Vino Rosso “Agricolae” 2018
Alfiano Natta, Italy
Organic (certified) and biodynamic (but not certified, because getting certified costs a pretty penny)
Winemaker: Luigi Armanino
Shining dark velvet ruby. Oh here come the lovely cherry scents, plums, light earth, and berries of all sorts from strawberries to blue berries and cherry Jolly Rancher. Nice powerful feel rolling around in my mouth. There’s cherries, plums (dancing in my head), faint raspberries, and a touch of orange. Natural darkness and rosemary that turns into sweet loving velvety embrace. This will keep all the extended family, friends, and in-laws happy and away from political discussions during the holiday season. Whether online or in person, they will be too busy talking about how much they love this wine.
Pairs with Cheez-It’s: nice pair. A little more earthy and more bitter herbs
Crealto’s owners, Eleonora Costa and Luigi Armanino, made a decision in 2013, that I’m starting to see in many natural winemakers. They bucked the AOC panel and went with declassifying their wines, so they can stay true to their vinification path. They also have rooms to stay over and from what I’m seeing a beautiful restaurant with a very reasonably priced tasting menu. Everything is grown by them or either locally sourced and organic. The wholemeal flours and oils are even made on their farm. Just scrumptious all around!
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DuCLaw Brewing Co.
Sweet Baby Jesus!
Chocolate Peanut Butter Porter
Founder: Dave Benfield
Very dark black brown pour with small tan head around 1/4 inch that disappears. The second you pop the can and even before it hits the glass, it’s Incredibly forward dark chocolate, espresso and a little peanuts. Here goes the first sip and baker’s chocolate mixed with dark Belgian chocolate flavors. Roasted peanuts lead into the feel of peanut butter spread and at last again a bitter ending of espresso that is welcome and not too sweet, but nice and dry.
Pairs with Cheez-It’s: NOPE! Dreadful! Or as the can says “Sweet Baby Jesus!” Don’t do it!
Ok, I know we’re all stuffed from yesterday’s Thanksgiving feast, but come on you have to have room for just one more treat. This classic can of porter is filled full of a very dark brownie with peanut butter morsels that have been cooked right up to the last second before they get too burned. You know you want one of the end pieces. They’re always the best. Anyway, I’ve had my fill of pumpkin pie, this is exactly what I need.
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Beaujolais L’Ancien Vieilles Vignes 2018
Organic, sustainable, hand harvested, indigenous yeasts
Winemaker: Jean-Paul Brun
Swirling a deep glistening Gamay garnet glass. Fragrant strawberries, raspberries, and fresh cherries fill my nose and this is a breath of happiness. Once I take a sip, I find all sorts of berry juice from strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and more. There’s also some rugged cherry, and lots of citrus popping. Earth, cedar, and some sage that all say drink this baby NOW!
Pairs with Cheez-It’s: juicy fruity
This lovely wine with the very telling name “L’Ancien” comes from some of the oldest vines at Terres Dorées which are anywhere from 40 to 60 years. Nice having a youngster birthed from such aged lineage. Instead of going carbonic with his wines, Jean-Paul Brun has stuck with the traditional Burgundian vinification method where the grapes are lovingly hand harvested, destemmed, and only indigenous yeasts that sprout forth are allowed. Jean-Paul sees this as the way to allow the to Gamay shine and also not to be forgotten the sustainable land where it all started from. Sometimes and more often than not, the natural ways of the past are where we should return.
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Milling Rate: 50-60%
Made with New York water and rice grown in California (blend of calrose and yamada nishiki)
Founders Brian Polen (brewery president) and Brandon Doughan (brewer)
Crystal clear glassful. Breathe in the white flowers, cantaloupe, refreshing cucumber, and some apple (but not sure which variety which is killing me). Take a sip and there’s sweetness like an overripe cucumber, cantaloupe, and then there’s that mystery apple again. Tastes floral like it smells. It’s dainty, light, and crisp/dry and an easy sipper by itself.
Pairs with Cheez-It’s: makes it even more sweet and robust. Weird I thought I wouldn’t like it paired but actually it’s pretty good with it.
What do you get when you bring together a New Yorker who works in analytics and tech, and a biochemist from Portland? Oh and add to that the fact that they met at a wedding in Japan. You end up with two sake drinking buddies that decide to open a small batch sake brewery in Brooklyn. Who would have thought? They’re making quite a success of it too from what I’m reading. As for reading…this is another beverage where you should definitely read the instructions on the bottle: Keep Refrigerated. Since it’s unpasteurized it needs to keep that chill, so before you put it back in the fridge, pour another glass.
@vinewinenyc @brooklynkura @cheezits #cheezit #wine #sake #craftsake #brewery #brew @worldbyglass #worldbyglass #needmorewine #pairswithcheezits #brooklyn #ny #newyork
Domaine Santa Duc
Les Quatre Terres 2017
Grenache 70 %, Syrah 15 %, Mourvèdre 10%, Carignan, Cinsault, Clairette 5 %
Organic, biodynamic, minimal intervention, wild yeasts
Winemaker: Benjamin Gras (6th generation)
Garnet glow. It breathes and then it’s buttery at first but heads out. This is all replaced with cinnamon, plums, cherries and some earthy goodness. Touching my tongue and it’s juicy, earthy plum and prunes, dark cherry tang that leads to velvet with a kick of smoke and black pepper. Slight flower sweetness hangs around in the background which leads to anise
Pairs with Cheez-It’s: It plows right over the Cheez-it. Becomes more robust.
Les Quatre Terres (The Four Lands) is so named due to the four areas the grapes come from: Vacqueyras, Rasteau (Crus), Roaix and Seguret (Côtes-du-Rhône Villages). Each one gives the gift of their terroir to this delicious wine. Really has me craving Montesacro’s (Brooklyn) Maranella pinsa which has mozzarella, broccolini, homemade spicy pork sausage, stracciatella di burrata or either my South Carolina pulled pork I’m making this weekend with a mustard based sauce. This is so perfect for the cool weather creeping our way.
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Cherries and Rainbows 2019
Sans Soufre Red
Vin de France
Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre
Organic and biodynamic
Winemaker: Robert Eden (collaboration with Winc’s Ryan Zotovich)
Produced and bottled by Winc
Beautiful dark deep plum ruby color. Oh this is such a mixture in my nose. Starts off darker than I expected and then swirls with signed orange rind, cherries, plums, strawberries, raspberries and blueberries. There is still a little earthy funk that I’m betting has a yeast going on. Good grief I haven’t even tasted it yet and there’s all this. Now for the taste…juicy tart cherry and plum, fresh mandarin orange, sage, all that berry stuff from before is all there, and it’s delicious (slightly chilled). There’s also the same dark earthiness lingering in the back. Gives it a good oomph and more depth.
Pairs with Cheez-It’s: smooth…everything blends into one unified fruit
The artist that brought this cheerful label to life is Phoebe Tillem. Checking out her site and her fun, whimsical work has been used in many collaborations from sneakers, fashion, murals, and more…with the likes of Mother Denim, Victoria’s Secret, Neiman Marcus, Vans, others and one that stands out to me as pretty special. This year, along with her sister, she started a stationery company named Adelfi. Beautiful work that can add a splash of joy to your life. Check it out!
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Skygazer Brewing Co.
Watercolors – Synergy
Mango, Guava, Marshmallow, Vanilla, Milk Sugar
Berliner Style Weisse Beer
Brewed and packaged by Twelve Percent
North Haven, CT
Deep orange gold thick hazy swamp color…kind of like a super healthy full of fiber carrot orange juice. Was not expecting the marshmallow and vanilla to smack my nose that hard at first. Next comes the mango/guava combo. Smells like it reads. I’m also getting a small faint grapefruit waft. This is just dreamy sipping. All of the above from how it smelled is perfectly rolled into one big soup. It’s creamy and tingly with a little lemon too. Sweet but not where it overpowers you. I can definitely keep drinking this whole can. I could see this going really well with super hot Thai food.
Pairs with Cheez-It’s: Oh no! DO NOT DO THAT! The Cheez-It ruins the beer. Please for the love of all things sacred, do not attempt to pair with Cheez-It.
Tried straight and not blended with their other Watercolors – Synergy – Raspberry, Blackberry, Graham Cracker, Vanilla, Milk Sugar; which is another way advised to try. Maybe next time but this was fabulous all on it’s complex, fun and fruity self. Oh and beware, this is easy to drink and way too fast, so I suggest buying a few.
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Tenuta San Marcello
Lacrima di Morro d’Alba DOC 2018
Marche, San Marcello, Ancona, Italy
Organic, sustainable, and indigenous yeasts
Winemaker: Massimo Palmieri
Deep ruby luscious purple. Breathing in roses, cherry and also cherry cola, plums, and magnolias. Those heady flowers are dancing on my tongue along with tart cherry, earth, raisins, blackberries, and an orange twinge which makes my brain wander back to those chocolate holiday oranges that pop into wedges. This is a perfect holiday wine. Can go with turkey, chicken, ham, or just about anything. Just make sure there is some stuffing with sage. Oh and remember to invite me too!
Pairs with Cheez-It’s: It’s nice and even more smooth
Massimo and Pascale Palmieri opted to depart from Milan in search of a more country, natural life. Finding just the right farm house, they developed a sustainable farm and vineyard. Massimo did have a lot of studying to do, and reached out to a specialist in soil and crops and also an oenologist. Trial, error and reflection on his grandfather’s love of making wine for family and friends, spurred him on to his beautiful bottles filled with heart and emotion. If you want to connect with this slice of land and history, the Palmieri family also have an “Adopt a Vineyard” program. It varies on size and years, but there are great benefits that come back to you. One of those is a discount for a stay in their Farmhouse, and I see a swimming pool!
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Reserva Brut Nature
Rosé Cava 2017
100% Mataró (Monastrell)
Tiana, Spain (closest winery to Barcelona)
Sustainable and organic
Winemaking family: Josep Maria Pujol-Baquests and his wife Cristina Guillen
Pinky rosy salmon with teeny tiny bubbles. Lovely light floral and strawberries hitting my nose. Now for the taste and it’s strawberries, raspberries, a little grape and cherry but foremost not very sweet, yet crisp and dry. It’s a celebration in a glass.
Pairs with Cheez-It’s: doesn’t really do much but bring out the berry a little more
Such a beautiful bubbly glass and a kind, wonderful gift from a friend. This cava born from the Parc Serralada de Marina is true to its organic roots, and only a short clip from Barcelona. I have no idea why I have been remiss from visiting this family run winery in my many trips, and am looking to a future where I can. I’ve had their Bruant (named for a bird in the park) in the past and am just as impressed with the rosé. Love their respect and celebration of the birds in their area which are the monicker for a select few of their bottles. Would love to be in a winery that you could wake up in the morning to these birdsongs and the lush environment that I’m always going on about, but I was raised this way. Respect nature and it will respect you back and give you a gift like this cava.
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Artisan Wines – DI Franz Schneider
DAC Reserve 2015
Halbturn, Burgenland, Austria
Winemaker & owner: Franz Schneider
Velvet dark deep ruby. Breathing in oak, plum, deep cherry, berries, and candy cola. First sip and cherry combined with dark goth plum. It’s sweet but not overly. There’s also some woodiness and coffee, with of all things juniper berries thrown in to the mix.
Pairs with Cheez-It’s: juicy and less wood
Franz Schneider, his wife Ulrike Schmied, and their adorable twins make up this picture perfect wine family. At an early age, the twins are even getting their taste of the business and learning the grapes through homegrown fresh grape juice. Zweigelt Neusiedlersee DAC Reserve is made from their oldest Zweigelt, planted back in 1972, and Franz selects only the best of the harvest. From what I’m reading it sounds like he is constantly learning and adapting with each vintage and thus the name “Artisan” suits well. Whatever knowledge he keeps gleaning, it’s working in this beautifully refined bottle. Also a side note, there’s recipes on the site that you might like to pair with their wines. Just click on the pics to get the full instructions for a wonderful meal. The pumpkin risotto looks perfect for this time of the year.
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