Tag Archives: Boston wine and beer

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.

Harvest Time is coming. Do You Know What’s Happening at your Local Wineries?

As the harvest season approaches, I can’t help but wonder how much the wine-faithful of Boston know about the local vineyards that are gearing up for their busiest time of the year.  For those that are not in the know, Massachusetts and Rhode Island have some fantastic small production vineyards that should not be discounted.  Loved by locavores and critics, wineries  in  New England are worth the drive for both their offerings and the beautiful scenery.

Let’s face it, there is no where prettier on earth than New England in the fall and a visit to one of the wineries will show you just how beautiful it is.  Aside from the iconic scenery though, many people do wonder how it is possible to produce great wine in such a short growing season.   Comparable to the weather in the Loire Valley in France, the Southeastern facing coastline allows the warm Gulf Stream waters to keep these vineyards growing into the fall. And it’s all in the grapes; Southern New England wineries are producing mostly white wine, and sparkling and cool weather reds.  Only concentrating on vinifera varieties such as Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Riesling, Gewurztraminer, Pinot Blanc and Pinot Gris, New England wineries are becoming rising stars in the wine world.

Now with that in mind, here are a few of my favorites that are a short drive from Boston:

Alfalfa Farm Winery Located at 267 Rowley Bridge Road in Topsfield, MA

Alfalfa Farm Winery is a family owned and operated vineyard that produces hand-crafted wines and hosts tasting events.    Throughout the summer (until August 28), Alfalfa hosts weekend tastings on Sunday from 1-5 pm.  Tastings expand in September until December to include Saturdays as well.  Looking for something to do other than just taste the wine?  Alfalfa loves to have volunteers help with their harvest!  You get paid with a T-shirt, lunch and some wine.

Visit their website www.alfalfafarmwinery.com for information about volunteering and check out their local festivals coming up.

Westport Rivers Vineyard & Winery located at 417 Hixbridge Rd in Westport, MA

Westport Rivers believe that “Massachusetts’ grown wine is a blank canvas, begging for exploration and creativity.”   Once you visit their farm you learn all about ancient and new techniques of winemaking and how Westport Rivers uses them both to produce flavorful, crisp, cleans wines that Massachusetts should be proud to call their own.  Open for tastings Monday through Saturday from 11-5 pm; you should also check into their special tasting events such as barrel tastings of their Pinot Noir or Chardonnay!  Not to mention they have an art gallery and give private tours/tastings…

Visit Westport’s website for more information about all of their events!  www.westportrivers.com

Sakonnet Vineyards located at 162 West Main Rd in Little Compton, RI

This is a legendary vineyard because our very own Howie Rubin celebrated his nuptials at Sakonnet.  Tours and tastings are not the only offerings in this beautiful setting.  They have a separate, on-site B & B and offer cooking classes! Their “Master Chefs Series” is a series of several one-day classes with top chefs from Rhode Island and the Boston area, emphasizing the educational experience of combining food and wine.  While you are there, you can have a romantic picnic among the vines.  Just picture yourself….sitting with a glass of wine among the beautiful countryside that is divided by row after row of grapevines.

To learn more about tastings, cooking classes for events at Sakonnet visit their website: www.sakonnetwine.com

If you want more information about Wineries both along the coast and throughout the state here are some websites to check out:

www.coastalwinetrail.com

http://masswinery.com

http://turtlecreekwine.com/

Wine & Cheese Trail is now available too!

http://www.mass.gov/agr/massgrown/docs/wine_cheese_brochure.pdf

Hey, I’m More Than Just a Cute, Fuzzy Face

After 12 years I have picked up a lot of wine knowledge from my humans.  All day I listen to Howie, John and Nick discuss wines with customers and amongst themselves.  You could say I have picked up a thing or two and I want to start sharing that with all of you.

Recently, I have been joining Corinne in the office as she writes because she likes the company and I get lots of attention.  Watching her work,  I got to thinking about my take on this store and my contributions.  I’m more than night-time security with a cute face and my voice needs to be heard.   I made it clear to Corinne

Sitting with Corinne waiting for a pat

that it was time for me to start my own recommendations.  As the king in this place, she immediately obeyed.  I always get what I want. I hope it will work on you too.  Let me send out the Jedi mind trick now:  mmmmmm…..tuna.  You want to give me tuna.  Delicious tuna….NOW.

But I digress…

You can ask Howie or John about their personal favorites and they will tell you all about them. Want my opinion?  Look around the store and you will start to find little grey cat stickers on my favorites.  I figured that was the easiest way to make recommendations since I am sleeping all day before my nighttime security shift in the store.

My wines right now are the NV Perrier-Jouet Champagne, 2010 Frisk Prickly Riesling, 2004 Trimbach Pinot Gris (hey…that’s named after me!) Reserve Personelle, and 2009 G.D. Vajra Langhe Ross.  Come check them out and make sure you buy one before they are gone!

Cheers!

Gris 

A New Look for Bauer…

Have you ever stood in front of the mirror and said…”It’s time for a makeover?”  We sure have.  Today, we are unveiling only a small piece of what’s to come. Thanks to Ruby Wines we have replaced the old varietal signs above the wine stacks.  They had a good run…but the yellow signs were showing their age.  So when Ruby stepped up to the plate and offered us new ones we enthusiastically agreed.  How could we say no?  This is just a small, first step in a new Bauer Wine & Spirits.  We are planning a whole new look to the store and maybe a few more surprises in there as well.

Without further ado…the new in-store signs!


A Cat’s Eye View

Hi everyone.  Many of you already know me but I am going to introduce myself anyway.  My name is Gris and I live here at Bauer Wine & Spirits.  I know it appears that I am always sleeping in the front window but I assure you that it’s because I have a different schedule.  I am resting up for when my shift starts. Just like everyone else that works here, I have a job to do but my work day begins when the door is locked and the lights go down.  As part of security, I roam around late night and check on the doors and windows.  Once I am assure they are properly secured,  I sit in my favorite spot; no one is getting in on my watch.  You may ask why would I care so much when there is an alarm system.   Well, my dedication for the last 12 years is because this is not only my job but it’s my home.  My people here take good care of me  so I, in turn, take good care of them.  While everyone is dear to me (mainly because they fill my food bowl when I demand it) I have to admit I have my favorites.   John and I have a special bond.  When I need some attention and he is working, you can be sure to see me following him around the store.  Howie is the other, of course, and I love it when he picks me up for a quick snuggle!

Since everyone else I work with gets the chance to talk to you, I have decided that from time to time I am going to write about what is going on in Bauer from my eyes.  It’s a whole other world down here only 1 foot off the floor and I think it is time I share it with you.  Feel free to pet me anytime.  Sometimes I am in a deep sleep and don’t hear you coming (working nights is exhausting), but I always love to have my head scratched.  I look forward to telling you how I see things around her!

Until next time…

Cheers,

Gris 

Now you know why I love where my bed is

Those wine stacks look really tall from down here!