Category Archives: Wine Pairings

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:

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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

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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

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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.

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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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Wine to Pair with Roasted Cauliflower Soup

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photo credit: Edible Rhody

With cooler, fall nights upon us, the soul starts to crave rich, creamy, nourishing soups. Ben Lloyd, Chef-Owner of The Salted Slate (just a hop and a skip from Bottles) has a satisfying roasted cauliflower situation that fits the bill. He’s shared his recipe in the current issue of Edible Rhody, and we’re happy to re-post it here, along with our wine pick, the Palagetto Vernaccia “Santa Chiara” DOCG.

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Made from 100% Vernaccia grapes grown in the town of San Gimignano in Tuscany, this beautiful white is crisp enough to cut through the soup’s rich creaminess, and steely enough to match the cauliflower flavor. Its touch-of-fruitiness on the finish plays nicely with the hazelnut, too.

ROASTED CAULIFLOWER SOUP
Says Chef-Owner Ben Lloyd, The Salted Slate, Providence: “Roasting the vegetables for this recipe converts starches to sugars more thoroughly than boiling them, creating a deeper and richer soup with more cauliflower flavor.”

Ingredients
1 large Spanish onion, peeled, halved and sliced
1 bulb fennel, trimmed, halved and roughly chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
1 medium head cauliflower, cleaned, trimmed and roughly chopped
6 cloves peeled garlic
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt
Ground white pepper
4 tablespoons (half stick) unsalted butter
2 fresh bay leaves (or substitute dried)
5 cups low-sodium vegetable or chicken stock
¼ cup plain Greek-style yogurt
2 cups heavy cream
3 tablespoons finely minced chives
3–4 tablespoons hazelnuts, toasted and chopped
Hazelnut oil (optional garnish)

Preheat oven to 425°. Toss the vegetables with olive oil and season with 2 teaspoons salt and a pinch of white pepper. Place them on a large baking sheet in the oven. When vegetables are roasted but not too browned (about 15 minutes), remove from oven.

In a medium sauce pot melt butter and add roasted vegetables along with 2 bay leaves. Add stock to cover the vegetables and add 1 tablespoon salt.

Bring to a boil then quickly reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 10 minutes.

Remove the bay leaves.

Purée soup in a blender, then add yogurt and cream. Quickly pulse soup to distribute the cream and yogurt. Optionally, strain the soup through a fine-mesh sieve for a more refined velvety-textured soup.Return to pot and season with salt to taste.

Serve in warm bowls topped with minced chives, a sprinkle of the hazelnuts and a few drops of hazelnut oil.

Yields approximately 2½ quarts  of soup.

Bon Appetit, and Cheers!

Eric’s Top Kosher Wines

The 2016 High Holidays are almost upon us, which means Eric’s been tasting his heart out in selecting the newest and best kosher wines for your table this year.

We’ll be opening several of them at a special Kosher Wine event in store on Wednesday, September 28th from 5-7.  We hope you can join us so that you can judge which will work best for your holiday feasts.

Herewith, Eric’s picks!

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Dalton ‘Yuvalim’ Cabernet Sauvignon, Galilee, Israel – Velvety smooth texture with light tannins and lots of nice ripe berry flavors make this a great party wine. It’s equally as comfortable by itself as it is with chicken, steak or pasta. Yuvalim in Hebrew means “little stream”; the idea represents the little streams and tributaries that meander throughout the Galilee. Wander in and pick up a bottle. $21.99
blancLouis Blanc Cotes du Rhone, France – This is the bottle for those looking for a dry wine this season. It’s everything that you would expect in a savory, full packed Mediterranean Grenache/Syrah blend: fruit driven aromas and flavors of black fruits, cherries and black pepper. What’s more, it’s soft and round enough to have with your favorite egg dish like an Arugula and Fontina Frittata.  $15.99

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Hacormim Collage Red, Judean Hills, Israel
– If you’re looking for something a bit sweeter for the holidays, I’d recommend this semi-dry beauty. It’s jammed with blackberry and raspberry flavors, and pronounced, dark chocolate undertones.This wine is great for those looking for something sweet this holiday season; it’s superb with brisket that has been cooked with raisins or plums. $13.99

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Hai ‘Patriots’ Cabernet Sauvignon, Judean Hills, Israel
– A rich, bold red for heavier dishes like roast beef and lamb. It has dark, well extracted black currant and cherry flavor, and a velvety smooth texture with none of the bite that one can get from big wines like Cabernet. $15.99

…and the following are so new to Bottles, they didn’t make it in store in time for our photo shoot. We’ll surely have them on our shelves by the time you read this post!

Butcher’s Daughter Muscat
 – A sweet(er) wine for a sweet year!  We know that sweet wine doesn’t normally float most people’s boats, but this one is truly lovely. What makes it so good is not only the flavors of super ripe red apples, but also the amount of zippy liveliness that balances out the sweetness.  Great for washing down apples dipped in honey!  $16.99

Butcher’s Daughter Chardonnay – Sweet wine not your thing? This is the perfect white to go with Holiday fare. It’s rich and full of ripe apple and pear flavors. It isn’t a oak and butter bomb like many Cali chardonnays can be.  A great value at $12.99!

Butcher’s Daughter Merlot – This very well made wine from the south of France has broad appeal and can stand up to nearly any food pairing that you throw at it.  Soft and lovely with dark berry flavors and hints of mocha.  $12.99

Wishing you and yours a happy and healthy new year. L’shana Tova!”

-Eric & the rest of the Bottles team

A Summer Corn and Tomato Pairing

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I can’t get enough of this super simple spin on the classic summer corn and tomato salad from our friends Brian and Katie O’Donnell of Warren’s really fantastic bywater restaurant. With such a wonderfully complex dish that has fat, oil, and garlic, I could think of only one other element to complete the picture: acid. Which is why I chose a beautiful, unoaked French Chardonnay. Gautheron’s Chablis is that perfect steely-sharp wine that has the edge to cut through the bacon and aioli while bringing out the fruit flavors and acids in the tomatoes, leaving you with a nice crisp and clean fruit finish, good minerality, and looking forward to the next bite!
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Check out the jam-packed summer issue of Edible Rhody for more on bywater, including a recipe for Katie’s Basil Ice Cream. It’s a perfect dish to follow this summer salad.

Bon Appetit … and Cheers!
-Josh

WARM CORN & TOMATO SALAD
Note from Chef/Co-Owner of bywater, Brian O’Donnell: This recipe is our rendition of traditional Mexican street corn (one of our favorite snacks). Grilling the corn gives the dish a wonderful flavor. In the height of summer, we can’t get enough of it—we think you’ll feel the same way.

INGREDIENTS
4 ears grilled fresh sweet corn
4 slices smoked bacon
1 pint ripe cherry tomatoes, rinsed and cut into halves
2 large ripe beefsteak or other large heirloom tomatoes, sliced into half moons
Garlic aioli*
4 tablespoons crumbled dry cotija cheese (or any other hard, salty cheese, like ricotta salata or Parmesan)
2 tablespoons chopped chives
Piment d’Espelette or paprika
Good-quality extra-virgin olive oil
Flakey sea salt for finishing

First, remove corn kernels from the cobs and set aside. In a medium sauté pan, cook bacon until crispy. Drain bacon grease from the pan and roughly chop the cooked bacon. Return the bacon to the pan, add cherry tomatoes and corn and heat, tossing until warmed through. Taste for seasoning.

To serve, divide beefsteak tomato slices among 4 plates (or place on one large platter), arranging them in a circle. Place warm corn and bacon mixture in the middle. Top each serving with a dollop of aioli, then sprinkle with cotija cheese, a sprinkle of chives and, finally, a pinch of Piment d’Espelette. Drizzle with olive oil and salt to taste.

Serves 4

*Garlic Aioli
1 cup Hellmann’s or your favorite mayonnaise
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon prepared horseradish
½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
½ teaspoon Banyuls or sherry wine vinegar
½ teaspoon lemon juice
¼ teaspoon salt

Mix ingredients together and set aside, or refrigerate until serving. (Or double the recipe and have more for later—it’s great as a dip for fries, veggies or as a sandwich spread.)

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Summer Pairings: A Cool Dish for a Hot Week

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It’s hot.

The air is hot. Our political climate is hot. Our society is hot. And we’re not even halfway through the Summer of 2016.

Things could change if we all cool down our own little corners of the world, one step at a time. And a good place to start is at the table, with family and friends.

Begin with a delicious, refreshing and easy to prepare chilled dish from Jason Timothy, chef/owner of Providence’s Laughing Gorilla Catering, that’s sure to please the crowd of 2 or 10 gathered at your table. Add open bottles of icy beer and wine (our picks below), good conversation, laughter and love, and watch the mercury drop.

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We can’t get enough of the Gobelsburg Cistercien Rosé from Austria. Its bright balance of fresh acidity and excellent, round strawberry and peach fruit flavors make this a great match. The sauce’s citrus and jalapeno tang will be cooled by the fruit, while the minerality and acid provide enough structure to round out the whole dish.

We chose Revival Brewing Co.’s Fanny IPA as this noodle dish’s ideal beer partner. Its fruity hops from the Southern Hemisphere will highlight the melon’s cool notes, which piney North American hops accentuate the dish’s spicy flavors. And what’s even better, Fanny is low in alcohol, so it says as light in your  as does the salad, keeping everything in harmony.

And for the recipe, published in the beautiful Summer 2016 issue of Edible Rhody:

CHILLED VIETNAMESE RICE NOODLE SALAD
A note from chef Jason Timothy:  This is an easy, flavorful salad that is incredibly versatile. It’s been a favorite among my friends at summer cookouts when the weather is hot, the grill is going and the produce is abundant. I love to grab herbs and vegetables from the Armory Farmers’ Market that’s almost outside my door.

INGREDIENTS
1 package rice noodles (size noodle to your liking)
2 tablespoons neutral oil (such as grapeseed or canola)
¼ cup fish sauce
¼ cup water
¼ cup sugar
¼ cup fresh-squeezed lime juice, plus extra wedges for garnish
1 cucumber, seeded and sliced
2 cups sliced melon (watermelon or cantaloupe), rind removed
1 pound (3–4 cups) fresh bean sprouts
½ cup fresh Thai basil leaves, torn
½ cup fresh mint leaves, torn
½ cup fresh cilantro leaves
3 jalapeños, sliced (optional)
Kosher or sea salt
Freshly ground pepper

In a large pot, bring 8 cups of water to a boil. Add noodles and cook for 4–5 minutes. Strain noodles. Give them a quick rinse with cold water just to get the cooling started and, once well drained, toss lightly with oil. Let rest in the refrigerator, covered.

Meanwhile, combine fish sauce, water and sugar in a 1-quart saucepan. Cook until sugar is completely dissolved, 3–4 minutes. Add lime juice and set aside to cool.

When ready, add noodles to a large mixing (or serving) bowl. Add sliced cucumber and melon slices, bean sprouts, basil, mint, cilantro and sliced jalapeños. Toss with sauce. Add salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with lime wedges. Serve immediately or cover and chill until serving.

Serves 4–6.

Stay cool, eat well, and carry on.

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Wine & Beer to Pair with Clams & Favas

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Can’t get more “New England in the Spring” than with this classic clam & squid salad from the current edition of Edible Rhody and Al Forno‘s Chef David Reynoso. The addition of the fava beans and scallions anchors it to the season, and allows for more adventurous parings.

Try it with the Brasserie Dupont Foret for a perfect ‘surf & turf’ pairing. The Saison’s well-integrated spice notes balance the earthiness of the fava beans and richness of the squid.

As for wine, we really enjoyed the salad with Camp Chardonnay. This is not your typical California butter bomb — it truly is more like a fine white Burgundy. Bright lemon, green apple and fresh herb flavors make it perfect match to the clams and favas.

Cheers and Bon Appetit!

WARM CLAM AND CALAMARI SALAD WITH FRESH FAVA BEANS AND SCALLIONS
Executive Chef David Reynoso, Al Forno, Providence

Ingredients
24 littleneck clams, washed and scrubbed
½ cup dry white wine
1 garlic clove
1 pound cleaned calamari, cut into rings, tentacles left whole
2 pounds fresh fava beans, shells and skins removed (should yield about 1 cup)
4 scallions, thinly sliced, placed in ice water
½ cup loosely packed parsley leaves, finely chopped
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon
Maldon Sea Salt

Place the clams, wine, garlic and ½ cup of water in a large covered pan. Steam the clams over medium heat. Check the clams after about 5 minutes and place the open clams into 4 warm bowls. Continue steaming, checking every few minutes, until all the clams have opened and been distributed evenly between the bowls.

Add the calamari and fava beans to the pan, stir constantly and cook for 3–4 minutes, until the calamari is firm.

Remove the garlic clove. Drain all but 1½ cups cooking liquid and add the scallions, parsley, olive oil and lemon juice to the calamari. Divide the calamari and fava beans among the 4 bowls. Finish each bowl with a pinch of sea salt. Serves 4 as a first course or light supper.

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This Season’s Rosés, Part Three

Ah – here we are at last at the end of our rosé spectrumwith the wines that are darker, have a more intense fruit flavor, and finish on a savory note.

Though there’s lots of variation within this subsection, these wines are all bone dry. They drink more like a red wine than their lighter counterparts and match well with the widest array of food – especially rustic summertime grilled fare.

This style is for you if:

-strawberry rhubarb pie is your jam, and you’d bathe in BBQ sauce if given the chance.
-you think white wine is for wimps and on wine lists you look for big-fruit/high-acid reds such as malbec, cabernet sauvignon and chianti.

Buyer Beware! Due to the significant supply and demand issues, availability of each bottle changes daily. If you find one you like, buy multiple bottles because it may not be in store on your next visit. And if it isn’t, don’t fret! Bottles will be your rosé HQ this summer so visit often for a rotating selection of delicious fine rosé wines.

Here are our favorite medium to full, rich & savory styles from the 2015 vintage:

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Honoro Vera, Spain
A powerhouse of a rosé. Said one of our regulars: “It’s like a space party in my mouth!” Its refreshing flavors of strawberries & cherries are offset by an earthy dried-herb finish.

Taron Rosado, Spain
Debate reigns at Bottles on this one. Some find it subtle with light floral aromas. Others find it crisp with ripe strawberry flavors offset by subtle earthy notes. All find it eminently drinkable (especially given its low price).

Paul D., Austria
Clean and bright with flavors of honey, strawberry, dried apricot. Fresh, fruity, soft and smooth.

Domaine Vetriccie, Corsica
Big, bold fruitiness with notes of orange peel. Rustic Mediterranean summer wine at its best.

Chateau Trinquevedel, Tavel
A staff favorite, this Kermit Lynch import (ya’ll know how much we love his wines) is dry, tart, spicy and herbal. It’s the rosé for serious red wine drinkers.

Mulderbosch, South Africa
Tons of zippy flavor, this gem is balanced with fresh acidity and flavors of strawberries, cherries, and peach.

Las Perdices, Argentina
Big bodied, bold ripe cherry with a rich round finish. Toss a rib-eye on the grill and have at it.

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This Season’s Rosé, Part Two

It’s finally arrived!

East Coasters are finally enjoying the warmer, delightful weather that most people call Rosé Season. We at Bottles drink the pink year-round but it is an undeniable fact that longer sunny days and spring blossoms go hand-in-hand with bottles of chilled, crisp rosé.

This week, we explore the middle of the rosé spectrum. They’re the wines that, while still dry, are a bit more fruity, aromatic and floral. This style is for you if:

-you start your day with a bowl full of juicy fruit salad, and eat your weight in watermelon each summer.

– your fridge is usually stocked with new-world sauvignon blancs and other aromatic whites, or your go-to reds are medium bodied blends like Chianti and Cotes du Rhone.

These wines sing when paired with rustic, grilled foods such as mediterranean lamb, grilled fish and pork, and herbal sauces (think pesto).

Buyer Beware! Due to the significant supply and demand issues, availability of each bottle changes daily. If you find one you like, buy multiple bottles because it may not be in store on your next visit. And if it isn’t, don’t fret! Bottles will be your rosé HQ this summer so visit often for a rotating selection of delicious fine rosé wines.

Here are our favorite light-medium & floral rosés style from the 2015 vintage:

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Gobelsburg, Austria
A staff favorite, the Gobelsburg is elegant and crisp with flavors of wild cherries and fresh berries.

Bridge Lane, Long Island
Made in Long Island, this rosé is perfect for the beach. It’s full of ripe red berries, guava & peach and has a lovely, lively, dry finish.

Zestos Rosado, Spain
Eminently drinkable, this Spanish beauty is brisk and refreshing with flavors of strawberry and watermelon.

Banshee, CA
One of our best-sellers, the Banshee screams with vibrant Mandarin orange and peach skin flavor and is accented with ripe  n’ tangy strawberry notes.

 

Drink Pink!

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Vintage 2015 Rosé, Part One

It’s official: rosé is the “it” wine of the year.

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Everyone’s drinking it, from big burly men whose usual go-tos are big tannic reds, to ladies who like a light white with their luncheon salads.

That’s because rosés, with their wide spectrum of aromas and flavors, have something for all.

This week, we explore the lightest end of the spectrum. This style is for you if:

-your go-to morning fruit is grapefruit, you like lemonade on a blazing hot day, and you eat oysters by the bushel.

-your fridge is usually stocked with pinot grigio, vinho verde and sancerre, or you always reach for barbera or pinot noir.

These wines are terrific when paired with goat cheese, salads, shellfish, or best of all, just a beach chair on a hot summer day.

Buyer Beware! Due to the significant supply and demand issues, availability of each bottle changes daily. If you find one you like, buy multiple bottles because it may not be in store on your next visit. And if it isn’t, don’t fret! Bottles will be your rosé HQ this summer so visit often for a rotating selection of delicious fine rosé wines.

Here are our favorite light & mineral-y rosés style from the 2015 vintage:

perassolChateau Peyrassol, Cotes de Provence
It’s fresh & crisp with notes of fruit blossoms, citrus and apricots, and finishes with a stoney minerality.

cassanovaLa Spinetta Il Rosé Di Casanova, Tuscany
This wine is super light, with flavors of early season raspberry & cranberry.

montaugChateau Montaud, Cotes de Provence
It’s bright & lean, with notes of dried berries, cherries and red currants.

sansecrreLucien Crochet Sancerre, Pinot Rosé
This wine is all early-season strawberry and cherry with light herbal undertones.

Tune in next week when we explore rosés with a touch more body and and delightful floral flavors.

Drink Pink!

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