July 30 Newsletter
July 30, 2012
It was wonderful to see so many of you at our booth at the Park Street Art and Wine Fair(e) this weekend.
We have some of the craft beers from Cold Springs Brewery left over from what we wwere pouring at the Faire for sale in Alameda - $2.50 per can/bottle or $9 per four pack. Small production IPA, a honeyed Weiss beer, a Porter/Bock Combo, and a dark beer finished on Bourbon oak chips. Limited.
Price Drop! Grilos Dao One of the wine hits from the Art and Wine Faire was Grilos Dao, a fun blend of Touriga Nacional, Tinto Roriz and Jaen, which spent about six months in French oak. This is an aromatic wine with a lighter red color. It is a silky smooth wine, with mouthfeel reminiscent of a Pinot Noir, with some spicy notes. An excellent food wine at a great price!
This wine is from the Dao region and Grilos means cricket in Portuguese. While the mouthfeel is reminiscent of Pinot Noir, the flavors of black cherry and plum tinged with black tea and spices make this versatile red a great partner with Asian or grilled dishes.
Under a different distributor, we were selling it for the very fair price of $10 per bottle, but a new importer and a falling Euro means that we can offer the wine for an astounding $8/bottle ($7.20 per bottle club or case price!). That's a 20% drop - money in your pocket!
Wine Dinner - We still have some seats left for our (Mostly) Pinot Noir Wine Dinner with Ed Kurtzman (ROAR, August West and Sandler wines).
Monday, August 27 @ Southie. 4 courses, 6 wines, $69 plus tax and tip ($90). Call the shop to make your prepaid reservation.
Price Drop! Losada Bierzo We love wines from Galicia - that Northwesternmost tip of Spain where the Atlantic ocean's weighs considerable climactic influence.
The wines from Galicia run the gamut from crisp whites bracing with mouthwatering acidity to deep reds made from the Mencia grape. Mencia wines are truly profound; in good hands, they reveal fresh fruity notes, smooth tannins and an enviable reflection of the minerally terroir.
Nowhere does the Mencia grape shine more brightly than in Bierzo, and we bought out all of the remianing stock on a juicy Bierzo from Losada - produced from 50- to 80-year-old hillside vines in Bierzo and aged for nine months in new French oak. Purple in color with a nose of mineral, roasted herbs, game, and floral aromas, this extracted, rich, full-flavored wine over-delivers in a big way.
We sold this vintage late last year for $22.50/bottle - a fair price considering the quality of the wine in the bottle, but are now offering the wine at a stunning 28.9% discount - $16 per bottle or 14.40/btl in a case or when purchased by a club member!
New Wine Club! We've created yet another club for ya - this one especially created for folks who drink a glass or so of wine per day. It's called the Farmstead Case Club, and delivers twelve bottles of quality wine each month for around $200!
The Farmstead Case Club really is the best of all worlds, as it is based on the selections in our monthly Classic Club (great wines in the $20-30 range) and our Bargain Club (six wines in the $9-15 range), plus two other Farmstead-selected wines.
Like all other Farmstead Wine Clubs, you'll receive a significant discount off our retail price on the wines in the case (in this case, a whopping 12.5% off our regular prices), plus discounts on most wines in the shop, detailed notes on each wine, and warm feelings from knowing you're supporting a small, independent, locally owned business!
We launched the club last week, and so far folks are very excited about it. So if you're interested in joining up, simply respond to this email, come into the shop, or call us on the phone!
This month's case comes in at $219 undiscounted, but sells to Farmstead Case Club members at $191.97, or a $16 per bottle average cost.
$$ Dollar Tastings $$: Rosé Rosé Rosé - This week at the Tasting Bar we're holding our second Rosé tasting, featuring some of our favorites of the season. Dat's right, you can taste five wines for a dollar!
Rumor has it that Mrs. Cheesemonger might be on hand to pour at several of the tastings!
We've got some great wines on tap for your edumacational and tasting pleasure :
- Sinskey Rosé of Pinot Noir (Carneros)
- Castelmaure Vin Gris (Corbières)
- Mas de Bressades Rosé (Costières de Nîmes)
- Grande Cassagne Rosé (Costières de Nîmes)
- Mordorée Tavel (Rhône)
- Tres Ojos Rosado (Spain)
We pour wine in Alameda on Thursdays 5:00-7:30 and Saturdays 2-5; and in Montclair Village on Fridays from 5:00-7:30 and Saturdays from 2-5. Please note new extended times!
Tastings cost $1 per person per flight (that's 20 cents per pour!).
By law all wine shops have to charge for their tastings - so since you have to pay something anyways, why not taste at a shop where all of the tasting fee goes to one of your local schools??
Here at Farmstead, all proceeds from our tastings benefit local schools, with this month all moneys going to Thornhill Elementary in Oakland!! So far this year, we've donated well over $3500 to local schools!
New Chardonnay - Ministry of the Vinterior. We've brought in a few cases of a great Russian River appelation Chardonnay that's balanced and very well made, with just the right amount of oak to keep the California palates happy, but with a good dollop of mouth watering acidity to keep the rest of us interested.
Ministry of the Interior Chardonnay is another one of those negociant projects when a crafty fella buys some already made but unsold wine from a well known winery and releases it under his/her own name, without revealing the name of the original winery.
We can't tell you the name either either, except that under the original name you can expect to pay around $30 per bottle and we've got it for $18 ($16.80 by the case).
(We can give you a hint though: the first name of the original winery rhymes with the name of an ADULT animal whose younger version is used as one of the three milk sources for cheese - and it's not cow or goat).
We now have three such negociant Chards in stock: Rubus, Smoke Screen and now Ministry of the Vinterior. All very well made, all very well priced for a premium Cali Chard.
Cheese of the Week - St Marcellin, St Felicien This week's cheese - Saint Marcellin and its cousin Saint Felicien are small supple cow's milk cheeses from Dauphiné in the Rhône-Alpes region of France. Saint Marcellin has a soft, creamy texture and a slight mushroomy aroma from the P. Geotrichum rind.
Over in Banon, a market town a few kilometers to the south, they make a similar cheese. The main difference is that St. Marcellin is a cow’s milk cheese, while Banon is often (though not always) made from goat’s milk. (The general variety started off as a goat cheese; St. Marcellin was an innovation.)
Production of St. Marcellin dates back to the 15th century when Louis XI popularized this small and delicious cheese. Tradition has it that, as the Dauphin (Prince in waiting and Lord of the Dauphine region), he became separated from his hunting party and was confronted by a hungry bear. Fortuntely, he was rescued by some local woodsmen who fed him some of their local cheese.
Today, St. Marcellin is produced by 12 local creameries and 12 farms.
St. Marcellin is a gentle, soft and highly accessible cheese. When young, St. Marcellin has a soft, dense, creamy texture and slight mushroomy aroma. Due to the fragile and tender nature of the cheeses, they are packed in a small cup to protect them.
One of the best cheeses produced in Rhône-Alpes region of France, Saint Marcellin pairs well with Côtes du Rhône and Spanish reds. Saint Marcellin is traditionally paired in Lyon with Beaujolais. One piece weighs approximately 3 ounces, while St Felicien weighs in a few ounces more.
Burrata and Mozzarella arrive on Fridays. Here's a great recipe for Burrata and Grilled Peaches. (Thanks to Tracy Andreini for the suggestion!)
Burrata is made by hand-stretching curd into mozzarella and then wrapping the thinly stretched mozzarella around a mixture of fresh cream and stracciatelli (shreds of mozzarella). Cutting into the cheese releases a creamy flow of luscious stuff. This cheese has its roots in Puglia in southern Italy.
Two balls Burrata
4 medium-size ripe peaches, cut into quarters, remove pits
½ tsp ground cinnamon
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp chopped fresh mint
3 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp olive oil
Few grinds black pepper
Let the Burrata come to room temperature before serving.
Prepare the peaches and put into a bowl. Put the olive oil, honey, cinnamon, and garlic in a Pyrex measuring cup. Microwave on high heat for 20 seconds. Stir the lemon juice, and half the mint into the olive oil mixture to combine. This is a temporary emulsion so stir it together quickly an instant before pouring it on the peaches. Add half of this mixture to the peaches and toss until evenly coated.
Scrub your grill with a wire brush, and spray with cooking oil, or wipe it with a paper towel moistened with cooking oil before lighting it. Preheat the grill to high heat. If you are using charcoal, the coals should be glowing. Start the peaches cut side down, since the peaches are quartered there are 2 cut sides. Grill for 2½ minutes, turn to the other cut side and cook for a further 2½ minutes. Turn the peaches so they are skin side down and baste with some of the sauce so that it pools in the center of the peaches. Cook for a further 7 or 8 minutes, or until the peaches are pretty soft, but still retain their shape.
Surround the Burrata with the grilled peaches. Pour the remaining liquid over the Burrata, and sprinkle with the remaining mint and a few grinds of black pepper. For serving implements provide both a small sharp knife and a spoon. Serve with crackers or torn pieces of sourdough bread and a pile of napkins.