decorate the table full of goodies.  And by goodies, I mean Chorizo y Apricot Skewers, Croquettas de Pollo (chicken croquettes) and Gorditas (prunes Stuffed with goat cheese).  The food went fast as no one could resist the delicious tapas that went perfectly with Marco’s wines.

Howie, Marco, and Coleen

Tapeo's yummy spread

All in all, it was a great night for us all!  Thank you everyone who came to kick off this great month dedicated to all things Rioja, from our staff to our guests to Marco and Kristen for pouring amazing wines.  I especially thank Tapeo Restaurant for spending a couple of hours with us and offering something delicious for Bauer’s faithful to try.

Vibrant Rioja and Laura P…you made it possible for us to host such a great event.  What a wonderful night for everyone! 

Cheers!

Ladies enjoying some Cava

Karen and her friend

Rioja and Tapas

Some of the crowd