Cooking with Beer – Two Recipes

It’s cold out! When the February snow and wind hit, I like to hunker down with a hearty braise inspired by the land of “Cuisine à la Bière,” served with a vibrant green salad tossed with an orange IPA-flavored dressing.

You may know that Belgium has a long and proud brewing tradition that stretches back for hundreds of years. Beer is so deeply rooted in Belgian culture that it holds the same revered place on the table as wine does in France or Italy, and is used in many of the same ways. Cooking with beer can be a real treat, and this Belgian inspired one-pot meal is one of my favorites to make in the winter, especially on a long, cold, snowy Sunday.

The beer I’ve chosen to use in this dish comes from the esteemed Dubuisson brewery, the oldest in Wallonia (older than most Trappist breweries!). Their flagship beer, Scaldis Amber, is a 12% ABV take on an English Barleywine. It adds both fruity and savory notes to the roast, with flavors of ripe fruit and caramel, along with a hint of herbal hops and licorice. Although it’s high in alcohol, most of that will steam off while cooking, so don’t worry, this is a family-friendly pot roast!

Scaldis is something we regularly carry, but if you want to branch out, any Belgian-style Amber or Dark Ale will do. Some of our favorites for cooking (and drinking) include:

-Allagash Dubbel
-Rochefort ‘8’ or ‘10’
-St. Bernardus ‘Pater 6’
-North Coast ‘Brother Thelonious’

When it comes to pairing a beer to drink alongside this braise, do we really have to tell you what would go best? Scaldis Amber, of course! If that’s a little too strong for you, any of the aforementioned beers will also work quite nicely.

To learn more about the beer, check out Dubuisson’s excellent website: https://dubuisson.com/en-us, and check out https://dubuisson.com/en-us/our-beers/scaldis-amber for more on the Scaldis.

cookingbeer4Belgian Pot Roast
If you’re short on time, skip the steps below and instead use a slow cooker. You can put the whole shebang in on low before you go to work, then add the root veggies and turn it to high when you get home.

Ingredients:
4 – 5 pound beef rump roast or bottom round
¼ cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
(optional: ¼ tsp Old Bay seasoning or cinnamon for extra flavor)
2 tbsp olive oil or butter
2 large onions, cut in half & sliced into thick half moons
3 carrots, peeled & cut into cubes
1 big sprig of thyme
1 bay leaf
1 12 oz. bottle of Scaldis Amber
A mix of your favorite root vegetables to finish the roast: small potatoes, parsnips, rutabaga, etc., cut into bite-sized chunks.

Method:
Preheat oven to 325 F.

Mix the flour, salt & pepper (and the Old Bay or cinnamon, if using) in a big plastic container with a lid.

Heat a dutch oven or deep-sided casserole over medium–high heat.

Dry the roast well with paper towels and put it in the container with the flour mixture. Gently shake it up, down and all around to evenly coat the meat.

Warm the oil and/or butter in the dutch oven until hot (not smoking!). Tap off any excess flour and brown the meat on all sides, a few minutes per side.

Remove the meat to a plate to rest, turn the heat down to medium, and add the onions to all the beautiful brown bits left in the pan. If it seems dry, add another 1-2 teaspoons of oil or butter.

Cover the pot, and sauté the onions, stirring every 2 minutes or so until soft and just beginning to take on some color.

Push the onions to the sides of the pan, put the meat (with any juice on the plate) into the middle of the pan and add the carrots, thyme, a little salt and pepper, and the whole bottle of Scaldis. Mix everything up around the meat, scraping up any bits stuck to the pan.

Bring it gently to a boil, cover, and bake in your oven for about 3 ½ hours.

Meanwhile, scrub your root veggies and cut them into evenly sized chunks – about the size you’d want to put in your mouth after they’re cooked.

After 3 ½ hours, add your root veggies to the pot, stir them up a bit in the sauce, and leave to cook for another 30 minutes or so, or until the meat is falling apart.

Let the roast cool a bit, and eat it with a cold glass of Scaldis Amber!

cookingbeer2Orange & Ale Vinaigrette
To complement the rich roast I like to serve a vibrant, zesty salad that also uses beer as a main ingredient. With thanks to Sean Paxton of Home Brew Chef & BeerAdvocate, here’s one of my favorite salad dressings to make any time of year, but especially when I’m missing the sun.

Ingredients:
3 oz. IPA (I like any of the following for this recipe: Sierra Nevada Torpedo, Grey Sail Captain’s Daughter, Harpoon Hoppy Adventure, or Lost Nation Mosaic IPA – or just use your favorite)
1 tbsp minced shallot (or half a small onion, minced)
1 tsp grated orange zest
1 tbsp honey
1 tsp Dijon mustard
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (bring out the good stuff for this)
Salt and pepper to taste

Method:
Put the shallot, orange zest, honey and mustard in a small bowl and whisk in the beer until well combined.

Slowly whisk in the oil, a few drops at a time, until the whole thing is creamy and emulsified.

Drizzle your dressing over hearty greens, or blanched green beans, or asparagus, beets, hard boiled eggs, cucumbers, tomatoes, etc., you get the drift.

The dressing will keep in your fridge for about five days if you don’t eat it all first!

Enjoy! –Liam

Rare, Collectible and Affordable Wine in The Cellar

thecellar-WEB-1One of our resolutions this year here at Bottles is to find new ways to help you drink better. And we’ve started by expanding our cellar of special wines: the bottles that are iconic and collectible, as well as those that are rare, highly-rated, and have achieved cult status.

Our new Cellar list, over 600 bottles strong and growing, is made up of wines hand selected by Nick, Josh and Eric. Not only are they the wines that you’ll want to buy today and drink in 15 years at your daughter’s college graduation, they’re also the affordable, ready-to-drink-now bottles produced by indie winemakers whose talented work has garnered them a dedicated following.

Some require a minimal monetary commitment, such as a $49 bottle of limited-allocation 2012 Elk Cove “Five Mountain” Willamette Valley Pinot Noir that you could drink this weekend. Other wines at a similar price point are terrific for those just starting to build their home collection.

Then there are those that are certainly an investment in time and money – the $1199.99 2010 Lafite Rothschild that will be great to drink in 2022 comes to mind.

But what all of our Cellar wines have in common is highly-competitive pricing. It’s our goal to get them on your table or in your cellar by offering them to you at better prices than you find most everywhere else. And by you we mean you the everyday wine lover who just wants to drink better, as well as the serious, informed wine collector who’s filling your 3,000+ bottle cellar.

We invite you to come in and browse our new list. Our team members are at the ready to help you select the perfect bottle for your special occasion, whether it be big (a 50th anniversary) or small (take-out with a cherished friend on Saturday night).

Visit our complete list here, and check back often for new additions. For the stories behind these and other bottles, email our Wine Director Nick Shugrue at (401) 372-2030 or nshugrue@bottlesfinewine.com.

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The Top 3 Wine & Chocolate Pairings

Drink wine with chocolate, we say. Not just because it’s Valentine’s Day. But because the two are great together – when you choose wisely – and they should be enjoyed in tandem whenever you’re in the mood. Not just on February 14th.

How to Pair: Though wine and chocolate are great on their own, it can be challenging to make them sing together. For a balanced pairing, select a wine that is sweeter than the chocolate (the percentage of chocolate will give you an idea of its sweetness: The higher the cacao, the lower the sugar/sweetness). When in doubt, pair milk chocolate (high sugar %) with lighter-bodied wines. Pair fuller-bodied, fruit-forward wines with darker chocolate (high cacao %).

And as always, toss all guidelines out the window if your palate tells you otherwise. The best pairing is the one you like.

To help you get your creative juices flowing, here are our top three chocolate and wine pairings:

chocolatecake_wineDark Chocolate Cake with Marenco “Pineto” Brachetto d’Acqui

A prime example that illustrates the beauty of choosing a wine that’s sweeter than the chocolate. This bright red sparkling wine from Piedmont is slightly sweet, with fine citrus blossom and stone fruit notes, all of which complement the cake’s dense, rich flavors and mouthfeel.

chocolatepieces_wineValrhona Chocolate with JL Chave “Mon Coeur” Cotes-du-Rhone

This is a fun one for all you serious dark chocolate lovers. It’s rooted in the trusted “What grows together goes together” wine pairing adage, as Valrhona chocolate is made just miles from where the wine in made, in France’s Rhone Valley. Use the chocolate in your favorite (not so sweet) homemade dessert, or simply let a minimum 70%-cacao square melt on your tongue while sipping this bone dry grenache/syrah blend.

chocstrawberries_wineChocolate Dipped Strawberries with Tintero Moscato d’Asti

Though this fizzy, slightly sweet wine can stand on its own as dessert, we love it when paired with fruit! The fresh, lively character of this white wine, again from Piedmont, is a natural partner to the light, tart strawberry fruit, and the creamy chocolate.

We hope you enjoy our pairings – and encourage you to share your thoughts or ideas on others!

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Comfort Wine for Comfort Food, Part II

Fact: More comfort foods are eaten per capita in January than in any other month. Post-Fact: OK, we have nothing official to back that stat up, but it certainly feels right, doesn’t it?

Because it does so to us, here are more Comfort Wine and Comfort Food pairings that get our team through trying times and blustery weather. They’re the equivalent of the down-filled couch you lose yourself in, the cozy sweater worn fireside, and the hug from a life-long friend.
meinkklang

Meinklang Frizzante Rosé ($19.99), with Chicken & Waffles 
It’s about balance, people. You’ll find me at my happiest when eating piping hot fried chicken with waffles smothered in maple syrup and butter while simultaneously sipping ice-cold, light-as-air, pink bubbles. The fizz cuts through the dish’s richness and the entire composition can make any bad day do a 180. By the way, your chicken & waffles aren’t complete if you’re not drizzling them up with Cholula’s just before consuming. Just sayin’. – Alex

pujol

Pujol Izard Minervois Vieille Vignes ($15.99), with Shepard’s Pie 
The herbal notes you get in every Languedoc wine, combined with the bright lively fruit in this particular bottle, make the Pujol Izard extremely food friendly. It’s particularly great for medium bodied casserole-type dishes, and my favorite, Shepard’s pie.  – Nick

pegoes

Pegoes Red Blend ($6.99), with a Grilled Cheese Sandwich 
I use a ton of butter (and sometimes mayo) on the outside of the bread when making my grilled cheese. To balance all of that rich, creamy and salty goodness, I drink this jammy red, which is bursting with juicy, ripe fruit. And that it is under $7 a bottle is a comfort to my post-holiday wallet, too. -Katie

ciacci

Ciacci Piccolomini d’Aragona Toscana Rosso ($14.99), with Chicken Parmesan 
Ciacci Piccolomini is in the town of Montalcino in Tuscany. The house is best known for their Pianrosso, which is one of the world’s most renowned brunellos. They can’t help but make great wine and this one, their most affordable option, is spectacular! It’s a blend, and has all the elegance of a brunello, but with a bit lighter and fruitier finish. It’s my go-to wine for my favorite comfort food: Chicken Parmesan. Be sure to load up the cheese! – Kate

borealis

Montinore Borealis White Blend ($14.99), with Sauerkraut with Roast Pork and Dumplings
A match made in my own perfect heaven!  Borealis is an organic wine made in Oregon from grapes more traditionally found in Alsace.  Brimming with both ripe fruit and savory flavors, this beautiful wine sings and dances around the rich sauerkraut, dumplings and pork.  This is where New World wine and Old World food collide!  Bam!  -Eric

Comfort Wines: Now, more than ever.

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What’s The Deal With Japanese Whisky?

japanese_whiskey_caps_shortNote: in Japan, as in Scotland, it’s ‘Whisky’, not ‘Whiskey.’

As a category, Japanese Whisky has grown over 200% in the last year alone, and it doesn’t show any signs of slowing. Japan’s major distilleries have won many prestigious awards and accolades over the last decade, often outshining their Scottish and American counterparts. So why haven’t you heard of them? And if you have heard of them, why can’t you find them?

When we opened Bottles more than 6 years ago, we had a slew of beautifully aged Japanese Whiskys on our shelves. 12-year-old expressions from Hakushu, 18- and 21- year-old bottlings from Yoichi, among a handful of others. There they sat, lonely on the shelf, gazing with envy at their Scottish single malt buddies who were out having fun.

As the current whisky boom amped up, more and more people began reading articles about different bourbons, ryes, and malt whiskies. Whisky writers and bloggers could explore new areas of the world that people had previously overlooked. Folks started to pay attention and take the leap of faith to try these ‘new’ whiskies from Japan, or Taiwan, or India, or Tasmania. They found a lot to like, and the bottles started moving off our shelves.

When any distillery makes whisky, it invests a tremendous amount of time and money into each release. The whisky must sit in a barrel for a good long time before it’s ready to be bottled, which means the distillers are also forced to sit and wait for years (and often decades) before they make a profit from that work. It’s easy to understand why, without knowing how successful their bottles would be at market, these distillers produced their whiskys in small quantities. Though some of the world’s oldest distilleries are experienced enough to forecast how much whisky they need to distill today so they can ensure that they have enough to meet demand in 8, 10 or 15 years, a lot of the ‘newer’ Japanese distilleries just didn’t have enough of a track-record to predict this massive growth decades ago. Hence the short supply today.

So now we wait. The master distillers of Japan are working harder than ever, but you can’t make more 18-year-old whisky without waiting 18 years! In the meantime, please try some of the Japanese whiskies that you can buy, now. They are soft, elegant whiskys, based on a Scottish foundation of whisky-making with a distinctly Japanese style of simple elegance & proficiency.

The Distilleries and Their Whiskys

Beam-Suntory operates three distilleries: Yamazaki, Hakushu, & Chita.

-Yamazaki (Japan’s oldest distillery) opened in 1923 at the convergence of the soft waters of the Katsura, Uji, and Kizu rivers. Nestled in this temperate, humid valley, Yamazaki is known as a soft & supple single malt with a unique house character.

-The Hakushu Distillery opened in 1973 in the forests of Mt. Kaikomagatake. Hakushu takes pride in its waters, clean and crisp from rain and snowmelt filtered through granite. These whiskys are notable for the spice flavors they impart in the finish, and an easy way with their oak aging.

-Chita is the workhorse of the Beam-Suntory stable, producing three distinctive world class grain whiskys (mainly used for blending) out of corn and grain. The Chita Single Grain whisky finds it’s voice in many of the blends that Beam-Suntory produces.

japanese_whiskey_suntory_group

Beam-Suntory Toki – $39.99
Toki is a brand-new expression from Beam-Suntory, comprised of the silky body of Chita single grain, Hakushu’s strength & oakiness, and select older malts from Yamazaki for spice and elegance. A light and approachable blend, equally suited to sipping over a large ice cube or mixing in cocktails. They suggest making a highball, we like it in a Whisky Sour.

Beam-Suntory Hibiki Japanese Harmony – $64.99
Another blend from the Chita, Yamazaki, and Hakushu distilleries, Japanese Harmony focuses on a more robust experience, with an emphasis on the flavors that different types of casks can impart. The malts are aged in American white oak, sherry butts, and Japanese Mizunara casks. The results drink very much like a fine Scottish single malt, but with less sherry influence. To be enjoyed neat, or slowly poured over a large ice ball.

Beam-Suntory Hakushu 12 Year – $99.99
This is it. Get it while you can. One of the last 12-year-old single malts from Japan we were able to get our hands on. A beautiful spirit, composed entirely of whisky distilled and aged at Hakushu. Subtly smoky, it has flavors & aromas of basil, pine, and green tea. A little water will coax our fruity flavors like green apple, mint, and kiwi.

Nikka operates two distilleries: Yoichi and Miyagikyo.

-The Yoichi distillery was founded on Hokkaido in 1934. To this day, they craft their whisky in copper pot stills, heated with a direct coal fire – an extremely rare and labor intensive practice that produces wonderful results.

-In 1969, Nikka opened a second distillery, Miyagikyo, on the island of Honshu. Known for its pristine water and myriad waterfalls and hot springs, Miyagikyo produces a single grain whisky of uncommon quality and body.

japanese_whiskey_nikka_groupNikka Coffey Grain – $64.99

Named for the Coffey stills they use to create the whisky (there is no coffee in this whisky!), the Coffey Grain is made primarily from corn, and has an impressively silky body, with a touch of vanilla and citrus. It’s best over the rocks, or in a variation of an old-fashioned or manhattan.

Nikka Coffey Malt – $64.99
The Coffey Malt is extremely unusual – a 100% malted barley spirit run off a continuous still. It has a rich and pleasant body, with a fresh grain quality akin to toasty grape nuts and freshly baked bread. It will stand up to most classic bourbon cocktails – we like it mixed with a splash of Italian Alessio Chinato vermouth.

Nikka Taketsuru Pure Malt – $64.99
The Pure Malt is a delightful blend of spirits from both distilleries. Utilizing a combination of new American, ex-bourbon, and sherry casks, the Pure Malt is much closer to a traditional Scottish malt, with flavors of honey & char, espresso & chocolate, & a final hint of smokiness.

Come by and talk to one of our team members for insight on their favorite bottles – we’re sure you’ll find you’re favorite, too.

 

Kanpai!
-Liam

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Comfort Wine for Comfort Food

There are no two ways about it. 2016 was a doozy. Which is why we’re easing into the new year with the cozy-wool-blanket bottles we call Comfort Wines. They’re the uncomplicated, easy drinking wines we crave when we just want to tune out, sit back, and feed our souls.  Herewith, a few of our team’s favorite Comfort Wine and Comfort Food pairings that do just that.

curator
The Curator Red Blend ($10.99) with Mom’s Beef Stew
“Mom’s hearty beef stew is my favorite dish. The Curator, with its juicy fruit flavors, is my favorite everyday red. I put the two together and get a smile on my face. If it makes you happy, it can’t be that bad. Unless you get the bay leaf in your mouth by accident.” – Mia

hugel

Hugel Pinot Blanc ‘Cuvee Les Amours’ ($17.99) with Mushroom & Asparagus Risotto
“Asparagus has always been a tricky vegetable to pair wine with, but the creaminess of this dish (coupled with mushrooms’ earthiness) really lets the individual components shine. Don’t forget to start your rice off with a splash of this outstanding Pinot Gris – it will help spotlight the wine when it comes time to eat!” – Liam

prima

Primaterra Primitivo ($11.99) with Polenta with Rabe Sausage 
“The rabe sausage is available at Anthony’s Sangwich shop on Admiral street,  across from Lasalle Bakery. It is the best. I pair it with the full-bodied Primaterra Primitivo. You can’t go wrong with this one.” – Don

pouilly

Louis Latour Pouilly-Fuisse  ($27.99) with Pa Ralph’s Ultimate Chicken Soup
“When the weather turns wet, icy and raw, I need a healthy dose of my father’s chicken soup to warm me up!  And with its great blend of roasted chicken, orzo, cheese and spices, I reach for a white Burgundy.  More specifically a great Pouilly-Fuisse like Latour’s. Its slight touch of oak doesn’t dominate the chardonnay, but instead adds a note of creaminess that is the perfect marriage for the world’s best chicken soup.” – Josh

Stay tuned next week for another batch of our favorite Comfort Wines.

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Curt’s Picks for The Mountaintop

One of our absolute favorite times of the month is when Curt Columbus, Artistic Director of Trinity Rep, and his team visit the store to discuss the wines that the theater will serve during performances. His knowledge of wine and his passion for it are incredibly infectious;  Curt’s palate is as good as any pro’s, and his ideas are always spot on.

To pair with Trinity’s production of “The Mountaintop,” an astounding re-imagining of night before the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Curt focused on wines that play to the intense play’s surprising humor, spirit and craft. As a reminder, these wines are available by the glass during each performance. And if you purchase a bottle in store, Bottles will donate 20% of your purchase back to Trinity Rep in support of their amazing work in our community.

Herewith, Curt’s Picks for “The Mountaintop”.

ridge_sofia

Kings Ridge Pinot Gris, Willamette Valley, Oregon
“I mean of course I’d consider this wine, given its name, to pair with this production that has Martin Luther King Jr. as its central character. The fact that it’s a delightful, delicious and fruit-forward expression of Pinot Gris (aka, Pinot Grigio) made it a slam dunk.” – c.c.

Sofia Sparkling Wine, California
“The character Camae plays a really important role in this powerful, two-person drama. Her joyful, heavenly spirit – which is just magical to experience – calls for a drink that’s equally as special and effervescent.” -c.c.

And, for a tasty cocktail during the show, consider this:

“Joe’s Juice”
We’re honoring Joe Wilson, Jr., star of ‘The Mountaintop’ and one of the hardest working actors in show business, with his own cocktail. It’s his favorite!  Vodka and soda with orange and grapefruit juice.” – c.c.

Enjoy the show!

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Local Wine that Pairs with Winter Vegetable Soup

soup_2017

It’s hot soup season here on the east coast. Time to put up a big batch each week to nourish, warm, comfort and sustain your family throughout the upcoming cold New England winter. This version, from Bacaro’s Chef/Owner Brian Kingsford, relies on a homemade vegetable stock fortified with Parmigiano Reggiano rinds which lend the soup a rich, complex flavor that only the king of cheeses can bring.

To match the soup’s deep flavors, our Eric Taylor chose a local gem from Johnston’s Verde Vineyards. It’s made from St. Croix, an American grape bred for flavor and to withstand harsh New England winters. The resulting wine has soft tannins, silky texture and lively but dry red berry flavors that play beautifully with the earthiness of the root vegetables, and the nutty, complex flavors of the cheesy broth.

Winter Root Vegetable & Farro Soup
from Chef/owner Brian Kingsford, Bacaro, Providence

A note from the chef: “While you could use store-bought vegetable broth for this soup, it just can’t compete with the good flavor of homemade broth, enhanced by the Parmigiano-Reggiano rinds. And it will contain far less sodium too. Simply make the stock in advance, refrigerate (or freeze) and then make soup at your leisure. At the restaurant we drizzle the soup with a quality extra-virgin olive oil: Zisola, a robust oil from Sicily.”

Ingredients
1 small sweet potato
2 carrots, peeled and diced
2 parsnips, peeled and diced
1 medium white (Macomber) turnip
1 small sweet onion, such as Vidalia
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 bunches kale
1 cup farro
Kosher salt
2½ quarts (10 cups) Vegetable-Parm Stock*
Parmigiano-Reggiano for serving
Quality extra-virgin olive oil for serving

Method
Heat olive oil in a large heavy-bottomed stockpot. Add the sweet potato, carrots, parsnips, turnip and onion and sauté on high heat for about 5 minutes, or until vegetables are slightly caramelized. Rinse kale under cool running water. Trim the tough stalks from the leaves and slice leaves into ribbons. (Use stalks for Vegetable-Parm Stock.)

Add vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and add the farro. Simmer for 10 minutes. Add kale and simmer for 15 more minutes, or until both the kale and the farro are tender. Add salt to taste. Ladle soup into bowls, and garnish with grated Parmigiano-Reggiano and drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil.

Serves 8.

*Vegetable-Parm Stock:

Ingredients
1 pound sweet onion, peeled and chopped in ½-inch dice
5 carrots, peeled and chopped in ½-inch dice
½ pound fennel, trimmed and chopped in ½-inch dice
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 ounces (1 cup) crimini mushroom, cleaned and roughly chopped, including stems
1 stalk celery, roughly chopped 1–2 medium (½ pound) turnips, such as Macomber
Kale stalks from soup prep, roughly chopped (optional)
1 tomato, cored and roughly chopped
3 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
1 bay leaf
7 whole black peppercorns
3 pieces Parmigiano-Reggiano rinds
6 quarts (24 cups) water
Kosher salt

Method
Preheat oven to 400°. Toss the onion, carrots and fennel in olive oil and place on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast until the vegetables start to caramelize, approximately 15–20 minutes. Remove from oven and place vegetables in a large, heavy-bottomed stockpot.

Meanwhile prep the mushrooms, celery, turnip, kale stalks, tomato and garlic and add to the pot with the bay leaf, black peppercorns and Parmigiano-Reggiano rinds with the water.

Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer, cooking uncovered until liquid is reduced by half. Strain out solids from the stock. Season with salt to taste. This recipe should yield roughly 2½ quarts (10 cups) of vegetable stock.

Bon Appetit, and Cheers!

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Spirited Stocking Stuffers

stocking_web

Don’t short shrift your stocking stuffing. Here’s a sampling of the hundreds of stocking-sized stuffers we have in store for the drinks enthusiast on your list. From left to right, top to bottom:

Mini Bottles of Bubbles: 187ml of fizzy fun (that’s just over a glass to you and me) from Champagne to cava and a few styles in between.
Shown: Mionetto Brut Prosecco $5.99

Canvas Flask – Made in the USA, pocket-sized for big fun with the filler of your choice.
Multiple styles, $14.99 each

Viski Julep Strainer – a bar staple not just for juleps!
$9.99

St. Germain – the most beautiful bottle in the store, palm sized.
$13.99

Wigle Bitters – made with small-batch, organic Wigle whiskey and infused with all matter of deliciousness.
4 available flavors: Aromatic, Rosemary & Lavender, Orange Pomander, Molé, $17.99 each

Bittermens Citron Sauvage Liqueur – a bitter grapefruit aperitif for those who love to play with their cocktails.
$14.99

St. George Raspberry Liqueur – precisely flavored liqueurs, ideal for sipping and mixing, from CA with love.
Raspberry (shown) and Spiced Pear, $17.99 each

Macallan 12-Year Half Bottle –  a perfect fit for Scotch lovers!
375ml, $34.99

Multi-Colored Pull-Tap Corkscrews – the cork extractor of choice among wine professionals.
Several colors, $5.99 each

“Bad Mother Shucker” Oyster Knives – engraved by our sister studio, The Engraved Bottle. $9.49

Silicone Corks – a colorful way to keep your wine fresh!
Available in purple, blue, green, red, pink and yellow, 
$1.99 each

Pizza Coasters – a set of 3 flavors (pepperoni, cheese & veggie).
$4.99 for a stack of 12

Iron Lobster Bottle Opener – for the New Englander in us all.
$6.99

Liber & Co. Orgeat Syrup – made with real roasted almonds. Can’t make a Mai Tai without it. 8.5oz, $8.99

Nips – With its real wax coating, the Maker’s Mark mini-bottle is one of our favorites from the over 50 we have in store.
Various spirits, starting at $1.49

Happy Stocking!

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Top Hanukkah Wines for 2016

In selecting the wines we feature each Hanukkah, the first thing I consider is the same thing I think about when selecting any of the wines we sell at Bottles: taste. Does the wine taste good, will it fit my customers’ tastes. The second is how it will pair with a traditional Hanukkah menu. Will it enhance the flavor and textures of fried latkes and donuts, will it stand up to a rich brisket. Will it add to festivities and celebration at the table. Once a wine has hit those benchmarks, then and only then do I check to see if the wine is kosher.

Here are my picks for wines that will be great for Hanukkah this year.  It’s my hope that they’ll bring much joy and happiness to your Hanukkah table.

eric_instaNotte Italiana Prosecco, Italy – Perfect bubbly for the holidays and great with brunch, or just standing around the kitchen and talking. But this extra dry bubbly really shines when it’s paired with latke!  $17.99

Dalton Rosé, Israel – Who says that rosé is just for warmer weather?  This is a perfect party wine – dry and light and a good way to start a celebration or to pair with lighter first courses. $19.99 (on sale from $22.99!)

Chateau La Colonne, Lalande de Pomerol, France – A big, powerful wine from one of the best areas of Bordeaux.  This full rich wine calls for big hearty mid-winter celebratory meals and can be enjoyed by everyone at the table, connoisseur and novice alike.  $39.99

Happy Hanukkah!

-Eric