Category Archives: Wine Pairings

Peyrassol Rosés: That’s A Great Price, But What Do They Taste Like?

pey_groupIn a word, amazing.

First, some context: Even if you’re not a history buff, the story of the Peyrassol domain is pretty astounding. The estate was founded in the 13th century by the Knights of the Templar on the site of their Commanderie. (Yes, those same Knights who were dedicated to protecting the crusaders en route to the Holy Land.) Winemaking has continued on that very same land, uninterrupted over the centuries, under the command of various powers and families, to this day. And with that amount of practice and experience under its belt, it’s no wonder that Peyrassol produces wines that are considered the benchmark against which all other Provencal rosés are measured.

Today, Peyrassol adheres to strict organic guidelines in the vineyard, eschewing synthetic fertilizers, pesticides and fungicides for natural methods. The wines are a beautiful expression of the region’s clay and limestone terroir, capturing the very essence of Provence: fresh, refined elegance.

pey_chat

The creme de la creme of the Peyrassol rosé collection is the Chateau de Peyrassol. Made with grapes harvested from the domain’s oldest vines, the wine gets its darker color, character and concentration from a long maceration period. It is a more full-bodied rosé, with notes of citrus, peach and apricot. It’s lively yet delicate, and is a very special bottle.

peyc_command

By comparison, the Commanderie de Peyrassol is a bit more traditional: it’s lighter in body with more minerality. It starts with lovely fruit blossom aromas, has refreshing flavors of watermelon and peach and finishes on a silky, stony note. The domain considers it the workhorse of the estate.

pey_lou

The newest addition to the Peyrassol lineup is entry-level-priced #Lou. It’s a highly-drinkable rosé for those both just getting into pink wine, as well as those of us who drink it year-round. It has a crisp start, fills your mouth with wild strawberries and citrus flavors, then finishes with mineral notes.

All three wines are on sale at Bottles through June 15th, 2017, at pricing meant to encourage your exploration of this historical and excellent estate. We think you’ll enjoy them as much as we do.

— #Lou: $11.99 (or just $10 a bottle with a 12-btl case purchase)
— Commanderie de Peyrassol: $19.99 (or just $16.66 a bottle with a 12-btl case purchase)
— Chateau de Peyrassol: $24.99 (or just $20.83 a bottle with a 12-btl case purchase)
(additional case discounts and rewards points do not apply)

All prices subject to change.

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A Recipe from north Restaurant, With Wine

You can’t get any more seasonal or versatile than this, a delicious recipe from Bottles’ friend Chef James Mark of north, and recently named Edible Rhody Local Hero. Make it for breakfast. Make it for lunch. Or make it for dinner. We don’t care which, just as long as you make it. And do be sure to try it with Eric’s wine pick, the Laurent Barth Alsacian gewurztraminer. Says Eric: “This pairing gets a big WOW from us! It’s one of our favorite white wines and is an intriguing companion to James’s complexly flavored dish. The wine is intensely fragrant with aromas of spring flowers and exotic fruits and has the perfect amount of fruitiness and zippy acidity to accentuate, but not overpower, the multi-layered flavors of the dish.”

The recipe and pairing were initially featured in Edible Rhody‘s beautiful Spring issue.

Edible_Rhody_northphoto credit: Edible Rhody

gewLIGHTLY CHARRED GREENS WITH BUTTERNUT SQUASH AND SPICY BREADCRUMBS

Chef/Owner James Mark, north, Providence, and Edible Rhody Local Hero, 2017: Chef/Restaurant

Says Chef James Mark: This recipe celebrates what we in the Northeast have at the farmers’ market in early- to mid-spring—overwintered kale, spinach, broccoli and chard—all of which are incredibly sweet, their sugars concentrated by chilly nights and warm days. Butternut squash, if stored correctly, has the time to develop a deep complexity and concentrated sweetness. This recipe makes good breakfast, lunch or dinner food. Throw a fried egg on it for breakfast, eat it chilled with cooked barley for lunch or add some pasta or serve it as is for a side for dinner. You’ll end up with extra butternut sauce, which is great on rice, mixed into scrambled eggs or as a pasta sauce.

1 small butternut squash, peeled and seeded
1 onion, peeled and roughly chopped
1 bulb (6–7 cloves) garlic, peeled
Neutral cooking oil, such as grapeseed
Dried chile flakes
Kosher or sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons maple syrup (or to taste)
1–2 bunches dark leafy greens (whichever look good at the market, such as kale, Swiss chard, collards, broccoli tips, bok choy or a combination), washed and patted dry
½ teaspoon fresh oregano leaves (or more to taste)
¼ cup Spicy Breadcrumbs*
2 scallions, sliced very thinly
Lemon wedge

Cut the squash into 1-inch cubes and add to a sauce pot along with the onion and garlic.

Barely cover with water and boil until the squash is tender, about 20 minutes. Pour contents into a blender (or food processor) along with 1 tablespoon oil and blend until very smooth. Season with the chile, salt, black pepper and maple syrup to taste.

Next, strip the greens off their stems and cut the leaves roughly into 4-inch pieces. (Stems can be cooked with the leaves, or use them in a stew or pesto. Just cut them thinly across the grain so they are palatable.)

Heat a high-walled Dutch oven or enameled pan until very hot. Add the greens and allow to char undisturbed, about 2–3 minutes.

Season with oregano, chile, a pinch of salt and add 1–2 teaspoons oil. Toss, allowing the greens to wilt slightly, about 30 seconds. Add approximately a ½ cup of the butternut sauce. Toss again and transfer to a serving bowl.

Garnish generously with breadcrumbs, scallions, a squeeze of lemon and a few turns of black pepper. Feeds 4–6 people as a side dish or 2 as a main course.

* Spicy Breadcrumbs
4 cups Japanese panko
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
¼ teaspoon dried chile flakes
2–3 tablespoons neutral cooking oil, such as grapeseed

Add ingredients to a sauté pan and place over medium heat. Toss continually in the pan until the breadcrumbs are golden brown and fragrant. Season with salt and pepper. Drain on paper towels, cool and store in an airtight container. Note: This makes extra, but they last, and are great on pasta, too.

Bon Appetit!

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Our Top 9 Spring Wines, Part II

We’re down to just a few weeks now until our local farmer’s markets will awash with brightly-colored and fresh spring produce: green peas, ramps and asparagus, magenta rhubarb, orange carrots and more. Prep for the arrival of those goodies now, friends, with our selection of spring wines that are equally as bright and fresh with flavor. Here are our remaining picks of the season’s best this year.

spring_veggiesDomaine de Martinolles ‘Le Berceau’ Blanquette de Limoux, Languedoc, France $14.99
‘Le Berceau’ translates to ‘cradle’ which in this case symbolizes the birthplace of sparkling wine. This bottle was made using the traditional Champenoise method, making this delicious, crisp and bone dry bubbly a spectacular value.

Contour Pinot Noir, Monterey, Napa & Sonoma, California $14.99
Loads of juicy strawberry and blackberry fruit with a whisper of spice on the finish – making it a perfect match with your first-of-the-season grill fare (salmon anyone?)!

Thierry Germain ‘Les Roches’ Saumur Champigny, Loire Valley, France $27.99
Hand-harvested cabernet franc from 25+ year old vines. Fruity, pleasantly funky, and completely biodynamic/organic, this bottle is pretty acidic and begs to be paired with a creamy spring pea risotto or a rich lamb dish.

Fatum Dry Spanish White Blend, La Mancha, Spain $11.99
Bursts of lime citrus flavor with ripe pear notes that gently wash over your palate. Look for hints of salt and brine to round out that tart finish. A staff favorite!

Enjoy Spring!

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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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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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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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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

The Top White Wines For Thanksgiving

Our entire team gathered one Sunday night after closing to taste through the Thanksgiving wines that our Wine Director, Nick, selected this year. The consensus? They’re all winners. There wasn’t a loser among them (and we have a really opinionated staff. Really. Opinionated.) That said, there are marked differences among each bottle. We encourage you to grab a staff member for help in selecting the style that will match your palate.

Last week we shared our red wine picks. Herewith, the whites:

terre
Corvezzo Terre di Marca Prosecco, Italy
Delicious, organic sparkling wine, new to the store, which has just a whisper of the fruitiness
you want to enhance Thanksgiving flavors. Perfect for toasts, pairing, and cocktails. $13.99


Domaine Bernier Chardonnay, The Loire, France
A tasty, un-oaked chardonnay that’s loved even by those who don’t typically like chards. (Believe us.) It’s perfect for when you want an all-around great white with value. $11.99

godeval_white
Godeval Godello, Galicia, Spain
A versatile dry Spanish white that will go with everything on the table and stands on its own as an aperitif. Great minerality! $17.99

eden_white
Mount Eden “Wolff” Chardonnay, California
A great barrel aged chardonnay that has a bit more structure for the oak-loving ‘Cali-Chard’ drinker at the table. $21.99

Cheers!

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The Top Red Wines for Your Thanksgiving Table

Everyone has opinions about which wines pair best with Thanksgiving dinner.

Some say only drink Beaujolais, some dictate pinot noir. Some suggest drinking bubbly wine throughout the entire meal (let’s have dinner at their house!), some suggest pairing a different wine with each course.

None of the above are wrong, of course. The only wrong wine to serve with the most written about meal of all time is the one you don’t like.

The tack we take for you, our loyal, trusting friends, is not to demand that you drink one style, but rather to suggest a variety of turkey-and-fixins’-friendly wines to meet all palates. Want to serve Italian wine? We have one for you. Rather show your love of the USA? We got that, too. Any of the wines below will be do what a good Thanksgiving wine is supposed to do: taste good and support the glorious flavors on the table.

Herewith, our top red wine picks for Thanksgiving 2016.

domain_red
Durban Beaumes de Venise, Rhone Valley, France

A crowd-pleasing red blend of grenache and syrah that’s not too light nor too heavy. Its ‘old world’ finish (i.e., dry, subtle and earthy) won’t dominate the meal you’ve slaved over, either. $19.99

primarious_red
Primarius Pinot Noir, Oregon
This is the wine that will be so popular on the 24th that you’ll chide yourself for not purchasing more. It’s a velvety, well-crafted pinot noir from a great producer that everyone will enjoy – the classic turkey pairing that never disappoints. $16.99

tami_nero_red
Tami Nero d’Avola, Sicily

Looking for an off-the-beaten path wine with great pedigree? The Tami has that distinctive Italian feel without a crazy price tag. And it’s made by Arianna Occhipinti – the current darling of the wine world. $19.99

yon_red
2012 Chateau Yon, Saint-Emilion, Bordeaux, France

A classic style, this merlot / cabernet blend is everything you would expect from a Right Bank Bordeaux (balanced fruit, smooth) that is ready to drink now, at a phenomenal price. $21.99

anitgal_red2
Antigal Uno Malbec, Argentina

A smooth and supple red that perfectly compliments the more bold dishes on your table. Malbec is a Thanksgiving best seller for us year after year. If it ain’t broken, don’t fix it!  $19.99

Tune in next week for our top picks for the white wine drinkers at your table

Cheers!

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