Pony Shack Cider

Brand new to our shelves, we are proud to be able to support this new cider company.  Based in neighboring Boxborough, these ciders source all their apple from surrounding orchards.  Quintessential Massachusetts apple cider, trying to recreate the styles and flavors from the early days of Massachusetts.  We will be pouring two of their ciders, their Fifer’s Dream and Barrel-Me-Over.  Fifer’s Dream is a traditional dry style cider.  While most cider companies like to say they are dry, Pony Shack actually delivers.  Barrel-Me-Over is a bourbon barrel aged cider using barrels from Hillrock Distillery in Hudson Valley, NY.  We would love for you to come and check out the new cider maker from just down the street.   Saturday, October 8th 1-3pm.

Peak Organic

Few brands can say that they are organic, so it is nice that this Maine Brewery is making beers that are both organic and delicious.  We’ll be having Peak Organic come out to taste everyone who cares to try their offerings on Friday, June 24th from 4-6pm.  We’ll be tasting their normal core line up, as well as their very nice Summer Session.  Come join us for a nice tasting to start your weekend off with.

Unappreciated South Africa

South African wines have been on my mind lately, although this isn’t the first time.  Last year I wrote about the subject while the World Cup was going on there.  At the time I focused on the impact of French Huguenot immigrants to the young and immature Dutch Cape Colony wine industry.  I didn’t really write that much about the wines, except to point out that, “I’ve always enjoyed them because I believe that they consistently offer an intriguing blend of new world fruit with just enough old world earthiness, structure (think acidity, tannin, etc…), and complexity.”  I still stand by that statement.  I also stand by another I read recently, “A sense of place is more important now…supermarkets are full of ‘factory’ wines with made-up names.”  Thanks Gary Jordan, I agree with you. Continue reading Unappreciated South Africa

Part Two – Owner Albert Pasanau

I imagine the look on Mr Pasanau’s face as being that of a parent whose small child has just won the school talent show playing the bagpipes. Yes, there is pride in recognition, but the true source of that pride is recognition for doing something both unusual and gutsy. Mr Pasanau makes Priorat, one of only two DOCa in Spain (the highest level of their classification system, the other region that holds it is Rioja), and his wines clearly illustrate the intersection of tradition and modern technology that has become a hallmark of the region. Indeed, finding the balance between the push and pull of the two concepts is becoming the reputation of Spain in general. Continue reading Part Two – Owner Albert Pasanau

Le Coin du Vin : Surprised by Spain…Again

I have been surprised by Spain once again.   When it comes to Old World wines, Spanish wines often take a back seat to those of France and Italy.  That is changing as more and more consumers realize what Spain has to offer.  Most are familiar with Rioja and they may have heard of or tasted Ribera del Duero.  But how about the wines of Catalunya like Cava (I’m talking about the stuff not named Cordoniu or Freixenet), Penedes, Priorat, or Montsant?  Did you know that Cava is originally from the hills of Penedes south of Barcelona?  Do you really know what Priorat is?  Or Penedes?  Don’t worry, like most consumers, I have been relatively ignorant about these wines and what they’re all about for far too long until recently.  Since returning from Spain last year I have been very enthusiastic about Spanish wines.  I’ve made every effort to learn about them in any way possible through tasting, reading and talking with others knowledgable on the subject. Continue reading Le Coin du Vin : Surprised by Spain…Again

Did you grow that, or is it just organic?

I take a very skeptical look at “green cred” wines. I think if you have to sell your product based on things like the winery’s carbon footprint, then there’s probably a reason that you haven’t been able to sell your wine based on its quality. That said, what I value in a bottle (after, of course, establishing that it is good) is uniqueness and expressiveness. I want to be convinced by the winemaker that what I’m drinking is different than any other bottle, opened any other day. He can’t convince me if he didn’t put in the time making something that reflects what he grew, and to start at that basic level comes the responsibility of keeping a vineyard and cellar that will continue to produce for a very long time to come.

Here’s the rub: quality wine must be produced sustainably. Wine growers are, at their most basic, farmers. If you do not farm sustainably, you wear out your land, and as such you are no longer able to farm. The fact that so much is being made of so-called “green” wines is mostly marketing, because producers had to work that way to begin with. If they weren’t, they probably weren’t making wine very carefully, either. Continue reading Did you grow that, or is it just organic?